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Think football is the leading cause of injury in youth sports? Think again. There are actually more per year injuries in basketball, a sport many would consider a “limited-contact sport” or even a “non-contact sport”. Of course, there is no tackling in basketball, but most players do not wear any pads. And players quickly run up and down a small court, possibly even a side-court which is smaller than the 84-foot high school courts. With all that stopping and running, there is the threat of rolling an ankle or tearing an ACL.

Ankle and foot injuries are the most common kind of injury in basketball. Health Grove broke down the most common types of injuries by sport. They found head injuries are the most common injuries in rugby, skiing, horseback riding, lacrosse, hockey and baseball. In football, however, finger injuries are most common.

Yes, there is a risk for concussions in football, a higher risk than most sports. But soccer is starting to catch up.

With football being a predominantly male sport, soccer is the leading cause of concussion among girls’ sports. And, as a whole, there are more concussions in girls’ sports than boys’ sports. That same Washington Post article also notes the biggest risk for concussions at the collegiate athletics level came among women’s ice hockey players — not football players. Not to mention ACL tears are six times more likely in girls’ sports than boys’ sports. And most of those female athletes are not playing football.

Letting Your Kids Play Football isnt as Crazy as it Sounds...

Why Football? Perhaps football’s greatest benefit is its reputation as a no-cut sport — even in high school. Anyone can sign up to play football (granted they make the weight limit in youth football). And there’s not exactly a prototypical football player. Football is not a major skill sport either like baseball or basketball. If someone can’t hit a baseball or hit a shot, they’re essentially useless in those sports. But there are several different positions in football and more opportunities for a child to find somewhere they could excel — or at least play adequately.