LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Citing more than two dozen fights and other physical incidents, Kentucky High School Athletic Association officials have announced the elimination of the traditional post game handshake.
The issue focuses on baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling.
Voluntary handshakes will still be permitted, but fines will result if any altercations occur. KHSAA officials also said that all game officials leave the field immediately following all games.
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In a statement, KHSAA officials said “it is disappointing that this action has become necessary, enough incidents have occurred both in our state and in others, that the necessity has arrived,” the statement read.
No incidents have occurred locally, but JCPS officials said they will comply with the recommendation and not allow organized handshakes.
Central’s athletic director, Marlon Miller, said it is good to teach kids the sportsmanship that accompanies post game handshakes.
“For me, playing sports when I was in high school, that was normal,” he said.
Some parents feel the order is sending the wrong message.
“Not teaching conflict resolution goes against what we’re trying to do to make these young kids adults,” said Christopher Vance.
Following the contests, officials are to quickly and efficiently leave the playing facility following all rules mandated duties and ensure that the rules book mandated jurisdiction ends promptly. There is no need for officials to secure the game balls, shake hands with the coaches or players, or stick around the playing area for any other reason.
Officials have no role in what goes on in postgame, including handshakes, etc. after jurisdiction has ended. Officials also have NO role in administering this policy. Officials choosing to involve themselves in postgame activities will be penalized appropriately;
Game management and the administration of the participating team(s) are solely responsible for what happens after the contest is concluded.
It is directed that teams and individuals do not participate in organized post game handshake lines/ceremonies beyond that interaction that is required by the NFHS playing rules (i.e. the awarding of a bout winner in wrestling) and the individual unorchestrated actions by individual competitors;
The coaches and administration of the teams are responsible for the individual conduct of the members of the team following the contest and shall be held accountable for such; and
If the decision is made to ignore this directive and participate in some form of organized post-game handshake line/handshake against this recommendation, it is the expressed responsibility