On July 1, 2019, new rules came into effect through the Province of Ontario’s Rowan’s Law, to improve concussion safety in amateur competitive sport.
Rowan’s Law was named for Rowan Stringer, a high school rugby player from Ottawa, who died in the spring of 2013 from a condition known as second impact syndrome (swelling of the brain caused by a subsequent injury that occurred before a previous injury healed). Rowan is believed to have experienced three concussions over six days while playing rugby. She had a concussion but didn’t know her brain needed time to heal. Neither did her parents, teachers or coaches.
What does this law mean for us as parents and skaters?
All athletes under 26 and parents of athletes under 18 years of age must confirm that they have reviewed the Government of Ontario Concussion Awareness Resources below and Skate Ontario’s Concussion Code of Conduct for Athletes and Parents/Guardians as soon as possible:
Government of Ontario Concussion Awareness Resources – Rowan’s Law E-booklet:
Once these documents have been reviewed you must submit the following form to the Club:
Acknowledgement forms need to be accepted online during the registration process.
Skaters under 18 must sign their form as well as their parent.
PreCanSkate and CanSkate level skaters are exempt from this requirement as per the Law's exclusion provision:
Activities focused primarily on the development of fundamental movement or sport skills and that are not focused on competition are exempt, and sport organizations are not required to obtain confirmation from athletes and their parents respecting their confirmation on the review of the Concussion Awareness Resources and the sport organization’s Concussion Code of Conduct for the registration of those activities.
In the event of a concussion or any on-ice injury, an Incident Report is completed by a witness who is a Coach or Board member and follow-up occurs within a week. The incident (and form) is brought to the attention of the Executive Board and then submitted to Skate Canada online no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the incident. Decisions to return to skate are based on the information provided by the family. This process is directly in line with Skate Canada’s National Safe Sport Program’s Incident and Injury Reporting directives.
Skate Canada’s guidelines are to be followed in conjunction with the Skate Ontario Concussion Policies.
All information from Skate Ontario in regard to Rowan’s Law can be found HERE.
Additional information on concussion management from SIRC (Sport Information Resource Centre) can be found HERE.