TITLE 9
Courts and Civil Procedure–Procedure Generally

CHAPTER 9-1
Causes of Action

SECTION 9-1-48


§ 9-1-48 Immunity from civil liability – Sports teams.

(a) Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section, no person who, without compensation and as a volunteer, renders services as a manager, coach, instructor, umpire, referee, or official or who, without compensation and as a volunteer, assists a manager, coach, instructor, umpire, referee, or official in a youth sports program organized and conducted by or under the auspices of a nonprofit corporation, and no director, trustee, officer, or employee of a nonprofit corporation which organizes, conducts, or sponsors a youth sports program, shall be liable to any person for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions in the rendering of such services or assistance or in the organization, conduct, or sponsorship of the youth sports program unless the acts or omissions of the person were committed in willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for the safety of the participants in the youth sports program. It shall be insufficient to impose liability upon any such person to establish only that the conduct of the person fell below ordinary standards of care.

(b) Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section, no person who renders services as a manager, coach, instructor, umpire, referee, or official or who assists a manager, coach, instructor, umpire, referee, or official in an interscholastic or intramural sports program organized and conducted in accordance with and subject to the rules, regulations, and jurisdiction of the Rhode Island interscholastic league, the committee on junior high school athletics, and/or the board of regents for elementary and secondary education shall be liable to any person for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions in the rendering of such services or assistance unless the acts or omissions of the person were committed in willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for the safety of the participants in the interscholastic or intramural sports program.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to grant immunity to any person, corporation, or other entity who or which causes injury or damage as the result of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

(d) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Compensation" shall not include reimbursement for reasonable expenses actually incurred or to be incurred or, solely in the case of umpires, referees, or other game officials, a modest honorarium.

(2) "Nonprofit corporation" shall include any nonprofit corporation or nonprofit association organized under the law of this state, or of any other state, or of the United States, which is authorized to do business in this state.

(3) "Youth sports program" shall include any program organized for recreational athletic competition, and/or instruction and whose participants are nineteen (19) years of age or younger or physically or mentally disabled regardless of age.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1987, ch. 307, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 311, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 83, § 7; P.L. 1999, ch. 130, § 7; P.L. 2012, ch. 415, § 16.)