July 15, 2020

Fencing Talk with Catherine Case Szarwark: Want a Safe Sport? Play with Swords!

Case Szarwark

If you are looking for a safe sport, says Catherine Case Szarwark, forget soccer.  The three time all American epee fencer from Penn State University reports that recent studies place the injury rate for soccer players at or above the rate for football and basketball, with the rate of concussions equal to that of football players. And, adds Catherine Case Szarwark, forget about baseball.  Baseball has the highest fatality rate among children ages 5 to 14 of any sport in the United States.  Even cheerleading is far from safe, notes Catherine Case Szarwark.  With the growing emphasis on complicated stunts and acrobatic presentations, the rate of injuries in cheerleading have risen dramatically and have lead top calls for more emphasis upon safety precautions.

If you are really looking for a safe sport, Catherine Case Szarwark suggests epee fencing.  Yes, Catherine Case Szarwark recommends considering a sport where the objective is to poke your opponent with a piece of steel! While it is definitively counter-intuitive, a number of studies in the United States and Europe have documented that fencing is far safer than any major sport. But Szarwark notes than in all the years of fencing, apart from some bruises, her only real injuries occurred during conditioning.  There are two major reasons for this safety record.
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