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Amateur Sports that Can Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries

Many individuals like to stay in shape while at the same time being competitive. That is where amateur sports come in. There are many options to pursue that get your heart rate up while also satisfying your desire to dominate the competition.

Keep in mind, though, that sports can be risky. Even if you take precautions, traumatic brain injuries can result from hopping in the pool, getting out there on the court, or taking the field.

Let’s look at some amateur sports where traumatic brain injuries can take place.



If you talk to a Seattle brain injury attorney or one from elsewhere in the country, probably the first amateur sport they’ll bring up is football, from the most traumatic brain injuries standpoint.

Football is a lot of fun both to watch and play, but it is also inherently dangerous. You often have enormous individuals smashing their bodies into each other at high-speed rates. Even with pads and helmets on, serious injuries take place every day in the NFL.

You would think that the risk would not be as high with you and your buddies playing in the park. However, if you get a little too exuberant, a catastrophic injury can be the result of a single play.

If you insist on playing in an amateur football league, or even just a pickup game in the backyard, wear protective gear. Better yet, make sure that it’s touch or flag football rather than full contact.


Rugby doesn’t have as big of a US following as it does elsewhere in the world, and concerning traumatic brain injuries, that’s probably for the best.

It seems as though not many US sports fans know rugby’s rules. That’s beside the point, though. What you should know about it is that it’s full-contact, and traditional play happens without a helmet.

The traumatic brain injury risk from rugby is high, both at the amateur and professional levels. There are “scrums,” where a lot of piling on happens, pushing and shoving to gain traction while keeping control of the ball. It’s easy for someone to knock you back and trample you, and there is a high broken bone risk.

If you played rugby at school, and you want to continue playing it with your friends, make sure that you at least wear pads and a helmet. That will be some form of risk mitigation.


You could debate whether boxing is a sport. It’s certainly competitive, as you try to incapacitate your opponent by hitting them in the head and body.

Whether professionally or at the amateur level, few sports are more tailor-made for injury. Traumatic brain injuries for professional boxers are almost obligatory if you’re in the ring for long enough. Toward the end of his life, look at Mohammed Ali’s condition.

If you’re an amateur boxer, you can protect yourself with a helmet, but you’re still courting danger. One wrong punch can put you in a wheelchair.

This particular pastime attracts some individuals. It’s your choice whether you want to make this your hobby, but at least be fully aware of the risks before you get in the ring.

Mixed Martial Arts

There has been a growth in mixed martial arts, or MMA, popularity. The ascension of UFC has been part of that, but Bellator and other leagues are also popular.

There are also plenty of enthusiastic amateurs who want to get in a local gym and grapple. Maybe you have a neighborhood rival, and you feel like this is the way to settle things between you.

Like with boxing, MMA is full contact, and the injury possibility is through the roof. Pads and a helmet will only help you so much. In fact, there are no helmets in many MMA bouts.

This sort of pseudo-sport amounts to little more than human cockfighting. It’s an excellent way to get rid of some of your aggression, but it shouldn’t surprise you if a traumatic brain injury occurs.

If you enjoy one of these activities, then that’s fine, but you need risk awareness. If you wish to stay fit but want to do something lower-risk, then there are always things like tennis, squash, bowling, or competitive running.

If you’re less focused on the competitive aspect, there’s still jogging, yoga, gymnastics, ballet, and much more.

We all need to stay in shape, and different activities appeal to different individuals. Just know that some sports are higher-risk than others, especially in the traumatic brain injury area.


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