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17 Eye-Popping Infographics Every Sports Fan Should See

After gazing intently at numerous sports infographics on the Web, we learned that most of the amazing and eye-popping infographics are produced outside the U.S. as hand-drawn graphics, inside the U.S. for newspapers, and through statistics designed visually by individuals who delve deeper than we’d ever go into any sport. The following 17 infographics are the best of the best, and they’re ones that every sports fan should see.

  1. Analysis of the top 50 earners in World footballAnalysis of the top 50 earners in World football: This stunning infographic displays the top 50 players who are the “best rewarded on the planet” as football (soccer) players. The artist split the top 50 players based upon nationality, then took a closer look at the relative success of their clubs. The hope was to render the disparity between the wages paid by some clubs compared to the number of trophies won in recent years.
  2. Disability and SportsDisability and Sports: This study’s results focuses on boys and girls under age 20 who reported having a mild disability in 2000. Rates of severe disability were consistently higher for boys than girls with 11 per 10,000 of the male population and five per 10,000 of the female population aged under 17 years in 2000. Scroll down to learn that disabled children and adolescents were more likely to participate in swimming in school than the general population.
  3. Flip Flop Fly InFlip Flop Fly In: This entire site is filled with incredible infographics about baseball. You can see how much of his/her summer a Tigers fan might spend watching his/her team, or look at a fairly depressing stat of the top 25 all-time home run hitters. You also can learn the most common surnames in all the majors between 1872 and 2009 and look at a map showing the amount of traveling a team did fifty years ago.
  4. Hand drawing and infographicsHand drawing and infographics: While this infographic is part of a larger article on hand drawn infographics, we included it because of its eye-popping beauty and because it focuses on horse racing, a sport that is seldom represented in lists such as this one. This particular piece of artwork was created by Fernando Robato, and includes a textured background, central illustration and many explanations with small details.
  5. Injuries for Every 1,000 of TrainingInjuries for Every 1,000 of Training: This blog exposes the injuries first reported by Men’s Health Magazine in 2009. The math works out to the number of injuries in more or less one hour, three times per week for six years. The highest risk is in rugby, with 31 injuries, while the lowest risk in treadmill running, with six injuries.
  6. Innovations in NewspapersInnovations in Newspapers: This article showcases several sports infographics, focusing on Luis Chumpitaz and his work as a visual journalist. Since 2007 he has been the Infographics director of Dubai‚Äôs Arab Media Group (AMG). Abdulatif Alsayegh, AMG’s visionary CEO, sees his company as an “information engine” and wanted to start with these integration efforts led by Mustafa Alrawi, the AMG “Fusionist.” Luis now is the head of this superdesk.
  7. Olympic drug testing programOlympic drug testing program: This infographic shows why the International Olympic Committee tightened up its doping control program in Beijing in 2008. The graphic is broken down into the program itself, the doping control procedure, another section on doping in China and the Athens 2004 medal winners who committed doping offenses.
  8. Parallel Coordinates and FootballParallel Coordinates and Football: Check out this multidimensional data visualization for jocks. First, this project explores various Parallel Coordinate tools as candidates for encoding more information about football statistics. Secondly, this project tests the validity of certain long-held notions about the game.
  9. Race in SportsRace in Sports: This graphic focuses on race in sports. The statement is made that “a half-century after Jackie Robinson’s historic entrance into the game [baseball] — the number of black players is at the lowest level in almost 20 years.” This graphic is a breakdown of four major sports, including major league baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and major league soccer.
  10. Santana's ChangeupSantana’s Changeup: This amazing infographic focuses on teaching how to do a change up based upon how Johan Santana does it. Santana’s change up delivery looks like that of his fastball or slider, so the batter must read — within a split second — how Santana’s thumb and index fingers are placed on the ball and upon that ball’s release, as his body holds no clue that the change-up is about to occur.
  11. Sport and Recreational InjurySport and Recreational Injury: In the U.S., more sports-related non-fatal injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments than any other type of unintentional injury. Approximately 4.3 million sports and recreation-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments during July 2000-June 2001. This page also shows two tables with the types of sports and percentage of non-fatal unintentional injuries treated in EDs, among boys and girls, respectively, ages 10-19 years.
  12. Sports DesignerSports Designer: If you crave sports infographics for the sheer design and aesthetics of the genre, then you’ll love this site. Sports Designer offers visuals from across that country that focus on all sports, and they also offer the Sports Designer of the Year. Tim Parks of the Omaha World Herald was the winner for 2009, and this link leads to the page where you can view some of his work.
  13. Statistics About Drugs in SportStatistics About Drugs in Sport: Before the Olympics, a survey and drug testing was done in East Germany among professional as well as amateur German athletes. According to the statistics, the number of athletes using prohibited sport drugs remained constant since 2004. This article states that, with the gene doping currently existing in the sports industry, it is likely that the statistics of drug in sports would increase by as much as 30 percent.
  14. System and Method for Rating Teams In Sports with Unbalanced SchedulesSystem and Method for Rating Teams In Sports with Unbalanced Schedules: This information, created by Paul Kislanko in 2004, describes a system and method that can be used to order teams involved in a sport that uses unbalanced schedules in the same manner as teams’ records expressed as winning percentage is used for sports with balanced schedules. The rating is called “Performance Against Strength of Schedule,” and is based upon assigning values to each chain of head-to-head wins.
  15. The Effects of Bike Commuting on ObesityThe Effects of Bike Commuting on Obesity: Heading into personal sports, this infographic shows how the effects of biking to work can affect people who are obese by country. To further help the promotion for biking to work, Good offers another infographic that shows the best U.S. cities for this activity. Portland, Oregon ranks at the top of the list, with New York at the bottom (although this infographic charts the results backwards, which may be a little confusing).
  16. Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Facts & FiguresTraumatic Spinal Cord Injury Facts & Figures: In the UK during the year 2000 there were 666 new patient admissions as a result from traumatic spinal cord injury in the UK and Ireland. Of those figures, 11.6 percent of those injuries resulted from sports injuries. Scroll down to learn more about the sports statistics to learn that the largest number of those accidents were caused by diving, followed by rugby, horse riding, altitude sports, winters sports and, lastly, gymnastics and boxing.
  17. Visualrian InfographicsVisualrian Infographics: This link leads to just one of many graphics offered by this site, many which are focused on sports. Learn more about the Euro-2012 between Poland and Ukraine, about sports doping, the Sochi Olympics, the 2010 Olympic Medals count, an image of the track at the Gran Premio de Bahrein, a graphic that instructs individuals on how to get into the Guinness World Records and much more.
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