Most Dangerous Sport


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Advanced Physical Medicine came out with a study of the most dangerous sports by both volume and percentage of athletes that get injured. The most dangerous sport was basketball with 2.56 million injuries, golf was number 8 on the list with 127,000 injuries. What this can show us is that is not always the contact in the sport, it is the nature of the sport. Football was the most contact sport on the list and that was at 2.38 million injuries and was number three on the list. When it comes to danger in sports golf can be so dangerous because of the strain on your body especially in ligaments and muscles. The swing itself is an incredible act of contortion. Basketball has the most injuries because there is a lot of strain on muscles and ligaments, along with contact. Basketball players are constantly hit similar to football, but the strain on ligaments with quick change in position, or the simple motion of shooting.

The other part of the survey was on percentage of athletes injured in the sport. Unsurprisingly football was the sport with the highest percentage of injuries with over 4% of all players getting an injury seriousness enough to be seen by a doctor. Again golf was number 9 on the list, however the one problem with the study is that it lacks less popular sports that cause more injury such as MMA,boxing, or wrestling. These sports can leave every athlete injured in almost every competition Another reason these numbers can be thrown off is that football and basketball often have sport trainers at high school games who can tell a player to go to the doctor even if the injury would not typically be seen by a doctor if not recommended. .

 My theory as to why some of the less physical sports are on the list is the people who play the sport. Golf and tennis compared to football or basketball tend to have a much higher age of competition. These older participants can be much more susceptible to injury. Typically football players are at the prime of their athleticism and less likely to get an injury. With age the flexibility of the player can get worse and lead to more injury.  

The most dangerous sport was figured to be football, followed by basketball and cycling. Golf and tennis were the 10th and 11th on the list respectively. 

7 Comments

At first I was surprised by this data, but by reading the blog a second time I feel like it slightly misleading. The word "injury" needs to be classified. Today, for better or worse, it seems like the word "injury" pertains to something more serious such as concussions. When I think of the most dangerous sports, I don't think of basketball as being very high on the list. Of course basketball often leads to sprained ankles, fingers, and an occasional elbow, but of the 2.56 Million injuries, how many of them were very severe?

Being a competitive cheerleader, I am often left trying to find ways to defend my sport. Often times I hear the argument that cheerleading itself shouldn't even be considered a sport. When looking up most dangerous sports, Cheerleading actually has been found to me at the top of the ladder. This article on LiveScience describes the fatality and serious life-threatening injuries that cheerleaders often experience. I think that instead of focusing on the mainstream sports that seem to have the most injuries because they are so widespread and widely recognized, it is also important to be able to also understand the risk involved with the not as well known sports.

Being a golfer myself I can definitely advocate to this. It can take a toll on your body such as several back problems with the art of putting or even knee problems like Tiger Woods a few years ago. Another sport that can be considered is soccer. There is a lot of contact in the game of soccer that people who don't know the game, don't know about. Obviously football is the most dangerous with this amount of contact that happens every single play, but it's interesting to see some of these other sports rank surprisingly high up on the list.

Cheerleading is an incredibly dangerous sport and the study made a huge oversight leaving it out. I can not imagine being thrown high into the air and having to perform a stunt. It really combines the two crucial aspects of an injury, contortion and physical contact. Especially if someone does a stunt wrong it can lead to a very serious injury.

Cheerleading is an incredibly dangerous sport and the study made a huge oversight leaving it out. I can not imagine being thrown high into the air and having to perform a stunt. It really combines the two crucial aspects of an injury, contortion and physical contact. Especially if someone does a stunt wrong it can lead to a very serious injury.

I was suprised as well with the findings. I feel like the number of injuries can be misleading though. In a sport such as hockey or football, I believe the athletes do not report all injuries. They tend to play through injuries up until there threshold can't withstand it anymore. I am not saying basketball players are not as tough as hockey or football players, but that they report injuries more often because they are not used to tons of contact. This injury will go away is the mindset of an athlete who is used to getting hit. I played lacrosse in high school and always had something wrong with me during the season but I never went to the trainer because it was just part of the game. Looking back, I probably should have gotten some injuries checked out but luckily they have all healed up.

It is difficult to compare injuries in sports because a regular season in football consists of 16 games whereas a baseball season is 162 games. That is such a large difference and can immensly impact the number of injuries.

This study should also list the different severities of injuries because there is a huge difference between a sprained ankle and a tear of an achillies. A study of season-ending injuries would better represent the dangers of a sport relative to one another.

I thought of the sports differently with their reporting of injuries, golfers are not watched under any trained staff during games, while football players are constantly looked over by a team trainer who can identify injuries that could be played through. Many times trainers will make a player go to the doctor because of a minor injury that could lead to a larger injury. In golf there are no trainers so a very small muscle strain that can be played through will not be seen or reported by a doctor. The length of the season does play a very important role in the study because 162 games of baseball not only means more chances to get injured, it also leads to more wear and tear on the body creating a body more susceptible to injury. I think that all injuries should be reported because it is those minor injuries that can turn into a larger injury very easily, so those can be just as important. I recently did some minor rotator cuff damage and thought I was fine until a 3 weeks later when I dislocated the same shoulder because my rotator cuff was still weak. So those minor injuries can turn into bigger ones.

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