Committee says Zero tolerance for “dangerous behaviors” in amateur sports.

We are continuously reading about the “zero tolerance” within sport organizations.  Implementing rules and improving their code of conduct handbooks to ensure safe play across Canada and the United States.

Expel kids from play, even for unintentional contact, group urges, to help prevent concussions.

The Rowan’s Law Advisory Committee, a committee that looks at concussion prevention and management in amateur sport and in schools say “hits to the head cannot be tolerated even if they are unintentional, stating that the offender should be banned from games”.

The Committee states that there needs to be severe consequences including immediate removal from the game.

In some cases, offenders should also be banned from the next game, the report adds, if the “dangerous behaviors” occur in the last quarter of play.

The committee has provided many recommendations that would implement mandatory training for coaches, health care professionals and teachers as well as better monitoring and tracking of injuries.

It also urges Sport organizations to develop stricter codes of conduct to include “the adoption and enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy. The policy is suggested to include prohibited head hits, high tackles and other reckless behaviors which seen are high risk for causing concussions or head injuries, regardless of if the action was intentional or unintentional.”

Rowan Stringer, an Ottawa-area teen, died in 2013 after a head injury she suffered playing rugby with her school team. She had previously suffered two hits to the head but, not realizing she was injured, played another game.

Eleanor McMahon, minister of tourism, culture and sport, said the report “moves our province forward to achieving a world class amateur sport system where athletes can participate safely.”

She said the province will introduce legislation based on the report “that, if passed, could govern amateur sport throughout the province, including in schools, communities and recreation areas.”