From Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.org
Jousting is a competition between two knights on horse-back,
wherein each knight tries to knock the other off his mount.
History of Jousting
Jousting was at the peak of its popularity in the 14th to 16th
centuries. The knights were often 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 range from
full-contact combat jousts, to attempting to thread a lance
through a ring, or striking another type of stationary target
like vegetables or wooden blocks. 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
Another variation of this is known as 'Gymkana' or
'tent-pegging', which is characterized by a wooden target placed
on the ground (i.e. a tent peg). This practice derives from the
cavalry tactic of riding full-tilt though enemy encampments and
causing their tents to fall down by pulling up their tent stakes
with well-placed lance tip strikes to cause confusion and
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.
The Jousting Lance
The primary usage of the Jousting Lance was to unhorse an
opposing rider. Typically used in Europe during the Middle Ages,
these were usually accompanied by other melee weapons carried by
the jouster, depending upon which jousting style is in use, which
was determined by the time period in question, by any
pre-established tourney format, and/or by the choice of the
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