Rowan's Law: Information to Members

July 9, 2019

Overview

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.

 

Field Hockey Ontario is committed to supporting and implementing Rowan’s Law. Field Hockey Ontario and by association all our Member Clubs and registrants are legally bound by the requirements of the Law.

 

Requirements of Rowan’s Law Legislation

The following requirements of Rowan’s Law legislation for sport organizations (including Field Hockey Ontario) came into effect on July 1st, 2019:

  1. As of July 1st, 2019, Field Hockey Ontario (FHO) must establish a Concussion Code of Conduct for its athletes, parents/guardians, coaches, and therapists. FHO currently has a Concussion Policy & Return-to-Play Protocol in place (last updated August 2018), which will be reviewed and updated as per Rowan’s Law. 

  2. As of July 1st, 2019, all Field Hockey Ontario members must review and sign-off on the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, & Sport (Ontario MTCS) Concussion Awareness Resources on an annual basis. Coaches, umpires, game/tournament officials, and therapists working with/for FHO must also sign-off on these materials. If individuals are under 18 years of age, their parent/guardian must also review and sign-off on the FHO Concussion Code of Conduct. 

  3. From July 1st 2019 a 60-day grace period is available for all FHO coaches, officials, and therapists to review and sign-off on the Ontario MTCS Concussion Awareness Resources and FHO’s Concussion Code of Conduct. This must be completed by August 30th, 2019

 

The second phase of Rowan’s Law implementation requires sport organizations to implement the following aspects by July 1st, 2020:

  1. As of July 1st, 2020, Field Hockey Ontario must have in place a Concussion Removal-from-Play protocol. FHO currently has a policy in place, under its Concussion Policy & Return-to-Play Protocol, which will be reviewed and updated within the upcoming months.

  2. As of July 1st, 2020, Field Hockey Ontario must have in place a Return-to-Sport protocol. FHO currently has a protocol in place, under its Concussion Policy & Return-to-Play Protocol, which will be reviewed and updated within the upcoming months.

 

Field Hockey Ontario Actions to comply with Rowan’s Law Legislation

Field Hockey Ontario is committed to the implementation of Rowan’s Law, and the health & safety of its athletes. Field Hockey Ontario, and by association all of its members and member clubs are legally bound by the requirements of Rowan’s Law. Over the course of the upcoming months, Field Hockey Ontario has already taken steps towards the implementation of Rowan’s Law (refer to FHO Concussion Policy & Return-to-Play Protocol), and will continue to work to meet the requirement outlined by the Ontario government.  Future steps will include: 

  • Review and update of Field Hockey Ontario’s Concussion Policy & Return-to-Play Protocol (most recent update August 2018). FHO will also work to develop separate Concussion Code of Conduct for athletes and non-athletes (including coaches, game/tournament officials, medical staff). These documents will be made available in different languages as needed by the FHO community.

  • As of July 1st, 2019, all new and renewing members must review & sign-off on the Ontario MTCS Concussion Awareness Resources & FHO Concussion Code of Conduct. Athletes that are under 18 years of age must also have a parent/guardian review & sign-off on these documents. This must be completed before an athlete is able to participate in any FHO-sanctioned programming. Failure to complete this will result in athlete not being permitted to participate in programming.

  • By August 30th, 2019, all currently registered coaches and officials, and contracted medical staff with Field Hockey Ontario must review & sign-off on the Ontario MTCS Concussion Awareness Resources (appropriate to the age group they are primarily working with & FHO’s Concussion Code of Conduct A 60-day grace period has been granted by the Ontario government from the July 1st, 2019 implementation to allow individuals enough time to complete this. Individuals will not be able to work with/for FHO programming until this is completed. Failure to complete this step will result in individuals not being in good standing with FHO.

  • FHO will work to provide its members, coaches, officials, and medical staff with the appropriate resources to review as they become available. Currently, only the e-booklets from the Ontario MTCS and the current FHO Concussion Policy & Return-to-Play Protocol (last updated August 2018) are available for review.

  • FHO will work to include acknowledgement of Ontario MTCS Concussion Awareness Resources and FHO Concussion Policy & Return-to-Play Protocol as part of their online annual membership registration/renewal. 

  • FHO currently has a Concussion Policy that outlines removal-from-sport and return-to-play protocols. FHO will work to update these protocols and make them available for members to review, before the July 1st 2020 implementation deadline.

  • FHO will hold mandatory concussion awareness seminars at the start of the high-performance season for athletes and parents to outline concussion awareness, removal-from-sport protocol, and return-to-play protocol. Coaches will be required to attend a separate meeting at the start of the high-performance season.

  • FHO will work to establish a relationship with sports MDs and rehabilitation clinics across Ontario, to ensure proper assessment, treatment, and return-to-play protocol, and clearance is taken.

  • FHO will work to ensure qualified health-care professionals are present at FHO events (certified athletic therapists, senior athletic therapy students with valid first responder, physiotherapists with valid first responder). These individuals will be required to review and sign-off on the Ontario MTCS Concussion Awareness Resources and FHO Concussion Policy & Protocol documents. 

 

Ontario Ministry’s Concussion Awareness Resources

There are 3 age variations of the Ontario Ministry’s Concussion Awareness Resources

  1. For players under 10 years of age

  2. For players aged 11 to 14

  3. For players ages 15 and above

 

Currently, the online e-booklet is the only resource available. Videos and e-modules are expected to be available within the coming months from the Ontario government. 

 Athletes, parents/guardians, coaches, game/tournament officials, and medical staff must review and sign-off on the resources that apply to their participation. For example, if a player participates in an Under-12 program, their parents/guardians would need to review and sign off on the Ontario Ministry’s Concussion Awareness Resources from plates aged 11 to 14. If a coach coaches an Under-18 team, they would need to review and sign off on the Ontario Ministry’s Concussion Awareness Resources for players aged 15 and above.

 

Field Hockey Ontario Concussion Codes of Conduct

Part of the requirements of Rowan’s Law is that Field Hockey Ontario  is required to have a Concussion Code of Conduct in place for both players and coaches/officials/medical staff. All players and coaches/officials/medical staff are required to review and sign off on the relevant Code of Conduct at the point of registration each year.

  1. Field Hockey Ontario Concussion Code of Conduct Players

  2. Field Hockey Ontario Concussion Code of Conduct Coaches, Officials & Medical Staff

 

Ontario Government Rowan’s Law Links

For all the information relating to the implementation of Rowan’s Law, please see below the relevant Ontario Government website links.

Rowan’s Law Concussion Awareness Resources

Rowan’s Law: Concussion safety

Rowan’s Law Legislation

Rowan’s Law Regulation

 

 

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