The trophy the spoofers will be striving to win in
Queenstown tonight. Photo supplied.
The search to find the ''greatest spoofer in the land''
will be on at SkyCity Queenstown Casino tonight, in a game in
which gloating is frowned on and women are banned.
Spoofing is a strategy game that originated in the United
Kingdom but has gained an international competitive
following, with national championships held in countries
including Fiji, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Greenland, the United
States, Australia and New Zealand.
World Championships are held annually. The next will be in
Melbourne in June.
Spoofing rules committee member Tristan Franklin said the
invitation-only Queenstown Championships, now in their sixth
year, would comprise about 30 players, including three former
world champions, along with New Zealand, Australia, Ireland
and Fiji champions, all living in New Zealand. Mr Franklin
said the game came with 14 rules, which were ''strictly
adhered to'', largely involving the purchase of bottles of
''If there's a missed call or a false call, then you have to
buy a bottle of port.''
Gloating when getting out of a school (or round) by winning
was ''severely frowned upon''.
Potentially, one of the most controversial rules relates to
the exclusion of women. The rules state it is a ''gentleman's
game'' and ''members of the female persuasion in general
should be discouraged from spoofing''. They can play only on
the last Tuesday before Christmas.
Mr Franklin said while some new-generation spoofers were
happy for women to take part, traditional spoofers were not
of the same school of thought.
However, Queenstown Spoofing Championships organiser Murray
Cockburn said the reason for the rule was simple.
''Women ... are too good at it.''
Mr Cockburn, who has been spoofing for about 20 years, said
the game was often played in pubs before rugby test matches
as a way of ''filling in time''.
''It's become a cult thing - Murray Mexted [former All Black
and rugby commentator] is a double world champion.''
After registration at the SkyCity Queenstown Casino tonight,
the repechage rounds would begin before the Queenstown
Spoofing Champion was crowned as ''The Greatest Spoofer in
How to spoof
The rules of spoofing
Spoofing involves groups of players - with numbers per group
varying - each with three coins of equal size.
On command, players must present a closed fist containing
anything from zero to three coins; in each round the
objective is for players to guess the aggregate number of
coins being concealed.
The player who guesses the correct number exits the school
(or group) and normally proceeds to the ''purveyor of
spiritous liqueurs'' (or bar) to order a round for all
Remaining players continue until there are two left in the
school, with the ultimate loser required either to purchase
drinks for the other players or reimburse the winner for
Spoofing can either be played socially or competitively. The
latter involves formal preliminaries, quarterfinals,
semifinals and a final.
Many of the penalties for breaching the rules requires
purchasing a bottle of port.