Should extreme sports be banned?
Banning an activity is usually undertaken by an authority because it deems the activity to pose an unacceptable risk to the person undertaking the activity or to those around them. All sports have a degree of risk but should we ban those with a higher than average risk and if so, why?
If we were to ban an extreme sport, the first issue to tackle would be defining what is extreme. Extreme sport is a popular term for certain activities perceived as having a high level of inherent danger. These activities often involve speed, height, a high level of physical exertion, and highly specialized gear. However, most sports involve many or all of these attributes. For example, cycling could be deemed to involve speed, height when going up and down mountainous routes and it definitely involves physical exertion and the use of specialised gear. Yet cycling isn’t deemed an extreme sport despite the fact that some cyclists have accidents which cause not only injury to themselves but on occasion to spectators. Most sports do cause injury; Rugby tackling causes paralysis & cauliflower ears, ski jumping causes broken bones, boxing causes head injuries and broken noses, horse racing injury to both rider and horse – sometimes - and this is the key. Almost any activity can cause injury but so could crossing the road or driving a car - sometimes.
All sports carry an element of risk and injury and it would be a difficult task to define which sports would fall into the category of extreme and at what level. The arguments for and against would be prolific, time consuming and expensive to legislate and there would be little demand from society to do so.
Some argue that the cost of extreme sports is prohibitive in terms of treating injuries. There is no doubt that by putting yourself in a dangerous situation, the chance of injury is high. The argument against this is that life is full of risks and that safety measures and following them...