If you play sports regularly, it’s more than likely that at some point you’ll get
Basketball players get jammed fingers, sprained ankles, and black eyes.
Soccer players’ knees often grind down after many years of play, while high-impact sports
such as football and rugby will leave most players feeling bruised and beaten after almost
Cricket and baseball players might not suffer so many injuries, but spectators who are not
diehard fans may die of boredom watching a full game.
Obviously, when we talk about dangerous sports, many of those sports aren’t available to
Kids in England lay down their coats as goal posts and start playing, but that is not the
case everywhere else.
Most of us can’t just get on a very fast motorbike and start racing, nor do we regularly
don some boxing gloves and start pulverizing our friends.
Welcome to this episode of The Infographics Show, Most dangerous sports in the world.
First of all, let’s explain what we are going to do here.
When we talk about dangerous sports, we could be referring to the number of global injuries
sustained playing that sport.
In that case, you could say soccer would be high on the list, given that it’s played
from amateur to professional level all over the world.
According to Hopkins Medicine, thousands of kids aged 5 to 14 are hospitalized each year
just in the United States after playing American football.
Understanding just how many people are injured worldwide playing sports professionally, at
school, and in the street would be an impossible task.
We can, however, look at deaths related to sports.
And that’s what we’ll do, with the worst sport being the last on the list.
Running You are thinking, what is running doing on
Well, more people than you think die of heart attacks while running.
We are not just talking about the world’s best runners, but everyday folks who run for
fun or take part as amateurs in long runs such as marathons.
You can find statistics out there that will tell you that your odds of dying while running
are 1 in 97,455, but let’s face it -- no one scientific body is able to give an accurate
global statistic on just how many people keel over when running.
We do know, though, that it happens quite a lot.
An article in Forbes published in 2014 explained how three runners died in one week, running
in races in London, Raleigh, and North Carolina.
“Sudden death while running long distance races is rare phenomenon but is appearing
to be more common due to the sheer number of runners participating across a racing calendar
that continues to expand,” wrote Forbes.
In many cases, sudden cardiac death happened to people who may have had an underlying condition
but never experienced any health problems.
Cycling You can find stats out there that tell you
that your odds of dying while cycling is about one in 140,000, but, again, who has a record
of every cycling death all over the world?
It happens a lot though.
As we write this, a professional cyclist was hit and killed during a race in Thailand.
The Thai media has also reported other recent cycling deaths.
An English couple got hit off their bikes in Thailand and died in 2013 while doing an
around the world tour.
A Chilean cyclist also recently got hit and killed in Thailand while he was also doing
an around the world tour.
“It was an accident caused by the driver’s recklessness.
The road was straight, and the cyclist was in his own lane,” wrote the Guardian after
it happened in 2015.
While many people die while just cycling for fun, serious cyclists get hit and killed all
In terms of death toll, cycling could be the most deadly sport, but because there are so
many people doing it, the odds are not so bad.
As you will see, some dangerous sports don’t have many fans, and one of the reasons is
the fact the sport can easily kill you.
American Football This sport is the most dangerous sport in
the USA when we look at injuries.
But it’s how many blows to the head that really makes the sport dangerous.
One statistic tells us that your odds of dying while playing this sport are one in 50,000,
but we can’t find the source of that number.
Nonetheless, the American media has written numerous reports about people dying while
playing football, often from traumatic brain injuries.
“The sport is needlessly and heedlessly killing athletes with overly intense workouts,”
said the story.
From the year 2000 to 2016, 33 boys died playing college football, but only six of those deaths
were related to trauma from collisions.
The rest were due to intense exercise.
So, this sport gets on the list not only for the incredible number of injuries but also
for the fact that it kills players.
Scuba Diving Again, data for diving deaths is all over
the place because it’s very hard to know how many people die all over the planet.
Some stats tell us that there are 16.4 deaths per 100,000 persons while scuba diving, other
data tells us different numbers.
The website ScubaDiving.com tells us most deaths occur because of poor diver health,
procedural errors such as rapid ascents or buoyancy control problems, the state of the
water people are diving into, and lastly problems related to the equipment.
You should only dive when you know you are in good physical condition, and, of course,
the safety procedures should be followed.
Still, going deep down will always pose a risk.
Canoeing/kayaking As will staying on top of the water, well,
trying to stay on top.
One stat tells us that one in 10,000 people die while kayaking, which sounds rather over
But we must remember that whitewater kayaking is certainly an extreme kind of sport.
A lot of people come unstuck from not judging what kind of water they are in, be it fast-flowing
or just damned cold.
Others think they can get away with not using a life jacket.
The United States Coast Guard tells us that deaths related to paddle sports were at a
decade high in 2015, with experts saying that a lot of people just go out into the water
without being properly trained.
Others just don’t read the weather and get blown away, never to return.
We found other reports that mentioned famous and amateur kayakers dying from being attacked
Boxing We don’t need to tell you that boxing is
It’s not often a boxer can go 12 rounds without sustaining any kind of small injury,
but it’s the big ones that count.
One major injury is brain trauma after being hit in the head too many times.
Some boxers might die right there in the ring or die from their injuries some time after.
Boxers can also suffer from cognitive defects or neurodegenerative diseases.
Again, do we really know how many boxers die in fights or in training globally, from big
gyms to tiny gyms in the far reaches of the world?
One statistic says boxers have a one in 2,200 chance of dying.
We don’t know for sure the dangers of boxing worldwide, but there’s a reason why the
British Medical Association and the American Medical Association have asked for the sport
to be banned.
Boxers know they are in a dangerous sport, and that’s likely part of the reason they
Motorbike racing This is one thrilling sport.
Most of the time when you see someone fly from their motorcycle quite amazingly they
just dust themselves off and walk away.
But riders, amateur and professional, regularly suffer fractures and ligament injuries, not
to mention cuts and bruises.
But the worst is not getting up at all, and it does happen.
While this sport is different in that not many people can get into bike racing, those
who do are taking a risk.
Some stats tell us that your chances of dying while doing this sport are one in 1,000, which
is not good odds.
If you don’t believe us, just look at one race alone.
That race is the Isle of Man TT, which is called the world’s deadliest race.
The Sun tells us that 270 people have died in this race since it started, with two competitors
dying in 2018, three in 2017, and five in 2016.
Boxers could argue that this is a more dangerous sport.
Grand Prix Racing Sticking to the topic of racing, we have Grand
We are told the odds of dying doing this sport are an amazing one in 100, but we should remember
that Grand Prix racing doesn’t have that many serious competitors.
Nonetheless, those who do take part risk life and limb every time they go out.
There are far fewer deaths than the sport we just talked about, but as we said, there
are far fewer competitors.
The Brits have lost the most people in Grand Prix racing followed by the Americans.
Base Jumping You probably have to be half crazy to take
part in this sport, and we are told that if you do, you have about a one in 60 chance
This statistic is backed up and is likely accurate, given that there just aren’t that
many base jumpers out there.
If you don’t know what it is, it is just jumping from a great height, either with a
parachute or a wingsuit, and trying to make your way back to terra firma.
It’s regarded as the most extreme of extreme sports.
The base jumping fatality list tells us that there have been 328 deaths since 1981, but
it’s not like base jumping is done in schools.
At one jumping site alone, the Kjerag Massif in Norway, there were nine deaths from 2,317
jumps over a period of ten years starting in 1995.
There were also 254 nonfatal injuries.
Extreme Mountain Climbing Okay, so you might be thinking that this can’t
be the most dangerous sport because people do it all over the world and most folks never
have a problem.
Well, it just depends where you do your climbing.
If you are trying to get to the top of Mount Everest, and you get past 6,000 meters (19,685
feet), it’s said you have about a 10 percent chance of dying.
That’s one statistic anyway.
As of 2016, about 4,000 people had gotten to the top, but about 280 folks never made
In this case, you could say that the most extreme kind of mountain climbing is more
dangerous than base jumping.
We are sure you have your own opinions about dangerous sports, and as we said, some of
these statistics we found might not be totally reliable only because getting the right data
is an almost impossible task for some sports.
What sport do you think is particularly dangerous?
Tell us what you think in the comments.
Also, be sure to check out our other show Worst Jobs That Will Literally Kill You.
Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.
See you next time!