Ranked! Top 10 most dangerous sports to play at the moment

Ranked! Top 10 most dangerous sports to play at the moment

Claudia Kogi
January 18, 2023 at 9:42 AM

Sports may be a time of joy and pleasure for everybody involved, from the players to the viewers, but accidents and even fatalities may occasionally throw gloom. Just how many times have there been cases such as a cricket or a hockey ball flying to the audience and hitting a fan? You will be surprised that the most dangerous sports to play right now are the ones most followed.

Top 10 most dangerous sports as of 2023
Marc Gisin of Switzerland is lifted into a helicopter after crashing during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Super-G on 23 January 2015 in Kitzbuehel, Austria. Photo: Christophe Pallot
Source: Getty Images

Sports can be hazardous depending on where athletes demonstrate their athleticism; on air, sea, or land. But that is just it with sports; alongside their soothing charm, they can be intensely vicious.

Top 10 most dangerous sports as of 2023

And while some might think these respective games are considered dangerous just by how they look, that is not the case. They are ranked according to the frequency in which they are prone to accidents and injuries during the action.

According to the most recent statistical data, below is a compiled list of the world's most dangerous games to play at the moment.

10. Base jumping

Injury rate: 25 athletes fatally injured yearly

Most dangerous sports for kids to watch
Base jumper leaps from the 300-metre-high open deck at Kuala Lumpur Tower during the Kuala Lumpur Tower Jump on 29 September 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: Chris Jung
Source: Getty Images

And while the sport is somewhat similar to sky diving, the only difference is that instead of throwing themselves off planes, they do it from high buildings. According to various sources, the injury rate is 0.2-0.4% per jump, and one out of 60 participants is always expected to be fatally injured.

Many base jumpers get injured due to malfunctioning wingsuits and also encounter heavy strikes of objects or canopy while jumping and landing. The most common injuries associated with the sport are ankle sprains, fractures, minor head concussions, or bruised knees.

9. Luge

Injury rate: An average of 407 injuries yearly

World's most dangerous sports
Nina Zoeggele of Italy competes in the women's single race during the FIL Luge World Cup at Olympia-Eiskanal Iglis on 3 December 2022 in Innsbruck, Austria. Photo: Jan Hetfleisch
Source: Getty Images

With gravity-based games where athletes are expected to lie on a longboard and ride it on ice, tracks or roads, what could go wrong? These respective athletes are often susceptible to injuries due to the high speed at which the board moves, causing a loss of balance.

Although the sport has not brought about any number of deaths yet, athletes are often left with severe injuries, making it one of the most dangerous games ever ranked.

8. Gymnastics

Injury rate: 100,000 injuries per year

Most dangerous sports ever ranked
Alyssa Wiggins of Fisk competes on the balance beam during a meet at the Orleans Arena on 6 January 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Stew Milne
Source: Getty Images

For starters, gymnastics is renowned for requiring a lot of balance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and endurance. In other words, it depicts the high use of overall body muscles.

Even though few deaths have been recorded since its inception, some prevalent injuries include wrist fractures, cartilage damage, and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.

One of the most pronounced athletes who died following severe injuries is gymnast Julissa D'Anne Gomez, who fell into a vaulting accident that left her quadriplegic. Unfortunately, she eventually died due to the injury.

7. Racing

Injury rate: Approximately 1.2 in 1000 competitors per race

Most dangerous sports
The peloton rides through the McLaren Vale wine district during stage one of the Women's Tour Down Under UCI cycling event in Adelaide on 15 January 2023. Photo: Brenton Edwards
Source: Getty Images

There are various forms of racing, whether on horses, cars, motorbikes, or cycles. All these are considered some of the most vicious sports ever to indulge in. If it is about horse racing, it brings equal impact to the horses as it does on humans. In fact, according to statistics, ten horses die every week due to racing.

Of course, safety measures are often used, but the susceptibility of racers to injuries and accidents is usually so high. Another form of racing that is surprisingly dangerous is bike racing, which is said to record about 84,000 injuries yearly.

6. Big wave surfing

Injury rate: 2.2 in every 1,000 athletes get injured yearly

Most dangerous sports ever ranked
Josh Mohr drops in on a big wave at Huntington Beach Pier. Warm weather and big waves were in store for Southern California Coastal communities today. Photo: Peter Brouillet
Source: Getty Images

Any game that has to include water! What could go wrong? Big wave surfing is an activity that includes surfing in a strong current of the ocean or sea. It is categoriZed among the world's most dangerous sports because of the depth the athletes have to go, resulting in several fatal injuries.

Additionally, some big waves that often occur during the activity can, at times, push the athletes down to 20 to 50 feet, equivalent to 6.2 to 15.5 metres. Consequently, some of the most common injuries include on their faces, legs, heads, backs, shoulders, and arms.

5. Rugby

Injury rate: An average of 1,200 injuries per year

World's most dangerous sports
Matt Rogerson is tackled by Paul de Wet of DHL Stormers during Round 3 of the Heineken Champions Cup at Gtech Community Stadium on 15 January 2023 in Brentford, England. Photo: Eddie Keogh
Source: Getty Images

If you know rugby well, you can attest that it does require a lot of energy. However, one intriguing point about it is that it is among the most enjoyed and paid games worldwide. Perhaps, it is because of how deadly and fatal the sport can get.

Yes, it is tremendously exciting to watch, but not when it comes to the intense concussions when the players struggle for the ball or the hamstring muscle injuries, ankle sprains, and shoulder injuries.

4. Bull riding

Injury rate: An average of 32.2 injuries in 1000 athletes

World's most dangerous sports
A herdsman competes in a yak riding contest on the Hongyuan Prairie on 3 August 2022 in Hongyuan County, Sichuan Province of China. Photo: VCG
Source: Getty Images

Often dubbed the ten most dangerous eight seconds in sports, only a few courageous athletes play it. Bull riding is different according to different traditions in other countries. The sport is more hazardous than football and rugby.

Bull riding results in significant injuries, mainly concussions. Fortunately, however fatal those injuries occur, there have been only three deaths recorded as of 2023.

As a matter of fact, bull riding results in significant injuries and common concussions. However, fatal injuries occur rarely. Up until now, there have been three deaths recorded from this sport.

3. Helicopter skiing

Injury rate: 600,000 athletes get injured every year

Top 10 most dangerous sports as of 2023
Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin is winched up into a helicopter after falling and injuring himself during the men's downhill in Lenzerheide on 14 March 2007. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini
Source: Getty Images

Yes, you read that right. Skiing with a helicopter's help, what could go wrong? A lot of things. But this will only happen if the athletes are not vigilant and careful enough. Massive numbers of muscular and skeletal injuries are often standard in helicopter skiing.

One time in Alaska, a helicopter crashed and killed five people, including Czech Republic's richest man. Additionally, the primary concern with the sport is the avalanche.

2. Boxing

Injury rate: An average of 7 deaths per year

Most dangerous sports for kids to watch
Christ Esabe and Darwin Martinez during the International lightweight Contest on 17 December 2022 in Nantes, France. Photo: Sandra Ruhaut
Source: Getty Images

You can see Francis Ngannou or Floyd Mayweather in that octagon tackling an opponent and think it is somewhat enjoyable. However, it is the exact opposite, as it is the most dangerous sport for kids to watch.

Even though safety gear and protective gloves have been developed over the years, still, injuries are common in the octagon. In fact, just between when it was founded back in 1890 to date, the death toll is 1,876.

1. Mountaineering

Injury rate: An average of 3,023 to 3,816 injuries are recorded every year

Mountaineering is the most dangerous sport in the world right now. Moreover, it is the most challenging task an athlete would ever have to tackle. For starters, one has to deal with extreme weather conditions while climbing those mountains.

Most dangerous sports ever ranked
Mountaineer Tunc Findik, the first Turkish person to climb 13 of 14 mountains in the world exceeding 8000 meters on mount Everest in Erzurum, Turkiye on 18 January 2022. Photo: Hilmi Tunahan Karakaya
Source: Getty Images

According to various online sources, 5.6 injuries occur every 10,000 hours of mountaineering. Additionally, there are about 30 deaths recorded every single year. Even worse, some athletes go missing for years on top of mountains.

Sports are entertaining and lucrative to watch, but the truth is, they can be fatal. Some of the most dangerous sports in the world today are the typical ones everyone thought they could indulge in, but to their surprise, sports can bring more damage than fun.

READ ALSO: Who are the most famous horse polo players ever?

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The most famous horse polo players were introduced to the sport at a very young age, perfected their skills, and became super pros. Find out more about the greatest horse polo players by clicking on the link above!

Claudia Kogi photo
Claudia Kogi
Claudia Kogi is a Kenyan content creator with over 3 years of experience. Claudia joined as a writer in January 2022, covering sports and relatable content.