After more than two dozen disturbances in the past three years, Kentucky high school athletic officials are distancing themselves from the traditional post-game handshakes.
The KHSAA, Kentucky’s equivalent of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, issued a directive stating that if schools want their athletes to exchange handshakes after a contest, they assume responsibility. Game officials are not required to stay around after a game ends to supervise any interaction between players.
“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,” according to the directive. “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 penalty against the member school athletic program, and additional penalties against the individuals or schools as deemed appropriate following investigation.”
Reports that the handshake tradition had been banned created an uproar, prompting the association to clarify its position. While it’s not a ban, the KHSAA’s directive still represents a discouraging sign about sportsmanship.