National Jousting Association National Jousting Association



Rules of the Tournament

NOTE: Rules vary by state. Rules are available from representatives of the Member Clubs of the National Jousting Association.

1. Riders may enter and ride in only one class-the one for which they are qualified. If he has moved up to another class in his own club, he may not ride in the former lower class at the National Joust. Any dispute on a rider's class standing will be referred back to the club delegate and club president for resolution prior to the beginning of the class. Any present State Champion must ride in the Professional Class.

2. All registrations of riders and title in each class must be completed by the time the first ride is beginning in the particular class. Standard height of rings will be 6'8 1/2" stationary. It is requested that all registration in all classes be completed by 9:45 a.m. if possible. No rings may be hung for practice riding.

3. The Hall of Fame Joust will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. The National Championship will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. Both jousts will follow the schedule agreed upon. Horses may be schooled on the course until 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. NO introductory or trial rides will be given in any class.

4. Any rider that rides between classes will have that ride counted as an official ride and the rider given a score of zero rings, unless a trial ride is pre-approved by the judges.  There will be no practice rides in the track area once the track is closed or between classes.  Any rider that violates this will have the ride count as an official ride and that rider will be given a score of zero for each ride taken, unless a ride is pre-approved by the judges.

5. There will be an entry fee of $10.00 for the Hall of Fame Joust and the National Championship per rider in each class.

6. Lead Line riders will receive three rides in their class. Novice, Amateur, Semi-Professional and Professional riders will receive three rides in their class prior to tie-offs.

7. A time limit of 8 seconds for 80 yards will be enforced, but there will be sufficient distance before the first arch so that horses used to greater distances and speeds will have no problems. Once the rider passes the timer, the ride is considered official. Time will not be counted in Novice class. All horses, however, must maintain a gait greater than a walk in this class.  Lead-line or assisted riders are eligible for participation awards only.

8. Riders not making the allotted time will be allowed to re-ride one time. Only the rings taken on the first ride may be ridden for on the re-ride. If, on any succeeding rides, the time limit is not met, the rings on that ride will not count.

9. A rider may have 1 false start. A false start is passing the timer but pulling up before the first arch or he may lower his lance only once of his own volition. A rider who lowers his lance is entitled to ride only for the rings he did not try for and time has no bearing.

10. Rings must be returned to the judges' stand on the lance in order to count. Rings must be caught on the inside of the circle in order to count. If a ring is speared through the cover, it must be shown to the judges before being touched by anyone else. Then the ride continues.

11. Classes and ring sizes will be as follows:

Class 1 - Novice: Three rides for 1 3/4" rings; Tie-offs on 1 1/4"; 1"; 3/4"; 1/2"; 1/4"
Class 2 - Amateur: Three rides for 1 1/2" rings; Tie-offs on 1"; 3/4"; 1/2"; 1/4"
Class 3 - Semi-Pro: Three rides for 1 1/4" rings; Tie-offs on 3/4"; 1/2"; 1/4"
Class 4 - Pro: Three rides for 1" rings; Tie-offs on 1/2" and 1/4"

In conducting tie-off rides, the rings remain at the first size specified for tie-offs in that class until two or more riders have each taken three rings at that size in the same ride; whereupon the rings are reduced to the next smaller size specified and so on through to one quarter inch if results so dictate.

12. The Hall of Fame Champion will be the winner of the Professional Class. The National Jousting Champion will be the winner of Professional Class.

13. There will be five places awarded in each class.

14. A Marshall must be provided for each class, and any problems should be taken up with him. He, in turn, will present the matter to the Judges for a decision. Judges will have final decisions on all rides and riders. At least three (3) Judges must be on duty on the stand at any time. The Judges must be appointed by the president of their club. Each state will provide a non-partisan judge for each class. These appointments will be made the morning of the joust to ensure eligibility of the judges. In the event a state cannot provide a non-partisan judge for any class, the delegates from that state will appoint a representative from another state that meets the requirements.

15. On the date of the joust, if any club or any individual has a concern about the accuracy or legality of the jousting course as prepared, it is the responsibility of that club or person to bring the matter to the attention of one or more of the officers of the National Jousting Association prior to the starting time. No complaints concerning the layout of the course will be given any consideration once the Joust has begun

16. Any complaints by any participants shall be presented to the Judges in a respectful manner by a delegate to the National Association appointed by the club or by an officer of the club to which the individual belongs, or by the Marshall and not by the grievant him/herself. Any abuse or disrespect shown toward officials of the Joust will not be tolerated; nor will any other form of unsportsmanlike conduct, which may at the discretion of the Judges, result in the expulsion of a participant from the Joust.

17. Final decisions regarding any of these rules or of situations which may arise that are not covered herein will be left to the discretion of the Judges.

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Last updated: November 23, 2018.