• ROWAN’S LAW

Rowan’s Law

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.

Rugby Ontario is committed to being a leader in the support of and implementation of Rowan’s Law. Rugby 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

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;

  1. From July 1 2019, all sports must have in place Concussion Code of Conducts for players/parents and coaches/trainers.
  2. From July 1 2019, all players, coaches, match officials, trainers at the point of registration must review and sign off on the Ontario Ministry’s Concussion Awareness Resources and the Rugby Ontario Concussion Code of Conduct. If the player is under 18 years of age then their parent/guardian must sign off. This needs to be done annually.
  3. Between July 1 and August 30 2019, all currently registered coaches and trainers must review and sign off on both the Ministry’s Concussion awareness resources and Rugby Ontario Concussion Code of Conduct.
  4. Between July 1 and August 30 2019, all currently registered match officials must review and sign off on the Ministry’s Concussion awareness resources.
  5. From July 1, 2020, all sports must have in place Concussion Removal and Return to Sport protocols (rugby is in a good place here as this links in well with World Rugby’s Concussion Guidance, Rugby Canada’s Play Smart program and Rugby Ontario’s policies and Blue Card initiative).

Rugby Ontario Actions to comply with Rowan’s Law Legislation

  1. For new 2019 registrants after July 1, Rugby Ontario will reach out directly to them to complete the necessary Government requirements. They will need to do so before their registration is activated to allow them to commence participation in rugby related activities.
  2. Rugby Ontario will be reaching out to all currently registered coaches and medical staff to provide them with and help them to sign off on the Ontario Ministry’s Concussion awareness resources and the Rugby Ontario Concussion Code of Conduct. Coaches and medical staff have until August 30, 2019 to comply with the legislation and maintain their active status with Rugby Ontario.
  3. Rugby Ontario will be reaching out to all currently registered match officials to provide them with and help them to sign off on the Ontario Ministry’s Concussion awareness resources. Match officials have until August 30, 2019 to comply with the legislation and maintain their active status with Rugby Ontario.
  4. For 2020, Rugby Ontario will work with Rugby Canada and SportLomo with a view to building the necessary Government requirements under Rowan’s Law into the online registration process.
  5. In 2020 and all subsequent years, all registrants will be required to review and sign off on the Ontario Ministry’s Concussion Awareness Resources and the Rugby Ontario Concussion Code of Conduct. If the player is under 18 years of age then their parent/guardian must sign off.
  6. Whilst the legislation is only applicable to players under the age of 26, in the interests of player safety and best practices, Rugby Ontario will require all players (or their parent/guardianin they are under 18 years of age) to review and sign off on the requirements of the legislation.

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

Players/parents/guardians/coaches/match officials/trainers are to review and sign off on the resources that are relevant to their participation. For example, if a player participates in an Under 13 league, their parents/guardians would need to review and sign off on the Ontario Ministry’s Concussion Awareness Resources fro plates aged 11 to 14. If a coach coaches an Under 17 or senior team, they would need to review and sign off on the Ontario Ministry’s Concussion Awareness Resources for players aged 15 and above.

The concussion awareness resources also include two posters.

  1. Rowan’s Law Concussion Poster 1
  2. Rowan’s Law Concussion Poster 2

Rugby Ontario Concussion Codes of Conduct

Part of the requirements of Rowan’s Law is that Rugby Ontario is required to have a concussion Code of Conduct in place for both players and coaches/trainers. All players and coaches/trainers are required to review and sign off on the relevant Code of Conduct at the point of registration each season.

  1. Rugby Ontario Concussion Code of Conduct Players
  2. Rugby Ontario Concussion Code of Conduct Coaches & Trainers

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

 For further information on Rowan’s Law, please contact David Patterson at dpatterson@rugbyontario.com.