Summary:In the category of “unsavory blood sports that don’t end well, included purely because we’re contractually obligated to reference foxes whenever possible. Probably off-topic except for that. Apologies…
Teams/Players: Teams of two people, generally aristocrats.
Uniforms/Equipment: Uniforms: From the pictures, should be played in your Sunday finest. Equipment: A length of fabric 20-25 feet across, and an irate fox or similar animal.
Rules/Play: The two players stand about 25 feet apart, strip of cloth on the ground. Other teams stand similarly. A number of animals are released. As they run across the court and the fabric, the teams pull their fabric from the ends, creating a slingshot effect that launches the animal upward and to a generally unhappy end. Highest toss wins, and a fox could be flung some 24 feet by an expert.
Wildcats are not recommended for this sport, as they tend to bury their claws into both the fabric strips and the human participants.
History/Culture: In fairness, the 1700s were unkind to humans as well as animals. But for some of the bigger parties, the animals were dressed up in tinsel and bright cloth, which is just layering on the cruelty. The game was popular as a couples activity. Something to think about for date night.
Variations: Sometimes children, jesters, and dwarves were employed to club any surviving animals to death, so there’s that.
From Wikipedia, “Fox Tossing“