Concussion – Rowan’s Law

This Toolkit provides Ontario Coaches with the relevant tools and materials to support the use of consistent concussion protocols across all sport settings. It is aligned with the Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport and Rowan’s Law.

Top 10 ways to help prevent concussions from happening in your sport and how to be prepared for them when they do.

  1. Get trained in NCCP Making Head Way in Sport!
  2. Review the Concussion Guide for Coaches annually
    – If your sport organization has advised you that you need to follow the rules of Rowan’s Law please review one format of the following Concussion Awareness Resources and your sport organization’s  Code of Conduct
    – If you are a Teacher-Coach you must also review the Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education on Concussion
  3. Review your sport organization’s Concussion Policy annually
  4. Discuss concussions with parents and athletes during your pre-season meeting
  5. Share the Concussion Guides and/or Awareness Resources with everyone involved in your sport (coaches, parents, and athletes)
  6. Have a Player Code of Conduct that ensures safe play
    – If your sport organization has advised you that you need to follow the rules of Rowan’s Law  please review and utilize their Code of Conduct
  7. Ensure your athletes are wearing properly fitted equipment and obey the rules of the sport
  8. Promote an open relationship between you and your athletes so that they feel safe and comfortable reporting injuries and understand the risks of not doing so
  9. Review your sport specific resources for drills and activities that can reduce the risk of concussion and other injuries
  10. Utilize the valuable tools in this Toolkit!

A concussion should be suspected in any athlete who sustains a significant impact to the head, face, neck, or body and demonstrates ANY of the visual signs of a suspected concussion or reports ANY symptoms of a suspected concussion (see CRT6).


Follow your sport organization’s Removal-from-Sport protocol. Any athlete with a suspected concussion should be removed from activity immediately for medical assessment by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner.

No-Concussion diagnosis by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner = return to activity

Concussion diagnosis by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner = graduated return to sport strategy (consult your sport’s Concussion Policy and/or Return-to-Sport Strategy)

This is an important time to remind parents and athletes of the Concussion Guides and Awareness Resources and the pre-season documents they received.  It takes everyone involved to ensure a safe return to activity!

This resource is for you!

This interactive video resource, outlines your obligations when serving as the Designated Person under Rowan’s Law. Learn more on how to implement the Removal-from-sport and Return-to-sport protocols. It only takes 15 minutes to complete!

NCCP Making Head Way – Concussion eLearning Series

Designed to help you gain the knowledge and skills required to ensure the safety of your athletes, these NCCP Professional Development modules will make you concussion smart! Choose from the 6 modules – Sport (Generic), Soccer, Snowboard, Speed Skating, Freestyle Ski, or Football.

You should expect to spend 60-90 minutes completing a module.

Complete the NCCP Making Head Way in Sport eLearning module

How does Rowan’s Law impact me as a coach?

The goal of Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018, is to protect amateur competitive athletes by reducing their risk of getting a concussion. It focuses on improving concussion safety and awareness, both on the field and at school.

Coaches play an important role in the lives of athletes. You teach, train and help develop athletes to achieve their full potential. You analyze their performance, hone their skills and offer encouragement. Because of your role, you have a unique opportunity to promote concussion awareness and safety among athletes and their parents.

The health of our athletes depends on your support. Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion and know what to do when a concussion happens. It could save a life.

Here’s how:

1. Review the Concussion Awareness Resources regularly.

Rowan’s Law requires that all coaches and team trainers review the government-approved Concussion Awareness Resources every year before serving in a sport organization or at a school. These resources include important information about:

  • The nature of concussions
  • Common signs and symptoms
  • Steps to take if an athlete is suspected of having a concussion
  • Protocols for removing an athlete from sport and helping them return.

2. Take advantage of free online training.

The Coaches Association of Ontario offers a “Coach’s Concussion Toolkit”, and the Coaching Association of Canada provides the “Making Head Way” training module. We encourage you to take advantage of these valuable resources.

3. Be familiar with your sport organization’s Code of Conduct.

Rowan’s Law requires all coaches and team trainers to review their sport organization’s Concussion Code of Conduct each year before the start of the season.

The code sets out expectations and rules of behaviour to minimize concussions while playing sport. This means that as a coach or team trainer, you acknowledge the seriousness of concussions, commit to the health and safety of all athletes, and create an environment where everyone is encouraged to speak up if an athlete experiences any symptoms after an impact.

4.  Know the Removal and Return-to-Play protocols.

Coaches also play an important role in following the Removal-from-Sport protocol, when an athlete is suspected of having sustained a concussion, and the Return-to-Sport protocol, to ensure their safe return following a suspected or sustained concussion. Your role includes supporting an athlete as they progress through the steps outlined in the Return-to-Sport protocol.

On July 1st, 2019 and January 1st, 2022, new rules come into effect through Rowan’s Law to improve concussion safety in amateur competitive sport.

If you are a coach and your sport organization has advised that you will need to follow the rules of Rowan’s Law you will need to:

Additional Resources

Rowan’s Law: Concussion Safety

The Government of Ontario’s website on Rowan’s Law and Concussion Safety. Learn how to prevent, identify and manage concussions.

2022 Amsterdam Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport

This consensus document reflects the current state of knowledge on Concussion in Sport and is updated every 4 years by experts in the field.

Parachute: Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport

Parachute Canada’s national guideline that covers pre-season education and the recognition, medical diagnosis, and management of athletes who sustain a suspected concussion during a sport activity.

Parachute: Statement on Concussion Baseline Testing in Canada

Parachute Canada’s clarification of the role of concussion baseline testing for Canadian youth and adult athletes.

Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education on Concussions

OPHEA’s Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education’s Concussion Protocol is the minimum standard for school boards as recognized by the Ministry of Education.

Addressing Concussion Symptoms in Youth Sport

Western University’s Interdisciplinary project. “It’s not that bad” Addressing the influences to concussion symptom under-reporting and removal from play in youth sport.

Concussion Tool Kit Feedback Form
Please provide a contact email in the text if you would like to be followed up with.

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Hear what Ontario Coaches had to say about Concussions

Complete the NCCP Making Head Way in Sport eLearning module

Help build awareness about concussion safety ad Rowan’s Law

Help build awareness about concussion safety and Rowan’s Law