KHSAA position on shaking hands after games is clarified - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KHSAA position on shaking hands after games is clarified

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky High School Athletic Association on Wednesday clarified a new directive on shaking hands after athletic events.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said the previous version that was released on Tuesday was, "at best a poorly worded and at worst, an incomplete, notice."  He emphasized, "there has never been a ban or prohibition on postgame handshakes or other types of good sporting behavior by the KHSAA, its Commissioner or its Board of Control. Nor has such a ban been proposed. There is no ban or prohibition on such activity today or contemplated for the future."

JCPS says it will continue to allow post-game handshakes.  It sent an email to all principals and athletic directors saying the school district "will continue to honor the tradition of shaking hands after events."

After the previous version of the directive was released Tuesday, players, coaches, and parents reacted to the perception that the KHSAA was banning handshakes.

"I think it's very unfortunate we've come to this," said Brian Durbin, the varsity coach for Oldham County High School Boys Soccer.  He said in his 10 years of coaching, he has never had a problem with violence after games.  "I believe sportsmanship in high school sports is the most important thing you can teach," he said.

Parents told WDRB they agreed. "You try to teach your kids sportsmanship. I think high school sports are basically for that purpose," said Tom Davis, an Oldham County parent.

Commissioner Tackett said in the revised directive that many people did not read the second part of Tuesday's statement stating that such handshakes could continue if they were supervised.  He also said a number of media outlets interpreted the word "directive" as meaning "ban," and that such reports quickly spread through social media.

Tackett said, "The fact is that over the last several years, we have had more than two dozen situations occur where incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct have occurred during these postgame activities. Many of these lacked proper supervision, and determining the cause/effect/proper individuals to sanction would devolve into a "he said, she said" situation. If these postgame ceremonies are going to continue, then the schools must be able to monitor what is going on, as they will be held accountable for student and coach conduct going forward."

Read the full revised statement from KHSAA by clicking here.

Read Eric Crawford's column on this issue by clicking here.

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