Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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
  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Warren's populist pitch on student loans is off key

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren's populist rhetoric pumps up students about their loan burdens, but she conveniently neglects to mention the real problem - the exorbitant cost of college - much less how she's benefitted from those high prices.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 10, 2014