There are many sports out there that are very physical and the chances of getting hurt or potentially killed in one of them increases every time that you participate in one of them. Some sports such as hockey are easy examples but there are some death traps out there that might not be so easy to spot upon first glance. Let’s take a look at some sports hazards that are lurking every corner whenever you decide to participate in them.


Alligators at Golf Courses



-There have been an estimated 376 injuries from 1948-2004 and 25 reported deaths since 1976 from alligators attacks. Statistics have proven that 10% of these injuries have occurred as a result of golfers trying to retrieve their golf balls in alligator-infested waters. Many golf courses in Florida and Louisiana are home to the American Alligator. Most golf courses are forced to hammer down signs that instruct golfers to be aware of Alligators that are present in the area but other than the signs there is not much that is keeping you from coming face-to-face with an alligator. As more and more golf courses are being built on alligator territory and less is being done to kill the reptiles due to animal conservation requirements; we urge people to never go into the water in these areas and to simply grab a new ball and continue playing with it and avoid the water at all costs.


Ice Hockey Skates



-Hockey is a violent sport. Players are allowed to check each other into the boards and fighting is legal with the only punishment being a 5 minute major for fighting and a trip to the penalty box. The most dangerous part about the sport isn’t the violence but the sharpened blades that the players skate on that can cut players in an instant. The double whammy being that most professional hockey players choose not to wear proper face masks or neck guards which leave their necks vulnerable to be slashed at any moment if a skate hits them. On February 10, 2008, Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik had his throat slashed when teammate Olli Jokinen’s skate flew up into the air and severed his carotid artery nearly killing him on the ice. The accident was very similar to an incident in 1989 when Buffalo Sabres goaltender Clint Malarchuk severed his jugular vein after being cut and required more than 300 stitches in order to close the wound. There have also been a few reported deaths in amateur hockey as a result of skate blades with the main reason being a lack of proper neck protection gear being worn by the players involved in the incident. Skate blades can easily kill you if you’re not wearing the proper protection but are a rare occurrence and with the proper equipment you can avoid becoming another statistic.


The Diving Board at a Swimming Pool



-Lots of people run to form a lineup as soon as the lifeguard blows his whistle and instructs the public that adult swim has ended and 30 minutes of diving board fun can resume. Diving board accidents have made a great past time by viewing idiots falling off their boards and hurting themselves on web sites such as youtube. The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission’s latest report in 2001 reported more than 10 000 diving board accidents with 15 spinal cord injuries resulting from swimming pool dives gone wrong. At the World Diving Championships in 2005, professional diver Chelsea Davis missed a key sequence in her dive and ended up hitting the diving board leaving her nose broken in 10 different places, a fractured cheek bone and a sprained neck. At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Olympic diver Greg Louganis suffered a concussion after hitting his head on the springboard during the preliminary rounds of the competition. Collisions with the diving board or platform are the leading cause of injury. Most injuries result from divers attempting a flip, handstand or backwards dive. It’s for this reason that many swimming pool manufacturers are no longer installing diving boards because of insurance risks and many residential swimming pools no longer feature a diving board due to safety concerns.


Lightning Strikes at Baseball Games



-There are no clear statistics on injuries or deaths as a result of lightning strikes at sporting events but a simple Google search with the words ‘lightning strike’ and ‘baseball’ show a clear distinction that lightning and baseball aren’t very compatible with one another. There are many factors that make baseball a target to lightning strikes such as the use of aluminum metal bats which attract lightning or the vast amount of open land that is needed to play the game which increases the likelihood of being a target if a lightning strike occurs. The easiest way to prevent being hit by lightning would be to simply stop playing the game and to seek shelter in case of a lightning strike but sometimes lightning can hit even if it isn’t raining and players feel that without rain there is little reason to stop playing and thus are increasing their chances of getting hit. Statistically, the chances of getting hit by lightning are rather low but the usage of metal objects , vast open spaces and trees nearby only help to increase the odds of making lightning at baseball games a hazard waiting to happen.


Cheerleading



-Girls shaking their pompoms and shouting catchy and inspirational chants may seem all cute and innocent but cheerleading is one of the deadliest sports hazards in North America. Sports such as football may produce more devastating injuries but cheerleading has caused 2.68 catastrophic injuries for every 100,000 female high school athletes which is much more devastating than many other high school sports including football. In 2002, there were nearly 23 000 cheerleaders that had to be treated at an emergency room in a hospital as a result of a cheerleading accident. Most injuries occur because of cheerleaders being thrown into the air and not landing properly resulting in neck injuries that can cause permanent paralysis. Most parents think of cheerleading as an activity when in fact it has transformed into a full-fledged athletic competition with lots of risks involved and very little safety regulations. You know cheerleading is a dangerous sport when the owner of a Mixed Martial Arts company is trying to get through bureaucratic red-tape to sanction fights in certain cities and is using the relatively low statistics on fight-related deaths and the increased risk of other sports such as cheerleading as a debatable issue to help further promote their own sport. You know cheerleading is dangerous when mixed martial arts is deemed safer then your sport. So the next time you see a cheerleader get thrown into the air; just remember that these people are trained athletes who are putting their lives at risk more than you think they are.

These are just a few examples that illustrate how dangerous some sports can be. We hope you enjoyed reading and look out for more sports articles very soon.

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