Over the centuries, rings have been made from a
variety of materials. The earliest rings, those used by medieval knights, were metal bent
into a circle with the two ends bent up to form a spring clip. To hang the ring you
squeezed the clip together and pushed the ends into a suspended tube.
When the knight
successfully speared the ring, it would slide out of the tube. Today the principle remains
the same, however, the ring is perfectly round and is pushed into the clip at the bottom
of the iron.
This is the small size ring
used today. The inside diameter is ¼".
Rings may be constructed from several types of metal: brass,
copper or steel. They are then wrapped with white cording with a crocheted outer edge.
Dipping the rings in white shoe polish helps seal the cords and give the rings a bright,
white appearance. White chalk powder can also be used.
Today, jousting clubs have "sets" of rings. They are
graduated in size, the largest is 1 ¾", then reducing in size by one-quarter inch
increments to 1 ½", 1 ¼", 1", ¾", ½" and the smallest
¼". The measurement is the inside diameter.