Most Dangerous Sports for Girls |15 Sports

Young female athletes confront the ever-present possibility of injury when stepping onto the field, court, or mat. While the rewards of sports participation—confidence, health, fun, and friendship—are plentiful, certain pastimes pose heightened safety concerns for girls. Nearly 3 million girls age 14 and younger require emergency room care annually for sports-related injuries, with certain athletics topping the charts for greater danger.

We will tell you about the most dangerous sports for girls based on injury rates and potential impact. By highlighting the risks—from cheerleading’s strained ligaments to soccer’s concussions—our goal is twofold: spread awareness to parents and coaches while showcasing the growing need for safety progress. While no athletic endeavor is hazard-free, identifying and understanding specific threats enables production. Perhaps most importantly, we aim to inform and inspire the next generation of strong, confident, and resilient female athletes pursuing their passions.

These are the 15 Most Dangerous Sports for Girls

Roller Derby

Roller Derby, as the absolute most dangerous sport for girls, is an assertion that requires careful consideration. While Roller Derby is undoubtedly an intense and physically demanding sport, it’s important to recognize the diverse nature of athletic pursuits and their varying degrees of risk. 

Roller Derby stands out for its full-contact gameplay, where players actively engage in strategic blocking and jamming, leading to a higher potential for injuries such as bruises, sprains, and, occasionally, more severe impacts like fractures or concussions. 

It’s crucial to avoid generalizations and acknowledge that the perceived danger in Roller Derby is subjective. Many participants embrace the challenges and empowerment that Roller Derby offers, thriving in its unique combination of athleticism and camaraderie. 


Most Dangerous Sports for Girls

Labeling Motocross as the most dangerous sport for girls might be overgeneralized, but the inherent risks associated with this high-speed, off-road motorcycle racing are considerable. The sport’s dynamic nature, featuring jumps, sharp turns, and rugged terrains, introduces a heightened risk of accidents and injuries. Female motocross riders face challenges in navigating the demanding courses, where the combination of speed and unpredictable terrain can lead to severe crashes. 

The potential for injuries, including fractures, concussions, and soft tissue damage, is elevated due to the intense physical demands and the exposure to external elements. Motocross is traditionally male-dominated, and female riders’ relative lack of representation in the sport can pose additional challenges. 

Female riders may face stereotypes and assumptions about their capabilities, potentially influencing their confidence and safety on the track. Despite these risks, many female motocross riders embrace the sport, challenging norms and showcasing their skills. It underscores the importance of fostering inclusivity and safety measures within Motocross to create an environment where female riders can thrive while mitigating the inherent dangers of this exhilarating yet perilous sport.


Gymnastics is considered one of the most dangerous sports for girls due to the extreme hyperflexibility requirements and high-impact landings. Young female gymnasts, in particular, sustain injuries like bone fractures, ligament tears, spine issues, and severe wrist problems at alarming rates. The pressure to attempt risky flips and dismounts before bodies have fully matured leads to trauma. 

At elite levels, the combination of sparse body fat for lightness and delayed puberty from training stress leads to weakened bone density. Studies show female gymnasts sustain severe injuries at more than 2.5 times the rate of their male counterparts. The mental strain of perfectionism also cannot be ignored.

Gymnastics incorporates highly skillful yet risky maneuvers that strain young female athletes’ still-developing musculoskeletal systems. The platform for injury starts with the extreme flexibility requirements, where improper training too early causes overuse issues. But the biggest concerns revolve around the high-impact landings from flips and dismounts. Landings gone awry lead to countless sprains, fractures, and even spinal cord damage.


Most Dangerous Sports for Girls

Over the past two decades, cheerleading has rapidly transformed from sideline pep support to a hyper-athletic exhibition with complicated stunt work incorporated to wow spectators. But this shift to risky basket tosses, towering pyramids, dance hybrids, and intense tumbling passes has unsurprisingly led to ballooning injury patterns – especially for girls.

With the ultra-competitive, crowd appeal incentives now tied to cheer in echoing gymnastics, the incorporation of elite tricks presses younger kids to advance levels prematurely before developing suitable strength and experience. 

When failed basket catches or collapsed multi-layer stunts send adolescent girls falling from elevations, an epidemic of collisions, concussions, and broken wrists/ankles follows. The intense demands now placed on ever-younger cheerleaders help explain the nearly catastrophic rise in harm rates.


Girls soccer carries distinct injury risks as an open-field running sport pivoting and cutting on demand. The emphasis on sudden acceleration/deceleration while sprinting explodes knees, ankles, and hips over time. This shows in female soccer players suffering uniquely high ACL tears compared to other sports – often requiring reconstructive surgery. Concussions and lingering sub-concussive damage from aggressive headers remain issues, too.

Goalkeeper harm also earns unique mention, with various wounds tied to diving toward shots on hard surfaces. Yet even for field players, the accumulation of small impacts and wear-and-tear from stiff tackles and grounds adds up by adolescence for many girls. Some contend soccer’s injury patterns explain why elite US women peak earlier than their counterparts globally. The risks have escalated alongside a faster pace of play and surging female participation rates.


Most Dangerous Sports for Girls

The modern girls prep game captures basketball’s play-through-pain ethos for elite prospects pressured to make national travel teams. The aggressive box-outs, physical drives, dive scrambles, and rim attacks take a cumulative toll. Knee trauma stands out, with ACL tears, sprains, and overuse-related issues plaguing players. 

Ankles, too, succumb easily to rolls and strains. Concussive and sub-concussive consequences of high-energy collisions, elbow shots, and hardwood contacts also dot injury reports regularly. 

Yet basketball harm extends beyond just street ball’s visible acute damage. The more insidious villains involve overtraining and neglecting rest in combating biological realities. With youth participation up over 200% in the last 20 years, the basketball machine exploits the young female body’s limitations in search of an edge.


Volleyball may lack overt contact, but its repetitive explosive jumping and hard court surface pounding render attritional injuries an expectation over time. The considerable rate of shoulder dislocations, worn labrums, and back pain tie directly to excessive swinging. Danger shows up elsewhere, too, with ankle sprains plaguing aggressive players.

The volleyball requirement of perpetual anticipatory athleticism predisposes adolescents to collisions and failed split adjustments, contributing to facial/head wounds. Experts also cite the growing focus on specialization for girls volleyball beginning at young ages when the body remains vulnerable to overuse as deeply concerning. The path to playing above nets demands paying a tax of harm. 

Ice Hockey

Most Dangerous Sports for Girls

Ice hockey requires players to exhibit strength, coordination, and physicality for a sport contested atop frozen blades at high velocities. The reliance on brute force checking against boards and into opponents while maneuvering a small rubber disc guarantees harm. Concussions present as the most obvious acute threat via incidental falls, collisions at speed with other skaters, and illegally aggressive body checks.

But hockey’s dangers run deeper than just visible brain injuries. The rapid start/stop skating places strain on still-developing musculoskeletal systems. Overuse disorders like tendinitis, muscle tears, and stress fractures concentrate on shoulders, knees, and backs. 

The priority on bulky safety pads also raises heat illness risks. It hinders mobility for young athletes struggling to keep pace and specifically avoid catastrophic contact from older male-checking prodigies. When considering hockey’s entanglement of contact, pacing, and endurance challenges, few sports appear better designed to overwhelm youth.


Lacrosse sits poised for exponential growth in girls participation thanks to blending components familiar to fans of several traditional team ball sports popular domestically. Yet lacrosse’s distinctive reliance on stick skills, running pace, and physical checking also courts distinct patterns of harm. 

Hand and wrist fractures concentrate unsurprisingly due to routine offensive play and defensive stick swats gone awry.

But more critically, field lacrosse demonstrates injury rates on par with girls basketball for torn ACL knee ligaments thanks to the cuts, dodges, and abrupt halts essential to attack schemes. 

Then, the additional factor of permitted body checks and collisions transfers direct force to still structurally developing adolescent frames in the name of turnover pursuit, again inviting concussions. As participation booms, lacrosse seems destined to climb charts ranking aggregate injury totals among young female student-athletes.



Part gladiator arena and part careful chess match, women’s rugby continues gaining traction thanks to embodying team pursuit dynamics and physical sacrifice central to American identity. Yet that full-throttle ethos comes with a tax paid in short and long-term health impacts from ferocious play without modern football-style protective accessories. 

Concussions unsurprisingly lead to concerns resulting from excessive high-energy collisions, but dislocated shoulders, ligament tears, and even fractures occur frequently as well on the irregular natural grass terrain. Experts worry about young girls facing hit forces from larger, stronger opponents that growing skeletons struggle to absorb safely. 

Even with proper tackles taught emphasizing leverage over brute strength, front-row players experience plenty of scrums for ball possession, inflicting internal damage unseen as adolescents willingly test developing durability in service to the team. Like football, before research intervened, swelling female rugby participation trends warrant similar injury monitoring, and culture critiques should validate harm rates where observable play suggests trends will emerge.


Boxing is an intensely physical combat sport that involves direct blows to the head, leading to concerning short and long-term health outcomes. The core mechanics of boxing center around repeatedly striking opponents to score points and achieve knockouts—delivered via jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts. 

Throughout a fight, boxers can absorb hundreds of damaging hits that leave cuts, break noses and jaws, and cause swelling. However, the larger worry involves the cumulative effects of routine headshots. Evidence suggests years of sparring, bag work, and damage lead to impaired cognitive function and neurological conditions later in life. 

Punch drunk syndrome, depression, and increased vulnerabilities to diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s plague former fighters. The singular brutality and lonely nature of boxing explain why so many consider it among the most dangerous sports once health impacts are fully weighed.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

As an unpredictable hybrid fight sport permitting punches, kicks, elbows, knees, and submission holds both standing and grounded, MMA provides a conduit for major acute trauma. The freedom to utilize nearly all combat techniques means matches burst with nonstop, high-impact exchanges that often overwhelm injury-prevention oversight. 

Broken bones, dislocated joints, gashes needing stitches, and worrisome concussions constitute common occurrences. Like boxing, the long-term consequences of repeated head strikes also cast a shadow—made more concerning by MMA’s lack of rest rounds and enhanced knockout emphasis. 

The impacts tend to be more varied and unexpected compared to single-discipline pursuits. Evidence already links MMA with an increased risk of developing various neurodegenerative disorders later in life due to chronic traumatic encephalopathy triggers. The sport’s safety remains hotly debated.


With origins tied to essential cattle ranching duties, rodeo has always carried immense, uncontrolled risk. Top riders compete across events like bull/bronco riding, roping, racing, and wrestling designed to mimic hazardous real working conditions. 

The up-close involvement with wildly bucking 1-ton beasts guarantees bone fractures, ligament ruptures, and other injuries, even with flawless technique. Head/neck traumas represent the gravest threat when riders hit dirt or get stomped afterward.

The harm rates indeed reveal the rodeo’s reckless nature. Estimates suggest rodeo athletes sustain catastrophic injuries at a rate 15 times higher than football linemen despite far lower participation levels. Long bone breaks requiring surgery remain almost commonplace. 

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing presents multifaceted risks largely dependent on style and equipment usage. Free solo climbers rejecting ropes and pitons in favor of raw athletic grace and grip strength tempt fate the most. Though rare, collapsed handholds or momentary miscues send these daredevils plunging hundreds of feet to certain doom below. 

Yet even with safety ropes anchoring falls, climbers sometimes land awkwardly on protruding rocks, causing nasty gashes and bone fractures—especially ankles and wrists. Fatigue over long ascents also invites accidents. Then, the inherent environmental hazards are associated with vertical mountain terrain—erratic weather shifts, hypothermia, altitude sickness, rock slides, etc. 

Head wounds, particularly, trouble climbers, whether from loose falling debris or involuntary wall collisions. All these factors explain why most fail to summit Mt. Everest with ample assistance…and why climbers clinging sideways to sheer faces with little assurance can indeed be classified among the extreme risk-takers of the world. The element of mental fortitude pushes boundaries greatly.


What many perceive as the ultimate thrill sport does come assured with intrinsic risk baked into exiting airplanes above 13,000 feet and plunging earthward at speeds exceeding 120mph. Veteran skydivers mitigate the chances of catastrophic disaster via obsessive equipment checks, altitude awareness, stable body positioning, and mastered emergency response protocols. 

However, equipment failures, accidental parachute collapse upon deployment, or entanglements in other jumpers’ lines still claim lives at roughly 10-20 per 100,000 jumps annually. While skydiving fatalities have decreased thanks to advanced parachutes and automatic activation devices, deaths attributed to landing errors and post-exit aircraft collisions persist in exposing the sport’s inherent danger that training can only minimize—not eliminate. 

The immense presence of mind and supreme athleticism required to stick touchdown techniques puts skydivers in an injury-prone position. The fear factor driving skydiving danger cannot be discounted either…it intrinsically beckons only those unusually attracted to and comfortable with flirting with potential self-destruction.


In the end, sports producing hyperextension, elevated leaping, and direct collision prove most damaging to girls and young women still gaining functional strength. Noncontact knee injuries cause the greatest long-term impairment potential for active lifestyles. Still, whether skill training versus pressure for game performance predominately drives injury rates remains unclear. 

Likely, both contribute. While banning youth sports seems reactionary, establishing safety baselines could help govern limits until athletes develop mature movement patterns. Ongoing research on female athletic health seeks to inform best practices regarding safe participation.


Do Most Girls Sports Injuries Occur during Practices or Games?

Studies reveal that the majority of injuries happen during actual practices rather than competition events. However, injury severity tends to be worse during gameplay due to heightened intensity.

What Percentage of Girls High School Sports Injuries are Severe?

Approximately 10-15% of injuries to girls playing school sports result in at least ten days of activity loss, reflecting moderately serious trauma like fractures, torn ligaments, etc.

Can Cross-Training in other Sports Prevent Overuse Injuries for Girls?

Yes, varying athletic pursuits using different movement patterns and loading on the body aids injury prevention through balanced strength development.

Are Sport-Specialized Girls at Greater Injury Risk?

Yes, research data shows adolescent female athletes playing only a single sport year-round sustain considerably more overuse-type injuries.

Should Female-Specific Injury Risks Alter the Rules of Girls Sports?

Potentially yes – for example, swapping headers for foot passes in girls’ soccer to prevent heading concussions merits consideration as policy shifts.

Asmran Ahmad
Asmran Ahmad

Asmran Ahmad is founder of A passionate sports and esports enthusiast with a deep love for sharing knowledge. With years of experience in the industry, Asmran A. recognized the need for a comprehensive platform that caters to both sports and esports fans, offering them a one-stop destination for the latest information, analysis, and engaging content.

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