Should We Ban Postgame Handshakes in Youth Sporting Events? [POLL]
Recently, New Jersey banned trash talking at high school athletic events after racial slurs were alleged to have been uttered by players and spectators at a Thanksgiving football game. Now comes word that Kentucky is banning the post-game handshake between teams. According to CBS News, there have been several fights during the hand shaking recently, with a fight between two volleyball teams. Another warning by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association is particularly ominous: game officials are being advised to leave the premises as quickly as possible following the conclusion of the game.
I have never seen a referee in danger (other than on a scary piece for Bryant Gumbel's "Real Sports"), but I have certainly seen fights break out during the post-game handshake; I've always felt the handshake after the game is a bad idea. The players have just finished an intense, physical battle (in sports like football and hockey, the competition involves hitting the opponent in some manner), and the competitive juices are still flowing; one insult or even a gesture can set things off. If they want to have a handshake for sportsmanship's sake, do it before the game begins.