Coaches react to KHSAA directive on postgame handshakes

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LEXINGTON, Ky (WYMT) - Officials with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association informed schools across the state Tuesday of a new regulation regarding the organized post game handshakes between players and coaches.

The document states the reasoning behind the new regulation is due to recent post game incidents not only in the state of Kentucky, but country wide.

The sports affected by the recommendation are baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling.

The Commissioner's Directive on Postgame Activity states: It is directed that teams and individuals do not participate in organized post game handshake lines, beyond that interaction that is required by the National Federation of State High School Associations playing rules. If the teams decide to shake hands, despite the recommendation, coaches and school administrators are to supervise the activity. However, if an incident does occur, both teams are liable, will be held accountable.

For the full directive click here:

North Laurel Head Football Coach Chris Larkey says he understands the new regulation, but he wants to set a good example for his players with good sportsmanship.

"I don't think any school is going to encourage their coaches to tell their players to go out there and shake hands, because it is a liability issue now. Whether we win or lose, I'm going to go shake the coaches hand, if I see a player from Lincoln County or any team we play that did a good job, I'm going to tell him he did a good job."

Head over to North Laurel's cross-town rival South Laurel, and their Head Football Coach Matt Rhymer says while sportsmanship after the game is important, players and coaches should show sportsmanship throughout the game as well.

"Really the sportsmanship comes between the whistles during the game and the handshake is just a, really it's more of a tradition than anything that teams do, you compete hard against one another you prepare all week, you play the game, and the best team wins and then you stand up and have broad shoulders and shake the other teams hand and if you win, you do it with humility and if you lose, you do it with class,I know Friday night we'll line up with our helmets on and if our opponent wants to shake hands, we'll shake hands and then we'll take our team to the locker room."

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett hopes with this regulation, sportsmanship and civility will remain essential values in Kentucky's high school sports.

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