4. Fights Had Strict Rules
Game of Thrones depicted its most infamous trial by combat in a rather David versus Goliath looking manner with a hulk of a man in iron armor fighting a smaller, faster, and more intelligent man in simple leather armor. Despite being entertaining, such disparities in armor and weapons would not have been allowed in medieval trials by combat. Strict rules dictated not only the weapons allowed, the size of the fighting area, and other practical matters but included rules on matching combatants in terms of skill, size, and weaponry used. No fair fight would allow one man on horseback with a halberd and another on foot with a dagger. Since the winners were believed to be divinely favored, it would have been unjust bordering on heresy to stack the odds in favor of one combatant.
In the event of a disabled or elderly man being unable to fight, a professional combatant would be provided or purchased, depending on the circumstance and status of the man in question. If one combatant hiring a champion, the other combatant would be given a similar opportunity to procure a winner if they felt they wouldn’t be evenly matched against a professional fighter. Trials by combat had the equivalent of referees who inspected and approved armor and weapons before the fight began to ensure fairness.