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Jousting is a competition between two knights on horse-back, wherein each knight tries to knock the other off his mount. Jousting was at the peak of its popularity in the 14th to 16th centuries. The knights were each equipped with three weapons; a lance, a one handed sword, and a rondel. When one knight knocked the other off of his mount, he was declared the winner of the round. If both knights were knocked off their mounts at the same time, it was considered a tie; they would then engage in sword combat, and the last standing was victorious. The knights usually jousted in a best out of three situation.

Modern-day jousting competitions feature riders on horseback attempting various feats of skill with a lance, performed at Renaissance fairs and other festivals. Examples include attempting to thread a lance through a ring, or striking a stationary target. In the ring version, the rings become smaller as the competition progresses; riders who fail to capture a ring are eliminated until a winner is determined. This version of jousting is the official state individual sport of Maryland.

In the Italian town of Arezzo there is an annual jousting tournament that dates back to the crusades of the middle ages. Jousters wear colors representing different areas of the town and strike at a square target attached to a wooden effigy of a Saracen king. The other arm of the King holds a cat-o-three-tails -- three leather laces with a heavy wooden ball at the end of each. The riders strike the target with a chalk-tipped lance and score points for accuracy, but must also dodge the cat-o-three-tails after they have struck the target [1] .


The Jousting Lance, typically made of oak, weighed an average of 40 lb (18 kg). The primary usage of these was to unhorse an opposing rider. Typically used in England and France during the Middle Ages, these were usually accompanied by other melee weapons carried on the other side of the horseman .

See also

External links

  • Photographs of jousting tournament in Arezzo, Italy - Giostra del Saracino (Joust of the Saracens)
  • WCJA: World Chamption Jousting Association (Canada)
  • Knights of Arkley

Last updated: 02-07-2005 07:37:55
Last updated: 02-18-2005 13:56:17