Extreme Sports

April 3, 2009 • Volume 19, Issue 13
Are they too dangerous?
By Marcia Clemmitt


Cover photo. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)
Georges St. Pierre pummels BJ Penn during their mixed martial arts title match last Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. St. Pierre won when the fight was stopped after four rounds. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

The wild world of so-called extreme sports ranges from motorcyclists executing double back flips to kayakers navigating deadly Class 5 rapids to mixed martial arts (MMA) — also known as “ultimate fighting” — where combatants use kicks, punches and stress holds. But many “extreme” athletes reject the label, arguing that the term marginalizes their sports as the sole province of adrenaline and violence junkies, when they actually require high degrees of skill. Now legislatures in New York and other states are considering bans on MMA. Proponents say the matches, legal at the pro level in 37 states, are safer than boxing and emphasize fighters' broad-based martial-arts training. But opponents argue that allowing such a wide variety of aggressive moves in a single fight is barbaric. However, skateboarders and other extreme athletes cite statistics showing that traditional sports such as boxing and football cause injuries and deaths at a higher rate than any of the extreme sports.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Professional Sports
Jan. 04, 2019  Esports Boom
Sep. 04, 2015  NFL Controversies
Jan. 29, 2010  Professional Football Updated
Apr. 03, 2009  Extreme Sports
Jul. 23, 2004  Sports and Drugs Updated
Sep. 25, 1998  The Future of Baseball
Feb. 10, 1995  The Business of Sports
Apr. 22, 1994  Soccer in America
Jul. 26, 1991  Athletes and Drugs
Feb. 09, 1990  Free Agency: Pro Sports' Big Challenge
Apr. 08, 1988  High Stakes of Sports Economics
Jan. 27, 1984  Advances in Athletic Training
May 21, 1982  Soccer in America
Jun. 28, 1974  Sports Business
Sep. 01, 1971  Professional Athletes
Jun. 12, 1963  Deaths and Injuries in Sports
Jul. 27, 1951  Monopoly Controls in Organized Sport
Sports and Recreation