Postgame Handshakes Have Been Banned In Kentucky for High School Sports — Sort of
The State of Kentucky has reported numerous and escalating violent incidents immediately following some high school sporting events including Football, soccer and volleyball in the last three years. As a result, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has banned postgame handshakes, which has long been the symbol of sportsmanship in this country. According to a Commissioner's directive posted on the KHSAA website, while the postgame handshakes are traditional, too many physical confrontations have broken out and the ban is necessary.
The directive goes on to place the bulk of the blame on the adults in charge and the lack of proper adult supervision. In fact, some of the confrontations are sometimes started by the very adults who are supposed to be in charge to prevent these types of incidents from occurring.
While the KHSAA has banned the handshakes for Football, soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball and wrestling....they will not enforce the ban at the conclusion of a game. They will allow opposing teams to choose whether or not to have a handshake and if they do and an altercation breaks out, the schools could be penalized and those penalties could involve heavy fines by the KHSAA.
Needless to say, backlash to the handshake ban was swift and pointed, to the point that the KHSAA softened the language of the ban somewhat, but some member school principals have ordered their coaches not to take part in postgame handshakes.
This problem is not just limited to high schools...have you been to a pee wee league football game lately? Those can get very ugly very quickly. I witnessed a game a couple of years back where a parent felt a player on a particular team was playing very dirty against his son's team and during he handshake, rushed out of the stands and confronted the kid... during the handshake...yikes!!
While it is sad that a ban of this type is necessary, there is no disputing that organized sports up to the high school level has gotten much more competitive, confrontational and just plain nasty, to the point that something has to be done. Maybe if some parents and coaches were more about the experience for their child and less about winning at any cost, we wouldn't be talking about banning something as simple and as sportsmanlike as a handshake following a contest. What do you think?