Brain Injury Resulting From Youth Sports

January 9, 2023

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Youth sports are very common in the United States. It is not uncommon for families to gather up their favorite chairs, load up the car and head to a weekend of youth sports games or tournaments. In fact, about 60 million kids ages 6 to 18 play organized youth sports each year. Although youth sports bring joy and enjoyment to families, there is unfortunately a risk of brain injury that comes with each sport. Although some youth sports hold a lower risk of brain injury all sports carry a risk of injury.

Which Sports are Most Likely to Cause Brain Injuries

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons there are an estimated 1.7 to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries each year in the United States. Continue reading as we detail the sports/recreational activities that contribute to the highest number of head injuries treated in the US.

Cycling and Brain Injury

One might think that Football is the leading cause of brain injury in the United States, but in fact, cycling had the highest number of brain injuries treated in the emergency room in 2018. Over 60,000 youth came in for brain related injuries in 2018.


Football is the second leading cause in youth. With over 50,000 kids treated in the emergency room, football poses an extreme risk for traumatic injury.

Playground Equipment

Although playground equipment isn’t considered a youth sport, it is a common recreational activity among youth. Most parents don’t think of the risk of brain injury when takin their kids to the playground, but the risk is there. Falling from playground equipment can cause mild to major brain injury in youth.


With almost 40,000 youth treated in 2018 for brain injury in a basketball related injury. Comparatively it is considered the fourth highest risk for brain injury in youth sports.

Powered Recreational Vehicles (ATVs, Go Carts, Dune Buggies, etc) and Brain Injury

The fifth highest risk is powered recreational vehicles. Things such as ATVs, go carts, dune buggies, etc they pose a huge risk for brain injury. In 2018 alone, over 30,000 youth were treated in emergency rooms for brain injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a form of acquired brain injury from a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. A TBI can result when the head suddenly hits an object and pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. There are many different levels of TBI, ranging from mild to serve. Depending on the extent of the damage to the brain. Unfortunately youths brains are not full developed and are more prone to more severe traumatic brain injuries.

Individuals with TBI may experience pain, sensory changes and speech changes to name a few. Pain may be things like constant or recurring headaches and pain. Sensory changes are things like the ability to hear, taste or see. You could also become hypersensitive to light or sound. Speech difficulty would come in the form of finding the “right” word and difficulty expressing words or thoughts. Additionally you may see motor dysfunction. Certainly any of these changes should be evaluated by a medical professional.

If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of a traumatic brain injury and you think it is caused by the negligence of someone else you should contact a personal injury lawyer right away.

Who is Liable for a Sports Related Injury?

When a serious head or brain injury occurs in a sports accident, the question then becomes, “Who is liable for the victim’s damages? Below are a few potential defendants that a personal injury attorney might consider pursuing action against.

Another Sports Player

Typically in sports, a player is consenting to a least some physical contact from others. Obviously when you sign your child up to play tackle football, the understanding is that tackling is permitted. But every so often there are participants that are reckless, negligent even and are intentional in using force that is above and beyond what would be considered physical contact. Although If their actions that were apparent in being more forceful than usual and they cause another persons physical injury, they could be held liable.

The Organizers (Schools, Leagues, etc)

When overseeing sporting events and practices, coaches, schools and other organizations must act reasonably. If a coach instructs a player to take an action that leads to a brain injury, they could be liable. Additionally leagues and organizations must act reasonably and face liability if they do not and their actions end up leading to injury. Unless the players have consented to all actions, sometimes coaches can try and enforce unreasonable instructions.

Landowners and Business Owners

If a sports-related injury occurs because of dangerous conditions within the property, the owner of the property may also be liable. This is if they did not take action in preventing injury. For example, if the business owner failed to perform proper maintenance to prevent falls.

Equipment Manufacturers and Sellers

Sometimes the equipment manufacturers and sellers of the equipment can be held liable. If there is a proven defect in the equipment that results in injury, they should be held liable for malfunctioning equipment.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has a brain injury we can help. The Lawyers at B|B Law Group are experienced in personal injury lawsuits. We offer free consultations and would love to talk to you more about traumatic brain injury. Contact us today.

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