Fox tossing was a popular competitive blood sport in parts of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, which involved throwing live foxes and other animals high into the air. The tossing would take place in an arena, usually either created by setting up a circle of canvas screens in the open or by using the courtyard of a castle or palace. Two people would stand six to seven and a half metres (20 to 25 feet) apart, holding the ends of a webbed or cord sling which was laid flat on the ground. An animal such as a fox would then be released from a cage or trap and driven through the arena, across the sling. As it crossed the sling the tossers pulled hard on the ends, throwing the animal high into the air. The highest throw would win the contest; expert tossers could achieve throws of as high as 7.5 m (24 ft).