Publication Date: August 2017
Revision Date: October 2017
Injury rates in twelve U.S. men’s college sports and ﬁve U.S. boys’ high school sports are examined in this paper. The sports are categorized as “contact” or “non-contact,” and diﬀerences in injury rates between the two are examined. Injury rates in the contact sports are considerably higher than those in the non-contact sports and they are on average more severe. Estimates are presented of the injury savings that would result if the contact sports were changed to have injury rates similar to those in the non-contact sports. The estimated college savings are 49,600 fewer injuries per year and 6,000 fewer years lost-to-injury per year. The estimated high school savings are 601,900 fewer injuries per year and 96,000 fewer years lost-to-injury per year. For concussions the savings are 6,900 per year for college and 161,400 per year for high school. The estimated dollar value (in 2015 dollars) of the total injury savings is between $446 million and $1.5 billion per year for college and between $5.4 billion and $19.2 billion per year for high school. Section 11 speculates on how the contact sports might be changed to have their injury rates be similar to those in the non-contact sports.
Sports injuries, Collegiate sports
JEL Classification Codes: I18, I20, Z20