New Concussion Rules in Canada

Credit : Akaash Maharaj (modified)

Thursday 15 December - 17h20 | Press release/Ian Clayton

New Concussion Rules in Canada

Equestrian Canada (EC) has become one of the first national governing bodies for sport in Canada to release official, sport-specific guidelines on return-to-play protocols for athlete concussions. EC’s concussion-related Accidents & Return-to-Play rule will come into effect Jan. 1, 2017 for all EC sanctioned competitions in Canada.

“When concussion occurs, it is of the utmost importance that they be recognized and that we limit athletes’ exposure to another potential concussion soon after the first,” said Dr. Rob Stevenson, a Canadian Olympian in eventing who was appointed FEI National Safety Officer for Canada in 2012 and was part of the concussion working group led by EC Head of Sport Science, Jessica Dilliott.

“Through these concussion protocols, Equestrian Canada has established a thorough framework for the education, recognition and management of concussions.”

Key components of the new Accidents & Return to Play rule will include the following:

  • - In the event of a fall/accident where a concussion can be reasonably suspected, the competitors must receive medical clearance by qualified medical personnel onsite before continuing to compete.
  • - The competitor is solely responsible for ensuring the onsite medical assessment takes place. Should a competitor refuse to be evaluated, they will be disqualified from the competition.
  • - If onsite qualified medical personnel suspect a concussion or believe the competitor may be at risk of concussion due to the nature of the fall or impact, the competitor will be suspended from competition and placed on a Medical Suspension List until medically released.
  • - Competitors will remain on the EC Medical Suspension List until they submit an EC Return to Play Form, signed by a licensed physician, to EC.
  • - No competitor shall compete at EC sanctioned competitions while on the EC Medical Suspension List and competition organizers may refuse entry to anyone currently on the list.
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  • The full Accidents & Return to Play rule will be available in the 2017 Rules of Equestrian Canada, Section A, General Regulations, Article 101.

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