The term contact sports is used for competitive activities as well as medical terminology that describe a sport in which players could have physical contact with a challenger, directly or indirectly. Some sports like martial arts where scores are made when an opponent is hit is a good example of this. Others sports such as American football where players have to be tackled in order to play the game fully is another example. These competitions are usually termed as full contact sports, since they cannot be played without physical contact. There are sports that have contacts though they are accidental and are not considered part of the sport or under the game rules.
In contact sports such as karate, judo and mixed martial arts, special mats are used to provide better traction and eliminate mat burns. In mixed martial arts competitions for instance, bouts are held in MMA mats, which allow competitors to do faster movements and maneuvers.
All contact sports have specific rules governing every competition. In mixed martial arts, there are several fighting organizations that exist and each has its own particular rules. However, there are some universal prohibitions that are listed under the unified rules of the sport. These include the following:
- No attacks on the groins or a knee to the head if the opponent is grounded
- Strikes on the spine or back of the head are prohibited. Head butts are not allowed either.
- No gouging of the eyes or fish hooking
- No biting, hair pulling or putting of fingers in the orifices of an opponent
- No grabbing or striking on throat
Manipulating an opponent’s toes or fingers is also prohibited as well as intentionally throwing an adversary outside the cage or ring.
If you are participating in contact sports, your risk for injuries is high. To minimize it, there are certain things that you can do. These include:
- Keeping yourself physically fit for the level of play required by your particular sport. If you are a weekend warrior, you have a higher injury risk. You should also have enough training for the sport you are into.
- Know the rules of the particular sport and abide by it. Such rules on contact sports were designed to keep everyone safe.
- Wear the right protective equipment and gear at all times. These would include mouth guards, gloves, protective pads, helmets and other gears. Remember that these types of equipment are not for sissies so do not be ashamed of wearing them.
Possible injury is greatly lessened or avoided entirely once these basic safety precautions have been undertaken for the specific contact sport of your choice.