The World Peashooting Championship History

The World Peashooting Championship has been held in the small village of Witcham, near Ely in Cambridgeshire, for over 50 years.

The village Headmaster in 1971, Mr John Tyson, had caught some mischievous pupils amusing themselves by pinging their unfortunate schoolmates with peas from a peashooter, leading him to confiscate the offending weapons. Mr Tyson then came up with the idea of putting the boys’ peashooting skills to good use by holding a Peashooting Championship alongside the annual Village Fete. The idea was an instant success and the Peashooting Championship’s were held every second Saturday of July for 49 years, raising funds to support the running of Witcham Village Hall.

Over the years, the event has grown into a renowned annual event which garners much national media interest. Previous competitors have attended from the USA, Scandinavia, France, Spain, New Zealand and Holland. In 2004 a Junior, under 12s competition was introduced. Separate Ladies’ Championships ran from 1982-1990 and 2004-2023. More information about earlier Championships is available on the village hall’s website and Wikipedia.

In 2020, the global Covid pandemic lockdown led to the cancellation of the championships. In the years 2020-2022, the event was much missed by the residents of Witcham and beyond and the village hall trustees therefore organised the 50th World Peashooting Championships in 2023 before announcing that they were seeking a new group to take forward the competition for its 51st rendition and into the foreseeable future. Step forward the newly formed Witcham Events Committee who agreed to take on the challenge and continue the event in its forever Witcham home but with a new committee and new fundraising objectives.

The Witcham Events Committee will work in liaison with Witcham Village Hall to deliver the World Championships and other, smaller local events in Witcham throughout the year. Any funds raised via the World Peashooting Championship will no longer be utilised exclusively for the benefit of the Village Hall but will be managed by the new Committee and used to improve facilities within the village or, at times, charitable causes nominated by committee members and advertised at events. Our initial fundraising aim in 2023 is to purchase Christmas lights for the village green and raise funds to support the costs of future events.

Each year the event is reported in major newspapers and other media and always creates a lot of interest.

2018 and 2019 Ladies World Peashooting Champion Sally Redman-Davies interviewed for the Guardian Weekend Magazine.

World Peashooting Championship Rules