When you’re an adult playing in a recreational basketball league, you can be at risk of injury. Sometimes these injuries are common to the sport itself, but in other cases, your risk might be higher depending on your age.
Pro athletes certainly aren’t the only ones prone to injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sports injuries affect around two million people a year, including adults who play for fun in rec leagues and similar situations.
Two of the most common reasons for these injuries are being out of condition and poor form. If you work at your desk all day and you’re mostly sedentary, for example, you could be at more of a risk of getting injured when you play basketball.
Depending on the severity, you might want to learn more about getting fair compensation for your injury.
The following is a guide to sports injuries, particularly among adults who play in rec leagues or similar situations.
What Are the Most Common Adult Sports Injuries?
Among adults, some of the most commonly seen injuries stemming from sports are:
- ACL tear: The anterior cruciate ligament also referred to as the ACL is a major knee ligament. Basketball is a leading reason for injuries and tears related to the ACL because of sudden stops and directional changes. For some people, RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, elevation) can help an ACL tear. For other people, if it’s severe, surgery or rehab may be needed. Strengthening your muscles in the leg around the knee can reduce the risk of this type of injury.
- Ruptured Achilles tendon: The Achilles tendon connects your calf to your heel, and a rupture can occur when you’re putting excessive weight on your feet and heels. To avoid this injury, you should get enough rest between your workouts and stretch your calves before playing basketball or doing other activities.
- Sprained ankle: A sprain can happen when you stretch or tear a ligament around the ankle.
- Hamstring injuries: The hamstrings are muscles in the back of your thigh. If you’re doing an activity with sudden stops and starts, you could risk injury to the hamstrings. Most of these injuries heal without any further treatment but sometimes require surgery.
- Hip labral tear: If you tear the cartilage ring outside your hip socket from activities that put significant strain on your hips, you may need physical therapy and rest. Sometimes surgery is needed.
Reducing Your Risk of Injuries
If you participate in an adult sports league, the best thing to do is be proactive about reducing your risk of injury with the following tips:
- Stretch before you play. Make it a habit to always stretch before you play any sport. Don’t feel silly doing so because this is the best way to improve your muscle elasticity, warm your body up and reduce your injury risk.
- Wear the right equipment. In basketball, this isn’t necessarily an issue, aside from making sure you have the right type of shoes. In other sports, you may need specialized equipment, so don’t forget to wear it.
- Stay active throughout the year. Even if you aren’t playing the sport during a certain time of year, make sure you’re going consistent activity to keep yourself in good shape.
- Don’t drink alcohol before you play. Even a little alcohol can affect your balance and motor skills.
- If you’re having any level of pain or strain, don’t make it worse. Avoid playing until you can talk to someone about your symptoms.
- Know your limits. When you get older, you have to remember you can’t play basketball or other sports the same way you did when you were a teen or young adult. You don’t have the same body or fitness level. You might want to start playing with a fun, fairly non-competitive league.
What If You Do Get Hurt?
Even if you take all the precautions you can, you still run the risk of getting hurt when you play sports as an adult.
Whether or not you can take action if you’re hurt depends.
If you’re hurt in a social game or a rec league game, you probably won’t have a cause of legal action against other players or the owner of the court unless there was extreme negligence or intentional action.
For example, if someone trips you, that may be an intentional action that could lead to you having the ability to recover financial damages. If the court is in bad shape and could have been repaired to make it safer, but it wasn’t, and you got hurt, again, that might give you a legal case.
However, simply getting hurt when playing sports isn’t in and of itself going to give you the basis of a lawsuit.
If the sport is organized, that can change.
If you play informal pickup basketball games at the local park, that’s one situation.
If you’re in an actual league and there’s an organization that makes rules and oversees how the game is being played, it could have some liability if someone is hurt.
An organization that manages team sports does have a duty to follow rules that protect players from harm that’s reasonably foreseeable.
Of course, when it comes to high-level organizations like the NCAA, there is a requirement that the safety of the student-athletes is balanced with entertainment interests. Sports are closely regulated in these settings.
You do have to remember that as soon as you play a sport, you are assuming the risk of injury. Intentional assaults go outside that risk, though.
If you do have a legal case, there will still be a challenge to actually getting payment. The person who’s responsible for your injury isn’t likely to be covered by insurance because most policies will exclude intentional acts.
The other player may have their own resources you can pursue damages against.
The best thing you can do to find out whether you have a case after a sports injury is to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. They’re going to be able to best advise you on your situation.