Preliminary Rules

Preliminary Rules/Criteria; subject to change.

Competition Date: June 2023

Fanny Bay OystersGuinness Book of World Record Holder, Shucker Paddy, with oysters from Fanny Bay Oysters, will host some of the fastest shuckers in BC to compete for the top prize!

Learn More Here

Competition Rules

  • Competitors must arrive promptly at the specified orientation point (stage) before the event in order to participate. Once your application is submitted and approved more specific information about competition will follow.
  • Both speed and quality of shucked oyster are the key factors of winning this competition
  • Competitors will be shucking Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas).
  • Application and Waiver Form-Important!! Contestants must submit a completed Shucker Application and Waiver Form in advance of the competition in order to participate.

What is provided?

  • Oyster sponsor will select and pre-bag oysters for each contestant.

What to bring?

  • Bring own blade/knife. No mechanically assisted knives will be permitted. Any additional items used including blocks, boards, bricks, hammers etc. will need approval of the Head Judge. Knives may be provided by the contest organizers and/or may be shared/borrowed from other contestants.
  • Contestants must supply handwear, cutting board, and any other related equipment required
  • Contestants may wear finger stalls or gloves
  • Contestants may use a towel to hold oysters in place
  • Contestants may carry one back-up shucking knife
  • All equipment must be approved by the judges


  • Shuckers are assigned one oyster bag randomly. The shucker removes the oysters from his/her bag and arranges them for shucking. Shucker may appeal to the Chief Judge any oyster considered of improper quality for the contest. At the Chief Judges discretion, he/she may substitute another oyster taken from an additional container on hand designated for substitutions.
  • The final number of oysters to ultimately be shucked will be announced at the orientation (between 12-24 oysters total).
  • Shuckers may wear tape, finger-stalls or gloves, use their own knives and carry an extra knife for use in case the first breaks. ALL knives used must have been approved by the Chief Judge prior to the start of the contest. No mechanically assisted knives will be allowed.
  • The shucker will poise his/her knife at head height to indicate readiness
  • At a signal of the Shuck-Off emcee (previously demonstrated) all timekeepers’ simultaneously start their stopwatches and shuckers begin shucking.
  • Contestants place each oyster on an unbroken half-shell and arrange all neatly on a coded tray provided Oysters should be whole, uncut and free from the shell.
  • When a contestant has completed shucking and has arranged the oysters to his/her satisfaction, he /she will raise both hands overhead and step back from the shucking table, and the timekeeper will stop the time. Once this occurs a shucker may not touch the tray of oysters.
  • Timekeepers will deliver the coded trays to the judges’ tables in such a manner that the judges will not be aware of whose tray they are judging, and be responsible to keep the Oysters in the original condition that the shucker left it in – i.e.: the timers will be careful not to spill/move the oysters.
  • Each timekeeper reports his or her contestant’s shucking time (in seconds) to the Stage/Shucking Clerk. When Judges have completed scoring each tray, they turn in their results to the Stage/Shucking Clerk who delivers them to the Computation team. Total adjusted time (penalties/bonuses considered) for each shucker is then computed for the Organizing Sponsor to announce at the end of the competition. The winner is the contestant with the lowest total seconds that has not been disqualified by the judges.
  • Disqualification is rare. However, disqualification could result from a majority opinion of the Organizing Sponsor, Chief Judge, and Timekeeper that a contestant:
    • Intentionally touched his/her oysters or tray after having signalled completion.
    • Distracted a fellow competitor by vocal or physical interference during the shucking heat.
    • Committed a flagrant, inexcusable impropriety during the progress of the shucking heat


  • There will be 3 judges
  • Each contestant will have a separate timekeeper
  • Contestants will poise his/her shucking knife at head height to indicate readiness
  • At signal of Master of Ceremonies, all timekeepers simultaneously start their watches and contestants begin to shuck
  • Contestants will be provided with sponsor selected oysters. The number of oysters to be shucked will be announced at the orientation
  • Contestants must raise both hands overhead and step back from the shucking table when shucking is complete and oysters are presented to his/her satisfaction
  • The timekeeper will immediately stop the watch
  • Contestants may not touch tray of oysters after he/she has signalled completion


Judges will add seconds to each contestant’s shucking time according to the following penalty table:

  • An oyster not completely severed from its shell-Major attachment Add 5 seconds
  • An oyster not completely severed from its shell-Minor attachment Add 1 seconds
  • An oyster presented on a broken shell Add 3 seconds
  • An oyster with missing mantle Add 5 seconds
  • An oyster with cut or ripped meat Add 3 seconds
  • An oyster presented with grit or other foreign substance Add 3 seconds
  • An oyster presented with meat “out of shell” – hanging over the shell edge Add 3 seconds
  • An oyster not placed properly on the shell (flipped in shell- top or bottom) Add 1 seconds
  • A missing/extra oyster – any number other than required Add 20 seconds/Oyster
  • Blood in the oyster – from a cut hand – is DQ (disqualification)


  • Judges’ decisions are final.
  • If any injury occurs, the participant is solely responsible for the total cost for any searches, ambulance charges or any other cost involved with an injury or incident.
  • TO RELEASE BC SEAFOOD FESTIVAL FROM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY for any loss, damage, injury or expense that I may suffer or that my next-of-kin and invitees may suffer as a result of use of shucking knives and other shucking tools.