The Alabama law is located at §22-11E-1 through §22-11E-2 of the Alabama Code under the title dealing with health, mental health and environmental control laws. (Ala. Code § 22-11E-1 through § 22-11E-2). On April 4, 2018, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed Alabama House Bill 9 titled the “Coach Safety Act” into law. The new law became effective on November 4, 2018 when the Department of Health training rules became effective.
Alabama law requires each local school system and the governing body of each sport or recreational organization to develop concussion guidelines and provide concussion training and education to parents/guardians and athletes and that the parents/guardians sign a concussion information sheet annually before participation in practice or competition. The law also requires each local school system and the governing body of each sport or recreational organization to ensure that coaches be trained about concussions. Any youth athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion or brain injury must be immediately removed from the game or practice and may not return to play the day of the injury and until evaluated by a licensed doctor and receiving written clearance. Volunteer coaches, managers, and officials who provide services for a sports teams, which is organized or performing as a non-profit or similar entity or which is a member team in a league affiliated with an organized county or municipal recreation department are exempted from liability unless willful, wanton or grossly negligent, has not completed required safety training or causes damage or injury as a result of negligent operation of a motor vehicle (§6-5-344 Exemptions from Liability).
The Coach Safety Act defines association as “Any organization that administers or conducts high risk youth athletics activities on property owned, leased, managed, or maintained by the state, an agent of the state, or a political subdivision of the state.” Under the Act, Youth Athletes are “Individuals age 14 and under participating in an organized sport.” High Risk Youth Athletic Activities are defined and include, but are not limited football, baseball, volleyball, soccer, ice or field hockey, cheerleading and lacrosse. The law requires all coaches and athletic personnel for any youth athletic organization that sponsors or conducts sports training or high risk youth athletic activities to annually complete a course approved by the Alabama Department of Health that provides information regarding emergency preparedness for concussions and head trauma, heat and weather related injury, physical conditioning and training equipment usage and heart defects and abnormalities leading to sudden cardiac death. Within 180 days of enactment, the Department of Public Health shall adopt rules for implementation, enforcement and administration of the Act. Athletic personnel and coaches completing the course and who reasonably conform their conduct to such methods and safety techniques from the course are entitled to a defense from liability for injury to a youth athlete engaged in a high-risk youth athletic activity.
Sections 22-11E-1 through 22-11E-2 and 6-5-344 may be viewed online at:
http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/CodeOfAlabama/1975/Coatoc.htm *click on Title 22 on the left, then click Title I on main page and page down to Chapter 11 E clicking on the link to view either section. Follow the same process to view 6-5-344.
Alabama House Bill No. 9 / Act 18-496 may be viewed online at:
(click on view image). Act 18-496 will be codified at Sections 22-11-F-1 through 22-11-F-3.
The following web sites offer additional information regarding the Alabama Concussion Law:
(Information from the Alabama Department of Health regarding Act 18-496)
The following web site offers information regarding the Coach Safety Act: