Water Jousting Tradition / Ritual in The Cradle of Worlds | World Anvil

Water Jousting

Being an island continent with many rivers, lakes, bays and other natural features led to one of the most common sports being aquatic. Besides running and swimming, water jousting is extremely popular among almost all races. This challenge of dexterity, observation, and strength is played in teams or individual combatants. Players ride paddle boards standing up with a nearly 7 foot long paddle. The paddle is normal at one end with a slightly curved blunt side on the opposite end. The goal being the unseating of the opponent.


It is unknown when this sport developed, but it was at least several thousand years ago. Organized play occurs generally within a village or nation, but visiting competitions are not uncommon. The lengths of the paddles vary by region and race, but are strictly adhered to in each variation of the game.   While in previous generations the paddle end was less padded, the modern version is less prone to causing permanent injury. This was likely an imposed rule due to the significantly reduced population and the need for more workers than were available.


While informal play has a wide variety of rules for target areas and potential moves, the primary thing is to not end up in the water. Common professional competitions fall into three categories, individual, pairs and teams.   Individual competitions are straightforward with points counted for each dismount, one point for a fall with one leg, two for a fall where both feet are in the air. Rounds are conducted to five or more points.   Pairs are similar to the the individual competition in that points are the method of scoring. Rounds are conducted typically in a timed fashion with a minute per round. After three rounds the winner is declared. In this case points are not different depending on how many legs fall.   Team competitions are the most non-standard and include all out scrums with up to 5 teams simultaneously, games akin to capture the flag, and races with points for how many of your team finish dry.

Components and tools

Kids that know how to swim will often fashion their own oval paddle boards out of bamboo, reeds and rope and play for hours with simple poles in their breechcloths. More professional players will carve their boards from light woods that are carefully waxed and a similarly well made pole. As competition gets rough in the professional realms it is common for players to wear padding on their torso and legs over their breechcloths. For team fights there is often a series of colored streamers attached to the padding and paddles to identify opponents.
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Cover image: by Markus Dehning (vertixico)


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