The Top 10 Most Dangerous Team Sports

Updated April 17, 2017

Sport participation continues to grow with the increasing television coverage. As the participation increases, so too does the danger associated with these sports. Although all sports can be safe with the right precautions, dangers always exist. Despite the dangers, team sports will continue to be played. It is essential that you be aware of the dangers and take the proper precautions to prevent injury.


At first glimpse, baseball may not seem like a dangerous sport, but there are a lot of injuries associated with baseball each year. Off the field, children are often hit with thrown or hit balls because they are unable to catch. There is also the danger of being hit by a thrown bat, both on the field or in the stands. On the field, players who are unable to slide correctly can injure themselves or others they may run into. Oftentimes, pitchers may injure their arm due to too many thrown pitches.


Because of being fast-paced, basketball can be dangerous. Some of the most common basketball injuries are lacerations to the face from elbow shots, concussions and knee or ankle injuries often caused from landing on another player's foot.


Although many safety precautions are taken in a football game, it is still one of the most dangerous team sports. Even though players wear protective helmets and pads, injuries may still occur. Broken bones such as the collar bone, arms and legs are common football injuries. In severe cases, paralysis and death are possible. Concussions are one of the scariest injuries due to the unknown and continued research.


Soccer is dangerous because of the nature of the game. The players go all out for the ball and have little to no protection. In soccer, shin injuries can occur from balls hitting them or from being kicked by other players. Players can advance the ball with their heads, so concussions are a possibility as well.


Hockey has similar dangers to that of soccer. The biggest difference is that hockey may cause head injuries from flying pucks and sticks. There is also the risk of getting cut by a skate. Unlike other sports, hockey promotes violence; therefore, fighting may cause serious injuries.


The popularity of Lacrosse is increasing rapidly in youth and schools across the country. From 1995 to 2007 the sport grew 200 per cent in high school participation, says Orthosupersite. Much like hockey, lacrosse players can be injured by flying sticks or getting hit by a thrown ball. Injuries from players colliding can also occur. The most common injuries in lacrosse are ankle and knee injuries, but concussions and other head injuries are possible.


Cheerleading is not what it used to be; it now consists of flips, jumps and stunts. Injuries to the knee and ankle are common. Wrist injuries can also occur due to flips and stunts, while stunts present the possibility of cheerleaders being dropped. Some injuries from being dropped may include paralysis and death.


Polo, which is similar to hockey and lacrosse, is a European game that is growing popularity in the United States. Polo has dangers associated with flying balls and sticks, but the biggest danger is falling off and getting run over by another horse.

Bobsledding and Luging

With speeds reaching over 90mph on the ice, bobsledding can be dangerous. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, a Georgia luger was killed on a trial run. As technology expands, speeds will increase, which may make the sport even more dangerous.


Rugby can be categorised as American football without pads. Although the rules are different, the purpose of the game is the same. Many injuries occur because of the lack of pads or helmets to protect the players. Concussions, broken bones, ankle and knee injuries may occur.

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About the Author

Sara Higley began writing in 2008 for the Michigan newspaper "The Pioneer," where she covered local high school and collegiate sports. She has also conducted extensive research on adolescent health and fitness for Leisure Intelligence Group. Sara has a Bachelor of Arts in sports management and communication from the University of Michigan.