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In What State Is Jousting the Official Sport?

Maryland is the state in which jousting is the official sport. In 1962, Maryland became the first state to adopt an official sport when it named jousting, in which two competitors on horseback try to remove one another with the use of a pole weapon, as its state sport. Maryland holds jousting tournaments for six months of the year from May through October. Jousting has its roots in Medieval Europe, and Maryland’s jousting tournament competitors often incorporate medieval costumes. Maryland’s history of jousting dates back to the late 1700s and became more common after the Civil War. It is a sport in which men, women, and children can all compete and is often a generational family sport.

More about jousting:

  • Jousting was first developed as a form of military training for knights to fight in battle for their kings.

  • King Henry II of France was killed while jousting in a celebratory match in 1559, when he was accidentally struck in the eye with his opponent’s lance.

  • There were an estimated 200 competitive jousters worldwide in 2010, with 30 of them being from North America.

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