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The Riskiest Sports in the World

March 23, 2017

Do you have a need for speed? A high for heights? An eye for the ball? Or do you just want to wallop someone and take them down to the ground? Calling all adrenaline junkies, our high-octane, high-danger and high-flying infographic contains all the stats on some of the riskiest sports in the world. Disclaimer: this is not for the faint-hearted!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a BASE jumper! If you’ve watched the remake of the action-packed movie Point Break, you should know that BASE jumping is officially a thing. In fact, that mind-blowing wingsuit scene is the real deal. For those who are unaware of the sport or haven’t seen the movie, it involves parachuting or wingsuiting from any fixed structure, including buildings, antenna, spans (bridges) and earth (usually cliffs) – hence the acronym BASE. This can be incredibly risky due to the proximity to the ground, the structure itself and often other hazards below. The numbers show that 1 in every 750 jumps is fatal. Head to our infographic to find out the risk percentage and how many people have died from BASE jumping since 1981.

F1 is the fastest form of motor racing, whereby drivers in the world’s most highly engineered vehicles attempt to cross the finish line first. It’s also good news for fans of the sport as the 2017 season is about to begin in Australia in the coming weeks. At speeds of over 200mph and with up to 25 cars on the track at the same time, collisions and accidents are pretty commonplace and are often deadly. As a matter of fact, there is a 1 in 100 chance of dying and an 85% risk of injury. Overall, there have been as many as 51 deaths since 1952. Back in 2014, it shocked the world when F1 legend Michael Schumacher was in a comatose state after a skiing injury, especially after emerging out of several hazardous races unscathed. The same can’t be said for Jules Bianchi, who is the most recent driver to be fatally injured during a Grand Prix. He died in July 2015, nine months after sustaining severe head injuries during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

Over the years, skydiving has become hugely popular among thrill seekers. It involves transitioning from a high point to earth through a controlled descent and the use of a parachute, usually from a plane or BASE structure. The sport occurs globally with its fair share of risks, commonly including non-deployment of the parachute, mid-air collisions and landing injuries. Drowning and electrocution are also part of the risk. There is a 1 per 100,000 chance of fatality when taking the plunge. Our infographic will tell you how many deaths have occurred worldwide since 2004.

Boxing is the full contact combat sport followed and bet on all over the world, wherein two fighters wearing protective gloves throw punches and attempt to score points or knock their opponent out. Unfortunately, those protective gloves don’t do much when it comes to the risk of head injury or brain trauma, which is quite high at 55%, due to the speed and ferocity of the hits. In truth, any blow to the head always carries the risk of a problem, that’s why an average of ten boxers die a year from head injuries.

There’s always a risk with any blow to the head, whether it’s delivered by a boxing glove or a rugby player’s knee, which is why rugby is also on our list of riskiest sports. It’s a 15-a-side game primarily played in the UK, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, France, Italy, and New Zealand, where players use their hands and feet to try and carry the ball over the opponent’s try line to score points. The high impact sport revolves around tackling players head on without much protection. In Invictus, the 2009 biographical drama film based on Nelson Mandela’s life during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, the sport is referred to as “a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen.” With all the savage tackles and good sportsmanship displayed during major tournaments which you can wager on, it’s hard to not be entertained.

Have you ever dreamed of conquering a mountain? High altitude climbing involves mountaineering at extreme altitudes to reach some of the highest summits on the planet, with Everest being the best known. The risks at high altitudes are very severe, with little oxygen and extreme weather systems making the likelihood of injury or death very real. Ever heard of the ‘Death Zone’? That is the area above 8,000 metres. So, how many people have died attempting to climb Everest? Having a 90% risk percentage, they even made a film about it. What about all the other mountains around the world?

It sure seems like risky sports makes for good television, but which one of these recreational activities is the most dangerous sport in the world? Head to our infographic for more stats, fatalities and injuries!

About the author

Eric Roberts
Eric Roberts

Sports Journalist

Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.