Rowan’s Law – Your Legal Requirements (Ontario

Some aspects of the Rowan Act come into force on Monday, July 1, 2019. This is what it means to you as a club or regatta host:

  1. Any participant who registers with your organization, or participates in your regatta, after July 1, 2019 must do the following two things:
    1. Confirm that they have read a ministry-approved resource for concussion awareness.
    2. Confirm that they have reviewed and committed the Ontario Sailing Athletes’ Concussion Code of Conduct.
  2. Participants who register or enter before July 1 can continue to participate in the activities. They will have to confirm both articles the next time they register. As we move forward, all participants will be required to confirm both elements once in a 12-month period.
  3. Coaches/instructors must also do the following two items. They have until August 30 to complete these confirmations. Again, in the future, they will have to provide confirmation once every 12 months.
    1. Confirm that they have read a ministry-approved resource for concussion awareness.
    2. Confirm that they have reviewed and committed the Ontario Sailing Coach Concussion Code of Conduct.
  4. If you have a team coach, which is defined as below, they are also required to meet the same requirements as coaches… “team coach” refers to a person who is assigned by a sports organization to respond to athletes’ injuries.

Below are the resources approved by the ministry for concussions. There are three age-based options we share…

Concussion Awareness Resources 10 and under: CLICK HERE.

Concussion Awareness Resources Ages 11-14 – CLICK HERE.

Concussion Awareness Resources 15 and over – CLICK HERE.

Below are the Ontario Sailing Concussion Codes of Conduct. They have been adjusted to meet new details of the law. All member organizations must use these codes of conduct as attached.

Ontario Sailing Concussion Code of Conduct – Athletes

Ontario Sailing Concussion Code of Conduct – Coaches

These are also available at


Q1: Can we make our own codes of conduct? Can we just change the Ontario Sailing ones to ours?

A1: The updated codes of conduct are based on models provided by the department. Ontario Sailing strongly encourages all Ontario Sailing member organizations to use the exact codes of conduct we have presented. If you change the codes of conduct, you may not comply with the law. If all member organizations use the same codes of conduct, this will eliminate the need for coaches and athletes to sign multiple codes when participating in regattas organized by other member organizations.

Q2: Can we continue to use Ontario Sailing Concussion Resources provided in winter or other parachute or recognized resources? OR Can the coach complete the concussion training count as the resource?

A2: The law makes it very clear that the concussion awareness resource must be an element approved by the department. At this point, the department has only produced these e-books, but we understand that a video and a module come at some point during the summer. They indicated that they did not intend to approve other resources, training or qualifications under this Act. As the department has more resources or changes their position, we will share this information with all of our member organizations.

Q3: Do we have to keep the Code of Conduct signed by everyone?

A3: There are no rules in the law on how you collect this information. You must keep a record in a certain format as the participants and coaches have met the requirements. We suggest a checkbox on your registration forms that includes this statement: “I (and my parent/legal guardian if I am under 18) confirm that I have reviewed the concussion resources provided and I recognize and commit to comply with the Ontario Sailing Concussion Code.

Q4: We have St. John’s or a registered nurse, etc. to our regatta to provide first aid, are they considered a team coach?

A4: Based on the definition in the regulations of the act, we believe that someone who provides first aid at a regatta, or if that is his or her role at the club, would fit that definition. We have asked for further clarification, but we believe it falls within their definition, so suggest that you comply with your first responder confirming the review of both sections.

Q5: What about all the procedures surrounding the removal of participants suspected of concussions and the return to sport?

A5: Right now, only parts of the legislation come into force, given the short time frame that the department has set, so we wanted to focus on the implementation clauses of July 1, 2019. Updates on deletion and return will be coming in the fall. These elements of the act come into force on July 1, 2020.

Q6: I’m a 25-year-old adult do I have to do this?

A6: Legally, all participants under the age of 26 and all participants in a college or university program must participate in all aspects of the law. Some aspects (Abduction and return to sport) will apply to all ages. Ontario Sailing, and other sports, have decided for overall safety, as well as ease of administration for our clubs, coaches, officials and other volunteers, to have our policies and procedures implemented for participants of all ages.

Any more questions? Please contact Lisa Roddie, COAST Manager (