6 Steps Return to Play Guidelines After a Concussion


Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta are dedicated to ensuring a safe and fun environment for all participants.

An important aspect of injury prevention is addressing concussions in sport and providing the information required in:

  • PREVENTION: Ultimately, we want to prevent concussions from occurring. That starts with respecting the safety and well-being of everyone sharing the ice with us, and includes wearing proper equipment, and eliminating dangerous hits.
  • RECOGNITION: What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion? Knowledge is key so we can observe and recognize a possible concussion, and get the person to medical attention.
  • RESPONSIBLE RETURN TO PLAY: Everyone wants to get back on the ice as soon as possible. With a concussion, there is a gradual, six-step process that must be followed, which includes observing and recognizing if symptoms return.

Hockey Canada has worked with various organizations, including Parachute Canada, to develop standardized information regarding the prevention, identification, and management of concussions and suspected concussions. Understanding what a concussion is, its causes and symptoms, what must be done when a concussion is suspected, and how to properly recover from a concussion will allow our participants to enjoy hockey for life even if a concussion has occurred.

Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada recognizes the increased awareness of concussions and their potential long-term effects. As a result, Hockey Canada has updated its Concussion Policy, and developed new tools and resources to help everyone BE CONCUSSION SMART!


As per Hockey Canada Policy if a participant is suspected of having a concussion, the following steps MUST occur:

  • The participant is immediately removed from play, regardless if the concussion occurs on or off the ice and s/he is not permitted to return to play that day. If there are doubts, assume that a concussion has occurred.
  • The participant is referred to a physician for diagnosis as soon as possible.
  • If a participant is diagnosed with"concussion-like symptoms" or a concussion, the participant is not permitted to return to play or practice/training until all of the return to play requirements are met.

Written clearance from a physician is required as outlined in the return to play strategy prior to returning to activity. A copy of this documentation is maintained as per Member/Minor Hockey Association policy and procedures.


6 Steps Return to Play After a Concussion

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