Client News Briefs

New Law To Require Concussion Training for High School Coaches

August 2012
Number 47

Effective January 1, 2013, high school coaches will be required to receive training on recognizing the signs of concussions and responding to them appropriately. Assembly Bill (AB) 1451 was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on August 17, 2012.

A study published in the Journal of Athletic Training found that an estimated 300,000 sport-related traumatic brain injuries, predominantly concussions, occur annually in the United States. In high school sports played by both sexes, girls sustained a higher rate of concussions, and concussions were highest in the sports of football and soccer. To address this concern, AB 1451 amends section 35179.1 of the Education Code to require coaches to complete training in signs and symptoms of concussions when renewing their CPR/First Aid certification every two years.

AB 1451 supplements AB 25, passed in 2011, which provides additional protections for student athletes in relation to concussions and head injuries. (See Lozano Smith Client News Brief No. 58 (Oct. 2011).)

California law specifies the minimum qualifications, certifications, and competencies for athletic coaches, including knowledge of basic first aid, coaching techniques, rules of the sport, as well as child psychology. Lozano Smith has created a Coaching Manual which sets forth these and other legal guidelines, practical suggestions, and model documents to assist districts in the hiring and supervision of athletic coaches.

This comprehensive Coaching Manual has been created with preventive measures at its core. The Coaching Manual also contains many cost-saving and ready-to-use forms and contracts, including:

  • A model board policy and administrative regulation for athletic coaches;

  • Guidelines for conducting a fair and lawful hiring process;

  • Relevant Education Code statutes and Title 5 regulations;

  • Employment contracts;

  • Job descriptions;

  • An evaluation form;

  • An audit checklist to help protect student athletes and reduce district exposure to liability; and

  • General fees, charges, donations and fundraising guidelines.


The Coaching Manual is available to purchase from our website. Updates are provided annually at no cost for two years.

If you have any questions regarding AB 1451 or other issues related to athletic coaches, please feel free to contact one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website or follow Lozano Smith on Facebook.

As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.