Fred the elfling here again with Lord Darras of Vonair, formerly better known as Walker the Hammer on the jousting circuit.This month Iím asking Lord Darras to tell us a little more about the rules of jousting.So, Lord Darras, how does this really work?You get on a horse and try to stab the other guy with a spear?Is that it?


Darras (smiles): Not exactly.We joust three and three in the stewardship.

Fred: Three and three?


Darras: There are basically two styles of competitive jousting.Ring jousting or contact jousting.Ring jousting you try and spear three small rings suspended from three arches with your lance as you pass.Itís a non-contact sport.In the pro circuit, the rings are one inch in diameter and you make two rides down an 80 yard course.If there is a tie you try it again with smaller rings.


What most people think of as jousting is properly called ďContact jousting.ĒIn contact jousting, you joust against another opponent.Youíre scored on how solid your hit is.A glancing blow is one point, a solid hit is two points, a hit that unbalances or dismounts your opponent is worth three points. We make four passes.The first is a non contact pass.The next three count for scoring.


Now in the stewardship we joust three and three, which is we run one course with the rings, or three rings, and three passes full contact.A perfect score would be 12-0.Three rings speared and three knockdowns.Very unlikely.Youíre really having a bad day if you get less than 4 points.10-8 would be a more typical win.


Fred: Interesting.Are the rules always the same?

Darras: Weíve had an organized jousting league with standardized rules within the Stewardship for over eighty years.There are many regional and historical variations though.We used to score extra for head hits, but thatís gone out of favor for safety reasons.The number of passes down the course varies too.In the old days things were much more chaotic, but weíve become pretty civilized in the Stewardship.


Fred: So if you get knocked down, you canít draw your sword and challenge the rider to continue the fight.

Darras: No, not in a sanctioned match.Jousting is an organized sport.


Fred: Sounds dangerous.

Darras: Contact jousting can be dangerous.Anyone can ring joust though.Itís a great sport. I even joust against my wife, Lady Anne, sometimes.


Fred: Lady Anne? Jousting?

Darras:Why not?Anne is a great rider.Even children can ring joust.


Fred: I think thatís it for this month.Thanks again to Lord Darras Walker for filling us in on the sport of Jousting.


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