Concussions / Brain Injuries

What is a concussion?

A concussion is an alteration of the normal function of the brain induced by trauma, either by a direct blow or by rotational forces that result in a rapid acceleration/deceleration of the brain within the skull. In speed skating, concussion generally occur as a result of a fall resulting in impact into the boards or with the ice or a collision between skaters, and while there is contact or rotation of the head involved it is not always the case. Helmets protect against scull fractures, they do not prevent concussions! As such, it is critical for coaches, officials and parents to be vigilant for signs and symptoms.

Symptoms may include nausea, poor concentration, amnesia, fatigue, sensitivity to light or noise, irritability, poor appetite, and decreased memory. Concussions are often difficult to recognize, as some athletes may not complain of some of these symptoms. Loss of consciousness is not required to have a concussion, and in fact most athletes do not lose consciousness.

Learn how a concussion occurs (CAC resource)

Speed Skating Specific Resources

Concussion Recognition and Assement Tools

Need a Doctor

Consult the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASM) Physician Directory

Other Resources

Parachute Canada

Parachute Canada
Parachute is a national, charitable organization, formed in July 2012, which unites the former organizations of Safe Communities Canada, Safe Kids Canada, SMARTRISK and ThinkFirst Canada into one strong leader in injury prevention. This passionate, unified voice leverages 80 years of combined injury-prevention experience and we cannot be underestimated in our resolve and capacity to effect change. They are a leading source of information on concussions.

Coaching Association of Canada

Coaching Association of Canada Concussion Awareness Resources


Hockey Canada Concussion Awareness App
Hockey Canada has launched free concussion awareness apps for smartphones and tablets, with versions available for adults and kids focusing on prevention, respect, rules, symptoms and return to play protocol.


Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC)- Concussions
SIRC is a not-for-profit amateur sport organization with the mandate to provide information and serve the educational needs of organizations and individuals involved in, or responsible for the development of, sport and fitness in Canada and around the world.

Research Papers
& Articles