When you think of high school sports, there are probably a few different things that spring to mind. Most schools offer a wide variety of activities for their students to choose, from the more traditional activities such as football and basketball to sports like wrestling, cross-country, and swimming. But there’s one that most people never think of — high school rodeo.
Handled by the National High School Rodeo Association (also known as the NHSRA), high school rodeo is a small but thriving activity. It can be found in 42 different states, parts of Canada, and even in Australia. Members of the NHSRA will participate in a large number of rodeo-related activities, such as bull riding, steer wrestling, goat tying, team roping, and much more. Competitors gradually work their way up to the finals, where they will face each other for a chance to win their championship buckles.
Like all sports, rodeo is a great way for teenagers to build confidence, social skills, and find a source of motivation. Of course, it isn’t without its drawbacks. The entire thrill of rodeo comes from the danger of working with dangerous, unpredictable animals such as bulls and horses. While there are of course safety measures in place, injuries are inevitable. One such accident happened recently in Fort Worth. While attempting a steer undressing competition, the bull knocked against her horse. The horse spooked, as horses tend to do, and fell with her on it. The impact knocked her unconscious. Since then, she’s been kept in the hospital in critical condition. Medical imaging showed possible head trauma. At the time of the accident, she did not have a helmet on.
According to the personal injury lawyers at the Benton Law Firm, accidents such as this can completely change the course of a teenagers life. Serious head, neck, and spine injuries are not something that can be taken likely. People shouldn’t have to refrain from activities they enjoy because of the risk of injuries. But if they are going to participate in them, they should be aware of the risks, and do what they can to mitigate them. No matter how fun something it is, it isn’t worth the lifelong debilitation that can come from a serious injury.
So how do you balance fun and safety? The best way to do it is to develop good risk assessment skills. Whenever you’re engaging in an activity that may bring a risk of injury, you should ask yourself two things: What is the likelihood of injuries occurring from this, and how serious are they likely to be? If both are low, that’s fine. If one or both is high-risk, you should look into what you can do to mitigate them. Something as simple as buckling a seatbelt, wearing a helmet, putting in a mouthguard, or checking areas for potential dangers can be very easy and very beneficial. So if you’re out bull-riding or horse-wrangling this year, be sure to make sure you’re staying safe.