5 Things You Didn't Know About Jousting

Eva Niessner

5 Things You Didn't Know About Jousting



1. Jousting is Maryland's state sport...not lacrosse

Jousting has been Maryland's state sport since 1962! Lacrosse may be a favorite of Marylanders, but it's the state team sport rather than the official state sport. Why jousting? The sport has been a favorite of Marylanders since colonial times, since it combines competition and pageantry! 

2. It was a favorite sport of Henry VIII

The famed king didn't just marry, divorce, and behead wives. He was also an acclaimed sportsman, and he participated in many jousts. He also insisted on a fair fight, and did not want anyone going easy on him just because he was royal. (He got his wish -- he was seriously injured in a few jousts). 

3. Jousting helped participants develop important skills

The sport isn't just for show. Back in the old days, it was an important way to practice skills like horsemanship and use of weapons like the lance and the sword. It also helped participants develop their aim -- using a weapon on a moving horse is no easy feat! 

4. Ring tournaments are a modern favorite

Here in Maryland, you might catch a ring tournament! This involves knights and maids on horseback trying to catch differently-sized rings hanging on a course with a lance. Want to see the one-on-one competitive jousting? The Maryland Renaissance Festival is the place to go.

5. Jousting is for everyone

Men, women, and children can all learn to joust! Though the jousting community is small, it's full of love, and part of the beauty of the sport is that it's something anyone can learn to do. The horses involved don't need to be thoroughbreds, and it's not a sport that involves sponsors or big money. So who knows? Maybe the next great jouster is you!  

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