Well, In my previous editorial I "tackled" the topic of the elementary school in Michigan banning "tag" and other "chase-oriented" games.
Now I have run across a recent article that addresses another "chase-oriented" game, one of America's favorite fall high school pastimes, football. In this case, however it's not the game itself that is being banned. It's a postgame tradition that is being banned!
Apparently the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has banned postgame handshakes citing more than 20 fights and other altercations over the past three years. This ban will take affect statewide after games and meets in basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, softball, and football.
So, again I say this is a SAD state of affairs my friends.
Hey kids! Play fair. Do your best. Practice good sportsmanship, but by all means do not acknowledge your opponent and show them respect at all after the game is over. Just take your win or loss and walk on out.
What a great message to send!
Hey, I have an idea. This is going to sound CRAZY. How about if a kid causes a problem, the school handles it at the point of the altercation and renders appropriate discipline? How about the individual schools handle their students disciplinary problems during school hours and at school sanctioned functions? How about parents handle their son or daughters disciplinary problems anytime that the student is not in school or participating in a school sanctioned event? Anything that happens outside of the scope of these parties ability to handle, how about having the authorities (the police) handle it?
Wait. Maybe that's not so crazy. Oh that's right. I remember now. That's how things used to be. I'm starting to sound like one of those old geezers, "back in my day, blah blah blah." Anyway, I went to high school in the late 80's. Were there some serious rivalries that were potentially problematic between schools and their players back then? Yes. Were there altercations during or after games? Yes, and the altercations were handled as I described above, either by school administration, by parents, or by the police, whatever circumstances warranted.
Often the altercations that went on when I was in high school would end up getting relocated to the local grocery store parking lot. We often looked forward to driving there to be spectators for the "Friday Night Fights." Often police would run the kids off before anything too traumatic could happen. Sometimes the fight would happen. Fists would fly. Somebody would win. Somebody would lose. That was that. It ended there.
I know. I know. The world has seemingly become a scarier place in the last twenty or so years. We hear horror stories at least once or twice a year about guns in schools and what not.
Is this really the answer though? Maybe it would be in everyone's best interest to getting back to letting the proper authorities, whether it is parents, principles, coaches, or police handle the youth under their watch, depending on the place and circumstances. That might be a solution to all of this. End of Story. Game Over.