Monday, December 21, 2009


After playing a game of basketball yesterday afternoon, I became curious to know how rates of injury in basketball stacked up against rates of injury in the martial arts. It seems that basketball is actually quite a bit more dangerous.

I'm a little puzzled by this table, though. Surely they don't mean to suggest that a full 54.8 percent of American cheerleaders ended up in the emergency room in 1998?

I can't vouch for the methodology, since obviously these numbers don't make sense at all, but it does seem to be suggest that people who do martial arts (as a broad, undifferentiated category) are less likely to be seriously injured than people who play basketball, soccer, football, or softball. Volleyball and weight-lifting, too, would seem to be riskier. Predictably, rugby and and hockey involve very high rates of injuries. Less predictably, "Track & Field" appears to be nearly lethal: You'd have to be mad to get messed up in that world.

Very strangely, it appears to be safer to take up the martial arts than to take up dancing.

Anyway, I'm glad to report that I made it off the basketball court unharmed. I had no idea how much danger I was in.


  1. Claire,
    As a former gymnast and cheer leader often times we would "gut it out" rather than go to the ER, as we didn't have the "trainer" that the basketball or football team did. We would tape our own ankles, wrists etc. Our motto was "no blood, no foul" or more likely, "no bone poking out, no ER trip". Love the blog, just recently started following you, had to go back and read some of the older posts. I am on the waiting list at my small town library for your book. (I was rather startled that 1. we had a copy and 2. it was already out) Hope to get to read it before school starts up again.
    Merry Christmas.

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