State Sport of Maryland

State Sport of Maryland

Jousting Is The Official State Sport of Maryland. Maryland became the first state to adopt an official State sport named Jousting as its official sport on June 1, 1962. Jousting was a traditional sport that was engaged by the kings in Medieval and Middle Age times. Maryland State Sport was known as the martial game, or as some call it “hastilude”, in which two horsemen who were wielding lances that were in possession of blunted tips participated in the tournament.

In this game, the riders use to clash with each other at high speeds, and the main motive for either side was to break the lance into the jousting armor of the opponent. It is seen that the word is derived from the French word “jester” or Latin word “mixture”, which means to “approach to meet”. According to the Maryland State Archives website, State Sport of Maryland “jousting tournaments have been held in Maryland since early colonial times but became increasingly popular after the Civil War.”

The competitors in Maryland State Sport Jousting were known as “knights”, and the “maids” were those who used to dress them in heavy armors and colorful dress. Even in the 15th Century, a tilt was used that was better known as a “tilt barrier” which was predominantly used to keep the two contestants from breaking each other’s lance and were kept at an optimal angle. Nowadays, this is also being practiced in Ring-Jousting for the contestants.

This sport is actually enjoyed in part just because of this cooperation, as well as the friendly attitude and colorful aspects which are generally liked by everyone involved. Nowadays, the rings are kept and the contestant has to run through a course of around 80 yards and he or she has got some 8 seconds to complete the full course and spear these rings to earn scores. This is even regarded as a family sport for many people and is passed from one generation to the other and people play it with full vigor.


Maryland Jousting Tournament Association:

Riding Rules 1950


  1. Distance between each arch is to be 30 yards.
  1. Time will be called from a point 20 yards before the first arch and end at the last arch.
  1. The total distance of 80 yards is to be covered in 10 seconds.
  1. Time will be called with the use of an official stopwatch held by the judges on the stand.
  1. The height of the irons will be 6’9″ from the ground.
  1. All rings will be wrapped with white cord.