Concussion Protocol (Red Circle Hockey Club)

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A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. This fast movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging the brain cells.


The Red Circles Hockey organization is about EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND FAIR PLAY REGARDLESS OF ABILITY. The efforts and focus of the organization is about the players and their development as an individual and as part of a team all the while having fun and being safe. It is with this focus on safety, the organization has put in place protocols in the management of concussions to eliminate or at a minimum, minimize risk to the player. 

Individuals Involved:

Player, Parent or Guardian of Player, Coach, Division Convenor, Director on the Board or Designate responsible for Risk Management, or a designate(s) from Hockey Operations when the Director on the Board responsible for Risk Management is unavailable.


Refer to the websites for (1) Parachute Canada and (2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional information and tools.

Determination & Immediate Actions:

If at anytime while on the ice surface during a game or practice, any player who sustains a head injury or serious body injury, should be assessed for a potential concussion on the bench. If the player displays any of the identified symptoms below, they should be removed from play immediately and be identified as having a potential concussion. Continuing to play increases their risk of more severe, longer lasting concussion symptoms, as well as increases their risk of other injury.

The identified symptoms for an assessment include those made (i) by observation of the player by the coach and via (ii) conversation by the coach with the player or (iii) based on complaints made by the player during the assessment on the bench and in the dressing room.

Signs by Observation:

• Changes in coordination or balance

• Blank stare

• Glassy eyed

• Vomiting

• Slurred speech

• Slow to answer questions or follow directions

• Changes in concentration

• Knocked out

Thinking Problems:

• Does not know time, date, place, period of game, opposing team, score of game

• Cannot remember things that happened before and after the injury

Complaints Made by Player:

• Headache

• Dizziness

• Feels dazed “seeing stars”

• Feels stunned “having bell wrung”

• Ringing in the ears

• Sleepiness

• Loss of vision

• Sees double or blurry vision

• Stomachache, stomach pain, nausea

Further Actions:

Once removed from play, the player should return to the dressing for further assessment; however, if the injury is assessed to be more serious out on the ice or worsen in the dressing room, arena staff are to be called to assist. If necessary, the player should be sent direct to the hospital by ambulance. The player should not be left alone. In the dressing room, the situation should be reviewed by the Coach with the parent or guardian of the player. The Coach should advise both the parent or guardian of the player and the player that they, the player, has been assessed to have a potential concussion and should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Additionally, the player cannot return to play until such time as a Doctor’s note has been obtained to clear the player to return to any play including practices or games. Further, the Coach shall advise the Convenor of the Division of the name of the player who was assessed to have a potential concussion, the name of the player’s team along with the date, time and location this occurred. In turn, the Convenor will advise and pass on this information to the Director on the Board responsible for Risk Management.

The Doctor’s note for return to play shall be on a form that contains the name of the Doctor issuing the note, his signature and details for the medical practice including the name, address and phone number.


Once a Doctor’s note has been obtained, the note is to be passed onto the Convenor of the Division of the player or directly to the Director on the Board responsible for Risk Management. The Director of the Board responsible for Risk Management shall then review and provide the okay for return to play. Where applicable to the Doctor’s note, a modified return to play may be necessary and shall be followed as outlined in the note. Any modified return to play shall be reviewed with the Coach but the responsibility falls to the player and the parent or guardian of the player to make sure these guidelines are followed.


The Doctor’s note shall be placed on file in the Red Circle offices. Along with the Doctor’s note, the responsible Director on the Board for Risk Management shall include details including player’s name, Division, date, time and place of injury, and approximate date of return to play and any relevant details. The Doctor’s note shall be filed by year of occurrence. Notes shall be kept on file for a period of 3 years.

Additional Handouts:


Rowans Law Link

Ontario Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport, Concussion page link

Link to Concussion Awareness Resources as noted within Rowan's Law, located on the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care website