Here are key figures from a study at MedStar Health Research Institute in Baltimore that examined the incidence and risk of concussion in 12 high school boys’ and girls’ sports from 1997 to 2008 in Fairfax County schools.

General trends


Total number of concussions recorded over the 11 years of the study, which tracked nearly 11 million “exposures,” defined as one athlete’s participation in a practice or competition.


Average yearly increase in concussion rate over the 11 years of the study.


Number of athletes with two concussions; 26 had three or more.

Boys vs. girls


Proportion of concussions from boys’ sports.


In similar boys’ and girls’ sports (baseball vs. softball, basketball and soccer), girls had roughly twice the concussion risk of boys.

By sport

Football: Accounted for more than half of all concussions, with the highest incidence rate.

Boys’ lacrosse: Had the second-highest incidence rate among boys’ sports, followed by soccer, wrestling and basketball.

Baseball: The boys’ sport with the lowest incidence of concussion.

Girls’ soccer: Had the most concussions among girls’ sports and the second-highest incidence rate of all 12 sports studied.

Girls’ lacrosse: Had the second-highest incidence rate among girls’ sports, followed by basketball, softball and field hockey.

Cheerleading: The girls’ sport with the lowest incidence of concussion, though it had the second-highest total number of concussions among girls.

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Next week Vicky Hallett of The MisFits and Jennifer LaRue Huget of Eat, Drink & Be Healthy team up for a guide to local college fitness centers and dining halls.