Friday, October 11, 2013

The week the Kentucky High School Athletic Association banned handsakes and then didn't

Did you catch this news blurp this week - The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) first issued a directive about post-game handshakes reported by some media outlets as recommending a ban to the long time post-game ritual. Not surprisingly, this caused a fury of reaction - mostly negative. I think the decision, in a healthy way, caused folks to step back and think about the purpose of sports and education.

No matter how hard fought the game, all parties (one article points out post-game conflict is not limited to football) have to take time to have perspective and model civil, respectful behavior in victory and defeat. 

To give up on that ideal is poor and strikes me as an administrative cop-out "I told them not to do it..." The issue also gives us (athletic administrators and coaches) an opportunity to reiterate what success in interscholastic athletics is and is not. 
So what is the definition of success in HS athletics? The answer is more difficult than it first appears when the question is asked. What role does winning and losing play? How about the importance of playing the game well? Development of the student-athlete? I think it is something we have to continually study and discuss and share with our community.

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