Rushville Republican

Z_CNHI News Service

October 15, 2013

Maybe we should rethink the post-game handshake

Two figures shaking hands dominate Kentucky’s blue- and gold-colored flag  –  a statesman and a pioneer, popularly, but not officially, thought to be Henry Clay and Daniel Boone.

How odd, then, that the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has advised educators to rethink the long-standing tradition of teams shaking hands after athletic events. Is sportsmanship dead in the Bluegrass State?

No, but a serious discussion and examination about the post-game ritual is playing out from Paducah to Paintsville. Maybe the topic should be expanded to schools across the country.

A brouhaha erupted when a poorly drafted press release had fans across the state – as well as the nation – outraged that Kentucky’s prep athletic association was either prohibiting or banning players from shaking hands, fist bumping or high-fiving after games. Not so fast. The association simply was trying to say that if handshake lines are part of post-game activities, they were to be supervised by school officials. If that’s not practical or possible, dispense with the exercise, the KHSAA said. Furthermore, game officials would no longer supervise players once the contest is over.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett warned officials that if further post-game flare-ups continued, participating schools could be sanctioned or fined.  

Good for Tackett. He identified a growing problem and tackled it. That’s what effective administrators do.

Violence at high school sporting contests is becoming, if not more prevalent, certainly more acknowledged.

The post-game brawl between two football coaches in Alabama became nationwide news this fall when the fisticuffs were shown on TV and replayed on various websites. It was potentially much worse in Indiana when coaches from Indianapolis Tech and Fort Wayne South started fighting and soon players and a few fans joined in. 

Perhaps worst of all, a small army of police officers in Wisconsin – about 27 -- was needed to restore calm after a post-game battle ensued in the handshake line between players from Madison West and Madison Memorial. A “handful” of players received two-game suspensions, officials said.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass

    Political invective is dialed to the max, and everyone who disagrees is a "hater." But the hate police, who are so eager to cast labels, are ignoring the real wells of contempt in the Middle East.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OU player's suspension shows pitfalls of addressing sexual assault on campus

    The University of Oklahoma's leading tackler is suspended for the season - or maybe not. Frank Shannon is still practicing with the Sooners amid a court battle over whether OU can discipline him after a sexual assault investigation. The tough issue of addressing assault on campus isn't just OU's problem.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo