Kentucky has banned post-game handshakes
Well, this seems counter-intuitive...
The KHSAA sent this out to member high schools recently:
Several sports have "traditions" regarding postgame handshakes, etc. by team members (both en masse and as individuals), but none of them have such action dictated by playing rules. While it is an obvious sign of sportsmanship and civility, many incidents have occurred both in Kentucky (more than two dozen in the last three years in Kentucky alone) and throughout the country, where fights and physical conflicts have broken out. And this is not restricted to specific sports. In our state alone, incidents in soccer, football and volleyball have occurred this fall.
Unfortunately, the adrenaline and effort required to participate in the sport sometimes seems to deplete the supply of judgement available to participants. And this can be particularly problematic when there is a lack of an appropriate level of adult supervision, or counterproductive actions by the adults involved with the team. After consultation with the Board of Control at its last meeting, the Commissioner is issuing the following directives and recommendations to the schools and officials regarding post game in baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling:
- 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 un-orchestrated 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 postgame handshake line/handshake against this recommendation, it is the expressed responsibility of game management and the coaches and administration of the teams to supervise the activity, to report to the KHSAA any incidents that occur.
- Henceforth, any incidents by an individual squad member (including coaches) or group of squad members that results in unsporting acts immediately following the contest will result in a fine against the member school athletic program, and additional penalties against the individuals or schools as deemed appropriate following investigation.
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.