Which Sport Has The Most Injuries?

By Brain Injury Law of Seattle

sports concussions


Sports allow us to compete with friends and rivals. Playing sports also improves our heart health, reduces stress, and helps us maintain healthy body weight, making them incredibly beneficial.

However, injuries are very prevalent in sports, with around three million players experiencing an injury that causes emergency room visits each year. Although many Seattle residents understand that injuries are an unfortunate reality in nearly every sport, many wonder what sport has the most injuries.

That’s why Brain Injury Law of Seattle put together a list of the sports that experience the most injuries.

Brain Injury Law of Seattle offers high-quality legal representation to Seattle residents suffering from brain injuries caused by another party. If you need an experienced brain injury attorney in Seattle when an injury occurs, contact Brain Injury Law of Seattle.

Sports With the Most Injuries

Some sports experience more injuries than others, requiring aspiring players to assess the risks before participating in the competition. Understanding these risks will help you determine which sport works for you or your child and which ones to avoid. Below are the sports with the highest rates of injury.



When people think of dangerous sports, basketball rarely comes to mind. However, studies show that 260,000 players (both adults and children) experienced an injury in 2021. The lack of protective gear leaves basketball players susceptible to injuries, causing everything from minor ankle sprains to broken bones and worse.

Although protective equipment isn’t mandatory in basketball, players can still wear it to prevent injuries and other risks. Wearing eye goggles, knee and elbow pads, cups, and a mouth guard will give you or your child an extra layer of protection while competing on the court. Regular strength training is another effective way to diminish the chances of an injury occurring and will improve your athletic abilities.

If you do suffer a minor injury playing basketball, using the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method will help you recover and return to the game. However, severe injuries often require professional attention, so it’s beneficial to visit your doctor shortly after the incident.



When wondering, “What sport has the most injuries?” football may come to mind. Football is one of the few contact sports available in American academies and among the more dangerous. In fact, around 220,000 Americans received treatment for football-related injuries in 2021.

Wearing all the proper padding and safety equipment is a solid way to protect yourself while on the gridiron. Staying hydrated will also prevent cramps and other issues that make you more prone to harm.

If you do suffer a football injury, use the RICE method to reduce swelling and relieve pain. However, concussions (also called traumatic brain injuries or TBIs) are relatively common in football, so always seek professional medical attention if you suffer a head injury.



Recent findings from the Centers of Disease Control show that soccer injuries contributed to 7.1% of all sport-related emergency room visits in 2019. Around 412,600 soccer injuries occur per year, with many occurring in the lower extremities.

What’s so surprising is the rate of soccer players experiencing concussions. Around 22% of the 412,600 soccer injuries were concussions, making them extremely prevalent in the sport. Player collisions and forceful impact from the soccer ball are the primary culprits of these traumatic brain injuries, causing several issues, including:

  •  Headaches
  •  Nauseous 
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive issues

If you suffer a traumatic brain injury while playing soccer, go to the emergency room immediately. TBIs are very serious and can cause long-term problems in some cases.

Although you can’t protect yourself from every risk in soccer, if you warm up before playing a game or starting practice, it will reduce the likelihood of an injury. Stretching and performing light exercises will prepare your body for physical activity, significantly diminishing the risks.


sports with most injuries


Common Types of Injury from Sports Among Youth

Children and teens typically play more sports than adults, putting them at a higher chance of suffering an injury. Below are some common types of injuries among youth separated by sport.


Football: ACL Rupture

Football requires players to run up and down the field while dodging tackles from the opposing team. The consistent running and frequent hits make players exceedingly susceptible to knee injuries, especially ACL ruptures.

The acronym ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament. It rests between the patella, femur, and tibia (kneecap, thighbone, and shinbone) and is essential for knee function.

When this ligament ruptures, it can cause severe pain, swelling, and tenderness while severely hindering mobility. Low tackles, sudden changes in direction, and awkward landing or foot placement are some of the leading causes of ACL ruptures in football.

Although mild ACL ruptures will heal on their own, severe tears typically require professional treatment. If any of the symptoms mentioned previously exceed 24 hours, it’s beneficial to schedule an appointment with a physician as soon as possible.


Soccer: Concussions

Soccer is an internationally beloved sport played by millions of children and teens across the world. Although it might not seem as dangerous as other high school sports like wrestling and football, it still has its fair share of injuries.

Again, concussions are very common among soccer players, regardless of age. When a soccer ball collides with someone’s head, the impact violently jolts the brain, causing a traumatic brain injury. The more forceful the impact, the worse the concussion.

Always seek professional medical attention immediately if you or a loved one experiences headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, and/or nausea/vomiting after being struck in the head during a soccer game.



Although basketball players experience more injuries than any other high school sport, many of the injuries aren’t severe. Sprains are extremely common injuries in basketball, with one of the more prevalent injuries being jammed fingers.

Jammed fingers happen when the tip of a finger compresses backward, causing a significant sprain. Reduced range of motion, pain, pressure, swelling, and bruising typically occur shortly after the sprain and can often mimic a broken finger. Fortunately, jammed fingers aren’t as serious as finger breaks and typically heal over time.

That said, always see a medical professional if you experience a significant finger jam. You want to ensure you didn’t break your finger, so it’s beneficial to have a doctor evaluate the damage. They will provide recovery guidelines that will help you heal swiftly and efficiently.


What Is the Most Dangerous Sport in America?

While many people assume football is one of the more dangerous sports in America (excluding combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts), it isn’t the sport with the most injuries. If you evaluate the statistics, basketball has the highest injury frequency, causing 40,000 more injuries than football on average. However, these injuries usually don’t require extensive medical intervention and are relatively minor in comparison.

That said, major injuries can still occur and sometimes require X-rays, MRI scans, and even surgery.


sports with most injuries


Different Sports with Specific Injuries

Playing any sport can lead to an injury. However, some sports experience specific injuries more than others due to their physical demands. For example, sports that require a lot of running typically cause more leg and ankle injuries than ones that emphasize the upper body.

Since soccer players use their legs more than any other part of their bodies, leg and ankle sprains, tears, bruises, and fractures are more common than upper body injuries. Although traumatic brain injuries make up nearly a quarter of all soccer injuries ending in ER visits, lower body sprains, and tears are much more common.

Football injuries are more widespread since it require full-body activity. Running backs might experience more frequent leg injuries, while offensive linemen may suffer from more upper body impairments. Head injuries are also exceedingly common, regardless of the player’s position.

The same could be said about basketball. Players must use their upper and lower bodies throughout a game, causing leg and arm sprains, bruises, and fractures. However, knee injuries and ankle sprains are more common due to constant jumping and sudden lateral movement changes.

Facial injuries can also occur in basketball when a player’s body connects to another’s face. Elbows often collide with noses, chins, and foreheads when players quarrel for the ball, causing facial damage. That’s why some players wear faceguards to prevent broken noses and other issues that could sideline them for several days or weeks.


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For Legal Help in Cases of Sports Injuries, Contact Brain Injury Law of Seattle

If you suffered a sports-related injury due to someone else’s negligence and need a professional legal team to handle your case, contact Brain Injury Law of Seattle. We understand what sport has the most injuries and will guide you through the legal process while representing you in court. Whether you need legal representation or want to know what sport has the most concussions, Brain Injury Law of Seattle can help.

Contact Brain Injury Law of Seattle and see what our legal team can do for you today! Learn more about our services.