CJHL Launches New Initiative to Improve Concussion Protocol

The Canadian Junior Hockey League is taking a step forward in improving their play-safety protocols in regard to concussions and other head related injuries.

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) announced the program as the first of its kind. It is a national concussion program available across the CJHL to protect and monitor mental health and the overall physical well being of its’ players. The initiative employs a mandatory concussion protocol for the entire league that establishes clear guidelines for the recognition, assessment, and management of concussions and concussion-like symptoms.

Collision in the corner. (Bryan Wilson / BTBW Media)

The CJHL Concussion Program will use new web-based software created by HeadCheck Health, Inc. that enables any team’s medical staff to perform the concussion protocol while allowing the league to properly monitor compliance. The implementation of this new program will make it possible for a player’s concussion history to be digitally tracked and carried with them from team to team.

Bill Chow, President of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, believes this new program is an important step in improving player safety across the country.

“Our first and foremost concern is player safety,” Chow explains. “Having a program across Canada for Junior ‘A’ hockey players is significant. It will all be tracked within the program. If a player gets traded from Alberta to Saskatchewan or visa versa, whatever the case may be, that history will go with that player to that team, so it’s not going to be an unknown. Up until now it’s been an unknown, so you wouldn’t know what that history would be. So I think that it’s important that we have the tools with the teams to be able to recognize a concussion.”

The Canadian Junior Hockey League is a national organization featuring 133 teams and more than 3,000 players. Logistically speaking, it can be difficult to properly monitor a player’s medical history with so many transactions happening between leagues. Players often play in more than one CJHL league throughout their junior career so this new program should help alleviate some of the player-safety challenges.