Top 10 Most Dangerous Sports in the World

Sports can prove to be a time for merriment and a great source of entertainment for everyone involved from the players to the fans but every now and then, injuries and even death can cast a shadow. Involving a lot of physical contact, it hardly comes as a surprise that every sport entails an element of danger. But which would you consider the most dangerous in this lot? From extreme sports like Base jumping to well-known ones like football, here are 10 of the most dangerous sports in the world.

10. Base Jumping

most dangerous sportsIf you thought jumping off an airplane with 15,000 feet to go dangerous, think again. For many, this isn’t challenging enough apparently and hence they choose cliffs and man-made objects like towers. Jumping from such heights may sound safer while in reality they tend to be trickier due to virtually no time available to deploy the parachutes or deal with any problems. BASE is actually an acronym for the type of objects people jump off. It stands for Buildings, Antennas (tower), Spans (or bridges) and Earth (natural formations like cliffs, canyons, gorges, etc.). First developed by Carl Boenish in 1978 it has grown in popularity since.

9. Horse riding

most dangerous sportsEver hoped to one day own your very own pony and ride on it every single day? Well, I’m sure many of us have but did you know that horseback riding also happens to be considered as a very dangerous sport? Fatal injuries and even deaths are caused every year by horse riding accidents. The most common cause of injury is getting trampled while on the ground near the horse. The hooves are potent that could easily make you a permanent fixture in the hospital. Other causes include getting thrown off your horse or fatal kicks while leading the horse into the paddock. So should you get that pony you dreamed of, please do remember to exercise extreme caution.

8. Scuba diving

most dangerous sportsScuba diving is an underwater sport fast gaining popularity across the planet. This recreational sport involves using SCUBA – Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus to stay underwater long enough to savor the serene beauty of marine life. While for some the allure of scuba diving lies in the charm of underwater life for others it’s the thrill of exploring a wreck or a cave. The danger in this sport chiefly lies in the changes in pressure. These changes in pressure could potentially rupture a lung, ear-drums or damage the sinuses. Prolonged exposure to high pressure gases can result in the build-up of nitrogen and helium in our blood stream which may lead to damage to tissues, blocking of small blood vessels or even shut down of blood supply! Other casualties could be due to failure of diving equipment.

7. Running of the bulls

most dangerous sportsThe festival of San Fermin or running of the bulls as it is more popularly known takes place on the 6th of July in Pamplona, Spain. It originally was a means to transport bulls from where they were bred to the bull ring where they would be slaughtered. Youngsters would jump in beside these bulls to show off their bravado. Over the years it developed into a festival marked by music, dancing and markets. The run starts off after the first two rockets and comes to an end with the third and fourth rockets signaling that the bulls have entered the bull-ring. The dangers of running with bulls are imaginably immense. Every year on an average 50-100 people get injured due to goring, asphyxiations, piling up of people leading to suffocation and even getting crushed by the bulls.

6. Jallikattu

most dangerous sportsJallikattu also known as bull-taming is another sport that involves bulls though it occurs on a different continent with a different set of rules. Taking place in villages across Tamil Nadu during the Pongal (thanksgiving for plentiful harvests) festival, this is a sport in which only one emerges the winner – man or bull. In one form of this sport a person has to hold on to the bull for a specified time or distance to win while a variant to this game involves releasing the bull into an open field with the participants trying to subdue the bull. The dangers as can be anticipated are many and as many as 200 have died in this sport over the last two decades. Also due to protests by animal activists against the cruelty meted out to the beasts the sport has been banned in the country.

5. Bull riding

most dangerous sportsThis is a rodeo sport that involves staying mounted on a bull for as long as possible while the bull tries to buck off the rider. The very mention of mounting a 1000kg bull invokes jitters amongst us; so I guess much needn’t be said about the perils entailed in the actual sport. It has been considered as one of the most dangerous sports in the world with damage to the neck, head and face besides concussions accounting for most of the injuries. In 1989 after a bull gored and punctured the heart of cowboy Lane Frost it was made compulsory to wear protective vests made of ballistic material. This and a slew of other protective measures have brought down the accidents in the sport but despite this it still continues to be the “most dangerous 8 seconds in sports”.

4. Gymnastics

most dangerous sportsGymnastics is a sport that tests balance, strength, flexibility and control. Though originally devised to test soldiers for war in the military it now is an Olympic sport contested by many. This sport which invokes an image of graceful women and men in leotards has an ugly face to it too. Yes, I’m referring to the risks involved. Wrist fractures, spinal fractures, ankle sprains, cartilage damage are some among the various injuries involved. Julissa Gomez was a victim of one the worst accidents in gymnastics history. In May 1988 months before the Olympics during a warm up she slipped and slammed her head resulting in a neck-down paralysis  that lasted until her death in 1991.

3. Boxing

most dangerous sportsA contact sport where the participant’s sole goal is to punch his opponent it doesn’t come as a surprise that this isn’t an injury free sport. Statistics reveal that 90% of boxers suffer brain damage during the course of their career. They could even be prone to diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s later in their lives. Sounds scary doesn’t it? But with proper protective gear the risk of sustaining injuries can be minimized.

2. Soccer

most dangerous sportsSoccer is ranked second on this list probably due to the frequency of injuries in this sport. This could simply be ascribed to the vast number of players playing football but it still deserves a mention due to the frightening statistics of injuries and death in this sport. Statistics claim there’s a 75% chance of getting a concussion in this game as opposed to 5% in other games. Every footballer is conscious of the risk to his body and brain throughout his career but the sheer love for the sport and massive fan following keeps the fire alive in them.

1. Cycling

most dangerous sportsBiking also called cycling is sported first on this list due to the high number of casualties involved. Many might immediately jump to the conclusion that the injuries can be ascribed to extreme mountain biking while in reality the major cause of injury is, wait for it, ‘other vehicles’. This has been documented vividly in the film Premium Rush. Every second of the film will keep you on the edge of your seat, such is the risk involved. The streets could prove to be an extremely dangerous place to frequent on your cycle and possibly a gateway to the hospital.

Ranking sports on the basis of the dangers involved isn’t exactly that easy. There are many sports that haven’t made this list but that doesn’t necessarily make them any less dangerous. But one thing that can be remembered is that being prepared and taking the necessary protective measures could go a long way, possibly even save your lives!


55 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Have you ever watched a sports game, soccer is not a dangerous sport rugby should be on the list, it is the roughest team sport in the world.

  • Okay okay okay. you are tying to tell me gymnastics is higher then horseback riding… ya um no. While riding horses, you dont only need skill, patients, strength, trust, ect. , but you also need to communicate to control a 1000 + pound animal! Bull riding and horseback riding need to be on the top of the list… Dont agree? how about u try to get on one or the other.

    • ok you just have to sit on a horse and watch it prance around… but in cheerleading and gymnastics over 80% of cheerleaders get hurt in fact my sister got paralized by falling out of a stunt in cheerleading now we have to feed her and help her in everything we do

      • Uhhh no you don’t have you jumped over a fence with a half ton animal go about 30 mph then get refused and train OVER the jump only to get back on and try again?

        • have you been thrown 30 feet in the air.. know there’s a chance they might not catch you and ‘ a pretty good chance you will get paralyzed..

          • Cheer is gay. horse riding takes guts, horse riding is the only sport where your equipment has a mind of its own and can kill you in 1 second. It is the most dangerous sport besides bull riding and bulldogging.

      • Ohhh so you think horseriding is easy?… why dont you try i would like to see you try. You dont have to just control you posture your balance your skill but

      • Ok, i would like to see you get on a horse and perform an intricate dance, a course of over 1m10 junps and for you to gallop full speed on an animal with a mind of its own. Have you ever fallen off of a horse and broken bones or been thrown into a fence. No you havent so you dint just sit there.

      • You say what you want but every person will tell you that horse riding is more dangerous your riding 1000 ton horse and a horse has a mind of its own so you skate or make a mistake on a horse or pony you can die get paralyzed and also break multiple bones got it

      • Can gymnastics kill you in gymnastics can you be trampled in gymnastics do you have a partner that doesn’t speak your language in gymnastics do you spend 1,000 dollars a month in gymnastics are you on 7- 10 foot animal That has I mind of its own no so be quiet

      • HA! you have NO idea how much work it takes to ride a horse. All you have ever done is sit on a horse at a walk on a trail in a line. In real riding (i ride english which is jumping horses), you have to control the animal with your legs. You also have to have A LOT of core strength and leg strength. Think about having to stay on the horses back while they run at a gallop. It looks so easy but thats part of what we have to do. We have to keep our bodies quiet and stay on this moving creature. In cheer 90% of the time when you do stunts in the air and drop, you get caught by the girls. Not to mention you can talk to them and that there are several girls catching you. In riding, you can’t talk to the horse, and if you get bucked off/fall off, you hit solid ground, You get back on the horse and say “my fault” when you might have broken a bone, when you fall in cheer, you sit out crying with a sprained ankle. 100+ people die A YEAR from riding, and almost 15,000 get seriously injured a year ( paralyzed, broken bones, torn muscles, brain injuries, blindness, loss of hearing). So go get on a horse and jump it 6 feet at a gallop, making it look like its the easiest thing ever, without falling off. Have a good rest of ur day!!!

      • Your so wrong about equestrianism. You are on a 1,300 pound animal who is very intelligent and knows they can kill you. Riding horses requires mental strength along with way more physical strength than Gymnastics and Cheerleading. Every corner equestrians turn they are faced with their life on the line for their sport. As simple of brushing your horses tail can end in fatality. So stfu, we don’t just sit there. Watch videos of riders being crushed and shattering most of their bones because they messsd up a stride count before a jump. Then we can talk when you know more logic about equestrianism.

    • I agree I had this conversation yesterday I think horse racing is the number 1 most dangerous sport if you take into the fact jockey s ride horses from 6 am in the morning and if they go t o a night meeting also it could be 9 at night in summer they finished 7 days a week to me stats are high as its all year round they ride it has to be the most dangerous sport

  • I so agree with sylvia horse riding is the best sport ever and super dangerous it puts every other sport to shame

  • Where’s motocross?! That’s definitely a super tough sport along with horseback riding. I do both and I can tell you it’s a whole lot harder than soccer or football.

  • how the hell is american football not number one u fukin moron cycling and fag soccer is 2 but football and basketball arent on liat basketball should be ahead of cycling amd sxoccer who made this fuking list is an idiot or prolly from another xountry. i can see bull riding what about rugby idiots

  • Cheerleaders are stronger than you think. Bases have to lift people their weight above their heads not knowing if she is going to lose her balance and fall any second and flyers need excellent balance and have to trust their bases with their life because if they fall they may never get up again. You think this is easy because we always have a smile on our face because that is what we are trained to do, we never let our pain show. We need more balance than you horse back people. Don’t think we are not tough because of our perfect makeup and hair and smiling faces.

    • Listen you also need to be strong to do horse riding so stop saying that cheerleading is more dangerous because it isn’t so get over your self

    • First off, we are seven feet above the ground. Yall are 3. Yall have about 3 minutes we have 2 minutes. Yall can communicate to each other we are communicating to a 1,000 pound animal trying to not die within 2 seconds. Yall handle break ups and we handle dirt. When we fall 10 feet off the ground we get back up again and rub the dirt off our jeans and keep trying. Yall fall and start crying and sit on the bleachers. Now who is the balanced one now?! Not saying cheerleading is not hard it’s awesome but it is hurtful when you say we aren’t balanced. My friend is a cheerleader and she is awesome but girl you need to get a life.

      • I horse back ride and I’m twelve. I did gymnastics for three years and now I just started horseback riding. It is so much harder to handle a 1300 pound horse than falling of a bar with MATS under them. Us riders have to handle getting thrown of a horse on SOLID ground with No mats to help. WE fall then get back up on our horses. Talk about brave.

  • ROADRACING (motorcycles) should be at the top of any list. Sliding your knee on the ground at speeds upward of 150mph while sitting on a motor. Yeah #1

  • Soccer should not be on that list, in field hockey there has been way more accidents that cause people to be in the hospital for a few weeks then on crutches for months. I think soccer players are wimps.

  • I would think American Football is going to climb up this list as it becomes more widely known of the dangers of developing CTE as you continue to play the sport at a high level.
    I wonder if this is just an opinion piece or it’s based on the probability of injury with an index that multiplies this number based on the severity of that injury.

  • For everyone saying gymnastics is not dangerous sport I’d like to see you try to do a backflip on a 4-inch wide beam that is 4 feet up in the air gymnastics is extremely dangerous you could easily die with one wrong move

  • I feel like Horse riding should be number 1. Reason being is because you could die at any given second if that horse falls and crushes you. You could be jumping and the horse refuses and you fall into the jump. You could be barrel racing and get you leg rammed into a metal barrel or worse your horse could trip causing you the horse to fall on top of the barrel. Or your horse could spook and you could get bucked off and go flying. I definitely think cycling shouldn’t be be number 1 as pretty much all of these are worse . I feel like any equestrian would agree with me

  • Literally the dumbest list. Dangerous sports are ones with the highest chance of serious life altering injury or death. This means, wingsuit base, tracking suits, regular base jumping, speedflying, climbing above 8000m, etc. All your other sports are quite safe in comparison. This list is ass. I’m sorry, I don’t care if you did a double backflip on a motorcross bike and broke 10 bones in your body, you survived. The most dangerous sports in this world don’t have that as an outcome in 99% of accidents. People, just die. Cheerleaing is for pussies, horseback riding is not that cool, football is safe, soccer is a joke (in comparison to ws base)

  • My cousin was doing a simple warm around a arena with her horse and he got spooked by a flock of geese flying above and he did a crow hop them a buck then a rear and when he reared she fell back words and thats when he decided to do another buck and kicker her in the face as she fell. She died right them and there. I still ride horse, but i definitelyshould be up in the top 5. I once was tacking up a horse and she had a soar spot on her back that I didn’t see it when I was grooming her and she bucked that saddle off and it landed one me leaving me with a few bruises (which isnt that bad, but it shows that its harder to communicate with an animal than it is a person.)

  • Gymnastics was originally developed to test men for war in the military? uh no it wasn’t. Unless you mean in military in ancient Greece….

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