Fork

The 18 Rules of Worm Charming

For the Rules in other languages, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

  1. Each competitor to operate in a 3 x 3 metre plot.
  2. Lots to be drawn to allocate plots.
  3. Duration of competition to be 30 minutes, starting at about 2pm.
  4. Worms may not be dug from the ground. Vibrations only to be used.
  5. No drugs to be used! Water is considered to be a drug/stimulant.
  6. Any form of music may be used to charm the worms out of the earth.
  7. A garden fork of normal type may be stuck into the ground and vibrated by any manual means to encourage worms to the surface.
  8. Garden forks to be suitably covered to prevent possible injury when being transported to and from the competition. No accidents please!
  9. Each competitor to leave his/her fork in allocated plot on arrival.
  10. A piece of wood, smooth or notched may be used to strike or 'fiddle' the handle of the garden fork to assist vibration.
  11. Competitors who do not wish to handle worms may appoint a second to do so. The second shall be known as a 'Gillie'.
  12. Each competitor may collect worms from his/her own plot only.
  13. Worms to be handled carefully and collected in damp peat and placed in a suitable, named container provided by the organising committee.
  14. A handbell to be rung about five minutes before the start of the competition.
  15. Competitors to keep clear of competition plots until given the instruction "Get to your Plots".
  16. The competitor who 'charms' the most worms to be the winner.
  17. In the event of a tie, the winner to be decided by a further five minutes charming.
  18. Charmed worms to be released after the birds have gone to roost on the evening of the event.

International competitors: Copies of The Rules are available in 30 languages, including Tibetan. These are currently being added to the site and are available as pdf files via the links below. Alternatively contact Mike Forster for further info.