Tournaments were public contests
of skill between knights. Anyone could enter a tournament if they had
armor, a horse, a sword, and a shield. You could make at tournaments by
Wooden stands were build to seat the nobles who
came to the event. Stands were decorated with colorful pennants. There
were even some tents put up for more wealthy peasants. Anyone could
attend a tournament, including women and children.
at the tournaments included kickboxing and many forms of
fighting. Two favorites were consistently the joust and the melees. They
were both rough sports. Many knights died. Many horses bolted in panic.
Some ran into the audience and killed onlookers. Yet still, the
tournaments were a most popular form of entertainment in the Middle
Joust: The joust was a form of combat between two knights. A
low wooden fence separated the knights. The two competing knights
started on horseback, holding long sharp lances. A lance was a long pole
with a sharpened end.
The two knights rode towards each other, with their
lances up and ready, each on their own side of the fence.
The goal was to knock your opponent off his horse.
This was pretty hard to do. Saddles had a back piece that rose up about
a foot. This was designed to help a knight keep his seat in battle, and
it served the same purpose at the joust.
Melee: The melee was a team sport. Each team of knights had
colored flags on their backs. Each side tried to knock their opponents
flags off using clubs and blunt swords.
It is no wonder that many knights died during the
tournaments. These were rough sports indeed. The church tried to stop
tournaments because they were too violent. They never succeeded.
Interest in tournaments began to fade with the widespread introduction
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