Updated Ontario Basketball Concussion Policy and Code of Conduct

Ontario Basketball’s concussion policy has been updated in collaboration with the Concussion Centre at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Ontario Physical and Health Education Association and the Coaches Association of Ontario. The update is required by law in Ontario as Rowan’s Law came into effect on July 1, 2019.

The purpose of this Concussion Policy and Code of Conduct is to increase education and awareness for coaches, parents/guardians, players, officials, managers and other team or club members on the signs and symptoms of concussion and the specific protocols for managing concussion in Ontario Basketball (OBA) sanctioned activities.

This Concussion Policy and Code of Conduct aims to 1) ensure that players with a suspected concussion are removed-from-sport and seek medical assessment and 2) all players with a suspected and/or diagnosed concussion do not participate in OBA sanctioned activities before medically cleared to return to basketball.

This Concussion Policy and Code of Conduct applies to coaches and team trainers of all OBA sanctioned teams, to athletes participating in all OBA sanctioned activities, and to parents/guardians of participants.

 

Responsibility

Coaches, Team Trainers

Every coach and team trainer of every OBA sanctioned team and program is responsible for:

a) Reviewing annually (and confirming such review as required by OBA) the concussion awareness resources available from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport website (MTCS); and

b) Reviewing annually (and confirming such review as required by OBA) this Concussion Policy and Code of Conduct annually and implementing it in all OBA sanctioned activities. Any changes to this Concussion Policy and Code of Conduct will be highlighted and communicated prior to the start of a season.

Participants

Every participant in an OBA sanctioned activity is responsible for:

a) Confirming annually as required by OBA their review of the concussion awareness resources available from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport website; and

b) Confirming annually as required by OBA their review of this Concussion Policy and Code of Conduct.

If a participant is under 18 years of age, the parents/guardians of such participant is also responsible for a) and b) above.

 

Code of Conduct

Each athlete, parent/guardian of an athlete who is under 18 years of age, coach and team trainer hereby commits to the following:

1. Fair play and respect for all;

2. Concussion recognition and reporting, including self-reporting of possible concussion and reporting to a head coach when an individual suspects that another individual may have sustained a concussion;

3. Supporting the Return-to-Basketball Protocol; and

Each athlete, and parent/guardian of an athlete who is under 18 years of age also hereby commits to sharing any pertinent information regarding incidents or a removal from sport with the athlete’s school and any other sport organization with which the athlete has registered.

Each coach hereby commits to providing opportunities before and after each training, practice and competition to enable athletes to discuss potential issues related to concussions.

View the Ontario Basketball Concussion Policy and Code of Conduct in its entirety in our Policies and Procedures section. Please review the entire concussion recognition and removal-from-basketball & return-to-basketball and medical clearance protocols.

Resources, guidelines, Smartsheet reporting form links, and courses are available in OBA’s Concussion Resources section.

OBA will evaluate the effectiveness of this Concussion Policy and Code of Conduct and its implementation annually and make changes as necessary. A tool for reporting a suspected concussion and monitoring timing for return-to-play is forthcoming from Ontario Basketball.

About Rowan’s Law

Rowan’s Law is a piece of concussion safety legislation which came into effect on July 1, 2019. All provincial sport organizations in the province of Ontario are now required to implement this law into their written policies on concussion recognition and management.

Rowan’s Law is named after Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old rugby athlete in Ontario who passed away tragically after suffering from Second Impact Syndrome. Rowan had played three rugby matches in six days and suffered from two concussions, the second one fatal. The legislation seeks to ensure that all provincial sport organizations implement adequate youth sport concussion protocol to prevent future tragedies from happening.

The four pillars to be implemented by all sport governing bodies for Rowan’s Law are:

  • Players who suffer from head injuries and are removed from a game as a result will be required to provide proof of medical clearance before they can return to play.
  • Mandatory concussion education courses for all young athletes, parents and coaches.
  • An athlete will be removed immediately from the field of play if a concussion is suspected.
  • Strict adherence to return-to-learn and return-to-play protocols for youth athletes with concussions.

Ontario Basketball’s Concussion Policy has been updated to comply in full with Rowan’s Law, in consultation with Holland Bloorview Concussion Centre, the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association and the Coaches Association of Ontario.