Injuries in sports are relatively common. Some are unavoidable, and others can be minimized with the use of protective gear. The most common injuries in particular school sports can be quite distinct. However, some might surprise you.
Basketball, Soccer, and Gymnastics: Sprained Ankles
Breaking your guard’s ankle while doing a crossover is a basketball trope. However, ankle injuries are indeed quite common in basketball. Almost half of all high school players suffer from an ankle injury during the season — some getting injured more than once. Ankle injuries can be quite problematic as once you’ve suffered an injury; your chances of getting injured goes up by five times. While basketball shoes provide additional ankle support, even NBA players have taken to wearing ankle braces to prevent injuries. Other sports that have high incidents of ankle injuries are soccer, gymnastics, track, and tennis.
Football, Weightlifting, and Bowling: Finger Injuries
Credit to the helmets, mouthguards, and all that padding because the most common football injury is sprained fingers. While protective gear has warded the more severe injuries, sprained fingers are still a common problem in football. While offensive linemen and defensive teams can put tape on their fingers to prevent them from bending the wrong way or getting dislocated, players who throw or receive the ball can’t use this protective measure.
Finger injuries are also quite common in weightlifting. The massive amounts of weight being moved at high speeds put tremendous amounts of stress on the fingers of weightlifters. While it is common to see weightlifters wearing wrist supports, protection for the fingers are non-existent as it can reduce flexibility and grip strength. Another sport that’s hard on the fingers is bowling as swinging around balls that weigh 10 pounds or more for hours at a time can put a lot of strain on your fingers.
Baseball, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, and Rugby: Head Injuries
You might think football accounts for the most head injuries, but helmets and the level of play in high school and college make them reasonably rare. Getting concussions, broken jaws, black eyes, and broken teeth are much more common in baseball, where players wear minimal protection. Sports that require wielding implements, like ice hockey and lacrosse, also have higher risks of accidental head injuries. Rugby, with its intense action and minimal protective gear, makes head injuries and broken teeth almost inevitable.
Snowboarding and Ice Skating: Wrist Fractures and Sprains
Snow and ice coupled with high speeds and sharp turns heighten your risk of tripping and falling. Snowboarders and ice skaters know this full well, and falls at high speeds will often lead to fractured or sprained wrists. Since the hands aren’t prominently used in these sports, most athletes will forego protective gear, leading to injuries that can haunt them later in life.
In the end, remember that protective gear is essential in almost every sport. Don’t shorten your potential career or reduce the years enjoying the sport you love by disregarding safety. Play hard, but remember to stay safe.