« Sports

Let's Shake On It

by Craig Mattick

Thumbs down to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

The KHSAA issued an order last week which banned all handshakes after any athletic event.  Officials with the Kentucky organization said there were recent incidents of violence during handshakes in Kentucky and other states.

Approaching your opponent after an athletic contest, no matter how old you are, is a sign of respect and sportsmanship.  Shaking hands with your opponent is one of the most important life lessons we have.  It shows respect whether you have defeated them or the other way around.  What are we trying to treat kids?  If you are mad at someone, you are to avoid them?  

Sports teaches us some of the most important life lessons.  Teamwork.  Respect.  Sportsmanship.  What's next? 

Look what happens at the highest levels, with the exception of Major League Baseball.  Once a game is done, athletes get together on the court or at midfield and shake hands.  Its a sign of respect and sportsmanship.  Pro athletes give it their all during the game, but once the game is over, they get together and shake hands.

What Kentucky has done is to tell young athletes they don't have to respect their opponent.   They don't need to show any sportsmanship.  If you don't show respect after the game, why would you show respect during the game?

If there are problems which arise during a game between athletes, its up to coaches to teach those athletes what respect and sportsmanship is all about.

Avoiding the issue is wrong.  Dead wrong.  I'll shake on that.