Although CUTwC frequently play friendly and relaxed games of winks, a number of tournaments are contested to add a frisson to proceedings. In addition to the following CUTwC contests, other tiddlywinks events are hosted by The English Tiddlywinks Association, ETwA: The National Singles, The National Pairs, The National Handicapped Individual Pairs and the National Teams of Four. The London Open is also typically hosted annually in the summer, and a number of other tournaments fill the need for competitive winks in any year — in addition, of course, to the NATwA annual tournaments. CUTwC also hosts the Cambridge Open at the start of each Lent Term, coinciding with the Club Dinner.
Presented by the Manchester & Somerset Society in 1982 to replace the Nick Ashley ladder which members of the M&S abolished when they took over the CUTwC committee in April 1982. Originally played at one round per week, but now a conventional knock-out tournament. The first winner was a first year: S.O. Sage.
A fixed-pairings, knock-out tournament. Dates from 1972. Paul Thorpe was a current member of CUTwC when he was killed in a punt that went over the weir by The Mill. Apparently he had fallen asleep.
Leaton was elected Junior Treasurer of CUTwC at the end of his first year. He failed his 1A Engineering exams and was sent down (1978?). Another Junior Treasurer, also a 1A Engineer (Mark Docherty) suffered the same fate in 1984! This trophy is contested by novices early in the Michaelmas Term.
Free tankards from Charles Wells, issued on consumption of several bottles of said beverage. Named after the famous SOTWINK player, Liz "Slap-em-together Jugs" Whitfield, whose immense cleavage was known to put off opponents. The Joogs are the trophies for a knockout pairs tournament. The final winning pair amigos each other from the Jugs to decide the winner. The amusing feature are the glass bottoms, through which one can watch one's oppenent's progress.
Origin uncertain. This fine aluminium teapot was sent to the University by an anonymous member of the Peterhouse Tiddlywinks Club who had come to his senses some years after stealing it on his graduation. The teapot holds one pint, amigossed by the winner through the spout. This tournament subverts the rules of winks such that any squops on enemy winks are unsquopped; this either turns the game into a simple test of potting ability or a complicated strategic variant, depending on whether you believe an article in Winking World 93. It's traditional to keep the timer running in case of extreme incompetence.
The original Cambridge Open (1982) was a pairs tournament. The winners, Charles Relle & Peter Toye, were presented with two cuddly monkeys, whose thumbs could be inserted into their own and each others' orifices. Charles, finding his trophy hideous, presented it to the club, suggesting that it be used for a left-handed tournament "or something". The latter has been preferred, and the exact format is at the president's discretion. The original monkey was for a long time missing, as were several replacements, but was recently returned to the Club. The Relle traditionally occupies the last meeting of term.
The original trophy was a Muscovy Duck. It has since been replaced by various hideous objects, including a garden gnome (deliberately broken on presentation by the President, Paul Hilditch in 1984), a china wellington boot (lost in the river on its first outing), and more recently a frog-in-a-bath soapdish. Traditionally painted annually in the colours of the college(s) of the winners. Once involved winks, but more recently (since 1983) held on the river at the end of the Easter Term (although in 1983 it involved winks as well as being on the river).
Originally the trophy for a University Singles ladder, abolished in 1982. Reused periodically since as a singles league trophy. Nick Ashley was a promising novice who died in a motorbike accident in the Easter Term 1975. The trophy holds about two pints, to be amigossed by the winner.
As with many other sports, winks has an inter-collegiate Cuppers competition, although it's contested with less regularity than some of the other trophies. When run, the tournament is held over the course of the academic year to facilitate organisation. The tournament has accommodated (and, indeed, been won by) a non-collegiate team.
Inaugurated by Andrew Garrard on the day when he'd been playing winks for half his life (May 25th 2011 — compared with a Squash on 7th October 1992), this trophy is now contested roughly half way through the academic year, usually on a weekend afternoon. Like the Cambridge Open, you do not need to participate in every round; the scoring scheme makes it easier to win the more games you have played. The tournament is handicapped in order to encourage less experienced players and, mainly, to be the one tournament in the year (other than the Nick Leaton) that Patrick is unlikely to win. The trophy is a little delicate, but, if used in the game, sounds nice.
Instigated to celebrate the 27th birthday of former President and, at the time of writing, ETwA Chairman, Sarah Knight, this trophy is now played as a singles' tournament in honour of the 27th birthday of active winkers, when one rolls by. At the start of each turn, the player rolls a fair 6-sided die. This rolled number and the number of brought-in winks of the colour whose turn it is, whichever is lower, determines the number of shots that can be played as part of that turn. Potting earns an additional shot within the turn, going off the mat misses the next shot, and passing counts as taking a shot with no outcome on the mat, as normal. If the final shot of a turn goes off, the die-rolling, and hence the whole of the next turn, is missed. For the first turn of each colour, the number of brought-in winks does not affect the number of shots.
The 'Varsity Trophy was presented in 1964, six years after the competition first took place, and is contested annually between CUTwC and OUTS (when the latter exists). CUTwC have a phenomenal record of success, losing only four times since the first clash. Where possible, the format is an eight-player-team fixed pairs tournament, decided on total score.
The Cambridge Open is a long-running national tournament run by CUTwC, open to all comers. The format is an individual pairs, won by p.p.g.; players may miss up to two rounds while still qualifying to win, but many participants only join for a few rounds — in part because the Open is traditionally held at the start of the Lent term, near to the Club birthday, and with the Club Dinner on the Saturday evening (so many players are in Cambridge for the dinner and socialising but don't wish to commit to an entire weekend of playing, especially after considerable consumption of alcohol). The informal format makes the Open particularly welcoming to novices, for a non-handicapped tournament: no partner is committed to play with a novice for more than one round, entrants get to interact with a large number of other players, you can leave when it starts going badly, and you get a World Ranting. Experienced players are likely to take it less seriously than the all-play-all tournaments such as the National Singles and Pairs, so there is more opportunity for teaching the game. For an electronic equivalent of pulling names out of a hat, the draw program is hopelessly over-engineered, traditionally exhibiting a new bug to be fixed during each tournament.
Another national trophy currently held by CUTwC, the Silver Wink was presented by HRH Prince Philip in 1961, following the Royal Charity Match of 1958. Unlike the 'Varsity trophy (which has a similar format), this is open to all universities.
Presented by the Wessex Exiles in 1989, the Wessex Trophy is contested during the Long Vac. as a competition between two teams. It is an open national competition. Originally a SoTWink (Southampton University Tiddlywinks Club) event, it was taken over by ETwA. It has most recently been most-often held in Kidlington, for a change of scenery.