In May 2013, 17 year old Rowan Stringer died as a result of a head injury she sustained while playing rugby with her high school team.  In the week prior to her final game, Rowan had been hit twice, and likely sustained a concussion each time.  These concussions were not recognized, and she continued to play.  When she was hit again in her last game, she suffered what is known as Second Impact Syndrome - catastrophic swelling of the brain caused by a second injury that occurs before a previous injury has healed.  Rowan collapsed on the field and died four days later in hospital.

On March 7, 2018, Ontario passed Rowan's Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 and related amendments to the Education Act.  This new legislation is intended to protect amateur athletes by improving concussion safety on the field and at school.

To comply with Rowan’s Law, the OWHA has developed an OWHA Concussion Awareness Resource, which must be reviewed each season by every OWHA participant (player, staff, volunteers), and the parent/guardian if the participant is under 18 years of age.  This resource includes:

  • The OWHA Concussion Code of Conduct
  • Removal from Play and Return to Play Protocols
  • Age-specific concussion resources for Ages 10 and under, 11 to 14, and Age 15 and up.

All staff, players and guardians are required to complete the OWHA Rowan’s Law Acknowledgement  Form at the start of the season.

Player Safety

Volunteer Screening Requirements

Injury Logs and Reporting

Emergency Action Plans


Mental Health

NGHA Implementation

Information on the OWHA Concussion Awareness Resource will be sent to all NGHA players, parents and team staff prior to the beginning of the season for review.

All NGHA teams are also required review the OWHA Concussion Awareness Resource as part of their pre-season meeting with players, parents and team staff.   At this meeting, the Coach or Trainer will review the OWHA Concussion Awareness Resource, including the Concussion Code of Conduct, Removal form Play and Return to Play Protocols, and the relevant Age-specific resource.

All staff, players and guardians will complete the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association Rowan’s Law Acknowledgement Form.  These forms will be collected by the team Coach or Manager and submitted to the NGHA Registrar at the same time as the Team Waiver (Roster).


Concussion Resources

Hockey Canada Concussion Card
Hockey Canada Concussion Recognition Tool
Hockey Canada Concussion App - Android
Hockey Canada Concussion App - Apple



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