In May 2013, 17 year old Rowan Stringer died as a result of a head injury she sustained while playing rugby with her high school team. In the week prior to her final game, Rowan had been hit twice, and likely sustained a concussion each time. These concussions were not recognized, and she continued to play. When she was hit again in her last game, she suffered what is known as Second Impact Syndrome – catastrophic swelling of the brain caused by a second injury that occurs before a previous injury has healed. Rowan collapsed on the field and died four days later in hospital.
A coroner’s inquest was convened in 2015 to look into the circumstances of Rowan’s death. The coroner’s jury made 49 recommendations for how the federal government, as well as Ontario’s government ministries, school boards and sports organizations, should improve the manner in which concussions are managed in this province.
CONCUSSION CODE OF CONDUCT:
OWHA participants, parents and guardians of athletes who are under 18 years of age, coaches,
trainers, officials, bench staff and all named-insured individuals are required to make an annual
written commitment and acknowledgement at the time of registration with the OWHA that:
1) They have read the age appropriate OWHA Concussion Awareness Resource within the past 3
(three) months and that they:
a. Make a commitment to fair play and respect for all;
b. Make a commitment to concussion recognition and reporting, including self-reporting of possible
concussion and reporting to a designated person when an individual suspects that another individual
may have sustained a concussion;
c. Make a commitment to following and supporting the Hockey Canada return-to-sport process;
d. Make a commitment to sharing any pertinent information regarding incidents of a removal from
sport with the athlete’s school and any other sport organization with which the athlete has
e. Coaches and trainers are required to make a commitment to providing opportunities before and
after each training, practice and competition to enable athletes to discuss potential issues
related to concussions;
f. Make a commitment to zero-tolerance for prohibited play that is considered
high-risk for causing
g. Acknowledgement of mandatory expulsion from competition for violating zero-tolerance for
that is considered high-risk for causing concussions;
h. Acknowledgement of escalating consequences for those who repeatedly violate the concussion
code of conduct.
i. The OWHA/Hockey Canada Injury Report form and the Concussion Follow Up and Communication Form
must be completed in a timely manner and submitted to the OWHA within the required time frame.
be completed in a timely manner and submitted to the OWHA within the required time frame.
To view the document in its entirety: ROWAN_S_LAW_Document_(FINAL_June_27)
All players as well as a parent/guardian will be required to review and sign a Rowan's Law Acknowledgement Form at the time of signing team waiver.