Catastrophic injuries in sports are uncommon but tend to occur more often in certain sports. Parents, players and coaches need to be aware of the risk and to take steps to reduce the risk.


The occurrence of catastrophic injury in a sport depends on how often significant direct physical contact occurs and how many people participate in the sport.


Contact sports associated with increased risk for catastrophic injury:

(1) American football

(2) ice hockey

(3) wrestling

(4) martial arts (boxing, judo, etc)

(5) rugby

(6) lacrosse


Other sports with an increased risk for catastrophic injury:

(1) gymnastics

(2) cheerleading

(3) pole vaulting

(4) bicycling


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