The third annual conker championships at the 260-strong independent Oakwood School in Chichester, West Sussex, are well under way.
"The children love it," said Sarah Mayhead, admissions manager at the prep and pre-prep school. "The competition gets very fierce. There is a lot of discussion about whether it is better to have big conkers or little, whether to use string or a bootlace.
"There are rules: if you drop the conker, your opponent is allowed one stamp while it is on the floor.
"There is a serious aspect, especially for the pre-prep children: you don't always win, and it is important to be a gracious loser."
The competition continues this month until two conker champions are found. HW.