Are high school sports worth the long term injuries?


Karina Shah

Football cleats on a field. Are high school sports worth the long term injuries?

Karina Shah, Photojournalist

Children grow up learning to love sports by watching them on either television or through their parents placing them on their local sports team. Participation in sports is extremely high, influencing kids to love them. Most students have come to use them as a stress reliever while others use it to pass time as entertainment. Danielle Huizar (10) says that, “For me, sports is a stress reliever from my classes.” 


The advantages that accompany sports are significant for one’s well being both physically and mentally. Standards that school sports have against substance use especially impact athletes, who make up half of high school, to abstain from drinking and using drugs. Teamwork and determination is also taught through encouraging a hard working attitude in a positive manner.


Although the benefits of sports are incredible, some may say that the injuries are not worth it. In the U.S., about 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports, and more than 3.5 million injuries occur each year in these sports (Stanford Children’s Health). 


Permanent brain damage, paralyzation, bone destruction, and joint damage are all injuries that can be acquired in high school sports. Knee injuries are the most common injury that heavily affects people in their life later on. It can need immediate surgery, long-term therapy, knee braces, and many other rehabilitative methods. 


Another common injury for sports is a concussion. A concussion is a complex brain injury that can temporarily or permanently alter someone’s mental capabilities. Concussions often affect people for their entire sports career, if not, removing them from sports. Between 2 and 3 million concussions happen in sports every year (UPMC Sports Medicine).


One should receive immediate attention when they become injured, although many students do not. Most try to “brush it off” due to the love for their sport, and not wanting to take the break their bodies might need to heal. If one does not take time to rest and protect their body throughout the sports season, then they are at higher risk of developing an overuse injury. This is very common in sports as Huizar adds, “It is very common, in my experience, that people just pretend they are not injured so that they will not fall behind with learning and coaches.” This can lead to more long term injuries and affect people’s lives outside of sports as well. 


Injuries are a common thing to expect if you are playing sports but you should be aware that there are consequences that come with playing.