Ky. Students Told No Post-Game Handshakes: They Lead to Violence

Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 12:02 PM

By Bill Hoffman

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High school athletes in Kentucky should no longer shake hands with opposing team members after games, according to a new directive.

The bizarre instruction by the state's High School Athletic Association could stop youngsters from pressing the flesh in a friendly "good game" handshake after a competition.

The association says it's pulling the plug on the time-honored tradition after seeing dozens of incidents over the last three years in which players had after-game brawls and confrontations.

The directive would affect baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, volleyball, and wrestling and, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper.

It asks that "teams and individuals do not participate in organized postgame handshake lines/ceremonies."

While the directive isn't mandatory, the athletic association has the power to fine and penalize schools that ignore it and see fights break out.

“It is disappointing that this action has become necessary, but enough incidents have occurred both in our state and in others that the necessity has arrived,” the association said in a statement.

One high-school athletic director told the Courier-Journal: “People are going to think we're being bad sports if we don't shake hands."

And Don Adkins, athletics director for the Fayette County Schools, told the Lexington Herald-Leader: "When the game is over, I want to shake hands with that guy, and tell the guy, good job."

CBSSports.com slammed the ruling as a "strange, seemingly counter-productive directive … So there you have it, kids: Play hard, play fair, and don't dignify your opponents with respect after competing."

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