Top 10 Most Dangerous Sports

Some sports are more exciting than others. Some sports make you feel the speed, the thrill, and the rush of pushing your limits. But these sports also come with a price. They can be dangerous, even deadly. You never know when something can go wrong, and when it does, it can be fatal. Injuries and deaths are common in some sports, but not in others.

That's why we asked you to vote for the most dangerous sports in the world. We wanted to know which sports you think are the most risky and why, and we've ranked the top ten most dangerous sports based on your opinions. These are the sports that can give you the ultimate challenge, but also the ultimate risk.
The Top Ten
1 Bull Riding Bull riding is a rodeo sport that involves a rider getting on a bucking bull and attempting to stay mounted while the animal tries to buck off the rider.American bull riding has been called "the most dangerous eight seconds in sports." To receive a score, the rider must stay atop the bull for eight... read more

I agree with this being the most dangerous because you are working with an animal that is like 1,500 pounds or even more. They do not speak human language and are probably not that happy, being inherently very aggressive by nature. They also have a lot of testosterone.

Don't get me wrong, I do barrel racing, and I do believe that horseback riding is dangerous as well. But with bull riding, you get slammed around in and out of the gate. You have seconds to react once hitting the floor to not get stepped on, charged, or even thrown. Even hitting the floor, you risk broken bones or maybe even worse depending on how you land.

There was a death of a rider, Mason Lowe, who died from injuries at a Denver event where a bull stomped on his chest and crushed his ribs. In 2021, Amadeu Silva was killed at an event in California when he got caught underneath a bull.

2 Horseback Riding Horseback riding (or Equestrian) is one of the most intense sports known to man. Not only because it's physically challenging, but it takes more than athleticism. Horseback riding takes commitment, time, patience, and most importantly building a bond with your horse. If you don't have a good relationship... read more

And of course, the farm where I work has a couple of donkeys and mules. I have tried riding one of the mules. His name was Roo. He was mostly safe to ride, but when it came to gaits, that's when he became wild. His trot was incredibly bouncy. When you ride both English and Western like I do, you may notice a difference. He straight-up wanted to go faster while cantering.

Once, when I was herding sheep, he ran faster than any of the dogs. However, he remained calm, and I was riding bareback the whole time. Quite a feat, I have to say.

Whether you are on a horse or another equine animal, these are things you need to look out for. Not all of them are quick thinkers or have a calm demeanor.

3 Cheerleading Cheerleading is a sport and performance activity that combines elements of dance, gymnastics, and acrobatics. Originating in the United States, it has evolved significantly over the years, moving beyond the traditional role of leading cheers for sports teams to become a highly competitive activity in... read more

Here's to the people who say cheerleading isn't a sport and that cheerleaders aren't athletes. The very definition of a sport is, and I quote, "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature." We practice just as much as you do: every day of the week for two hours.

We condition, we run, we do ab workouts, push-ups, and planks. No, we don't lift weights. We lift our athletes - and we hold them 10-15 feet in the air until our arms shake and our legs quiver. Don't underestimate the flyers either. We have more muscle than you seem to think.

The amount of balance, leg muscle, and core strength it takes to stay in the air is unbelievable to someone who has never done it before. We run full speed at nothing, then flip in the air, twist, and land on our feet. We jump. We jump high - without a trampoline. We concentrate on pointed toes, extended legs, tight arms, jump height, facial expressions, and smiling.

Ever based a basket toss? You get blood blisters on your hands. Softball-sized bruises start to appear as if by magic. As for the flyers, if you're not tight, expect to have your back jammed into your base's knee. Don't forget about the backspots. We are the lifeguards of cheerleading. We save lives every day. We get concussions, get hit, and get rammed into the ground. Without us, your flyers would be injured.

Sprained ankles, broken fingers, and pulled muscles don't slow us down. You practice like it doesn't hurt. Now you have 2.5 minutes on a paneled mat. You have 1,000 people in the crowd every time you go on that floor. Four judges. Two and a half minutes of intense physical activity, and we make it look easy. Perfection doesn't exist, but we strive for it anyway. You hit or you miss. Toes weren't pointed? Deduction. Didn't stick your tumbling? Deduction. Stunt didn't hit? Deduction.

You all think we're prissy girls who always have to have perfect hair and makeup. You're wrong. At... more

4 Gymnastics Gymnastics is a sport involving the performance of exercises requiring strength, flexibility, balance and control.

I was in gymnastics for nine years and had many minor injuries, but also some serious ones. It's a difficult and super dangerous sport. When I was 14, I fractured my wrist so badly that doctors thought they might have to amputate it from my elbow down.

Luckily, I managed to undergo three emergency surgeries and came out of my four-day hospital stay with my arm intact. I know a lady who had to have both kneecaps replaced due to all the damage from gymnastics over the years. I have weak wrists and knees now, but I'd do it all over again if I could.

I recommend this sport for both males and females. It teaches you discipline, balance, flexibility, coordination, teamwork, and more. It's demanding but well worth it.

5 Football American football is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end.

I remember a friend who was in tennis telling me about how everyone in his tennis group was so exhausted after doing a workout. Well, us guys on the football team had that same workout a week or two before. In full pads, in 90-degree weather, and we did three of them. I get that cheer and dance and other sports like that are a lot harder than they look, but none of them are quite like football. You have to either avoid losing the ball while being hit by guys well over six feet and 250 pounds, or you have to block and tackle them. There are so many little things you have to get right, in addition to the overall physicality. Try memorizing 5-10 formations, 20-40 plays, dozens of assignments, and that's just at the low level of football I'm at.

Now for other sports on the list. Hockey? Please. You get put in the time-out corner if you commit a penalty, whereas in football, you could get penalized, ejected, suspended, or fined (possibly all four). I do have to give respect to their players because they are pretty tough guys. Cheer? You kidding me? Granted, it is harder than it might seem, but it is nowhere near as taxing or difficult as football. Half the cheerleaders I've seen just stand around and wave their pompoms. It's similar with dance. Gymnastics? I know several gymnasts who have never shown or spoken of any injuries. Stay in good condition and it will be a lot safer (this is from a friend who is a gymnast). How did lacrosse and skydiving make the list? Lacrosse players don't suffer injuries half as frequently or as severe as football players. With skydiving, injuries are very easily preventable and I have never heard of too many fatalities from it.

Football is one of the hardest sports to play. Injuries are frequent and sometimes deadly, and you have to have a lot of brainpower to play the game. It's not for the faint of heart.

6 Boxing Boxing is a martial art and combat sport in which two people wearing protective gloves throw punches at each other for a predetermined set of time in a boxing ring..

If you don't respect boxers, get a life or maybe a brain. These are guys who wear no protective gear and punch each other's lights out. You have to be tough or crazy to be a boxer.

They put their lives on the line every time they step into the ring. Easily one of the most dangerous sports ever.

Unlike most sports that require pads, boxing and MMA are pretty much raw fighting with just gloves and shorts. Unlike other sports where causing someone injury isn't always intentional, boxing and MMA are sports where people are really trying to hurt their opponent. I think purposely trying to hurt someone is worse than doing it by accident.

Motocross, bull riding, and horse riding are activities that I do not consider to be sports, only because they require little to no actual physical activity. Cheerleaders don't wear pads either, so they can have that, but most of the injuries caused are unintentional. That's why I think boxing and MMA are the most dangerous sports.

7 Hockey

Alright, I've been playing hockey for 3 years (now in the midget league), and each year I went to the hospital at least once: broken bones, fractures, sprains. I'm lucky! I could have had some bad concussions or had my throat slit by a blade. It's rough, and some people go out to hurt people. On ice, it's hard. Look what happened just the other week: Habs vs. Bruins, Chara. That happens more often than you think. That was just serious. You never know what can happen.

Horseback riding is dangerous too. I do it. Maybe not as dangerous, but soccer? Come on, seriously? Put some hockey players on the ice with just shin pads, and you'll see what happens then! We've broken the glass three times this year with pucks - a midget team! They're hard rubber and go fast. Maybe not number 1, but ahead of soccer? I think so.

8 Rugby

I come from a small province in New Zealand with fewer than 100,000 people living in it. In the last year, two people died and one was paralyzed playing rugby just in my province. That's not including the countless broken bones, concussions, and other injuries.

In rugby, if you run straight at someone and have a head knock, you're going to have a bad time. If you are in the middle of a ruck and the other team starts stomping with cleats, you're going to have a bad time. If you're in a maul and it collapses on you, you're going to have a bad time.

Rugby is bad if you want to be safe. This list irritates me because people vote for their favorite sport, not the most dangerous one. My favorite sport is cricket, which is pretty dangerous but not as bad as rugby. So, don't vote for sports like soccer. Vote for rugby because it's dangerous.

9 Motocross

Motocross is arguably the hardest sport due to the treacherous tracks. Several competitors have lost their lives from a single fatal error: slipping and then falling, causing a domino effect that involves others. I personally jumped high over a crash only to collide with the track's border, sustaining fractures in my arms from the walls and in my left leg from the dirt bike's weight.

About 30 people were in the race, and over half were involved in the crash. Although I was the eighth person to crash, I don't remember anything after the incident. I was told that 19 people crashed and five died. Most were injured, but the severity of their injuries was unclear. Eleven people were in the back and managed to stop before reaching the crash site. They witnessed the aftermath but did not see the initial cause.

The race was canceled, but the winnings were posthumously awarded to the five who died, acknowledging their skill and proximity to the end of the race. It was a tragic event. Though I can't recall the exact date now that I'm older, the memory of the accident remains vivid. So, for those skeptical of motocross's dangers, I urge you to experience it firsthand.

10 Wrestling Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds.

My brother has wrestled ever since he was four years old. He is 11 now and has had many injuries. He had to get a staple in the back of his head because he was thrown head-first into a table. He has also popped his elbow out of place when someone was arm-barring/chicken-winging him.

I have wrestled for 4.5 to 5 years, and even though I am a female wrestler, I have popped my knee out of place, gotten a few bloody noses, black eyes, and been thrown so hard I couldn't breathe. Wrestling is a tough sport for anyone.

A wrestler has to remember all the moves they have learned and know when to execute them. They also have to persevere through the three matches they have, whether or not they are winning, because there is always a chance. I believe that wrestling should be in the top three, but that's just my opinion.

The Contenders
11 Lacrosse Lacrosse is a contact team sport played between two teams using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick.

Every lacrosse game, you're nearly guaranteed to have at least one serious injury. In our last game, we had to stop 12 seconds early when one of the kids on the other team got sandwiched hard. Concussion. Dislocated shoulder. The whole shebang. We called in the ambulance, and the kid didn't remember half of it the next day. The best part: it was a completely legal hit.

Today, our goalie got knocked unconscious by a hit. A guy got hit in the throat with a cross-check. Have you ever been hit in the throat by a guy sprinting at you? All we could do was watch him squirm on the ground, struggling for air. Meanwhile, one of the guys on the other team took a shot on goal and hit our teammate straight in the head. That knocked him out for a little bit too.

12 Parkour

I challenge anyone to explain how activities like falling off a horse, being tackled by a large opponent, performing high flips, executing gymnastic handstands, and fighting are considered more dangerous than parkour. Parkour involves jumping between buildings over ten stories high and executing acrobatics on solid concrete. If you underestimate parkour's dangers, you're severely mistaken.

I recently began training in parkour and freerunning, and despite only starting a few weeks ago (plus watching numerous professional videos), I already foresee the high risk of severe injury. Whether it's climbing thin fences with minimal support or leaping across large gaps, the dangers are evident. Parkour, with its high risk of severe, life-altering injuries for the slightest mistakes, should top the list of dangerous hobbies.

13 Skydiving

It's extremely rare for a parachute to just "not open," and it is usually the result of careless packing when it happens. You also have a reserve that has to be packed by an FAA-certified rigger. Not to mention your AAD that automatically fires if you become incapacitated.

Non-jumpers don't realize that almost everyone who is killed or injured skydiving does so underneath a fully open and functional parachute. People don't die from equipment malfunction. People die when they get careless, complacent, or cocky and do something stupid underneath their canopy.

14 Mixed Martial Arts Mixed martial arts is a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports and martial arts.

Let's compare a small horse-riding jockey to a lightweight MMA fighter. The MMA fighter would have enough strength to hold on to and control a horse, while the jockey would stand no chance in a fight. They're fragile compared to any MMA fighter and would get smashed! MMA fighters can take a hit and would have more than three times as much chance of surviving a fall from a horse as any jockey. MMA fighters can kill with their bare hands!

First, let's see if any MMA fighter can ride a horse on a track without falling off. Then let's pit any jockey against an MMA fighter in a full-fledged match and see how long the jockey lasts. Jockeys can't beat MMA fighters!

15 Free Climbing

Rock climbing is easily one of the most dangerous sports out there. When you're on belay, you're relying on your equipment and abilities to stay alive, along with other people, especially your belayer, who literally has your life in their hands. If a piece of equipment breaks, or a rope snaps, you're dead.

Free soloing is even more dangerous, without any equipment to break your fall. Many companies such as Cliff don't even sponsor many free climbers anymore, though many have amazing skills such as Alex Honnold. If you rate it out of one-third between climbing and other sports measuring how dangerous they are, climbing will be sure to surpass the other sports by far.

I love climbing and am extremely passionate about it, but it is extremely risky.

16 Base Jumping

Much harder than it looks, easily number one. You must make a jump, and then steering is extremely difficult to control. If you don't steer well, you will run into the edge of the cliff and die.

You must open the parachute at the right angle, time, and place if you want to stay alive. Then, you must control your para-suit so that you land in the correct spot.

The landing is also very dangerous. You could get seriously injured.

Famed base jumpers like Steve Sutton died only one year ago from a miscalculation in his wingsuit, striking an alpine ridge at approximately 150 mph. His body was so severely damaged that DNA tests needed to be executed to determine it was his body.

More people than you think have met their demise through base jumping. It's an incredibly dangerous sport and profession. Anyone is susceptible.

17 Rugby League Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, league, rugby or football , is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field.

In rugby, people are intentionally trying to bring you down, plus you have no protection. Getting stepped on by a 180-pound man with cleats doesn't feel good. Yes, sports like motocross are dangerous, but in motocross, people aren't trying to hurt you.

For every rugby game you play, there is a guarantee that you will be sore, and if you're lucky, you won't be injured. Imagine running at full speed and then having another person running full speed tackle you from the side. The impact on your spine and ribs is brutal.

It knocks the breath out of you and makes you feel like throwing up, but you have to keep running and keep tackling. Rugby is not for the weak, and it is dangerous, no doubt. Not as dangerous as skydiving, but certainly more dangerous than soccer, cheerleading, and motocross!

18 Surfing Surfing is a surface water sport in which the wave rider, referred to as a surfer, rides on the forward or deep face of a moving wave, which is usually carrying the surfer towards the shore.

Anything could happen to you when surfing. It could be a normal day and you go for a wave and fall, and this time you hit your head on a rock or sandbar. It is unpredictable.

Just the slightest shift in the wind can decide whether you'll come out the way you went in. Your board could pop up and hit you. You can cut your face, foot, leg, etc. You can get held underwater and drown.

And then, of course, there are sharks and other fish in the water that could mistake you for a meal. Surfing is so unpredictable, which makes it such a dangerous sport.

19 Mountaineering

How is this not at number 1 or close to that? Okay, cheerleaders, see you on the mountain. Let's really put you to the test.

So basically, to start out, you save up a few thousand just to start. Then you fly 5,000 miles or so to your destination. Then you take a never-ending hike up the mountains and through all the villages with 30 pounds on your back the entire way.

Finally, you make it to the mountain, out of breath and sweaty but cold. As time goes on, air becomes more and more of a need until you're taking 20 steps with one breath. You can't even enjoy yourself once you get to the top because you have to rush back down due to the lack of oxygen. This may sound like it's a two- or three-day trip. Try two or three weeks, or even months depending on the weather. You stick to your competitions. We will stick to our goals to survive.

20 Cliff Diving

Cliff diving is quite dangerous if you don't know how to land, but at the same time, it's quite fun. I've been cliff diving before, and it was amazing. People should just be aware of their surroundings: rocks, shallow waters - you get the point.

Diving in general is dangerous. If you do it wrong, you can get seriously hurt!

Jumping from a high cliff can give you a thrill... or a heart attack.

21 Racing

Of course it's a sport. It's in the sports pages, not the real estate pages. The brainless "not a sport" claim is actually meant to suggest that it's not an athletic endeavor.

And it is a brainless claim to say that maintaining forceful yet precise and lightning-fast control of the car for over an hour, when g-forces are peeling the muscles off your bones at all times and the engine is roasting you, doesn't require superb fitness. Anyway, the American College of Sports Medicine studied this argument and put it to bed, saying that top race drivers are in fact "elite athletes."

22 Dance

Besides the twelve-hour practices, dancers are constantly working. We have six-day weeks most weeks, all year round. Dancers never stop training.

Injuries are common. Most will work through broken toes or torn muscles. I'm not going to compare dance to cheer, gymnastics, or figure skating because I believe we all deserve the top of the list.

Dance is both an art and a sport. Bodies are destroyed by dance for the greatest reason: passion. Dancers are incredibly flexible and have incredible core and leg strength. Most other sports have padding or only operate for one season, but not dance. Our work is without protection, all day, every year round.

23 Mountain Biking

Not just specifically mountain biking but DOWNHILL/FREERIDE. It's the most intense sport I do and definitely the most exhilarating. Snowboarding does not produce the same amount of adrenaline (yes, not just groomers but the terrain park).

One slip-up and it's very easy to get injured. Even more dangerous than motocross, in my opinion. DH is a growing sport and you will definitely hear about it in the future.

Should be number one. Obviously, people haven't been stupid enough to try it, eh guys? That moment when you do a jump off a small cliff and you fall, you stand up with your hand feeling bruised. You brush it off, ride down the hill with your bike, and later the next day find out you broke your hand.

We pretend we are not hurt on mountain bikes, unlike football where they cry over a graze.

24 Free Diving

Whoever thinks freediving isn't dangerous, think again! Holding your breath for five minutes while swimming down to 70+ meters on a single breath of air in shark-infested waters! For starters, an average human will pass out after three minutes with no oxygen to the brain.

A depth of 70 meters is a very long way down and requires as much mental strength as physical strength to reach it. "Horses are an unpredictable animal." Do you know what else is an unpredictable animal that is much more dangerous than a horse? Sharks. Consider this: what would you rather do - be 50 meters underwater with a great white shark swimming up to you, or racing a horse?

25 Luge

Wow, luge is after walking? This is one of the most dangerous sports ever! If you flip over, have fun scraping your face off, and God knows what else.

You go incredibly fast and you have little handholds to grab onto. If you slip, there go your fingers!

If you do flip and go sailing through the air, no one knows if you'll land without busting your head wide open, or worse, death! How is walking more dangerous?!

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