What Sport Has the Most Injuries?

Football has the most injuries out of any sport. The physical nature of the game, combined with high-speed collisions and tackles, puts players at risk for a variety of injuries such as concussions, knee injuries, and more.

Despite the use of helmets and padding, injuries still occur at an alarming rate in football, making safety a top priority for players, coaches, and officials. Other sports with high injury rates include basketball, soccer, and hockey, but football remains the most dangerous.

Measures such as rule changes, improved equipment, and stricter enforcement of safety protocols have been implemented to reduce injuries, but the risk of injury will always be present in contact sports. As a result, players and coaches must prioritize safety and take steps to minimize the risk of injury for themselves and others.

What Sport Has the Most Injuries?


Injury Statistics In Football

Football, also known as soccer in some countries, is a contact sport that involves physical tackles, quick movements, and bursts of speed. As one of the most popular sports globally, it isn’t surprising that it has a high number of injuries.

Here are some crucial statistics that give an overview of football injuries:

  • According to fifa’s 2019 medical report, football injury rates range from 3.1 to 9.7 injuries per 1,000 hours of play. That means an average of 9-10 injuries for a team of 25 players in a season.
  • More than 50% of football injuries result from illegal tackles, and over 70% of these fouls are unintentional.
  • Lower extremity injuries are the most frequent, accounting for 73.2% of all injuries, followed by upper extremity injuries at 13.1%, and head and neck injuries at 7.4%.

Types Of Injuries Commonly Associated With Football

In football, players are vulnerable to various types of injuries due to the high physical demands of the sport. Some of the most common types of injuries in football include:

  • Sprains and strains: These are the most frequent football injuries, mostly found in the lower extremities.
  • Fractures: These are severe injuries and are commonly found in the bones of the lower extremities, such as the foot, toes, and ankle.
  • Contusions: Football players are at risk of bruises or contusions, which are not typically severe, but they can cause discomfort and pain.
  • Head injuries: Head injuries are common in football due to the nature of the sport. These can be mild concussions or severe traumatic brain injuries (tbis).

Factors That Contribute To Injuries In Football

Various factors can contribute to football injuries. Here are some of the significant factors:

  • Contact: Football is a contact sport, and physical tackles during the game increase the probability of injuries.
  • Fatigue: Tired players are more susceptible to injuries.
  • Playing surface: The condition of the playing field can increase the risk of injuries. For example, playing on a wet or hard surface can be hazardous.
  • Player’s age: Adolescents and young adults are at greater risk of various injuries, including traumatic injuries, such as fractures.

Injury Rates In Professional, College, And High School Football

Injuries rates in football can vary depending on the level of play. Here is a breakdown of injury rates in professional, college, and high school football:

  • Professional football: According to the nfl’s 2020 injury data, the injury rate in the league is 4.7 injuries per game, translating to around 170 injuries per season.
  • College football: A study from the american journal of sports medicine found an injury rate of 33.4 injuries per 1,000 athlete-exposures in college football.
  • High school football: According to a study by the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc), high school football players had an injury rate of 4.36 injuries per 1,000 athlete-exposures.
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Football injuries can range from mild to severe, and they can impact a player’s performance both short and long-term. It’s essential to acknowledge the risks involved and take measures to prevent injuries. Coaching staffs, players, officials, and parents all play a role in preventing and handling injuries effectively.


Is a high-intensity game, often played indoors, which involves a lot of jumping, running, and fast-paced movement. It is also a sport with one of the highest injury rates, which can be traced to several factors.

Injury Statistics In Basketball

Basketball has a high injury rate compared to other sports, with an average of 1. 6 injuries per 1000 athletic exposures. The injury rate is highest in games compared to practices, accounting for more than 50% of all basketball injuries.

Types Of Injuries Commonly Associated With Basketball

Basketball is associated with various types of injuries, including:

  • Ankle sprains: This is the most common injury in basketball and can occur when the ankle rolls inward or outward, leading to ligament damage.
  • Knee injuries: Knee injuries in basketball can range from minor bruises to severe sprains, strains, and tears in the ligaments or cartilage.
  • Finger injuries: Basketball players often sustain finger sprains, fractures, and dislocations due to the ball’s forceful impact.
  • Head injuries: Head injuries can occur due to a collision with another player or the floor, resulting in concussions or other traumatic brain injuries.
  • Muscle strains: The quick and abrupt movements in basketball can lead to muscle strains, most commonly in the thigh and calf muscles.

Factors That Contribute To Injuries In Basketball

Several factors contribute to the high injury rate in basketball:

  • Contact: Basketball is a contact sport, and players are often in physical contact with one another, increasing the risk of collision and related injuries.
  • Overuse: Repetitive jumping, running, and twisting movements can lead to overuse injuries in basketball, such as stress fractures and tendinitis.
  • Playing surface: The playing surface in basketball may contribute to injuries, and indoor courts may have poor shock absorption, leading to foot and leg injuries.
  • Footwear: Poor footwear choices can also lead to increased injury risk, especially when the footwear does not provide adequate ankle support.

Injury Rates In Professional, College, And High School Basketball

Injury rates in basketball are high in all levels of competition, but the severity of the injuries may vary. According to a study, the injury rate in professional basketball was higher than in college or high school basketball. However, high school basketball players had a slightly higher rate of fractures and surgery compared to college and professional players.

Basketball is a high-risk sport that may lead to various injuries, including ankle sprains, knee injuries, finger injuries, head injuries, and muscle strains. Contributing factors include contact, overuse, playing surface, and footwear choices. Injury rates are high in all levels of competition, but the severity may vary.


Is a high-impact and energetic sport that requires speed, agility, and strength. Unfortunately, ice hockey is also responsible for many injuries. Those injuries range from minor cuts and bruises to severe concussions and broken bones. In this post, we will delve into the world of ice hockey and explore the reasons why it is considered one of the most injury-prone sports.

Injury Statistics In Hockey

Ice hockey presents athletes with unique challenges that other sports do not. The hard surface of the ice and the use of a stick make it more prone to injuries. Here are some statistics to understand the gravity of the situation:

  • Ice hockey represents 44.4% of all traumatic brain injuries in canada.
  • A study found that approximately one-fifth of players suffered a concussion during the season.
  • A survey showed that over 64% of players sustained a significant injury during a season.
  • Overuse and traumatic injuries result in ice hockey players missing 15-35% of their games or practices resulting in time off from school, stresses, and high costs of insurance for parents.

Types Of Injuries Commonly Associated With Hockey

Hockey is a rough and tumble sport that demands intense physical exertion and athleticism from players. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that hockey players are prone to different types of injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries that hockey players face:

  • Concussions: High-impact hits can cause the brain to rattle inside the skull and result in a concussion.
  • Muscle strains and sprains: Hockey players rely on their legs and arms to maneuver on the ice. So, it is no surprise that they experience pulled or stretched muscles or tendons.
  • Hand, arm, and facial injuries: Hockey involves the use of a stick to move the puck and tackle the opposing team players, which can lead to hand, arm, and facial injuries.
  • Cuts and bruises: Due to the speed and physical nature of ice hockey, players can sustain minor or severe cuts and bruises.
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Factors That Contribute To Injuries In Hockey

Several factors can contribute to the high rate of injury in hockey. Here are some of the most critical factors that lead to injuries in hockey players:

  • Physical contact: Hockey players are involved in physical contact during a game, tackling or body checking the other team players that can lead to injuries.
  • High-speed impact: Hockey players move very quickly on the ice, and high-speed collisions can cause severe injuries.
  • Unregulated violence: Physical contact allowed within the game of hockey has no bounds. Credibility has built-up depicting the sport as a violent one. It leads to unregulated violence that increases the risk of injuries.
  • Lack of protective gear: A player’s protective gear is critical to minimizing the risk of injury, so their gear must fit correctly and be in good condition.

Injury Rates In Professional, College, And Youth Hockey

The injury rates in hockey differ based on different levels such as professional, college, and youth. Below we have outlined a comparison of injury rates in professional, college, and youth hockey:

  • Professional: The injury rate in professional ice hockey is lower than that of youth and college hockey.
  • College: Athletes playing intercollegiate hockey experience a higher injury rate when compared to professional athletes.
  • Youth: Injuries are much more prevalent in youth hockey than any other level. Youth players have less developed skills, and their bodies are still developing, making them more prone to injury.

Hockey is a challenging and exciting sport to watch and play. Unfortunately, it is also a sport that poses a high rate of injury risk to its players. Staying informed and taking the necessary precautions ensures that we as participants and supporters can prevent unnecessary harm.


Injury Statistics In Soccer

Soccer is a popular sport enjoyed by millions around the world. However, with its popularity, it also comes with a high risk of injury. According to a study published in the british journal of sports medicine, soccer has the highest rate of injury among all sports played by both men and women.

The study found that there were on average, 9. 2 injuries for every 1,000 hours played.

Types Of Injuries Commonly Associated With Soccer

Soccer involves constant movement, jumping, tackling, and sudden changes in direction, all of which put high stress on the body’s musculoskeletal system. As a result, players are prone to a range of injuries. The most common injuries associated with soccer include:

  • Sprains and strains: These are the most common types of injuries in soccer and typically occur in the lower extremities, such as ankles and knees.
  • Concussions: Soccer is a contact sport, and players are at risk of getting hit in the head by the ball or colliding with other players, leading to concussions.
  • Fractures: Broken bones can occur due to high-impact collisions or falls.
  • Muscle tears: Soccer requires constant running and sudden stops, which can lead to muscle strains and tears.
  • Overuse injuries: Players regularly perform repetitive movements, and this can lead to overuse injuries such as tendinitis, shin splints, and stress fractures.

Factors That Contribute To Injuries In Soccer

Although soccer is a non-contact sport, players are prone to various injuries. Several factors can contribute to the injury risk in soccer, including:

  • Physical demands: Soccer involves a lot of running, jumping, and sudden changes of direction, which put high stress on the body and increase the risk of injury.
  • Playing surfaces: Different playing surfaces, such as grass, turf, and concrete, can impact the risk of injury.
  • Player skill and experience: Less experienced players are more prone to getting injured than more experienced players.
  • Inadequate warm-up: Not warming up properly can lead to muscle stiffness and injury.
  • Inadequate rest and recovery: Soccer players require sufficient rest and recovery time between games to prevent injuries.

Injury Rates In Professional, College, And Youth Soccer

Injury rates vary across different levels of soccer. According to a study by the national collegiate athletic association (ncaa), injuries are more prevalent in men’s soccer than women’s soccer at the college level. The study found that for every 1,000 exposures (one athlete participating in one practice or competition), there were 12.

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9 injuries in men’s soccer and 11. 6 injuries in women’s soccer.

In professional soccer, the injury rate is even higher than at the college level. According to a study published in the journal of science and medicine in sport, professional soccer players suffer an average of 2. 1 injuries during the playing season, with muscle strains and sprains being the most common.

At the youth level, the injury rate is also high. According to the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc), youth soccer players aged 15-19 suffer an estimated 2 million injuries each year, with sprains and strains being the most common.

#Other Sports

Injury Rates In Other Popular Sports

Sports are a great way to stay fit and healthy, but they can also be risky. While some sports like soccer and basketball are known for their high-injury rates, there are many other sports that carry a significant risk of injuries.

Here is an overview of injury rates in other popular sports:

  • Volleyball: Volleyball is a popular sport, but it still carries a risk of injury, with an injury rate of around 0.6 per 1,000 players per year. Most injuries in volleyball are acute, meaning they result from sudden impact or overuse.
  • Tennis: Tennis is generally a low-impact sport, but injuries can occur due to the repetitive nature of the game. The injury rate in tennis is around 0.5 per 1,000 players per year, with most injuries occurring in the shoulder, elbow, or wrist.
  • Gymnastics: Gymnastics is a high-risk sport, with an injury rate of around 2.4 per 1,000 participants per year. The most common injuries in gymnastics are sprains and strains, followed by fractures and dislocations.
  • Cycling: Cycling is a low-impact sport that is great for cardiovascular health, but it can be risky due to the potential for crashes. The injury rate for cycling is around 0.6 per 1,000 participants per year, with most injuries occurring in the upper extremities.

Comparison Of Injury Rates In Individual Vs. Team Sports

Individual sports and team sports differ in many ways, including the risk of injuries. Here is a comparison of injury rates in individual vs. Team sports:

  • Individual sports: Individual sports like tennis, golf, and cycling generally have lower injury rates than team sports. This is because individual athletes have more control over their movements and are not as likely to collide with other players.
  • Team sports: Team sports like soccer, basketball, and football have higher injury rates than individual sports. This is because players are often in close proximity to one another and are more likely to collide or be hit by an opposing player.

Differences In Injury Rates Between Male And Female Athletes

Male and female athletes have different injury rates due to physiological differences between the genders. Here are some key differences in injury rates between male and female athletes:

  • Knee injuries: Female athletes are more likely to suffer from knee injuries like acl tears, while male athletes are more likely to suffer from ankle injuries.
  • Concussions: Female athletes have higher rates of concussions than male athletes in sports like soccer, basketball, and softball.
  • Overuse injuries: Female athletes are more likely to suffer from overuse injuries like stress fractures than male athletes.

Overall, it is important to understand the risk of injuries in sports and take steps to prevent them. This includes wearing proper equipment, warming up before activity, and using proper technique during play. By staying safe, athletes can enjoy the many benefits of sports without putting themselves at unnecessary risks.

[FAQs] Frequently Asked Questions 

What Is The Most Injury-Prone Sport?

American football has the highest injury rate among all sports. According to research, players can sustain head, neck, or spine injuries due to high-speed impacts and physical collisions.

Which Body Parts Are Most Commonly Injured In Sports?

The most commonly injured body parts in sports are the knees, ankles, shoulder, wrist, and hands. These body parts often get affected due to sudden impacts, joint sprains, and breaks.

How Often Do Sports Injuries Occur?

Sports injuries happen quite often, around 8. 6 million per year in the us alone. This is attributed to the physical demands of sports, such as running, jumping, and tackles, which can put a significant strain on the body.

Is Soccer More Dangerous Than Other Sports?

Soccer is known for causing head injuries more than any other sport. Head collisions during soccer can result in concussions, which can have long-term effects on players.

How Can Athletes Prevent Sports Injuries?

Proper training, conditioning, and warm-up exercises can help athletes prevent injuries. Staying hydrated, wearing protective gear, and following rules and regulations of the sport can also prevent injuries.

What Should One Do After A Sports Injury?

Immediate care is essential for a sports injury. People should rest, apply ice, elevate the injury, and use compression to reduce swelling. It’s best to see a doctor if the injury requires more than first aid.


With the surge in the popularity of sports in recent years, it’s natural to wonder which sport has the most injuries. As we have seen, sports like football and basketball have higher rates of injuries, with contact sports topping the injury charts.

Similarly, high-impact sports that involve a lot of running and jumping, such as soccer and gymnastics, also have high injury rates. However, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid these sports entirely. With the right training and safety measures, you can minimize the risk of potential injuries while still enjoying your favorite sport.

It’s essential to stay vigilant and listen to your body in case of any discomfort or pain, and to seek medical attention in case of any significant injuries. So, stay informed about the risks involved in your sport of choice and take all the necessary precautions to ensure your safety while playing.

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