The new rules in Ontario requiring the review of Concussion Awareness Resources and Concussion Codes of Conduct came into effect on July 1, 2019. Curling centres in Ontario are LEGALLY required to comply with the following immediately.
The next phase of implementation of this legislation includes sports organizations establishing removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols. The effective date for this implementation has been delayed until January 1, 2022 due to Covid-19 pressures on the sport sector.
See this Letter from Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries that notifies Ontario sport organizations regarding the date change.
Requirements for Sport Organizations (including curling centres)
Ontario is a national leader in concussion management and prevention. Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 makes it mandatory for sports organizations within Ontario to:
- Ensure that athletes under 26 years of age,* parents of athletes under 18, coaches, team trainers and officials confirm every year that they have reviewed Ontario’s Concussion Awareness Resources.
- Establish a Concussion Code of Conduct that sets out rules of behaviour to support concussion prevention.
- Establish a Removal-from-Sport and Return-to-Sport protocol.
Questions about Rowan’s Law Implementation at your club can be directed to Jennifer Ferris, Manager – Programs and Operations | firstname.lastname@example.org
Government of Ontario Concussion Awareness Resources
These resources will help you learn more about concussions so you can keep yourself and others active and safe — whether you’re an athlete, student, parent, coach, official or educator.
The Rowan’s Law concussion awareness rules came into effect on July 1, 2019. After that date, sport organization must not register athletes under 26 years of age* into a sport activity unless they, as well as their parent (for athletes under 18), provide confirmation that they have reviewed one of the Concussion Awareness Resources within the previous twelve months. Sport organizations must also not allow coaches, team trainers and officials to serve as a coach, team trainer or official for or in respect of the sport organization unless they provide confirmation that they have reviewed one of the Concussion Awareness Resources, every year.
Review the resource(s) which applies to the age of the athlete:
Ontario Government Concussion Awareness Resource E-Module
This interactive learning e-module will help you learn more about concussions so you can keep yourself and others active and safe – whether you’re an athlete, student, parent, coach, official or educator.
Confirmation receipt for Concussion Awareness Resources
Following your annual review of one of the Concussion Awareness Resources, you may wish to complete this optional form and provide it to your sport organization(s) as proof/confirmation of your review of a Concussion Awareness Resource.
This form might also be useful to you as a reminder to complete your review of one of the Concussion Awareness Resources again next year.
This form will not be saved by the Government of Ontario and the Government of Ontario assumes no responsibility for confirming that you have reviewed the Concussion Awareness Resources.
The Rowan’s Law Concussion Code of Conduct requirements came into effect on July 1, 2019. After that date, sport organizations must require that athletes under 26 years of age*, as well as their parent (for athletes under 18), coaches and team trainers confirm that they have reviewed the sport organization’s Concussion Code of Conduct every year before:
Forms and protocols
Code of conduct template
A sample template is provided here to assist sport organizations with developing a Concussion Code of Conduct. These templates address two specific classes of individuals:
- registering in a sport activity within the sport organization
- serving with the sport organization
Information about the specific requirements for the establishment and review of Concussion Codes of Conduct, are outlined in Rowan’s Law and its associated regulations.
The Rowan’s Law Removal-from/Return-to-sport requirements will come into effect on July 1, 2020. After this date, sport organizations will be required to have a removal-from/return-to-sport protocol.
Removal from sport / Return to sport protocols
The Ontario Curling Council’s Concussion Policy has been updated (summer 2020) and aligned with Curling Canada’s policy and Rowan’s Law Requirements. It is inclusive of Code of Conduct, Educational Resources, Removal from Sport and Return to Sport Protocols.
Curling Clubs are recommended to use this template to produce their own Concussion Policy Template.
Frequently asked questions
The Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries released the following FAQ documents:
In addition, the Ontario Curling Council has received clarification on several questions:
Question: Does a “designated person” need to be present in the club at all times?
Answer: As you are aware, every sport organization will be required to identify a designated person(s) as having specific responsibilities/duties under the removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols. Designated person(s) will have an important role in supporting the adherence of the protocols. A sport organization may identify more than one designated person(s), and the responsibilities for the designated person(s) may be shared between one or more individuals.
The legislation and regulation do not set out minimum qualifications for individuals who will be identified as designated person(s) under a sport organizations’ removal and return-to-sport protocol. The decision on who to identify as the designated person(s) is up to the sport organization. It is also up to the sport organization to ensure that each practice, training, or competition has someone who can act in the capacity of the designate, if the designated person is not available for a given practice, training or competition. The designated person(s) will have to confirm their review of the Minister approved Concussion Awareness Resources, within the previous 12 months prior to serving in this capacity.
Rowan’s Law applies to a sport organization (as defined in the Act) that carries out training, practice or competition in connection with one of the 65 amateur competitive sports listed in the regulation or their parasport equivalent. In the case for Curling – which is listed as one of the 65 amateur competitive sports in the regulation, a curling organization/club/league would be captured and required to comply with the requirements of the legislation and regulation if there is at least one individual under 26 years of age participating in a training, practice or competition. In other words, if a curling club offers programs for individuals under 26 years of age (i.e., curling for teens), then all the requirements of the Act apply – including the requirement to identify a designated person(s) as part of the removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols. If a club offers a mixed-age group program with individuals under and over 26 years of age, then the requirements of the legislation and regulation also apply. Programs where all participants are 26 years of age and up, would not be required to comply with the legislation and regulation.