A line inclosing or forming the extremity of a piece of ground, or field of combat; hence, in the plural (lists), the ground or field inclosed for a race or combat.
The place where a tournament was to be held. "To be in the lists" meant to be competing in the tournament, as well as referring to the physical place where the combats were held. Originally the lists were simply designated as participation, but by the 14th century, when more enclosed fields began to be used, the term meant the field. During the 15th century René d'Anjou described the lists in great detail, including the proper dimensions for the field. In modern usage the word has been twisted somewhat to mean the list of combatants who are participating in a tournament. In the Company of Saint George we have used the term "list enclosure" to refer to our fencing that surrounds a list field, " venans" to refer to the challengers and " tenans" to refer to the defenders, sometimes the sponsors of a pas d'armes.