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Thread: SD Bans Handshakes Between Wrestlers & Rival Coaches

  1. #1

    Default SD Bans Handshakes Between Wrestlers & Rival Coaches

    Thanks to Intermat for posting the link to this story from the Rapid City (South Dakota) Journal. To read the responses to this story, click on the link below...
    Wrestling: Activities association bans after-match handshakes ? RapidCityJournal.com
    Wrestling: Activities association bans after-match handshakes
    By Jim Holland, Journal staff Thursday, May 08, 2008


    RAPID CITY ? To the list of illegal holds ? full nelsons, overscissors, back bows and headlocks ? South Dakota high school wrestlers can add another: shaking hands with an opposing coach just after a match.

    At an April meeting in Pierre, the South Dakota High School Activities Association?s board of directors voted to adopt the recommendation of an advisory panel and prohibit post-match handshakes between a wrestler and an opposing coach.

    The new rule takes effect in the 2008-09 school year. Unlike other illegal moves, however, there is no penalty for shaking hands.

    Bob Lowery, SDHSAA assistant executive director, said adopting the rule was more about not showing wrestlers or coaches who choose not to shake hands in a bad light, rather than discouraging sportsmanship.

    ?It?s not like we?re not showing good sportsmanship, because we?re shaking hands throughout the match. This is just a situation that we?re eliminating something because not everyone is in favor of doing it,? Lowery said.

    ?You have some coach say we?re not going to do it, so I don?t have to worry about my kids doing something stupid, and now they?re being accused of being poor sports because they don?t shake an opposing coach?s hand. We don?t want to have the perception that those that weren?t doing it were being poor sports,? Lowery said.

    Lowery said the vast majority of wrestlers shake hands during the face-off at the beginning of a dual, just before a match and again immediately afterward, then again at the end of the dual, Lowery said.

    ?It seems like all we do in wrestling is shake hands,? he said.

    Often, a coach is working with a wrestler preparing for the next match and isn?t available to shake hands, he said.

    ?The thought was, for consistency purposes, let?s just eliminate that handshake,? Lowery said. ?There?s no penalty if they do it, it?s just that they?re not expected to.?

    ?I think we are still teaching our athletes about sportsmanship and the correct behavior to exhibit after a win or loss,? Rapid City Central coach Lance Pearson said. ?I don?t think this is a big issue if people look at how many other times our wrestlers are exhibiting good sportsmanship.

    ?I have always been a coach that wanted my kids to shake the opposing coach?s hand at the end of a match to show good sportsmanship and to teach them to control their emotions whether they won or lost,? Pearson said.

    ?That was just me and I had no problem with those coaches, kids or teams that chose not to do this,? he said.

    Douglas coach Sean Gholson believes the rule sells athletes short.

    ?We are telling them that they cannot be trusted to act appropriately, so we are not going to place them in a situation they cannot handle,? he said.

    ?If your athlete does something negative, like spitting on their hands, then that reflects on your program directly. Coaches are teachers also, and the athlete needs to know what they did was wrong and own up to it, by either apologizing or sitting out the next contest, or whatever the coach sees as necessary,? Gholson said.

    ?You teach your athletes to be respectful in victory and defeat,? he said.

    Sturgis coach Steve Keszler said the sport continues to maintain a high level of respect among athletes and coaches.

    ?I can?t even recall one (incident) that would be big enough to say it was a problem,? Keszler said ?I?ve coached for 17 years and never had a problem.

    ?Will a kid come over and give you an honest handshake? Not always. I understand if they want to slap my hand sometimes if they just lost a big match. It?s an emotional sport,? he said.

    ?I?ve also had to bite my own lip and count to 10 real quick before the kid came over, because I thought that maybe we lost because he stalled or something like that, but I had to be a professional, slap the kid on the back and say ?nice job,?? he said.

    Like Keszler, Rapid City Stevens coach Brian Moser said he has never had an issue with poor sportsmanship.

    ?I believe it shows great character to walk across the mat and shake the other coach?s hand,? Moser said. ?I have always thought that wrestling was a sport that you not only wrestle your opponent, but you are wrestling the other coach as well.?

    This is not the first time that post-match handshakes between wrestlers and coaches have been prohibited, Keszler said.

    ?This has flip-flopped twice. There was another time when you couldn?t do it, then everybody complained and it got changed back to where it was allowed. Now eight or ten years later, it?s not allowed.

    ?If you wait eight more years, it?ll be changed back,? he said.

  2. #2

    Default Re: SD Bans Handshakes Between Wrestlers & Rival Coaches

    My kids will always go to the opposing Coach, they have been taught to do this for 9yrs now. It is just automatic for them.
    http://www.youtube.com/TonyAvallone
    Dad of Karissa 155lb Varsity College Freshman

  3. #3
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: SD Bans Handshakes Between Wrestlers & Rival Coaches

    My opinion: it's not necessary in a dual meet because you will shake the opposing coach's hand in the handshake line at the end of the meet. I do favor it in tournaments because it may be the wrestler's only opportunity to shake the opposing coach's hand during the entire event.
    Atrophy: what you get when you win atournament.

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    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: SD Bans Handshakes Between Wrestlers & Rival Coaches

    My opinion: it's not necessary in a dual meet because you will shake the opposing coach's hand in the handshake line at the end of the meet. A sincere shake of your opponent's hand at the conclusion of the match is an adequate display of sporsmanship. I do favor shaking the coach's hand in tournaments because it may be the wrestler's only opportunity to do this during the entire event.
    Atrophy: what you get when you win atournament.

  5. #5

    Default Re: SD Bans Handshakes Between Wrestlers & Rival Coaches

    In High School we were told not to because it had been considered rude by some opposing coaches. If the kid is sincerely running across to shake hands as a sign of sportsmanship, great, but more often than not its just a walk of shame for the loser. The person winning generally isn't thinking, "boy the coach sure did a good job" right at that moment, I think its sufficient to shake at the close of a dual or in between rounds of an individual tournament.
    Last edited by Schlottke; 05-09-2008 at 04:07 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: SD Bans Handshakes Between Wrestlers & Rival Coaches

    What a shame. That's really too bad.

    Even for an old codger... as a wrestler and coach, I recall vividly that wrestling is about much more than the competition on the mat. It's about teaching (coaches) and learning (wrestlers) life's lessons.

    No matter how supporter's of this rule color it, the bottomline is they expose their immaturity and wrestling would do well to be rid of them. IMHO, a coach who would even consider such a rule say to me that, for him coaching is about his ego more than it's about the wrestlers, and that stinks.

    Shame on them.
    Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing.
    William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act 1, Scene 2

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