LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The state flag features Daniel Boone and Henry Clay shaking hands, and yet the Kentucky High School Athletic Association is directing member schools to refrain from postgame handshakes.
It's what happens after the final horn. There is a winner and a loser. The two come together for a postgame handshake. It is a sign of sportsmanship, a way for the defeated to congratulate the victor and for the triumphant to console their opponent.
In a directive from the KHSAA schools in the Bluegrass State are discouraged from participating in the practice.
"I've heard about it, I do it, that's for our administration to decide. My job is to coach, if they tell me to go to the locker room after the game I do it, if they tell me to shake hands I do it," Trinity head football coach Bob Beatty said.
The directive states that there have been 24 incidents in Kentucky over the last three years. The KHSAA is requiring referees to leave the field or court immediately after games, and if schools want to exchange handshakes, they are responsible. On Tuesday night at Mercy Academy, the handshakes went on, after the Jaguars beat Manual in volleyball.
"It's something I've always done," Mercy head coach Todd Garvey said. "I think it's great for sports. I know tonight me and Manual's coach said that we were going to go ahead and shake hands. I think it's an important thing to show that you respect each other and stuff like that."
A lesson not lost on the Mercy players. "It just shows that, like you said, that you respect the other team and what they did on the court and how hard they played," Mercy senior Courtney Crable said.
"It's just respect to any team we play and it's just a game at the end of the day and nothing should ever get in the way of that," Jaguars sophomore Morgan Elmore added.
The KHSAA says that the incidents in the past few months have occurred in football, volleyball and soccer. If schools do continue the practice, they are to report to the KHSAA any incidents that occur.
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