As athletes have gotten larger, stronger and faster over the last few decades we have seen a far greater incidence of traumatic injuries in those athletes. In this paper, we look at the correlation between larger, stronger athletes and the increasing incidence of career and life threatening injuries that are occurring in sporting events. Our belief is that as the athletes have gotten bigger and faster, both the number and severity of injuries has increased. Simply watching the nightly sports news will quickly make you aware of the number of injuries in professional sports and the number of contests that participants miss due to these injuries. These contests missed, be it games or tournaments (in the case of golf) or matches (in a sport such as tennis) can affect the player directly in terms of lost income in individual sports, but often have an adverse effect on the entire team in team sports. The total cost of these injuries runs into the millions of dollars when you consider treatment, rehabilitation, lost income, replacement players, and even lost revenue to teams and venues when star players are unable to participate. .
Most, but not all, sports injuries are related to either direct physical contact (think American football, hockey, even soccer and basketball) or to the repeated, often violent movements made in the course of the sport (think repeated jumping in basketball, a baseball pitcher throwing, the stress of a golf swing). These movements put even more stress on the body as the athletes get larger and stronger. According to David Epstein, if you plot on a height versus mass graph one data point for each of two dozen sports in the first half of the 20th century there's some dispersal, but it's kind of grouped around that average body type. And if you plot a data point for these same two dozen sports today, it looks much different. The athletes' bodies have gotten much more different from one another (Epstein, 2014).