Rural and city coaches discuss implementing new youth sports safety law

    Two youth sports leaders talked about the impact of the Alabama Coach Safety Act.

    Improving safety on the field for young athletes will now be a coach driven initiative around the state of Alabama.

    On Monday night at 6 P.M., an ordinance is being introduced in Vestavia Hills to create a partnership between the city and organization called CoachSafely.

    ABC 33/40 interviewed coaches and parents today about the Coach Safety Act aimed at protecting children involved in every sport.

    Coaches are now legally bound to protect youth player safety. Two men ABC 33/40 spoke to who coach, one of which is a dad who coaches his own kids, say it's the right thing to do.

    Sports, and the athletes who play them, constantly evolve.

    "When I was growing up it was, 'hey you can get out there and play. Suck it up. You gotta play if it is not broken, severely torn, or something like that'," says Wade Kaiser.

    Kaiser played basketball at the University of Alabama, and is now the recreation league director for basketball in Vestavia Hills.

    "I mean yea I'm 6'6" as a (high school) freshman. My dad played at (the University of) Oklahoma. My mom's brother, my uncle played ball at Oklahoma. So it's kind of in the blood," he says.

    Terry Hinton has coached his children in various sports and oversees a youth sports league in Clanton.

    "I've been coaching for 6 or 7 years. (It is) just like a job. You gotta get to know them. Get to know your kids. As me being a coach for your kid you actually have to set the standard," Hinton says.

    Whether you're cheering from the stands, the next man up on the bench, or coaching on the field, youth player safety is no longer a suggestion.

    By state law any coach must now take mandatory classes on concussion protocol, injury recognition and more.

    According to the website the requirements are that any " course cover prevention and injury recognition of" the following:

    • Concussions
    • Heat and Exertion Illnesses
    • Trauma and Overuse
    • Sudden Cardiac Arrest
    • Emergency Action Plan

    Kaiser told ABC 33/40, "You don't want the kids to be so soft that they think every little time that they stub their toe it's an injury, because it is not. But you do wanna be aware when it is one."

    The AL state department of public health established rules this fall.

    Coaches are now receiving the required training to make youth sports safer.

    UAB is also working on this project.

    They hope to expand the program to three other states by August of 2021.

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