Coursing was originally a sport where a single sight hound chased down a rabbit or hare. During the 16th century coursing became a competitive sport with two (a brace of hounds) being released on a single game animal. In the 18th century rules were set down that placed the number of hounds at two.
Coursing may be considered the original "sport of kings," as only nobility were allowed to own greyhounds (who are well-bred for such a sport). Other sight hounds, such as the lurcher, may also used for coursing.
Hare coursing was banned in England in early 2005.
Coursing in the SCA
Coursing in the SCA consists of a dog chasing a simulated rabbit (usually a piece of shopping bag) that is pulled around a course with pulleys. Dogs are timed from their release until they catch the rabbit, best time wins.