11 Injury-Prone High School Sports

At most gymnastics facilities and meets, there are athletic trainers who help condition the athletes, as well as a sports medicine trainer to help treat injuries.

When a gymnast suffers minor pain or weakness on their joints, they are often asked to tape their ankle, knee or elbow to give it extra support. However, taping does have its limitations for a competing gymnast.

"[When you] tape an ankle, your range of motion is limited," Bakke stated. "You can't point your toes."

"You're gaining something, but giving something up as well."


When Tonia Speicher came in to school, John McDonough, athletic director for Boston Latin School in Boston, Mass., thought she had messed up her eyeliner and mascara.

It turned out that Speicher, a junior at Boston Latin School and midfielder for the girls' soccer team had developed two black eyes from an accident that occurred during one of her soccer games.

"I was heading the ball [and] the other girl was also heading," Speicher recalled. "We were facing each other," which resulted in a nasty head collision between the two players.

Speicher ended up getting what she described as "a giant egg on my forehead... which progressively turned into two black eyes" and damage to her nose.

Racoon eyes were not the only casualty that Speicher had endured from being part of the soccer team. Over the summer, she had participated in summer-league soccer, where she sprained her ankle.

Others on the Boston Latin School girls' soccer team also sustained sprained ankles. Two members sustained even more serious injuries; one had a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), while the other suffered a medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear.

Soccer injuries are not uncommon. According to The National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study for the 2007-2008 school year, a study released by National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), there were over 400 soccer injuries among all girls' soccer athletes, an injury rate of 2.35 per 1,000 athletes.

Common injuries seen among athletes who play soccer include those that affect the ankles and shins, according to Bob Rausch, athletic trainer for St. John's High School in Shrewsbury, Mass.

Rauch has also witnessed a soccer player getting a fractured collar bone during a game. The sophomore star got knocked down and landed on his shoulder.

To prevent such injuries from happening, athletic trainers like Rausch help prepare these high school athletes through exercises which include strength-training in the school's own weight room.

"The stronger [the athletes] are, the less prone to injury they are," said Rausch.

As for treatment, there are several tools that high schools have to diminish the pain that accompanies a sports injury. Among these are a supply of ice and a whirlpool for hot-cold treatment, which has been proven to be an effective technique for treating injuries as well as muscle stimulation and ultrasounds.

The results from such treatment are significant.

"Discoloration [from bruises] is decreased," said Rausch. "And decreased swelling [is observed]."

Ice Hockey

Played by both men and women, ice hockey may be the most dangerous high school sport.

Ice hockey is played by significantly fewer students than play football, with over 36,500 men and just over 8,600 women playing the sport in 2007-08, according to the NFHS, but they were likely to be injured at a higher rate.

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