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Rowan's Law Day Shines Light On Concussion Awareness

By Ontario Volleyball Association, 09/28/23, 6:30PM EDT


Wednesday September 27th was the 6th Rowan’s Law Day, a day that the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) would like to recognize and support. This annual event falls in the heart of Canadian Concussion Awareness week of September 24th to 30th and is held to increase awareness surrounding concussions in sport.

In 2018, the province of Ontario passed Rowan’s Law requiring 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.

Rowan’s Law was passed in memorial of Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old rugby player from Ottawa who passed away in May 2013 from secondary impact syndrome, a byproduct of suffering multiple concussions within a short period of time. Her death put a spotlight on the lack of information given to youth athletes, and protection and support systems within sport in this province.

As knowledge around concussions and their long-term effects grows, the OVA is attempting to stay as up to date as possible with regulations and training surrounding the subject. While we understand the concussion risk involved in volleyball purely by design of the sport, the OVA along with Volleyball Canada, has been committed to data driven changes. Reducing high-risk scenarios is the main goal with changes made to OVA member training, reducing risks in non game-play activities such as practices and warm-ups, and increased netting and signage for venue safety.

If you or someone on your team suspects they might have a concussion please stop playing immediately and seek the advice of a medical professional.

For further information about concussions, policies and the updated Rowans Law Progress Report, please follow these links:

OVA Concussion Resources

Ontario Government Concussion Resources

Rowan's Law Progress Report

Volleyball Canada Concussion Protocol