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The sports that cause the most injuries to high school athletes (and football is not #1)

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Football

Peanut butter and jelly. Sports and injuries. Certain things just seem to go together. Unfortunately for many, the latter isn’t as welcome a combo as the lunchtime staple.

Not all sports and injuries are created equally, though. Contact-heavy sports, such as soccer and football, get the lion’s share of news coverage given the substantial, and often long-term, effects of repeated concussions. In particular, for high schoolers with still-developing brains, these sports can be quite dangerous.

However, all sports carry the risk for injury. From broken bones to pulled muscles, these types of injuries are par for the course in most athletic endeavours. Some sports simply cause more than others.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission not only collects data regarding general products, such as tools and toys, but they also collect data about sports injuries that cause trips to the emergency room. The experts at HealthGrove aggregated this data to find out which sports cause most injuries to high schoolers (athletes between the ages of 13-17).

It’s worth noting that in most cases, a popular sport will cause more injuries than a more obscure sport. Because this injury data does not show number of injuries per player, one should not assume that the higher ranking sports are inherently more dangerous — they may just be played more frequently and by more people.

HealthGrove broke down the injury data by gender, body part and diagnosis. As one might expect, football and soccer both rank in the top five, but neither is No. 1.

#20. Bowling

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 764

    • Injuries to Males: 49.4%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 50.7%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Finger
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#19. Rugby

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 1,214

    • Injuries to Males: 79.1%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 20.9%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Head
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#18. Field Hockey

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 1,825

    • Injuries to Males: 9.8%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 90.3%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Finger
Most Common Diagnosis: Contusions, Abrasion

#17. Tennis

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 1,915

    • Injuries to Males: 50%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 49.9%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Ankle
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#16. Skiing

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 4,752

    • Injuries to Males: 62.1%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 37.8%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Head
Most Common Diagnosis: Fracture

#15. Ice Skating

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 4,999

    • Injuries to Males: 52.4%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 47.6%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Wrist
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#14. Horseback Riding

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 5,581

    • Injuries to Males: 23.6%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 76.4%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Head
Most Common Diagnosis: Contusions, Abrasion

#13. Lacrosse

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 5,830

    • Injuries to Males: 73.6%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 26.4%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Head
Most Common Diagnosis: Contusions, Abrasion

#12. Track and Field

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 8,194

    • Injuries to Males: 47.6%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 52.4%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Ankle
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#11. Weight Lifting

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 8,921

    • Injuries to Males: 83.3%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 16.6%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Finger
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#10. Snowboarding

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 9,608

    • Injuries to Males: 75.9%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 24%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Wrist
Most Common Diagnosis: Fracture

#9. Ice Hockey

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 12,336

    • Injuries to Males: 88.5%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 11.5%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Head
Most Common Diagnosis: Contusions, Abrasion

#8. Volleyball

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 14,304

    • Injuries to Males: 21.1%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 78.9%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Ankle
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#7. Softball

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 18,119

    • Injuries to Males: 7.9%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 92.1%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Ankle
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#6. Wrestling, Boxing, and Other Martial Arts

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 18,174

    • Injuries to Males: 90.6%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 9.3%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Shoulder
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#5. Gymnastics, Cheerleading, and Dance

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 22,671

    • Injuries to Males: 9%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 91%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Ankle
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#4. Baseball

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 27,208

    • Injuries to Males: 88.8%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 11.2%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Face
Most Common Diagnosis: Contusions, Abrasion

#3. Soccer

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 45,475

    • Injuries to Males: 52%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 48%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Ankle
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#2. Football

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 118,886

    • Injuries to Males: 95.7%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 4.3%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Finger
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

#1. Basketball

 

Average Injuries to 13-17 Year Olds per Year: 119,589

    • Injuries to Males: 74%

 

    • Injuries to Females: 26%

Most Common Body Part Injured: Ankle
Most Common Diagnosis: Strain, Sprain

Research Product Injuries on HealthGrove