Using Ontario as an example, a recent commentary calls for concussion safety legislation to be adopted in every province and territory.
Published in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, Mr. Marcus Moore, UBC Allard School of Law Assistant Professor, and Dr. Charles Tator, leading concussion advocate at the Canadian Concussion Centre in Ontario, state that enacting concussion safety laws in each province would improve concussion awareness, change the culture around “‘old school’ ethics of roughness and toughness in sports,” and push organizations to adopt concussion protocols and policies.
The commentary highlights Rowan’s Law in Ontario and similar legislation in the United States. Rowan’s Law was adopted in 2018 and is named after Rowan Stringer, who died from second impact syndrome after suffering multiple concussions. The law makes it mandatory for sports organizations in Ontario to ensure that young athletes, as well as their parents and coaches/trainers, confirm they have reviewed concussion education on an annual basis; set up a removal and return to sport protocol within their organizations; and support prevention efforts by creating a Code of Conduct for play.
The authors are clear: a concussion law will not completely solve the “concussion crisis in sports,” but it is one piece of the puzzle.