Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

October 9, 2013

'Things aren't going to change'

Area ADs keep postgame handshakes; exchanges will be closely monitored

ASHLAND — One morning after the Kentucky High School Athletic Association issued a directive discouraging postgame handshakes, it became national news, receiving mentions on both the TODAY Show and Sportscenter.

Meanwhile, area high school athletic directors were busy meeting with coaches and concocting plans to avoid negative attention stemming from possible confrontations after heated contests.

The consensus, it appears, is they will keep doing what they’re doing.

Postgame handshakes will live on in most of the northeastern Kentucky area, as long as there is a mutual agreement between teams to engage in the traditional act of sportsmanship.

“We respect what the KHSAA has to say, and respect the logic behind it, but in this part of the state, you don’t hear as much about these problems as you do in other parts,” said ninth-year Raceland AD Bill Farley.

“We’re rooted deep in tradition and, for us, things aren’t going to change,” he added. “We’re going to continue to do what we do.”

KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett clarified on Wednesday that there is no ban on postgame handshakes, and prohibition has not even been considered.

More than two dozen physical altercations have broken out during postgame handshakes in the past three years in Kentucky alone, according to the KHSAA’s statement. Incidents have occurred in several sports, reported the KHSAA, including soccer, football and volleyball this fall.

In an effort to cut down on such conflict, Tackett warned that if teams choose to partake in handshakes, they better “do it right” or they will suffer penalties as a result.

“(Coaches) understand the consequences,” Farley said. “For example, if the football team commits a violation of this, the school’s not going to pay for it, the football team’s going to pay for it. Money will be taken out of their program. They’re well aware of that.”

Several area schools make a concerted effort to keep all parts moving after games. That includes the escorting of officials from the premises, the overseeing of fans exiting the area and ensuring players’ and coaches’ well-being.

That will continue, said Mark Swift, Ashland’s 16th-year athletic director.

“We’ve done all we could to make it a very safe environment for officials and participants by having administration visible and present with a good structure in place to eliminate any negative activity,” Swift said. “We’ve had very little trouble since I’ve been here.”

Ashland teams will continue with handshake lines as usual, provided that their opponents are OK with it.

“I think it’s important to have the opportunity for the postgame handshake,” Swift said.

Said Russell AD Sam Sparks in an email to his coaches: “On-site school staff and coaches will continue to monitor these exchanges between teams and to make sure we are cognizant of any possible issues.”

Sparks also wrote that Russell will continue “to promote good sportsmanship at every opportunity.”

When ADs from across the state met at an annual KHSAA assembly recently, a video focused on violence in team sports was shown. The HBO special film chronicled incidents that consisted of violence, some with tragic outcomes, involving officials and players.

The responsibility of monitoring any postgame activity between teams falls on school administrators and coaches, not officials.

“Once the game is concluded, officials walk back to the locker room and get dressed,” Farley said. “Their duties don’t include anything else after a game.”

Also emphasized at that assembly was the fact that several incidents in Kentucky had taken place during traditional handshakes.

The Raceland and Lewis County volleyball teams slapped hands along the net as usual on Tuesday night, but Farley said it was agreed upon prior to the match.

“We said we’ll shake hands at the beginning of the game and at the end of the game,” Farley said.

As for the future, he said, “If a team comes in and they don’t want to shake hands, that’s fine. If we go somewhere and they don’t want to, that’s fine too.”

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Proposed plan a touchdown for Ashland, Central

    They’ll have to wait another year, but some major changes are on the horizon.

    April 15, 2014

  • Martin, Cannoy put pop on top of Boyd 12-2 win

    Boyd County’s softball bats are booming of late.

    April 14, 2014

  • Stock spiking for Raceland softball

    Raceland took a major step in trying to shift the balance of power in 63rd District softball.

    April 14, 2014

  • 0415eastSB0110.jpg Still chasing the Kittens

    East Carter entered Monday’s softball showdown with Ashland looking to show it’s a credible threat to the Kittens’ recent domination of the 16th Region.

    April 14, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local Sports in Brief: Bush, Porter Wendy's Heisman finalists

    Rose Hill Christian seniors David Bush and Myriah Porter have been named state finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.

    April 14, 2014

  • Paintsville tops Magoffin, 12-0

    Kash Daniel and Spencer Taylor combined to toss a one-hitter as Paintsville pounded Magoffin County, 12-0, on Monday night in the first of a two-game series between 57th District foes.

    April 14, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: Kittens on prowl for SS

    The Monday Morning Shortstop didn't have to dodge any actual darts at Ashland Softball Complex, although there may be an enlarged picture of him riddled with holes somewhere close by.
    If the piercing looks thrown my way weren't enough to sway me, the Kittens did more than enough on the field the past two weeks to distance themselves from a No. 5 ranking in northeastern Kentucky.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0414bcclassic0539.jpg Raceland girls, Boyd boys win track Classic

    As Boyd County first-year track and field coach Chris Holbrook stood on the infield and watched a member of Raceland’s 4-by-400-meter relay team circle the track in the final girls’ event of Saturday’s Boyd County Classic, he commented aloud to no one in particular, “She’s not showing any signs of running out of gas.”
    The Lady Rams had just enough in the tank to fend off the Lady Lions’ late charge and lock down their third victory of the young season, edging host Boyd County by six points, 171-165.
    On the boys’ side, Boyd County cruised, beating second-place Rowan County 175-114. A Lions club that finished 10th in last spring’s Class 2A, Region 6 meet has won all three meets it’s participated in this season.

    April 13, 2014 4 Photos

  • Starns, Steward stellar in '13-14

    After compiling a 40-2 record against 16th Region opponents over the last two seasons, Fleming County left the rest of the area thoroughly convinced of its prowess on the basketball court.

    April 13, 2014

  • Thunder on a sunny day

    Greenup County did its best to pitch to Ashland slugger McKenzie Vanover in her first three trips to the plate Saturday afternoon.
    It didn’t work out so well.

    April 13, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone