...men often fail to score a hit for lack of sight,
poor control of their lance or horses, or lack of determination. As for sight, some close
their eyes when they are about to hit, and yet they do not realize this because they are
concentrating so hard. Others realize that they close their eyes but cannot stop
themselves from doing so...It is important to have someone whom you can
Duarte, King of Portugal, c.1434
Although the origins of the sport are European, the evolution and
refinement of most of the customs of the ring tournament are decidedly all-American.
Nowhere is there another sport that encourages more pageantry, competition and
participation in the traditions of a colorful past. As you read these practiced customs
and traditions remember they are neither required nor enforced. They are, however, part of
the elegance that makes a jousting tournament one of the most unusual equestrian sporting
events ever witnessed. The term "tournament" originally referred only to this
sport. In the early twentieth century this terminology was adopted by other sporting
events such as golf, tennis and other games that were grouped into series of contests.
Therefore, for ease of recognition, and because of its history this sport is now commonly
referred to as "jousting."
In 1962 Maryland became the first state to recognize an official
state sport--that they chose Jousting is a further testament to this sport's uniqueness.