California’s Updated Youth Sports Concussion Safety Law
AB 2007 requires youth sports organizations that offer an athletic program in one of 27 sports to comply with specified safety requirements regarding concussions or other head injuries. A youth sports organization is defined as an organization, business, nonprofit entity or local government agency that sponsors or conducts amateur sports competitions, training, campus, or clubs in which persons 17 years of age or younger participate.
Under AB 2007, a youth sports organization must comply with all of the following requirements:
An athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or other head injury in an athletic activity must be immediately removed from the athletic activity for the remainder of the day, and must not be permitted to return to any athletic activity until he or she is evaluated by a licensed health care provider, as defined. The youth sports organization must not allow the athlete to return to athletic activity until he or she receives written clearance to return from a licensed health care provider. If the licensed health care provider determines that the athlete sustained a concussion or other head injury, the athlete must also complete a graduated “return-to-play” protocol that lasts no less than seven days under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.
A youth sports organization must notify the athlete’s parent or guardian at the time and date of the injury that he or she has been removed from athletic activity due to a suspected concussion, the symptoms observed, and any treatment provided to that athlete. This provision will only apply to athletes 17 years old or younger.
On a yearly basis, the youth sports organization must give a concussion and head injury information sheet to each athlete. The information sheet must then be signed and returned by the athlete and, if the athlete is 17 years of age or younger, must also be signed by the athlete’s parent or guardian. The information sheet must be signed and returned before the athlete commences participation in the program. A youth sports organization may send the information sheet to the athlete through an electronic medium.
On a yearly basis, the youth sports organization must offer concussion and head injury education, or related educational materials, or both, to each coach and administrator of the youth sports organization.
Each coach and administrator must successfully complete the concussion and head injury education offered pursuant to requirement (4) at least once, either online or in person, before supervising athletes.
The youth sports organization must identify procedures to ensure compliance with AB 2007’s educational requirements, removal and return-to-play protocols, and requirements for distribution of the information sheet.
These requirements will apply to all athletes regardless of age. A youth sports organization may implement stricter requirements.
(AB 2007 adds Article 2.5 commencing with Section 124235) to Chapter 4 of Part 2 of Division 106 of the Health and Safety Code).