Toughest high school sports: future sports
Toughest high school sports: future sports
This week, as some schools are back in session and others are only a few weeks away from the first bell of the school year, ESPNRISE.com is ranking the toughest high school sports. On Friday, we look at four sports that are making their ways to the high school level.ESPN.com, Illustration
We ranked each sport based on five aspects of toughness:
How physically demanding the sport is
The athletic ability required
How much endurance is needed
How much strategy goes into the sport
The rankings are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the easiest and 5 the toughest. We are taking top-level competition into account.
Mixed Martial Arts: 4.5
Thanks to UFC and other fighting competitions on TV, high schoolers are becoming interested in MMA. Winchester (Mass.) High School started an MMA club that has grown to about 18 members, and gyms across the country offer classes in the sport taught specifically for teens. On the other side, amateur fighting is not legal in 12 states, according to the International Kickboxing Association.
A lot goes into becoming a mixed martial artist beyond being in top physical form. In competition, athletes have to be mentally prepared and make sure that they perform all of the techniques they practice, from the stance to their form to the way that they move. And they have to be prepared to get hit and kicked. When they're down, they have to push themselves to keep going and fight through the pain. And when they are in control, they have to stay focused and work to stay the dominant fighter.
Weightlifting is becoming a popular competitive sport for boys and girls in a lot of high schools. And why not, since athletes are already pushing themselves in the weight room. This sport places an emphasis on the proper techniques for lifts like the bench press and the clean and jerk. Mentally, lifting demands focus and determination. With the constant demand on the body, weightlifters must know how much their bodies can take and when it's appropriate to add weight to their lifts. Adding weight too quickly and not having the proper form can result in muscle strains and sprains.
Bowling is the fastest growing sport in high schools, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. This lifetime sport doesn't take a lot of conditioning, but it does take a lot of practice. This sport requires focus and strategy, especially on the second throw when the bowler goes for a spare.
The Illinois High School Association held the first-ever bass fishing state championships in the spring, casting this outdoor sport onto the high school landscape. Fishing isn't a physically demanding sport, nor does it take a lot of athletic ability for anglers to succeed. There is skill in the technique of baiting and hooking, and this is a patient sport. Sometimes the fish aren't biting during the competition, and anglers have to stay calm and wait for the fish to become active again.
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As athletes head back to school to start their seasons, ESPNRISE.com looks at the toughest high school sports to play.
Fall Sports// Toughest high school sports: fall season
// WATCH: Toughest football position
// Cheerleading is more than pompoms and pep
// ESPNHS: Marian High School on the toughest fall sports
// Page 2: Flying by the seat of my pants
Winter Sports// Toughest high school sports: winter season
// Girls' wrestling takes center mat
// ESPNHS: Harrisonville High School on the toughest winter sports
// Page 2: High school soccer goes to the teeth
Spring Sports// Toughest high school sports: spring season
// ESPNHS: No hurdle too high
// ESPNHS: Throwing events get a shot
// ESPNHS: Sprinting is tough but rewarding
// ESPNHS: Track's torture is well worth it
// Page 2: Feet stuck in mud? No problem
Non-sanctioned Sports// Toughest high school sports: non-sanctioned sports
// Rodeo athletes cowboy up
// Page 2: Slow and unsteady doesn't win the race
Future Sports// Toughest high school sports: future sports
// Page 2: A benchwarmer's ultimate highlight
// Page 2: Fear and loathing on the bball court
The Toughest Tough Sport// The toughest high school sport
// WATCH: There Is No Easy Sport
Rank School (City, State) Rec 1 Don Bosco
11-0 2 Armwood
15-0 3 Trinity For Boys
14-0 4 Grayson
15-0 5 Good Counsel
13-0 See the full football rankings »