Your Favorite Sport is Probably Dangerous
It should be glaringly obvious that no sport is completely safe, as there is always a risk of injury involved in an activity that requires physical exertion. It goes without saying, though, that some sports carry a larger rate of injury than others. It is most certainly due to the nature of some sports being higher-contact and more aggressive than others that lead to a higher injury rate. When put into comparison with its non-contact alternative, high-contact sports are undoubtedly more popular around the world, especially in adolescents. Many studies on popular sports and their injuries have been conducted, only to find that sports such as powerlifting, swimming, and dancing have far less rates of injury than other sports that include very high contact with other players, such as rugby and soccer. This is undoubtedly due to the main variable responsible for injuries in those high-contact sports being the actions of another player or a collision of two or more players. Conversely, the injuries that occur in sports such as powerlifting, dancing, and swimming are mainly due to the actions of the athlete themselves, which can include anything from overtraining to form breakdown. The inclusion of numerous athletes in a sport that requires aggressive contact with one another is a recipe for an injury, as it is almost always just a matter of time.
Powerlifting is one of the sports introduced above that requires no contact with other athletes whatsoever, including competition and training. Powerlifting is a sport in which the athlete training and competing in it are solely responsible for their own performance. This means no other athlete’s performance or training can negatively impact the safety or performance of another’s. The European Physical Society conduced numerous studies to support the safety of this sport and declare the leading cause of injuries whenever they do present themselves in athletes. It is crucial to note the large difference in injury rates between powerlifting, a non-contact sport, and aggressive high-contact sports such as football or soccer. Football and soccer, which are notorious for being some of the most popular sports in the country, have four times the injury rate as powerlifting. It is without a doubt because of the aggressive nature of those sports, as it puts the athletes in a dangerous situation multiple times a game. It is also important to note how, in weight training, the majority of injuries in adolescents occur due to poor lifting technique, which is the athlete’s sole responsibility and fault. On the other hand, injuries in the sports that present consistent aggressive contact with multiple athletes are almost always due to a collision of multiple players or the actions of one player negatively affecting another. Lastly, research has shown that powerlifting, a sport that is perceived as dangerous due to the objectives of competing in it, is equally as safe as dancing. Dancing is also an example of a sport in which, most of the time, other athletes do not affect the performance of another. There is clearly a trend amongst the examples introduced thus far, clearly presenting the linear relationship between aggressive high-contact sports and high injury rates.
To dive more into depth upon the high injury rates amongst high-contact sports with an aggressive nature, it would be inappropriate to leave out rugby. Rugby is by far one of the most high-contact sports, as it is also more dangerous than football due to the difference in protective gear worn by the players. A study of 185 players from 10 different rugby teams was conducted, and the results showed how clear the difference was between this sport and the non-aggressive sports with little to no contact between players introduced previously. 151 injuries were shown in 98 of the 185 athletes in a single season, including leg, head, and neck injuries. What came as no surprise was how foul play accounted for over 30 percent of those injuries. It is absolutely clear that a strict eradication of intentional dangerous play would significantly reduce the rate of injury in this sport. In other words, it is clearly due to the high-contact aspect of this sport that so many injuries present themselves amongst the players.
Soccer is the sport that is notorious for having not only the most spectators around the world, but players as well. Soccer is most definitely a high contact sport, with an aggressive nature when it comes to defense. Slide tackling is involved, along with a player allowed to use their body against other players in some situations. During exhibition matches, studies have shown up to twenty injuries per one thousand hours of playtime, depending on the age group. The most unfortunate part of that analysis is how 60 percent to 90 percent of all of those injuries are classified as traumatic and mostly happen during actual games rather than practice. Additionally, fractures were discovered to be more prominent in players under 15 years old. Now take swimming, a non-contact sport with no aggression towards other players at any point, for example. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, more commonly known as the NCAA, discovered that elite swimmers displayed an injury rate of 4 injuries per 1000 hours of participation. This statistic shows that soccer, a sport that has high-contact between players, shows up to five times the injury rate as swimming, a sport that again has no contact between participants.
All in all, every activity that requires physical exertion undoubtedly has a risk of injury of some sort. To reiterate, sports such as powerlifting, swimming, and dancing have far less rates of injury than other sports that include very high contact with other players, such as rugby. soccer, and football. It is more than fair to conclude that sports that have an aggressive nature along with have objectives that require high-contact between players carry a larger injury rate than sports that do not have those traits. In other words, it is because of the heavy-contact and aggressive nature of some sports that results in the higher injury rate.