ROWAN’S LAW in ONTARIO Effective July 1, 2019
Ontario Artistic Swimming (OAS) has taken steps to over the past several years to become a leader in concussion management, education and prevention to prioritize the safety of its athletes. Our Concussion Policy and the OAS artistic swimming-specific Concussion Guidelines are among the most comprehensive, sport-specific concussion policies for amateur sport in Ontario. These documents also implement the mandatory requirements of Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018.
The Concussion Policy ensures athletes who are suspected to have sustained a concussion during artistic swimming activity are removed from sport and do not return to activity before being cleared by a medical professional. Together with the OAS artistic swimming-specific Concussion Guidelines the Policy provides coaches, officials, parents and others with the resources they need to recognize, report and manage a concussion injury including through use of artistic swimming-specific Removal-from-sport and Return-to-sport protocols and a Return-to-sport concussion progress tracker.
Concussion Resources for Clubs
OAS encourages all clubs to establish their own concussion policy consistent with the responsibilities described in the OAS Concussion Policy. The attached concussion policy template may be customized by clubs.
OAS Concussion Code of Conduct
Under Rowan’s Law, OAS is required to have a concussion Code of Conduct in place for athletes and coaches. All athletes (and their parents or guardians for athletes under 18 years of age) and coaches are required to review and sign off on the relevant Code of Conduct prior to registration each season.
Ontario Concussion Awareness Resources
Clubs must give all new and returning athletes age-appropriate Ontario Concussion Awareness Resources prior to registration. Athletes (and their parents or guardians for athletes under 18 years of age) must confirm in writing that they have reviewed the resource. This must be done before the athlete is allowed to participate in artistic swimming-related programs.
Clubs must also give all new and returning coaches a copy of the Ontario Concussion Awareness Resources prior to registration and receive confirmation in writing that their coaches have reviewed the resource. This must be done before the coach is allowed to coach artistic swimming-related programs.
There are three age variations of the Ontario Concussion Awareness Resources:
Athletes (and their parents or guardians for athletes under 18 years of age) are to review and sign off on the resources that are appropriate to their age. For example, if an athlete’s competitive age is 12, the athlete and their parents would need to review and sign off on the Ontario Concussion Awareness Resources for athletes aged 11 to 14.
Coaches are to review and sign off on the resources that are appropriate to the oldest age group of athletes they coach. For example, if a coach coaches 13-15 and Junior age athletes, they would need to review and sign off on the Ontario Concussion Awareness Resources for athletes aged 15 and above.
The Ontario Concussion Awareness Resources also include two posters:
Concussion Recognition Tool
Clubs must keep a copy of the Concussion Recognition Tool on deck and available to coaches.
OAS artistic swimming-specific Concussion Guidelines
These guidelines were developed from the latest Consensus Statement by the Concussion in Sport Group (McCrory et al., 2017) and research from the University of Toronto Concussion Lab. They are intended for use by artistic swimming coaches and officials to assist in recognizing and managing a concussion injury. They are not intended to take the place of direct advice from a medical professional. When in doubt, contact a medical professional.
These Guidelines include the:
The OAS Return-to-sport Protocol must be implemented for all instances of concussion injury and requires medical clearance by a medical professional prior to re-introduction of physical activity. This includes a family physician, pediatrician, emergency room physician, sports-medicine physician, neurologist or nurse practitioner. Documentation from any other source will not be acceptable.
Ontario Incident Reporting
An incident report must be submitted through Injury Tracker for all instances of suspected or confirmed concussion injury sustained during artistic swimming activity.
A bye request must be submitted when an athlete is unable to participate in a mandatory or qualifying competition, or event for medical or other reasons. An approved by is necessary in order for the athlete to continue to be eligible to enter subsequent competitions, or events.
Concussion Resources for Athletes and Parents
This document has been designed to help athletes and parents learn more about concussion recognition and management.
Concussion Resources for Coaches
The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) has developed a series of concussion awareness resources for coaches, including the Making Head Way NCCP eLearning Modules.
CAS and OAS require that all coaches Competition Introduction Trained or higher complete the CAC Making Head Way Concussion eLearning Module for Sport (Generic).
Helpful Concussion Resources
Concussion: The Basics – Parachute is a leading organization for injury prevention in Canada.
Ontario Government Rowan’s Law Links
For all the information relating to the implementation of Rowan’s Law, please refer to the relevant Ontario Government website links.