Categories of Sports Eye-Injury Risk to the Unprotected Player*

High RiskModerate RiskLow RiskEye Safe
Small, fast projectilesTennisSwimmingTrack and field
 Air rifleBadmintonDivingGymnastics
 BB gunSoccerSkiing (snow and water)
 PaintballVolleyballNoncontact martial arts
Hard projectiles, “sticks,” close contactWater poloWrestling
 Lacrosse (men’s and women’s)
 Hockey (field and ice)
Intentional injury
 Full-contact martial arts
  • * Vinger PF. A practical guide for sports eye protection. Phys Sports Med.2000;28(6). Available at:

  • Javelin and discus have a small but definite potential for injury. However, good field supervision can reduce the extremely low risk of injury to near-negligible.