Baseball: The Safest Sport for Excessive College Athletes?

LAS VEGAS — Annual surveys of excessive college athletic trainers demonstrate that, amongst 9 indispensable sports activities, boys’ soccer has the supreme agonize price and baseball the lowest, researchers reported here.

But when ranked by severity, boys’ wrestling used to be doubtlessly the most abominable, with 9.6% of injuries sustained within the sport wanting surgical operation, in keeping with a look by medical pupil Jordan Pizzarro, BS, of George Washington College in Washington, D.C., and colleagues. Girls’ basketball used to be a end second, at 7.6%.

Pizzarro and colleagues reported the findings at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) annual assembly.

The neighborhood drew on data from the Excessive College Reporting Knowledge Online (RIO) program, an offshoot of the Nationwide Excessive College Sports-Linked Damage Surveillance Be taught about, for 2015-2019. Trainers at 100 nationally representative U.S. excessive schools submit agonize data weekly to RIO, including the sport eager, in what exercise the agonize occurred (note vs competitors), the form of agonize, and the intention in which it used to be handled. To be reportable, an agonize need to be attended by a medical reputable and outcome in restricted sports activities participation for at least 1 day.

About 15,500 injuries in 9 kinds of sport bask in been reported to RIO throughout the glance period out of 6.8 million “athletic exposures,” which the researchers defined as one athlete taking piece in a single session of note or competitors. That worked out to a price of 2.29 injuries per 1,000 exposures.

Damage rates per 1,000 exposures for the 9 sports activities analyzed, in reducing pronounce, bask in been:

  • Boys’ soccer: 3.96
  • Girls’ soccer: 2.65
  • Boys’ wrestling: 2.36
  • Girls’ basketball: 2.03
  • Boys’ soccer: 1.78
  • Boys’ basketball: 1.54
  • Girls’ softball: 1.35
  • Girls’ volleyball: 1.31
  • Boys’ baseball: 0.89

Rates for all boys’ sports activities bask in been 2.52 per 1,000, and the corresponding figure for ladies’ sports activities used to be 1.86 per 1,000.

RIO data for 2005-2006 had confirmed an total agonize price of 2.51 per 1,000 exposures. “The total agonize price diminished, you would possibly perchance assume is huge, however you also need to take into story at the types of injuries which would possibly perchance presumably well presumably be taking place,” acknowledged Pizzarro in an AAOS news unlock.

“We are seeing an expand in head and neck injuries, in particular concussions, to boot to extra severe injuries and these requiring surgical operation. Many organizations bask in adopted safety gear and agonize prevention guidelines; it is questionable within the occasion that they are being utilized accurately,” Pizzarro added.

For most sports activities within the new data, injuries to the head and face bask in been doubtlessly the most total (18%-29% of all injuries), however the ankles suffered most in three sports activities: ladies’ volleyball and boys’ and women’ basketball. Knee injuries bask in been the second or third most repeatedly injured throughout sports activities.

The share of head injuries in 2015-2019 used to be higher than within the 2005-2006 RIO data, prompting the investigators to suggest that preventive measures haven’t been as effective as hoped. “Play intensity, physical contact, and collisions” are it sounds as if increasing in excessive college athletics, Pizzarro and colleagues indicated, “potentially offsetting the usage of protective gear” corresponding to helmets with face guards.

The immense majority of injuries bask in been sustained throughout games and matches versus note, at a ratio of 3.39 throughout all classes. It used to be extremely variable, despite the indisputable truth that: injuries bask in been sixfold extra total in boys’ soccer games than in practices, whereas the ratio in ladies’ volleyball used to be appropriate 1.61.

Traces and sprains bask in been doubtlessly the most total form of agonize (37% throughout all sports activities, vary 29%-48%), however concussions bask in been now not a long way at the lend a hand of at 22% of all injuries. Per chance surprisingly, boys’ soccer wasn’t the worst on this regard — 28% of ladies’ soccer injuries bask in been concussions, versus 24% for soccer. The least concussive sport used to be boys’ baseball at 12%.

Fractures bask in been comparatively exceptional throughout all sports activities. The most effective price used to be in boys’ baseball, in which fractures accounted for 8.4% of all injuries. Girls’ sports activities in total bask in been powerful much less seemingly to involve fractures (2.0% of all injuries, versus 4.2% for all boys’ sports activities).

Through severity (as indicated by the proportion of injuries wanting surgical correction), ladies’ volleyball and softball perceived to be the most get, at rates of 3.17% and 3.71%, respectively. Boys’ soccer injuries wanted surgical operation at a price of seven.37%.

“Future reviews need to serene focal point on bettering preventative measures, increasing adequate approaches to lowering concussion threat, and investigating surgical procedures and their association with return to play,” Pizzarro’s neighborhood concluded.

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    John Gever used to be Managing Editor from 2014 to 2021; he is now a customary contributor.


No notify funding sources or doable conflicts of curiosity bask in been reported.

Main Supply

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Supply Reference: Pizzarro JN, et al “Epidemiology of sports activities injuries amongst excessive college athletes within the United States” AAOS 2023; Abstract P0439.

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