11 Most Dangerous Sports

UPDATE: If anything, the world has gotten even more dangerous in the last few months, which perversely means our taste in dangerous sports has gotten only more acute. So it’s only fair that we try to keep abreast of trends in dangerous sports, which in turn is why we’re adding another bonus sport for whom 11 dangerous sports simply isn’t enough.

UPDATE: Danger is all around us, from when we wake up in the morning and get into our cars to when we go to sleep without making sure the bedroom ceiling fan is tightly secured. So there’s no shortage of danger, and no shortage of dangerous sports, so a couple of bonus, more obscure dangerous sports might be of interest to the curious and danger-minded reader. They have been added accordingly, and, it should probably go without saying, should not be attempted at home.

When you hear the phrase “dangerous sports,” your mind immediately turns to things like auto racing or MMA—sports where fiery crashes and bloody faces are commonplace. But here’s thing: if you don’t play the sport, it’s not dangerous. And the vast majority of athletes out there in North America do not take part in auto racing or mixed martial arts. So if we’re talking about “danger” in sports, we’ve got to start with the sports people play most.

And so we did. Today’s list of the most dangerous sports weighs two statistics: the sheer volume of injuries per sport, and the percentage of participants in a given sport who sustain injuries.

As you would imagine, the percentage of MMA and boxing participants who sustain injuries is probably astronomical, but the number of participants is relatively small. So it isn’t on the statistical radar. And since it’s cold hard facts we’re after and not “gut feelings”—which are usually wrong—neither MMA nor boxing make the list. Machine gun freeze tag or machete soccer would also be extremely dangerous if such sports existed, but they wouldn’t make the list because so few people would play them.

What does make the list? Click “next” to find out.