Ever wondered what are the most dangerous sports to play? Perhaps you are an adrenaline junkie, always seeking your next thrill. Maybe you’re curious about the activities that truly put your lives at risk. This is particularly important for parents. If your kids are just starting to get interested in sports, it’s important to recognize the dangers here. Alternatively, you might just be curious about which athletes are really risking their lives when they take to the field. Okay, let’s dive in then and look at some of the most dangerous sports today.

American Football

You might assume that with all the padding that American football players wear then it’s significantly safer then it’s sister sport of soccer. But that’s where you would be wrong because while soccer is considered to be a contact sport, the contact in question is nowhere near as aggressive. Robin Williams used to joke about soccer players falling to the ground pretending to be in agony when another player had barely touched them and this is actually remarkably true. There have been numerous cases where players have seemingly faked an injury. That doesn’t stop them from getting massive transfers of course. These players are still considered to be highly valuable and in many ways, it’s all just part of the game. 


American Football, on the other hand, is a whole other ballgame and we mean that literally. With American Football, there is constantly head-on collisions and this can cause a concussion. There’s actually an entire blockbuster movie about the impact and the research of scientists that tried to reveal it to the world. It has led to multiple ex-football players having significant mental health problems. It is also tied to the issue of abuse and violence seen from players on and off the field. 

Horseback Riding 

You probably don’t think that horseback riding is that dangerous at all. After all, it’s definitely not a contact sport and you don’t have to worry about getting hit with anything flying towards you. However, those horses are hurtling around the course at a breakneck speed and this is where the danger comes from. It’s quite common for horses to collapse, fall over or hit an obstacle during a race, putting the lives of the jockeys in danger. However, even falling off a horse at a slow speed can be dangerous. Indeed, one of the most famous examples of an injury tied to this is Christopher Reeves. The actor was left paralyzed after falling off a horse in his early years of life. 

Photo by Jean van der Meulen from Pexels

As well as this, there has also been controversial research on the matter. Indeed, one researcher published evidence that suggested horse riding is more dangerous than taking ecstasy. While controversial, the science behind the research was sound and backed by extensive evidence. As such, you may want to think twice about getting on the back of a horse. Particularly to race. 


You might try this activity when you’re on holiday however there are also professional surfers. These individuals will often seek out the biggest waves and may even get some air time out on the water. There is however a significant level of danger surrounding surfing, particularly when you start to surf on larger waves. It is possible for the force of the water rising over your head to knock your balance and push you under. You could even end up in a riptide and many people have been injured when out on the waves. For this reason, surfing is often considered an extreme sport. 

Base Jumping 

Arguably base jumping is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. To understand why we first need to look at skydiving. Now skydiving is quite similar but far safer. Why is this? Well, with skydiving you will be making your jump at usually between 10,000 and 15,000 feet. When you jump, you don’t have to worry about having a short time to open that parachute. You’ll have up to five minutes of airtime. That might not seem like a lot but it will certainly feel slower as you’re rushing towards the ground below. Similarly, there are multiple parachutes included in skydiving. So, if one doesn’t open you’ll have a second. There is also the option of a tandem skydive. That’s perfect for beginners because you’ll be connected to someone who has completed the process before. 

Now with base jumping, things are quite different. Base jumping involves jumping off something like a cliff edge or even a building. It’s been shown in a wide range of Hollywood films and it’s incredibly dangerous. You only have seconds before you must have opened your parachute once you’ve made the jump. As well as this, you won’t have time to try a second time. So, if your first chute fails, you will crash. Many people have broken both their legs upon impact, even when the chute has been opened at the right time. 


Or finally, how about boxing? This isn’t to be confused with the wrestling of course which is also dangerous. While staged wrestling does involve real stunts that can and do go wrong. There have been multiple reports about wrestlers receiving life-changing injuries and being unable to get the medical support that they need from the WWE. Boxing is different because there’s no staging here. The hits are true and hard. While protective gear is worn, you only need to look at former wrestlers like Mike Tyson to see that it does have an impact on your health. Similar to American Football, wrestling has been linked to brain trauma and serious injuries as well as problems with mental health in later life. Ultimately, the human skull was not designed to receive repeated blows to the head. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the most dangerous sports in the world. The risks with these sports are very real and worth keeping in mind. It’s true to say that some of your favorite athletes could be risking more than you think when they take to the field or engage in an activity. 

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