Football Leads Youth Sports Injuries
But Head Injuries Strike Many Other Young Athletes, Too
WebMD News Archive
July 26, 2007 -- Two new studies highlight the risk of youth sports injuries
that student athletes may experience on the playing field.
One of the new studies focuses on football injuries in high school and
college football players. The other study tracks traumatic head injuries in
Sports injuries can do more than sideline a player for a season. Some
injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, can have effects that last a
The bottom line: Don't play hurt, and don't try to shake off an injury to
get back in the game. Seek medical attention instead.
Football Injuries Studied
The new study on football injuries appears in The American Journal of
Football is the top scorer when it comes to racking up sport-related
injuries, according to the study. But high school and college players may face
very different injury risks.
Researchers found high school football players suffered more than half a
million injuries nationwide during the 2005-2006 season. And they were more
likely to suffer season-ending injuries, such as fractures and concussions,
than those who play collegiate football.
But college football players were nearly twice as likely to become injured
during practice or a game compared with high school players.
Football is one of the most popular sports in the U.S. and is played by more
than 1 million high school athletes and 60,000 collegiate athletes.
Previous studies have shown that football has nearly twice the injury rate
as the next most popular sport, basketball. Yet researchers say this is the
first study to compare injuries among high school and collegiate football
players based on a national sample of more 100 high schools and 55
The study found four out of every 1,000 high school football exposures
resulted in an injury compared with eight out of every 1,000 collegiate
But high school football players suffered a greater proportion of serious,
season-ending injuries like broken bones and concussions, which accounted for
about 10% of all injuries among high school players.
Other findings of the study include:
- Linebackers and wide receivers were the positions most likely to suffer
season-ending injuries among high school players.
- Among college football players, offensive linemen suffered the most
injuries, but the running back position had the greatest proportion of injuries
for any one position.
- The most common injuries among both high school and college football
players were ligament sprains.
- The lower leg, ankle, and foot were the most commonly injured body parts