The long-ago contest called jousting now uses VAR Hawk-Eye video review technology to make sure scoring is accurate. A scoring referee watches. (AP)

The long-ago contest called jousting now uses VAR Hawk-Eye video review technology to make sure scoring is accurate. A scoring referee watches. (AP)

Two contestants charge at each other on horseback at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour during a jousting match in England. (AP)

Two contestants charge at each other on horseback at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour during a jousting match in England. (AP)

Drawings from the 1500s show armored knights battling with lances.

Drawings from the 1500s show armored knights battling with lances.

Men try to knock each other off their horses during a jousting match.

Men try to knock each other off their horses during a jousting match.

You can’t buy helmets and armor at the sporting goods store. You have to make your own! People make colorful costumes as well as armor and lances. (AP)

You can’t buy helmets and armor at the sporting goods store. You have to make your own! People make colorful costumes as well as armor and lances. (AP)

Medieval Meets Modern

Posted: November 1, 2019

Watch a jousting match to step back in time. Hear the clank of armor and the clash of metal. See knights wave long poles called lances. On horses they face off at breakneck speeds. The knights dodge lance tips. If a knight hits a shield or helmet with his lance, he scores points. The sport of jousting is fast. It’s competitive. And it is very hard to score.

Accuracy is important in a jousting tournament. But when a horse and his rider are charging at 30 miles an hour it can be hard to spot a hit. The referee in jousting is called a Knight Marshall. The Knight Marshall’s job is to notice the exact location of each hit. Keeping track of every single hit is quite a challenge!

Now there’s good news for jousters. The medieval sport is going modern with new technology. A video will help keep score. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology uses video replay to score hits. The technology can make fast-paced scoring precise. English Heritage is a charity that manages monuments and castles. They are testing out VAR technology for jousting tournaments.

How does it work? Tournaments are videoed. A quick replay of the video shows exact hits. That makes it much easier to count points. This new technology is already used in other sports like football and tennis. Hawk-Eye is the company that developed VAR technology. According to its website, the company believes that technology can make sports safer and fairer. Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, England, is hosting a jousting tournament to try out the new technology.

Jousting is one of the world’s oldest equestrian (horse) sport. At one time, it was used to prepare knights for battle. Years later, it became England’s first national sport. Who knows? Maybe video technology will propel the sport into the Olympics. At least that’s what English Heritage is hoping for!

Proverbs 21:31 says, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.”