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Top 10 Most Dangerous Sports In The World


Broken bones, comas, paralysis, and even death are all potential outcomes of playing some of the world’s most dangerous sports.

Here at PledgeSports, we’ve helped athletes and teams all over the world from almost every sport known to man raise money through crowdfunding.

We thought we’d spice things up a little by creating a list of the 10 most dangerous sports in the world – whether you choose to play them or not after reading is your choice!

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CAUTION: The videos below are not for the feint of heart.

Bull Riding

This is a rodeo sport that involves staying mounted on a bull for as long as possible while the bull tries to buck off the rider. The very mention of mounting a 1000kg bull invokes jitters amongst us; so I guess much needn’t be said about the perils entailed in the actual sport.

It has been considered as one of the most dangerous sports in the world with damage to the neck, head and face, as well as concussions, accounting for most of the injuries.

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In 1989 after a bull gored and punctured the heart of cowboy Lane Frost it was made compulsory to wear protective vests made of ballistic material.

This and a slew of other protective measures have brought down the accidents in the sport but despite this, it still continues to be the “most dangerous 8 seconds in sports”.  Rodeo injuries are very common, but fatalities are relatively rare. Only 3 bull rider fatalities have been recorded since Professional Bull Riders’ inception in 1992.


With 15 burly players on either team smashing against each other for 80 minutes, there’ll definitely be sickening injuries. With the only protection being a mouth guard and spiked boots, players have to carry the ball down the field.

Rugby players use their whole bodies to play the game, leading to the controversial use of shoulder barging, body checking and the lifting tackle. These plays contribute to the concussions, torn ligaments, dislocated shoulders and even tetraplegia, that players can end up with.

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Recent data shows that the repeated concussions also puts players at risk of developing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), brain damage and dementia.

Since 2001, collisions and rough tackles in rugby have led to the deaths of over a dozen professional players.   It’s not surprising that approximately 1 in 4 rugby players will be injured during the season, and it’s rare to watch a match these day without seeing a player go off the pitch injured.

Car Racing

With cars hurtling across the track (NASCAR) or sand (Dakar Rally) at over 150mph, accidents are almost guaranteed. As car technology improves every year, one would think races ‘should be safer,’ but in reality, they are not. With factors like the weather and driver error, auto racing is still one of the most dangerous sports in the world.

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Blitzing around a course at an average speed of 175mph, in a carbon fibre box, while trying not to crash is for the very brave or very stupid. Drivers are protected by fire-retardant suits and helmets, but those don’t help in all accidents. Common injuries include smashed bones, excessive blood loss, trauma to the head etc.

The Indianapolis 500 has been held since 1911 and has shaped everything from the culture to the memorabilia associated with racing. But even the Indy 500 has led to 41 deaths since inception. In more recent times, there have been over 40 driver deaths at major racing circuits since 2001.

Big Wave Surfing

Big wave surfing is a discipline of surfing in which surfing maestros paddle into or are towed onto waves of the height of at least 20 feet. The most coveted crown is to ride an intimidating 100-foot wave which offers a prize a $100,000.

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Some of the biggest hazards of this sport include drowning and being pulled into the water by the current or even getting smashed against the hidden underwater rocks.

It is also not impossible to get whacked by the surfing board, even in normal surf conditions.

Street Luge

Street luge is a lot like skateboarding, except the rider is in a supine position on the luge board or sled, as he dashes down a paved road or course at extremely high speed.

The legality of this extreme gravity-powered activity is a shady issue.

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Participants are required to put on protective leathers and helmets, or the chances of getting smashed by vehicles that will most likely not notice the riders will go higher. The chances of a collision on the road are high, short of which, only the feet work as brakes.  Most injuries happen when people fall off the sled.

most dangerous sports

Luge race

Base Jumping/Wingsuit Flying

If you thought that jumping off an airplane with 15,000 feet above ground is dangerous, think again.

For many, this isn’t challenging enough apparently and hence they choose cliffs and man-made objects like towers. Jumping from such heights may sound safer while in

Jumping from such heights may sound safer while in reality, they tend to be trickier due to virtually no time available to deploy the parachutes or deal with any problems.

BASE is actually an acronym for the type of objects people jump off. It stands for Buildings, Antennas (tower), Spans (or bridges) and Earth (natural formations like cliffs, canyons, gorges, etc.). First developed by Carl Boenish in 1978 it has grown in popularity since.  And at speed of up to 400kmh, it’s also the fastest sport in the world!  

There are actually few casualties in wingsuit flying, as both skydiving and wingsuit jumping has very clear legislation and training around it.  However base jumping is a very different story and it has possibly the highest death rate on this list,  there were thirty seven fatalities in 2016!

BASE jumping has fatality and injury rate 43 times higher than that of parachuting from a plane. As of 14 February 2020, the BASE Fatality List records 383 deaths for BASE jumping since April 1981.


It is not too hard to comprehend that mountain climbing essentially involves the risky activity of climbing up and down the highest of natural rocks, i.e. mountains, and every element of this activity is risky.

The climber can receive different physical injuries like twisted ankles, sprained muscles, torn ligaments, broken bones, back injury, concussion, or frostbite, during the heavy physical activities or from falls.

Weather changes can be lethal, one can lose path easily, and deaths are quite common.


A contact sport where the participant’s sole goal is to punch his opponent it doesn’t come as a surprise that this isn’t an injury free sport.

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Statistics reveal that 90% of boxers suffer brain damage during the course of their career. They could even be prone to diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s later in their lives. The most common boxing injuries are bruising to the face, hands and ribs, boxers Fractures, Carpal Bossing, Cuts (Lacerations), Shoulder Dislocation and Concussion

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? But with proper protective gear, the risk of sustaining injuries can be minimised.

Motorbike Racing

Sending your body down hurtling down a track at over 100 mph is insane in a car; imagine doing it on a crotch rocket. With only a few layers of Kevlar and a helmet for protection. Broken bones and third-degree abrasions are the most minor of accidents in motorcycle racing.

Yet, in what is considered the oldest race in motorcycle history, thousands descend on the Isle of Man for six days, every year. The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is the most dangerous race on earth.

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For one, there is no dedicated course. The race snakes through the town on a narrow 37-mile journey, with 250 corners. Riders average 120 mph on public roads with hedges, stone walls, and homes, mere feet away. In its 107 years of existence, 240 riders have died taking part, 48 of them since 2001.


So how dangerous can horse riding actually be? You might be surprised but any type of horse riding is dangerous. There’s no way around that getting on the back of an unpredictable moving living creature that weight 8 times more than you is incredibly dangerous. No matter how much padding and protection you may be wearing, it is very hard to predict a fall or a slight stutter from a horse.

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The various event in equestrian disciplines can obviously lead and result in different injuries. The show jumping might seem a greater risk with the higher and more difficult jumps over the dressage and this may be the case.

Results also prove how dangerous horse riding can be when reports in 2015 concluded that 59 confirmed rider deaths had occurred between 1993 and 2015. That’s an estimated global average of 2.7 deaths per year from eventing. So next time you consider an equestrian event, make sure to wear a helmet and plenty of protection. Always predict the unpredictable and have fun!

If you can you think of something else to add to the list of most dangerous sports ? If so get in touch and let us know.

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