Jousting equipment has never been standardized. It is impossible to purchase these items from any store. You must either make them yourself or find someone to make them for you. As a result you will find that equipment is quite individualized. The following pages contain guidelines for possible construction design of arches, irons, hangers, rings and lances. These are guidelines only. 


In our area the accepted layout for a track is an 80-yard straight track. Three arches are placed along this with irons hanging from them and rings hung in the irons. There is a 20-yard marker to have the horse in a gallop by the time he reaches this mark, and sufficient distance after the third arch to allow the horse to stop easily in a straight line.

Even though very few jousting fields are exactly alike, since space at some locations does not provide us with enough room, we try to set up the arches in this manner:
40 yards starting room before the first arch
30 yards between the first and second arch.

30 yards between the second and third arch.

60 yards after the last arch for stopping the horse

Total: 160 Yards

If adequate space is not available for a jousting track of this size, subtract yardage from the beginning or the end. The 30 yards between each arch must remain the same for the purpose of timing.

A timing mark or pole is placed 20 yards before the first arch. Timing starts at this point and ends at the third arch. A total of 80 yards. Standard time to complete the course is 9 seconds in every class except Novice which is not timed.



Jousting arches may be made from a variety of materials. Some are just boards nailed to convenient trees so the iron may be suspended over the track. Some arches have a supporting post on each side of the track, while others are half arches with only one post and an arm out to hold the iron. Some arches are cemented permanently into the ground while others are portable

Some people prefer the portable type of arches for several reasons. They may be moved from one site to another with very little trouble, so that if a track becomes too deep a new one may be started. They may also be transported to other locations when holding a joust or exhibition. Our arches are made with five ten-foot long electrical conduit or aluminum tubing, one and a quarter inches (1 1/4") in diameter. A coupling (described below) holds these pipes in place.
The coupling consists of three short pieces of 1 ½ inch pipe, each ten inches long. These are welded with the one in the center. The other two are welded to this one at a 75 degree angle 21/2 inches from the end. A cap is welded to the end to close it.

The cross bar slides into the center pipe while two other pipes slide into the welded pipes. The other end of the arch is formed in the same way.

There are three irons needed, one for each arch. The irons are made of one quarter inch (1/4") square stock.  For each iron you will need one two foot (2') piece and one, one foot (1') piece.  Bolt them together one inch (1") from the ends to create a pivot.  At the end of the one foot (1') piece cut a two inch (2") deep slot for the pinchers (made from two pieces of half inch {1/2"} wide banding strap) to slide into and be bolted in (see illustration).

There are three hangers required, one for each arch. The hangers are made from one and one quarter inch (1 - 1/4") inside diameter square tube or pipe six inches (6") long.  Weld a piece one foot (1') long of one and one quarter inch (1 - 1/4") by one quarter (1/4") flat stock in center of tube.  On top of the tube, drill a five sixteenth inch (5/16") hole in the center then weld a five sixteenth inch (5/16") nut over the hole and add a bolt.  This is to tighten the hanger to the arch.  At the end and in the center of the one foot (1') piece weld a three inch (3") long piece of one quarter inch (1/4") square stock.  In the center of the square stock, drill a one quarter inch (1/4") hole and weld a one quarter inch (1/4") nut over the hole and add a bolt.  This is to tighten the iron in the hanger.  (see illustration)


A complete set of jousting rings consists of 28 rings. Seven different sizes ranging from one quarter inch in diameter to one and three-quarter inches in diameter. These are made of metal and may be bought in some hardware stores or harness shops. If unable to purchase these they may be made from heavy wire or welding rod, formed into a circle and welded where it meets. Rings are wrapped with white cord as shown in the illustration. They are then dipped in white shoe polish or paint and hung on a wire to dry.



There is no place known where you may purchase a jousting lance. All the lances used are homemade. They average anywhere between five and seven feet in length and weigh anywhere between one and fifteen pounds depending on the materials used and the riderís choice.

The point of the lance is, on the average, two feet long and made of metal, aluminum, or stainless steel. 

The stock is usually made of wood, and its length depends largely on how long and how heavy the point is the main concern in making your lance should be your balancing point. The lance is held at the balance point (see illustration).

A simple lance that is suitable for a beginner can be made using a rake or a shovel handle (purchased from your local hardware store)  You will need a very long nail or spike for the point.  Place the nail into the end of the handle head side first.  Secure it in place using epoxy or liquid metal.