Rowan’s Law legislation was passed by the Ontario Government in 2018. This legislation is named in memory of Rowan Stringer who tragically died in 2013 of Second Impact Syndrome, the result of suffering multiple concussion playing rugby three times in six days. The legislation is designed to create a safer environment for competitive amateur athletes, children and youth to play sport.
Knowing how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and what to do if a concussion happens – whether you’re an athlete, a student, a parent, a coach, a team trainer, an official or an educator– saves lives. The Ontario Government is committed to implementing Rowan’s Law by putting concussion safety information in the hands of people who need it most. Increasing awareness and changing conversations in sport, at school and in our homes, will result in transformative change to the way in which concussions are managed in amateur competitive sport and beyond.
Requirements of Rowan’s Law Legislation
Certain aspects of the Rowan’s Law legislation came into effect on July 1, 2019. Rowan’s Law is applicable to 65 sports in Ontario as well as educational institutions. In summary;
Ontario is a national leader in concussion management and prevention. Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 makes it mandatory for sports organizations to:
- Effective July 1, 2019, ensure that athletes under 26 years of age, parents of athletes under 18, Coaches, Team Trainers and Team Officials confirm every year that they have reviewed Ontario’s Concussion Awareness Resources. The Concussion Awareness Resources can be accessed free of charge at the following web location. A Confirmation Receipt for review of Concussion Awareness Resources must be completed by each registered participant and managed by the community sport organization for athletes under 26 years of age, parents of athletes under 18, Coaches, Team Trainers and Team Officials before participating in their sport. The Confirmation Receipt Form can be found here.
- Effective July 1, 2019, establish a Concussion Code of Conduct that sets out rules of behaviour to support concussion prevention. Each year, Athletes, Coaches and Team Trainers must review and sign off on their applicable Codes of Conduct.
- Effective July 1, 2020, establish a Removal-from-Sport and Return-to-Sport protocol.