REQUIREMENTS TO PLAY
Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety) makes Ontario a national leader in concussion management and prevention by establishing mandatory requirements that call for:
- An annual review of concussion awareness resources that help prevent, identify, and manage concussions, which athletes, coaches, educators and parents are required to review before registering in a sport.
- The removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols, to ensure that an athlete is immediately removed from sport if they are suspected of having sustained a concussion and giving them the time required to heal properly.
- A concussion code of conduct that sets out rules of behaviour to minimize concussions while playing sport
In honour of Rowan Stringer, the 17-year-old rugby player whose death resulted from sustaining multiple concussions, the Ontario legislation establishes the last Wednesday in September as “Rowan’s Law Day”.
Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to pass concussion safety legislation, setting a precedent for sport legislation across the country. The Ontario government worked closely with key medical experts, athletes, coaches and sport leaders – most notably the members of the Rowan’s Law Advisory Committee – in establishing this first-of-its-kind legislation.
RECOGNIZE SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION AND STEPS TO FOLLOW
Everyone can help recognize a possible concussion if they know what to look for. A person with a concussion may have any of the signs or symptoms listed below. They may show up right away or hours, or even days later. Just one sign or symptom is enough to suspect a concussion. Most people with a concussion do not lose consciousness.
COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- Headache; Pressure in the head
- Dizziness; Drowsiness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision; Sensitivity to light or sound
- Ringing in the ears; Balance problems
- Tired or low energy; “Don’t feel right”
- Sleeping more or less than usual; Having a hard time falling asleep
- Not thinking clearly; Slower thinking
- Feeling confused; Problems concentrating; Problems remembering
- Irritability (easily upset or angered); Depression; Sadness; Nervous or anxious
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT A CONCUSSION
Follow these three steps if you — or someone you know — experiences a blow to the head, face, neck or body and you suspect a concussion. Call 911 if you are concerned the injury is life-threatening, such as the person is unconscious or they have had a seizure.
- Recognize signs and symptoms of a concussion and remove yourself or the athlete from the sport/physical activity, even if you feel OK or they insist they are OK.
- Get yourself or the athlete checked out by a physician or nurse practitioner.
- Support gradual return to school and sport.
In order to be rostered with a North York Knights Hockey Association team, all players, rostered team officials and on-ice volunteers must:
- review the Ontario Government’s age-appropriate concussion awareness resources.
- review the OHF Concussion Code of Conduct
- commit to operate within the parameters of the OHF concussion code of conduct, and
- acknowledge review of the above resources and your commitment by completing the Ontario Hockey Federation Rowan’s Law Acknowledgement Form