Lest a gesture of sportsmanship become infectious, high school wrestlers in Ohio can grapple with their opponents during a match but are not allowed to shake hands before or after.
The Ohio High School Athletic Associated posted an updated code of conduct for the 2020-21 season on Tuesday.
Under the general requirements listed, the OHSAA decreed, “Anyone attending a practice or game — wrestlers, coaches, officials, trainers, cheerleaders, volunteers, staff, spectators, etc.: Must conduct a symptom assessment before each practice or contest, and anyone experiencing symptoms must stay home.”
“No congregating before or after practices or games is permitted,” wrestlers are warned.
The student-athletes are also told they must “[e]liminate handshakes pre- and post-match” and “[e]liminate handshakes with coaches’ post-match.”
Officials were ordered not to “shake hands or fist bump other officials, wrestlers or coaches.”
Do you think schools should be opened nationwide?
0% (0 Votes)
0% (0 Votes)
And a bit of tradition will be outlawed for this year.
“At the end of match procedure do not declare the winner of the match by raising the winning wrestler’s hand,” the new rules said.
“To conclude the end of match procedure, the official may point to the winning wrestler while raising his/her own arm (with open hand) having the requisite wristband color (red/green) of the winning wrestler,” the rules said.
The handshake ban received its share of scorn on Twitter.
Ohio approves full contact wrestling but bans post match handshake. 🙄
We’re surrounded by idiots. 🤦🏼♀️
— President-Elect Victorious Mother (@CarrieLiebich) December 6, 2020
Here’s the inconsistency of this “pandemic!” Ohio allows full-contact wrestling but bans post-match handshakes | Disrn https://t.co/O3yluPPggk
— Denilio J Gorena (@DJG06272014) December 6, 2020
— The Dude Says… (@theundudesputed) March 14, 2020
Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, said sportsmanship can still be displayed even amid COVID-inspired rule changes.
“The absence of these time-honored ways to express respect for the opponent does not diminish the importance of displaying sportsmanship in high school sports,” she wrote in a May 20 column.
“In fact, we believe concern for fairness and displays of kindness, respect and graciousness will be more pronounced once high school sports resume; however, the methods of sharing these feelings will be different,” Niehoff said.
“Some alternatives to consider are a slight bow with the palms pressed together, an air high-five, a smile and quick wave, a double-tap of the right hand across the heart and a wink with the thumbs up.
“Certainly, there are other possibilities — in fact, teams could develop their own methods for demonstrating sportsmanship to their opponents and celebrating big plays or victories with teammates.
“Through their resilience and great spirit, we look forward to how the millions of participants in high school sports and activities will accept this challenge.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.