Excerpt from today's National Sporting Goods Assoc. newsletter:
|SPORTS INJURIES COMMON, BUT LESS THAN ONE IN FIVE SERIOUS
There may have been 20.3 million sports mishaps in the U.S. in 2002, but most were very minor: ankle twists, scrapes, bruises and jammed fingers accounted for a majority of these momentary setbacks. Of the injuries, 11.2 million (53%) were self-treated (or untreated), while 6.1 million (30%) did not even hinder subsequent participation in the sport or activity; only 3.4 million sports injuries were serious enough to require emergency room treatment. These were among the preliminary findings of a Comprehensive Study of Sports Injuries in the U.S., conducted by American Sports Data, Inc., Hartsdale, N.Y.
According to the report, the most practical method of assessing risk potential in a sport is to measure the number of injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures -- i.e. the number of times a participant engages in the activity over the course of a year. Using this method, boxing ranks first with 5.2 injuries per 1,000 exposures, followed by tackle football (3.8), snowboarding (3.8), ice hockey (3.7), alpine skiing (3.0), soccer (2.4), softball (2.2) and basketball (1.9).
With the exception of snowboarding (which ranks third), none of the other so-called "extreme" sports carries a particularly high risk of injury. Surfing is 10th in risk potential (1.8 injuries per 1,000 exposures); mountain biking 18th (1.2 per thousand); skateboarding 22nd (0.8 per thousand); and BMX 24th, also with 0.8. Inline skating places 27th with only 0.4 injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures. Paintball, although handicapped by a huge injury taboo, reflected only 0.2 injuries per 1,000 exposures, the lowest injury rate of any extreme sport. Put another way, the average player will suffer a paintball injury about once every 500 years.