"Knights of the Little Woods"

The state of Maryland has a 200-year tradition of ring jousting, where riders compete to snare a small ring with a lance made of wood, but the sport has largely died out. Now ring jousting is making a comeback. Mary Battiata of the Washington Post has the story.

From the article:

Enfield rested his jousting lance on his leg. The lance weighed 11 pounds, with a shaft made from a wooden closet dowel. Other riders carried lances made from pool sticks and lightning rods. Riding clothes varied, too. Some people wore English riding clothes, but most were dressed in jeans, T-shirts, trucker caps. And they were mounted on every kind of humble and not-so-humble backyard horse -- pintos, paints, shaggy Chincoteague ponies, rangy quarter horses. Leon Enfield wore his customary competition shirt -- maroon, short-sleeved, with the words "Knight of Little Woods" stitched in white thread across the back, the name a reference to a copse where his jousting career began.

"Knight of Little Woods, prepare to charge," the announcer called. "Ladies and gentlemen, this rider started jousting the same year Jackie Robinson started with the Brooklyn Dodgers!"

Maryland's State Sport

As a native Marylander, I was always proud that jousting was the state sport - I even wrote an article about jousting when I worked at a MD newspaper. I sincerly hope it keeps going.