A blood sport is any activity in which a human or animal is tortured, wounded, and/or killed for entertainment purposes.
All manners of hunting and fishing are properly considered blood sports when conducted primarily for entertainment and not as part of a subsistence food-collecting activity, but when people refer to "blood sports," they are most commonly referring to several brutal entertainment activities pitting animal against animal, animal against human, or human against human in some sort of staged combat. Two of the most famous of these blood sports are bullfighting and cockfighting. However, some of the lesser known blood sports that were quite popular in the past include...
- Bear-baiting - Chain a bear to a post and watch specially trained dogs attack it until it or all the dogs are killed. Cheer for your favorite dog. This sport is still practiced in Pakistan, where it is considered a sacred national tradition.
- Badger-baiting - Dig up a bagder from its burrow - this makes the badger very angry, so he will fight fiercely when you send your dogs to attack him. This is what the dachshund (literally, "badger dog" in German) was bred for.
- Bull-baiting - Tie a bull up. Send in 20-30 specially trained dogs to attack him. Watch the dogs get gored and tossed around, until one eventually bites open the bull's throat. Pretty funny, isn't it? This is what the bulldog was bred for.
- Bull-bear fighting - Tie a feral bear and an angry bull together with a sturdy rope. Bet on which will kill the other first. This sport was very popular with Californian vaqueros in the early 19th century.
- Cock throwing - It sounds like you throw the cock. Actually, you tie the cock to a post and throw weighted sticks at it until it dies. This "sport" was popular in England on the day before Lent began.
- Dog fighting - Just what it sounds like - my dog vs. your dog, to the death.
- Hog dogging - Put a dog and a wild boar in a pit together. See who wins. This sport is still practiced in rural Louisiana.
- Rat-baiting - Put a dog in an enclosed pit with 100 rats. Take bets on how long it will take the dog to kill all the rats.
Finally, of course there were the numerous variations of blood sports in the arenas of Ancient Rome, including human on human contests between gladiators and human on animal contests in which the specific goal was to watch the humans die, such as the much talked-of throwing of Christians to the lions. Modern descendents of these sports such as boxing and ultimate fighting, while less brutal and not to the death, are also examples of blood sports because causing injury to the opponent remains an explicit goal.