Witcham, Home of the Official
World Peashooting Championships
Since 1971 the World Peashooting Championship has been held at Witcham.
Witcham is a small village and the original championship was staged to raise funds for Witcham Village Hall in 1971.
The hall was built on land gifted by Mr Frank Harrison, a local resident. From the very beginning fundraising has always been an agenda item for the Trustees of the hall; their aim being to provide excellent facilities whilst keeping hall hire charges at a fair rate. The idea of holding an Annual Village Fete was discussed but it needed something to attract a wider audience and so the idea of holding a World Peashooting Championship was put forward and like all good stories, the 'Peashoot' event has a curious and amusing origin.
The village Headmaster at the time, Mr John Tyson, had caught some mischievous pupils amusing themselves by pinging their unfortunate schoolmates with peas from a peashooter and he confiscated the offending weapons. Mr Tyson thought about the idea of putting the boys peashooting skills to good use and so put forward the idea of holding a Peashooting Championship alongside a Village Fete. The idea was an instant success and from the first time it was held the event has been the central attraction to each year's fund-raising activities.
Sadly Mr Tyson passed away in 2003 and many of the ”the old school” in Witcham carry memories of their time under his “guidance” and for this reason and as a token of thanks for his dedication and commitment to Witcham the Parish Council funded the purchase of the John Tyson Shield on which the champion's name is recorded each year.
Over the years local Champions as well as folk from further afield have competed for the title. Peashooters have evolved over the years and have been adapted with features such as laser sights and telescopic sights, although the traditional peashooters are still the most used at the event. The introduction of these highly innovative ideas have for some years been a source of keen interest for the media and have raised the national profile of the event.
Visitors have come from, the USA, Scandinavia, France, Spain, New Zealand and Holland to compete. For three years the Open Champion was teenager David Hollis of Witcham taking his last title by beating his father George, who as a former champion displayed his skills by appearing on the TV show " YOU BET". The event continues to be dominated by the youth of Witcham, 15year old Kiel Prance winning in 2002, and 15 year old Danny Miles winning in 2004.
1998 champion Tom Walker using a standard peashooter also appeared on 'The Big Breakfast' with Johnny Vaughan & Denise Van Outen
In 2000, three TV programmes sent crews to cover the event;-
Channel 5/Sunset&Vine 'The Core', BBC 'Linford's Record Breakers ', & 'BBC Friends Like These'. In 2007 the BBC spent the afternoon filming the Pea Shooting for the Sunday Morning programme 'Countryfile', and Star Radio provided their Bouncy Castle.
Each year the event is reported in major newspapers and other media and always seems to create a lot of interest.
Check out……...Sally Redman-Davies 2018 and 2019 Ladies World Peashooting Champion writes in the Guardian Weekend Magazine dated 03.10.20
Alongside of the World Peashooting Championship, Ladies Championship, Junior Championship, Adult and Junior Team Championships are held.
The Championship gives a unique point of focus and has been held until the outbreak of COVID19 in 2020 when the 50th Anniversary event was cancelled; it is however hoped that this event will take place in 2022.
For further details Tel. 01353 778657 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
The 50th World Peashooting Event took place on July 8th 2023.
50th World Champion - Dan Cross
50th Ladies Champion - Sally Redman-Davies
50th Junior Champion - Luke Young
Congratulations to the winners and grateful thanks to all those who entered the competition this year. The competition was fierce and everyone had a great time!
40th World Peashooting Event
George Hollis Champion of Champions
World Peashooting Championship Rules
(revised January 2018)
1. Entrants may only register to compete once in any individual event and one team event on the day.
2. Any person of either sex and regardless of age may enter the Open Championship. There are however separate competitions for Ladies, Children at Primary School and Teams.
3. Peashooters must not be shared by contestants.
4. The peashooter may be made of any material but must not exceed 12 inches in length and may include sighting devices. Note: Laser pointers or similar laser assisted pea shooters are not allowed in the children’s competition.
5. Peas must be fired by blowing with the mouth.
6. The distance from the target will be 12 feet. In the children’s competition it will be 10 feet for those aged 8 and over, and 8 feet for those aged 7 and under.
7. The adult entry fee is £4, children £2. Entries are made on the field on the day.
8. Each contestant will shoot 5 peas at a target and must use the peas provided on the day.
Score as follows; Inner ring scores 5, Middle ring scores 3 and Outer ring scores 1.
9. Registration will commence at 12.00 and the competition will commence at approximately 1 p.m.
10. The highest 16 scores in the open championship (the highest 8 scores in the ladies and the children’s competition) will qualify for the next round.
11.If there is a tie for 16th place (or 8th in the ladies and children’s competitions) then the referee will decide on a method for determining who will go through to the next round.
12.The competitions will then be run on a knock-out basis. Contestant’s names will be drawn to decide their opponents and the order of play.
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Rules for the knockout stage
1. Each contestant will shoot 5 peas, taking alternate shots. The toss of a coin will determine who shoots first.
2. The winner of each match will be the contestant with the highest score and will qualify for the next round. In the event of a tie the match will be decided by ‘sudden death’.
3. From the semi-final stage each contestant will shoot 10 peas alternately. The winner of the final will receive the championship trophy.
Team championship rules
1. Teams will consist of four players who must be named on entering.
2. The draw for opponents and order of play will be made on the day of the contest.
3. The top-scoring 4 teams will qualify for the second round.
4. Each player will shoot 5 peas consecutively, at a distance of 12 feet from the target. Teams will take alternate order of players; each player must have their own peashooter.
5. The toss of a coin will determine which team will shoot first.
6. Adult or mixed (adult/child) teams entry fee is £10, teams of only children £4
7. Team entries may be made on the day, although it would be helpful to the organisers if entries were made before the event. In the case of disputes regarding scoring or the interpretation of the rules, the referee’s decision is final.
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