Girls Soccer Has Highest Concussion Rate of Any High School Sport

Soccer Concussions

Girls Soccer Has Highest Concussion Rate of Any High School Sport

A survey of injuries over 10 years of high school sports in the United States found that girls were 12 percent more likely to sustain a concussion than boys.

A survey of injuries over 10 years of high school sports in the United States found that girls were 12 percent more likely to sustain a concussion than boys, and that girls’ soccer had the highest rate of concussion overall. Researchers from Northwestern and Wake Forest universities analyzed 6,400 concussions sustained during high school sports in the United States between 2005 and 2015. Among their findings, released in 2017, was that gridiron football – a so-called “collision” sport with high concussion risk exposures – was fourth on the list of concussions (as a percentage of total injuries) behind girls’ soccer, girls’ volleyball and girls’ basketball. 

While the researchers state “it remains unclear why boys’ soccer players do not appear to have the same risk as girls,” they suggest that it may be due to reduced protective forces in females due to decreased head-neck segment mass and reduced neck strength and girth in females. It has also been suggested that females have a larger ball-to-head size ratio, which may predispose females to a higher risk of concussion compared to males. The study indicates girls may experience increased symptom severity, protracted recovery, and may be more open with communicating symptoms than boys. Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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