Rules for international
Oyster Opening Competition
A sub-committee of the judges will select the best oysters
of Ostrea Edulis, which shall be not less than 70 millimetres in
The opening tables will be approximately 90 centimetres from the
ground and the competitors will have access to at least 140
centimetres table surface.
Each competitor will receive a sealed box of oysters on stage.
He / She will select 30 of the 32 oysters prior to the start
The boxes will be allocated to the competitors by random.
Each competitor will be required to open 30 oysters.
The oysters must be presented on the tray provided, nothing else
can be used for presentation purposes.
The competitors must present all their oysters either on the
deep or flat shell.
In opening the oysters, the competitor will only use a knife, a
cloth and any board supplied by the Committee. The competitor
cannot use any support, holder or any other implement whatsoever -
the Judges must also approve the knives.
Competitors must be aged 18 or over.
Competitors must wear the aprons provided.
Competitors may wear gloves or any protective covering on their
The Competition organizer will start each heat of the
competition. Each competitor will start opening oysters on his
Each competitor must indicate that they are finished, by ringing
the hand bell provided.
The competitor must not touch the tray after ringing this bell
or disqualification may result.
Each competitor may be requested to carry their own tray of
oysters to a designated point, and they will be responsible for the
safety of their tray up to that point.
Judges will examine the trays of oysters with the
following points in mind:
Well opened, without flaws
Totally severed from shell
Mussel intact - not torn, cut, sliced, wounded, and without
Orderly and neat appearance
Points are awarded primarily for the speed of opening 30
oysters. Judges award bonus points for presentation of the tray of
opened oysters. A bonus up to 30 points is awarded by the Judges at
their discretion for a tray of oysters that are presented in a neat
and orderly manner. The test for the Judges is how attractive the
tray would look for a customer in a hotel or restaurant.
The following penalty points may be
An oyster not severed from it's
An oyster with
An oyster with shell or grit on it's
An oyster, the flesh of which is cut or
An oyster not presented
For each oyster not opened or
(If an oyster shell is presented empty, or the flesh
only is presented, the oyster will be deemed not to have been
The winner will be determined by the lowest combined time, bonus
and penalties. In the event of a draw, the competitor with the
lower penalty shall be deemed the winner. If they are still equal
the competitor with the highest bonus award will be declared the
These rules have been based on the Galway International Oyster
Opening Competition rules. The decision of the Judges in relation
to the interpretation of these rules is binding on all competitors
Revised by Per Olofsson