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Kentucky bans postgame handshakes for high school athletes

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association's commissioner has banned school athletes from competing teams from shaking hands after the competition, putting to halt a decades-long practice in sports.

The reason?

Incidents of violence among players have risen in recent years — "more than two dozen in the last three years in Kentucky along," the organization reported in Fox Sports. The KHSAA is the body that governs high school sports in the state.

It posted a "commissioner's directive" on its website that explained "fights and physical conflicts have broken out" to the point that "in our state alone, incidents in soccer, football and volleyball have occurred this fall."

And it's more the fault of adults than players, the directive said.

"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," the post said.

Board members banned handshakes among competing players in baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling — but then threw in a caveat, Fox Sports reported. KHSAA said it won't enforce the ban, but that if opposing teams decide to shake hands, and a fight breaks out, then coaches and officials will take the fall.

"Henceforth, any incidents by an individual squad members (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," the KHSAA post stated.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said in Fox Sports: "You're on notice, if you're going to do this, you're going to be accountable."

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