Ranking Top 10 Most Dangerous Sports

Which sports do you think are the top 10 most dangerous sports?

Almost every sport is played for some form of enjoyment as a source of entertainment. Some people like to get dirty in the fields, while others enjoy watching others play from a sideline.

Then some thrive on an adrenaline rush one can get from the extremeness and danger of the sport. While we might consider extreme sports the most dangerous, some games with a simple image like horseback riding also come under the dangerous category.

Rock Climbing (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The game is not considered dangerous just because it looks and sounds intimidating. Instead, it is the rate and frequencies of accidents and injuries that occur while playing these dangerous sports.

And it is also not always about facing an opponent; it is the adventure and the sheer feeling of overcoming the fear by taking that risk. There are no elements where athletes seeking pleasure from an exhilarating adrenaline rush cannot prove their athletic prowess.

Here, we have prepared a list ranking the top 10 most dangerous sports. So, without further ado, let us take a look at these thrilling yet dangerous sport.

Ranking Top 10 Most Dangerous Sports

This list is compiled after referring to various trusted sources from the internet like TheTopTens, Worlds ultimate, etc.

Let us take a quick preview of the list at the table before entering the complete detailed list of the 10 most dangerous sport.

9.Big Wave Surfing
8. Helicopter Skiing
7. Boxing
6. Racing
5. Gymnastics
3.Horseback Riding
2.Base Jumping
1.Bull Riding

10. Luge

Let us start this list of the top 10 most dangerous sports with Luge. Luge is also an Olympic game. Although many of us imagine Olympic games as sutle, safe ones, Lunge is the exact opposite.

The athletes have to lie down on their backs and throw themselves down an icy, frozen, high-banked track at extremely high speed. The speed needs to be 90+mph or 140+km/h to not be catapulted off the lane.

The chances of getting into a collision or getting smashed by vehicles are incredibly high. Similarly, the chances of athletes falling off the sled and getting injuries are high as well.

Luge Sport (Source: Flicker)
Luge Sport (Source: Flicker)

Hence, to minimize as much fatality as possible, the athletes must put on protective leathers and helmets.

The athlete has to bend and adjust his body at an angle of 270 degrees at the last corner of the race. Additionally, the speed needs to be maintained, and the athletes need to have their utmost concentration.

This dangerous sport last took its victim in the 2010 Winter Olympics. A luge athlete from Georgia, Nodar Kumaritashvili, lost his life in a fatal crash during a training run for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada.

9. Big Wave Surfing

Surfing is a water sport of riding the waves on a surfboard. Usually, the waves are about four-foot (1.2 meters), and it is quite a refreshing experience. However, just sporting a four-foot wave is quite a task now imagine the big wave surfing.

Big wave surfing is popular in places like California and Australia. The biggest threat is the possibility of being pulled under the water by the current and drowning and the danger of being held underwater by two or more consecutive waves.

The surfers must be able to cope with surviving a consecutive hold-down, or else it could be life-threatening.

The big waves can push the surfers down 20 to 50 feet under the water. Once the surfers stop spinning, they need to regain their equilibrium and figure the way up to the surface.

Sometimes the surfers may have less than 20 seconds to make their way up before the next wave hits again.

Big Wave Surfing (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Surfers have to battle the strong currents and the water pressure at a depth of 20 to 50 feet. The water pressure at that depth is powerful enough to rupture one’s eardrum. There is also the further danger of being smashed against the hidden rocks.

Even with all these hazards, big wave surfing is very popular among daredevil surfers.

Every year between December 1 and the last day of February, a big-wave contest takes place. The contest is “The Eddie,” and it is the oldest and most prestigious big-wave contest.

8. Helicopter Skiing

You might have heard about skiing on icy slopes, but have you heard about helicopter skiing? Oh yes, helicopter skiing is an actual thing.

Also known as “Heli-skiing,” it is a sport that is not for faint-hearted people. It is off-trail, downhill skiing, or snowboarding with a bit of help from a helicopter.

There are an estimated 15,000 heli-skiing flights every year in Switzerland and 42 landing sites. In the late 1950s, helicopters were used to access the remote trains in Alaska and Europe. The sport was first commercialized in 1965 by Hans Gmoser in Canada.

Heli-skiing is a sport with many hazards. While the icy terrain itself poses many dangers, the primary safety concern is the avalanche risk.

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Therefore, safety briefings and avalanche beacons are the utmost priority. Hence, in recent years, skiers have been provided with airbags to minimize the probability of avalanche burial.

Another danger of this sport is the helicopter itself. Likewise, safety also depends on the skill of the pilot and the helicopter. There should also be proper guidance about the safety around the helicopter.

Heli-skiing has left many skiers injured for life. So many things could go wrong if one does not take the utmost care and follow all the guidelines to the tee. Injuries like muscular injuries and skeletal injuries are standard in this sport.

The sport is banned in many countries. In France, it was banned in 1985, and it is also banned in Germany.

While in Austria, there are only two landing sites, and in Switzerland, petitions with over 15,000 signatures were handed to the Swiss government to ban heli-skiing.

7. Boxing

In our 7th list of the topmost dangerous sports is Boxing. Boxing is an age-old combat sport. The sport’s history dates back to Ancient Greece, where it was established as an Olympic game in 688 BC.

The game involves two people throwing punches at each other for a pre-determined amount of time in a boxing ring.

Boxing has millions of fans all around the world. The sport has its own World Championships, and it is also an Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport.

Boxing evolved primarily in Great Britain during the 16th and 18th centuries. Then, in the mid-19th century, Great Britain introduced the Marquess of Queenberry Rules for Boxing. Thus, from there began the era of modern Boxing.

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The boxers usually put on the protective gears while on the ring. The other protective gears are helmets, hand wraps, and mouthguards.

However, even with all the protective gear on, the sport is a dangerous one. With repeated blows to the face and head, there’s no surprise the sport can prove to be hazardous.

There is also no surprise that almost 90% of the boxers suffer from brain damage and skeletal injuries.

They are also prone to developing severe neural problems like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s in later life. Although protective gears might minimize injuries, the danger still prevails.

6. Racing

The next on our list of top most dangerous sports is Racing. No matter what kind of racing it may be, either a race car or a superbike, the sport is life-threatening.

The vehicle’s speed can exceed 200 mph, and the drivers know very well that their next accident could lead to death.

Racing is a trendy sport, and in recent years, fans of this sport, both car and superbikes, have seen a considerable spike in numbers. But, most of the time, the sport is held in a professional arena with every safety measure available.

However, there are also people racing out on the backstreets and suburban areas without any safety precautions. While racing, the drivers have to wear helmets and fire-retardant suits for safety.

Nevertheless, the protective gears cannot protect the racers from all kinds of accidents.

Sports car racing (Source: Wikimedia.org)

A prevalent accident that can occur on the racetrack is a vehicle crashing. The crashing itself could prove to be fatal; moreover, the vehicle can catch fire.

The fumes from the fire are also hazardous as the driver can suffocate to death with the lack of air ventilation inside the car.

Injuries are prevalent in this sport. The most common injuries include broken or smashed bones, trauma to the head, excessive blood loss, blood clots, etc.

It is also common to hear about deaths and dismemberment of the riders and even of the innocent bystanders. More than 40 deaths were recorded in the last 20 years only related to car racing.

Although the sport is an exhilarating one, it is one of the most dangerous sports in the world.

5. Gymnastics

Gymnastics is an Olympic game whose origin can be traced back to ancient Greece in Sparta and Athens. It was initially conceived to test soldiers in the military to prepare them for war.

Gymnastics is an elegant sport that requires balance, strength, flexibility, coordination, and agility.

The sport also involves physical movements, especially the arms, legs, shoulder, back, chest, and abdominal muscle groups. Hence, it is a disciplined sport that tests the athlete’s control over their bodies.

While the sport is elegant, gymnasts play with graceful movements and breath-taking control; it has its fair share of dangers, making it one of the topmost dangerous sports. Gymnastics has the highest injury rates, with almost 100,000 injured every year.

Common gymnastics injuries involve bruises and scraps, while there is always the risk of injuring anybody’s joints. The more severe injuries include head injuries, fractures, cartilage damage, ligament tears, herniated discs, Achilles tendon strains or tears, etc.

Although the athletes are taught how to fall and land safely to minimize the risk of any injuries, the rate of frequent, more severe injuries occurring is relatively high. For example, the worst accidents in the history of gymnastics happened during the Olympics 1988.

The victim was Julissa Gomez, who slipped and slammed her head, which resulted in neck-down paralysis. She was paralyzed her whole life before she died in 1991.

4. Rugby

On our 4th rank of the most dangerous sports in the world is Rugby. The sport originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. Rugby is a close-contact team sport.

One can easily guess the hazards of the sports when you watch 15 players on either team smashing against each other for 80 minutes. The players have to use their whole bodies to play the game. Even so, Rugby is a common school sport.

The players are only protected with a mouth guard, spiked boots, and helmets. They have to carry the ball down the field. Often there is the controversial use of physical moves like shoulder barging, lifting tackle, and body check.

Rugby players on the field (Source: Wikimedia.org)

While trying to make it to the other side of the field, it is common for the players to collide and smash into each other to stop the opponent team. These collisions lead to concussions, dislocated shoulders and tetraplegia, torn ligaments, and other skeletal injuries.

Rugby has a very high rate of injuries incidence (91 injuries per 1000 player-match-hours). Since 2001, there have been more than a dozen deaths of professional players because of collisions and rough tackles.

A recent study has also shown that repeated concussions can lead to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), dementia, and brain damage.

Every 1 in 4 rugby players are injured in the season approximately, and it is not uncommon to see players go off the pitch injured.

3. Horseback riding

Horseback riding is on our third rank of the top ten most dangerous sports in the world. Commonly known as horse riding in British English or known as Equestrianism is a sport that involves riding, driving, and vaulting on a horse.

Horseback riding is an old-school sport. The riding of horses used as a means of transportation evolved into a sport over the centuries. It is a very graceful sport, but we often forget about what could go wrong.

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Every year there are incidents of fatal injuries and deaths by horseback riding accidents. It is also possible for the riders to fall off the horses. There’s no way one can predict the moves of the horses which can catch the rider off guard and throw them off.

Slight injuries from horseback riding include bruises, sprains and strains, and fractures. The more severe injuries include damage to the pelvic, spine, and head that could be life-threatening.

The riders wear protective gear like padding, helmets to minimize the injuries during fall or a slight stutter from a horse. However, there also prevails the danger of being trampled by the beast while on the ground.

While many hope to own their very own pony, the dangers of horseback riding are lesser-known to the public. These elegant creatures are unpredictable and turn to be fatal.

Thus, extreme safety precautions and lessons from experts are a must for children and novice riders.

2. Base Jumping

We all have seen daredevils jumping out of planes with parachutes and then descending on the ground safely. Most of us find jumping off an airplane 15,000 feet off the ground dangerous.

However, some do not find it challenging enough and choose to jump off the cliffs and towers.

Base jumping is a recreational sport for those who find jumping off an airplane is not challenging enough. The “Base” is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from where the athletes can jump.

Those four categories are the buildings, spans (bridges), antennae (radio masts), and earth (cliffs). Athletes jump from these fixed objects, deploy a parachute to slow their descent and land safely on the ground.

One of the popular base jumpings is the “Wingsuit Base jumping.” Although the altitude is much lower than skydiving from airplanes, it is significantly hazardous and considered one of the most dangerous sports worldwide.

There are legislation and training for base jumping. However, the death rate of the sport is the highest among all the other sports on this list.

Only in 2016, there were thirty-seven fatalities. The rate of fatality and injury rate is 43 times higher than that of parachuting from a plane.

From April of 1981 to February 14 of 2020, the Base jumping fatality list has recorded 383 deaths for Base jumping. Hence, we have ranked Base jumping on the second rank of our top ten most dangerous sport globally.

1. Bull Riding

We have a rodeo sport, bull riding, on our number one spot of top ten most dangerous sports. The sport involves a rider mounting a bucking bull with an attempt to stay mounted on for as long as possible while the raging bull tries to buck off its rider.

While many of us cannot even fathom facing an angry 1000 kg bull, the bull riders mount the bull and try to stay mounted as long as they can. As a result, the sport is one of the most dangerous and extreme sport worldwide.

Besides concussions, the riders can face many risks and injuries while playing the sport. First, of course, there are common injuries like bruises, sprains, fractures, and other skeletal injuries.

However, the fatal injury can also lead to being trampled and gored by a bull.

A cowboy on a bull (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The rider only wears a protective vest made of ballistic material. However, the hazards of the sport still prevail. Around 36% of the injuries that the riders get during the sport are severe.

A study found that nearly 2,000 professional rodeo events were held during 1981 and 2005; half of the injuries involved bull riding. The most prominent case occurred in 1989. A bull galore and punctured the heart of a cowboy by the name Lane Forst.

Bull riding does have a high injuries rate; however, the fatalities are relatively rare. Since the Professional Bull Riders’ inception in 1992, only three bull riders fatalities have been recorded.

However, the extremeness of the sport makes it the topmost dangerous sport of all time.


Wrapping up our ranking of the top 10 most dangerous sports. Of course, many more sports haven’t made it to this ranking; however, that does not necessarily make them any less dangerous.

If you are an extreme daredevil with an unquenchable adrenaline rush, you might find these sports fascinating. But beware, make all the necessary precautions and follow the proper guidelines before trying these sports.

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