I was listening to the news, and they mentioned that a female athlete received a serious face injury, when a male on the opposing team, accidently hit her with a puck, during a field hockey game. This started me thinking about sports and injuries. It is very common to hear about runners having knee issues or hip issues, but I also knew that there were many more we don’t like to talk about. In my research, I found the top 7 sports that cause the most injuries, for which I will write in detail about each one.
So, it’s pretty well known that there are 7 sports that may cause more injuries to players than others. These 7 include basketball, football, soccer, baseball/softball, ice hockey, snow skiing/snowboarding, and believe it or not, golf!
Would you believe that basketball causes the most injuries? More than 26 million young adults, ranging in age from 12 to 17, play basketball, but injuries happen for all ages playing this sport. Roughly 260,000 players were treated for injuries in the United States in 2021. When playing basketball, it is recommended that eye protection is worn, as well as elbow and knee pads, and it is also recommended that a mouthguard be worn. Basketball players should also engage in strength training to avoid injuries, and will be more protected than those players who are not in their full strength capacity.
The next sport, which I was not shocked to learn was on the list is football. Football injuries can happen at any level, but they are very common in teenagers. In 2021, more than 220,000 Americans were treated for injuries related to football. When playing football, it is recommended to wear all pads and other safety equipment related to the game. It is also recommended that one warms up properly before playing. For children and teens, they should be trained and educated about proper tackling techniques, and most definitely be told and taught to limit head contact.
I was a little surprised to hear that soccer has a lot of contact and collisions’ injuries. More than 140,000 people show up in U.S. emergency rooms because of soccer injuries, each year. Did you know that collision or contact sports, such as soccer, football, basketball, and baseball, account for about 80% of all sports-related emergency room visits for children ages 5 to 14. Soccer is a sport in which “heading” is involved. The coaches need to make sure they are teaching the kids how to properly use their head to strike or make a play with a ball. I personally don’t think “heading” should be involved in any sport. There is more and more data showing TBI (traumatic brain injuries) are caused from “heading” in sports.
The fourth sport I read about was baseball/softball. Baseball and softball are risky sports people play at a young age, and continue to play, recreationally, as they get older. More than 116,000 people were treated for baseball and softball injuries in U.S. emergency rooms in 2021. It is important to wear all safety equipment, such as a batting helmet, shin and elbow guards, and also detachable bases. Warm up before playing. Stretch your muscles and get your heart rate up before you play ball, to help reduce the risk of being injured.
The fifth, which was another one I was not surprised to see on the list, is ice hockey. Ice hockey causes the most concussions of any other sport. Activities involving skating, including ice hockey, land fifth on the list of sports-causing injuries. Nearly 70,000 skating injuries are treated in the emergency room, each year. This is another sport in which head contact should be as limited as possible. I was a bit surprised that ice hockey ranked higher for head injuries, even over football, but that is what the data shows.
The sixth sport on the report was most surprising to me. I did not expect to see golf on the list, but it apparently causes injuries, and is more dangerous than it would seem. Even though golf isn’t a contact sport, it still results in nearly 60,000 injuries, each year. What’s more shocking is that golf is responsible for more injuries than rugby. Many injuries involve golf carts and errant golf balls, in addition to stress and overuse of the body, when one does have an injury. This is one of those sports, where it’s not about contact, but it is about overusing muscle groups, and a small injury can lead to a more severe injury, over time.
I was also surprised to learn that snow skiing and snowboarding have the lowest rate of injury, compared to the other six sports mentioned. Although skiing and snowboarding are perceived by some as risky sports, the rate of injury is lower than many more popular sports on this list. Still, these activities result in roughly 57,000 injuries each year. Snowboarding has a higher rate of injury than skiing, but skiing can result in more serious injuries. The best protection with these two sports is to always wear a helmet.
Sports is the “American Way,” and for most, even if we aren’t playing, we love watching. Just remember to be safe!