Key findings:

  • Every year over 1 million high school and college age people have a sports related injury.
  • Basketball, football and bicycling most common sports injuries among 15 to 24 year olds.
  • Football, basketball and wrestling most dangerous sports for 15 to 24 year olds.
  • Hockey, snowboarding and water tubing most common sports for concussions.

As a high school and college aged kid you feel invincible. There’s no chance you’re getting hurt, you’re the best player out there. While that attitude of invincibility is a great trait to have during a game, the practical thought process of the field is to be sure you’re protected. Safety equipment, proper training and hours of practice will prepare most athletes to avoid common injuries. However, there is always that chance an injury can occur at any minute during competition. With over a million sports injuries a year for high school and college age kids it’s a very common thing for most.

Among high school and college aged kids there are certain sports where injuries are most common. Many of these sports are played at the highest levels of NCAA competition all the way to intramural leagues across campus. Popular individual sports played off the court or field like skateboarding, bicycling and weightlifting can be among the most dangerous sport activities for high school and college age kids.


QuoteWizard analyzed National Safety Council data on sports related injuries over a period of 2010 to 2017. Sports injuries were emergency room treatments for injuries resulting from a sports activity. We looked specifically at sports injuries in high school and college age group from 15 to 24 years of age. Sports were then ranked by the total number of injuries that occurred in the 15 to 24 age group. In the following table, sports were ranked based on which sports had the highest rate of injuries among the 15 to 24 age group. The final table ranks sports for the highest rate of concussion related injuries.

Most common sports for sports injuries

The following are the most common sports with the highest number of injuries among 15-24-year old. This shows the total number of injuries in the most common sports played among 15-24-year old.

Sport Total injuries
Basketball 251,794
Football 168,911
Soccer 89,235
Bicycle riding 88,150
Exercise 78,320
Skateboarding 58,002
Baseball 45,238
Swimming 34,061
Weight lifting 33,906
Softball 33,661

Most dangerous sports with the highest rate of injury

The injury rates below are the number of 15-24-year old injured as a percentage of total participants in each sport. This shows which sports have the highest rate of injuries for the 15-24-year-old age group. Where 15-24-year old are most likely to have a resulting injury.

Sport Rate of injury
Football 1.78%
Basketball 0.98%
Wrestling 0.90%
Skateboarding 0.66%
Soccer 0.61%
Cheerleading 0.49%
Snowboarding 0.49%
Baseball 0.37%
Softball 0.34%
Ice hockey 0.35%

Most common sports for concussion related injuries

The following sports had the highest percentage of injuries result in a concussion. Making these 10 sports the most dangerous for concussions.

Sport % concussion-related
Hockey–ice 12
Snowboarding 10
Water tubing 9
Football 8
Lacrosse 8
Horseback riding 7
Wrestling 7
Rugby 7
Soccer 6
Cheerleading 6

Will health insurance cover sports injuries?

Likely, if you are a participant in a school sponsored sport or activity the school will almost always have an insurance policy to protect student athletes in the event of severe injury. All the way from the top NCAA sports, intramural sports and junior varsity sports in high schools, there’s almost always an insurance policy provided by the school. The policy covering the school is in the event of severe or catastrophic injury. More than likely, your personal insurance policy covered under your parents or guardian will be the first line of insurance protection to cover injuries.

On nearly every college campus you will be required to show proof of health insurance or purchase a plan through your school to attend. For college students there’s already a layer of individual health insurance to cover any sports injuries. High schools across the country do not always require proof of health insurance to attend. This could leave kids vulnerable to injury coverage if parents or guardians are not insured. If you are a high school athlete or recreational athlete without existing coverage through parents or guardian, there are options to purchase health insurance for a low cost. Given high school age kids are at a low overall health risk individual plans can be very affordable. It is recommended to get any coverage possible if you plan on being active in sports. Even a broken ankle can be thousands of dollars out of pocket. LLC has made every effort to ensure that the information on this site is correct, but we cannot guarantee that it is free of inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. All content and services provided on or through this site are provided "as is" and "as available" for use. LLC makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of this site or to the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. You expressly agree that your use of this site is at your sole risk.