Amateur Jousting Club
of Maryland, Inc.


Jousting equipment has never been standardized. It is impossible to purchase these items from any store. You must either make them yourself or find someone to make them for you. As a result you will find that equipment is quite individualized. The following information is merely a guide. Adjustments must be made to suit your needs and preferences.

In our area the accepted layout for a track is an 80-yard straight track. Three arches are placed along this with irons hanging from them and rings hung in the irons. There is a 20-yard marker to have the horse in a gallop by the time he reaches this mark, and sufficient distance after the third arch to allow the horse to stop easily in a straight line.



Even though very few jousting fields are exactly alike, since space at some locations does not provide us with enough room, we try to set up the arches in this manner.
  1. 40 yards of starting room before the first arch.

  2. 30 yards between the first and second arch.

  3. 30 yards between the second and third arch.

  4. 60 yards after the last arch for stopping the horse.

Total: 160 Yards

If adequate space is not available for a jousting track of this size, subtract yardage from the beginning or the end. The 30 yards between each arch must remain the same for the purpose of timing.

A timing mark or pole is placed 20 yards before the first arch. Timing starts at this point and ends at the third arch. A total of 80 yards. Standard time to complete the course is 9 seconds in every class except Novice which is not timed.



Jousting arches may be made from a variety of materials. Some are just boards nailed to convenient trees so the iron may be suspended over the track. Some arches have a supporting post on each side of the track, while others are half arches with only one post and an arm out to hold the iron. Some arches are cemented permanently into the ground while others are portable.

Some people prefer the portable type of arches for several reasons. They may be moved from one site to another with very little trouble, so that if a track becomes too deep a new one may be started. They may also be transported to other locations when holding a joust or exhibition. Our arches are made with five ten-foot long electrical conduit or aluminum tubing, one and a quarter inches (1 1/4") in diameter. A coupling (described below) holds these pipes in place.

The coupling consists of three short pieces of 1 inch pipe, each ten inches long. These are welded with the one in the center. The other two are welded to this one at a 75 degree angle 21/2 inches from the end. A cap is welded to the end to close it.

The cross bar slides into the center pipe while two other pipes slide into the welded pipes. The other end of the arch is formed in the same way (see illustration below).



There are three irons needed, one for each arch, and they are securely attached by bending around the cross bar at the top of the arch and bolted together (see illustration). The iron itself is made of flat metal one and one half (11/2") wide, one quarter inch (1/4") thick, ;and at least three and one half feet (31/2') long. The bottom two inches is to be bent at a ninety degree angle. There are fourteen holes to be drilled. One hole one half inch in diameter shall be drilled in the center of the two inch flange you have just bent. The other holes shall be three-eight inches in diameter and drilled starting two inches from the bottom, on one half inch centers. These will be referred to as pole holes. When assembling each arch, the iron must be slid into the cross bar before sliding it into the coupling.



There are three hangers required, one for each arch. The hangers are put through the hole in the bottom of the iron and are set in the desired pole hole. The hanger is made from a metal rod three-eights of an inch in diameter. One end of the rod is bent at a ninety degree angle and is tapered to a blunt point. The other end is split and shaped to such a design as to work like a clothes pin to hold the ring. The illustration shows the hanger installed in the pole hole. By moving the hanger from one hole to another the height of the ring is adjusted. This is allowed at some jousts at the rider’s request, while other jousts keep their rings at six feet nine inches (6'9") from the ground. At some jousts a second set of hangers is made six inches longer than the other one so that those people riding ponies will be better able to reach the rings (see illustration below of hangers).



A complete set of jousting rings consists of 28 rings. Seven different sizes ranging from one quarter inch in diameter to one and three-quarter inches in diameter. These are made of metal and may be bought in some hardware stores or harness shops. If unable to purchase these they may be made from heavy wire or welding rod, formed into a circle and welded where it meets. Rings are wrapped with white cord as shown in the illustration. They are then dipped in white shoe polish or paint and hung on a wire to dry.

To install the ring hangers into the iron you must start with the blunt end pointing upward. After putting it through the bottom hole (1/2 inch dia.) You then turn the blunt end around an insert in the desired pole hole. When hanging a ring in the hanger it is best to put the knot at the bottom. This makes the ring hang more evenly.



There is no place known where you may purchase a jousting lance. All the lances used are homemade. They average anywhere between five and seven feet in length and weigh anywhere between one and fifteen pounds depending on the materials used and the rider’s choice.

The point of the lance is, on the average, two feet long and made of metal, aluminum, or stainless steel.

The stock is usually made of wood, and its length depends largely on how long and how heavy the point is—the main concern in making your lance should be your balancing point. The lance is held at the balance point (see illustration).