How would I describe a 'career-threatening/career-ending injury' when I'm talking about someone who didn't do it for a living?

In this particular example, a middle-aged man who loved Sunday cricket but was rubbish at it, who suddenly tore a ligament and found that he could never play again.


A career need not be paid nor need it be successful in order to be called out as such.

The OED defines it as:

a. A person's course or progress through life (or a distinct portion of life), esp. when publicly conspicuous, or abounding in remarkable incidents: similarly with reference to a nation, a political party, etc.

One can have a distinguished career as a lepidopterist even if it were strictly a hobby. Developing an allergy to butterflies or speaking out against Miss Marple would both be "career ending" or "career limiting" moves, even if one never was paid for it.

One speaks of an academic career beginning in kindergarten - not once one has begun teaching for a living, for example.

As such, it is perfectly correct to say even a fat old amateur cricketer like myself can in fact have a career ending injury."

  • Why would "speaking out against Miss Marple" be a career ending move for a lepidopterist? – Nzall Sep 30 '14 at 12:59

I believe it is perfectly normal to talk of someone's 'amateur sporting career', or 'a career in amateur dramatics' etc.

So what would be amiss in saying that Charles' injury ended his career in Sunday cricket. It may have been something he had been doing for the last 30 years.


Literally, injured while playing, why not Sports-ending injury' /damage

Sports-ruining-injury etc. Sports-Limiting-injury etc.


Perhaps an avocation threatening injury.


An avocation is an activity that one engages in as a hobby outside one's main occupation. There are many examples of people whose professions were the ways that they made their livings, but for whom their activities outside of their workplaces were their true passions in life.


I suppose "life-changing injury" would work, considering that the inability to poorly play Sunday cricket would be a change in this man's life.


You can use the expression game-changer:

  • a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way.
  • The injury can be a drastic game-changer for his hobby, for his non professional life.

Source: www.merriam-webster.com

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