5 Most Dangerous Recreational Sports (with the most ER visits)


Whether hitting the driveway for a little roundball with your dad or joining an indoor rec league, consider that basketball is the second-most dangerous recreational sport in the U.S. -- tallying 528,584 emergency room visits in 2010.

And for the most part, it's teenagers filling the emergency rooms. Basketball is the most popular team sport for both boys and girls in the U.S. Over the past 20 years, participation is up more than 10 percent for boys and nearly 20 percent for girls [source: McKenzie].

Of the half a million trips to the ER, 49 percent were injuries sustained by those in the 15-to-24 age range, higher than any other sport on this list [source: NEISS].

In a 10-year study of the NEISS data, the most common reason for basketball players showing up at the ER? Sprains or strains to the lower extremities, like twisting an ankle, which accounted for 30 percent of the visits [source: McKenzie].

If there's a silver lining, it's this: Overall, injuries in the sport have decreased during the past 15 years. But that's no reason to throw caution to the wind.

So what made the top of the list? Grab a helmet and some spandex and embrace your inner Lance Armstrong.