In medieval times tournaments were popular. Tournaments involved hundreds of men in huge open fields. In the 1200s tournaments became a way for the knights to show off. Tournaments were meant to display bravery and honor. Unchivalrous knights were disgraced.
The most exciting event in the tournaments was the joust. Jousting was where one knight would ride his horse at his opponent and would try to knock him off his horse. Contestants would fight with real lances. The metal tips of the lance were usually blunt so it wouldn't hurt much when you got hit. The only way to win was to unhorse your opponent. The Joust started as a way of training for battle. It was later used to settle disputes. Knights would tilt their heads back at the very last second so the broken lance pieces wouldn't get in their eyes. The joust armor was heavier than battle armor. The loser had to give money or his horse to the winner. Ladies would often give their handkerchief to their favorite jouster to wear around their arm or other places for good luck.
In the 1400s a different type of jousting tournament was devoloped. A fence, called a tilt, was put up to separate the opponents. The field was called a tilt yard. Squires would practice jousting with a wooden dummy that pivoted when you hit it. These dummies were called quintains.
Click here to see a picture of a lance.
Click here to see a picture of a tilt yard.
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