The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council report that in many sports, high school athletes have a higher risk of getting a concussion than college players.
In a joint report published on Oct. 30 by the research organizations, a panel of medical experts found that concussion rates were higher in high school-aged athletes who played football, baseball, men’s lacrosse and men’s soccer than for college athletes who play those sports.
For football in particular, college athletes experience an estimated 6.3 concussions per 1,000 athletic exposures, a number that includes all practices and games. High school rates were at 11.2 concussions per 1,000 athletic exposures.
Competitions also yield more concussions than practices, except for in cheerleading. The highest concussion rates during games were seen in football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, soccer and women’s basketball competitive events.
Concussions were also more likely to occur in students with a prior history of concussions and among female athletes. While high school male basketball players suffered 2.8 concussions per 1,000 athletic exposures for example, female player rates were at 5.6 concussions per 1,000 athletic exposures.