Jousting will be officiated using Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology for the first time – but purists complain it will ruin the authenticity of the medieval sport.
English Heritage have teamed up with Hawk-Eye experts to trial the new system at Pendennis Castle in Cornwall during a series of jousts in August.
Two cameras positioned in the centre of the field will track the competitors’ moves and use video replay to provide an accurate score as they thunder towards each other at speeds of up to 30mph.
Jousters, who are weighed down by 20kg of steel armour, must hit their opponents with their 12ft lance to win points – including five for a hit to the helmet, three for the shield and two for the torso.
Tennis, cricket and rugby already use VAR, but not everyone is happy about England’s first national sport being brought into the 21st century.
Jeremy Richardson, who has been jousting for 40 years, is managing director of The Knights of Royal England, which hosts 80 tournaments across the UK every year with their six Spanish horses.
“The scoring can be tight, but we like the old-fashioned rule that the referee’s decision is final,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“We don’t like this newfangled, modern approach because we are recreating something from the 14th century. You may as well get drones in to fly above the horses heads!
“This technology will just slow the game down too. We’re not looking to bring jousting up to modern times, we are hoping to bring what happened in medieval times to families and young children.”