Latest News

Sports organizations reminded to implement Rowan’s Law

New rules in response to death of teenager Rowan Stringer, who died after multiple concussions

Durham’s health department is reminding all local amateur sports organizations to implement the mandatory components of Rowan’s Law.

The deadline to implement is July 1, and the law is related to concussion safety in Ontario

Rowan’s Law was passed on March 7, 2018, and was named in honour of Rowan Stringer, a high school rugby player who tragically passed away after sustaining multiple concussions over six days.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, concussions continue to be a serious public health issue because of the frequency with which they occur, as well as the potential for serious short and long-term consequences to brain health.

“Between 2016 and 2017 alone, more than 17,000 sport-related brain injuries were seen in Ontario and Alberta emergency departments,” said Nicole Goodfellow, a public health nurse with the health department. “Of these sport-related brain injuries, 94 per cent were concussion related.”

Sports organizations that are impacted by Rowan’s Law include, but are not limited to, hockey, rugby, lacrosse, football, soccer, equestrian/horseback riding, martial arts, diving, ski and snowboarding.

All sport organizations must ensure that athletes, parents of athletes under 18, coaches and officials confirm every year that they have reviewed Ontario’s concussion awareness resources.

They must also establish a removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocol, and establish a concussion code of conduct that sets out rules of behaviour to support concussion prevention.

The first component related to concussion rules and the third component related to code of conduct requirements must be implemented by July 1.

The second component related to the removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocol will be enforced starting July 1, 2020.

The health department is offering free resources and staff assistance to support sports organizations in developing a code of conduct and learning about player concussion awareness requirements and accompanying protocols.

Members of sports organizations are invited to one of two interactive and informative workshops that will discuss fulfilling the mandatory requirements of Rowan’s Law.

The first workshop will take place June 25, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Delpark Homes Centre, 1661 Harmony Road North in Oshawa.

The second will be held on June 26, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Scugog Recreation Centre, 1655 Reach Street in Port Perry.

Individuals interested in attending a workshop or receiving further support can call the Durham health connection line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729, or email

For more information on Rowan’s Law and concussion safety, visit or