September 28 marks Rowan's Law Day, a day which honours Rowan Stringer, a young athlete who died of second impact syndrome (the result of sustaining multiple concussions). Her memory is honoured through the awareness of concussion safety and education on concussions which is inherent in nearly every sport.
A law - Rowan's Law - was enacted by the Government of Ontario to manage and prevent concussions through a strict series of protocols that must be undertaken by sports organizations.
Concussions represent 20% of Ontario student injuries treated by a doctor or nurse. Concussions can also have debilitating long-term effects, which is why it is important to take every instance of an athlete or other participant sustaining a hit to the head seriously. In January 2022, the Government of Ontario made Rowan's Law require amateur sport organizations to establish a removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols to ensure that an athlete is removed immediately if they have sustained a concussion or if they are suspected of having sustained a concussion. The law also requires athletes to get medical clearance from a physician or nurse practitioner before they are permitted to return to training, practice or competition.
As concussions are an inherent risk in volleyball, the OVA takes the safety of our members as a top priority and have made sure to follow these protocols in our concussion policy. The OVA works close with the Ministry of Sport in Ontario to make sure that our regulations and prevention measures are up to date and that any updated information is available to our members.
It is required that all athletes, parents, coaches, team trainers and officials review the concussion awareness resources and their sport organization’s concussion code of conduct, where applicable.
To read the OVA Concussion Policy, please click on the link below.
Every concussion experience is different, with some having symptoms appear immediately while for others it might take several days, maybe weeks to appear. Some may experience only one symptom while another may have multiple. Concussions affect the way you think and feel, possibly altering your mood and how you go about daily activities.
Symptoms of a concussion can include:
Please read these resources provided by the Government of Ontario as well as Volleyball Canada to further understand the significance of concussion safety and how you can implement prevention measures to your activities.