Jousting allowed in SCA

For the first time in the organization's history, jousting is now a legal form of equestrian combat in the Society for Creative Anachronism.

As of April 21, 2005, the official SCA Equestrian web site contains published rules for jousting tournaments. The activity requires specific authorization and is not open to novice riders. Also, there are detailed specifications for lances, armor, and helms.

Among other requirements, lances must be ten feet (approximately three meters) in length and are built in three sections, two of which are relatively soft and collapsible for safety. The lance "must have a tip of a minimum of 24 inches [approx. 61 cm] and a recommended maximum of 48 [approx. 122 cm] inches of expanded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam®) or Extruded Insulation Foam of 2 inch [approx. 5 cm] diameter and 2 lb. [approx. 1 kg] density, projecting beyond the middle section. The middle section consists of a cardboard tube with a 2 inch [approx. 5 cm] interior diameter and a maximum of a 1/8 inch [approx. 3 mm] sidewall. The cardboard tube must be cleared of broken foam after each run." [metric equivalents added]

The rules stipulate that competitors should seek to break their lances against the opponent's shield (if used) rather than his or her body armor, and that impact should be minimized wherever possible.

The new jousting rules change a long-standing policy against the activity in the SCA, and bring to the organization an activity often associated with the Middle Ages by the lay public.

The "original article" link below goes to the official rules page on

As a technical comment

As a technical comment for anyone trying to contact a polystyrene supplier outside of North America, 2lb density actually means 2lb/cubic foot density or approximately 32kg/cubic metre.