September 13, 2018 - Knoxville, TN - Anderson County, Clinton Football Coaches Suspended Following Altercation After Rivalry Game, reported by Tom Kreager, Knoxville News Sentinel. You read it right. The coaches fought each other in the post-game handshake line. The losing coach thought the winners left their starters in too long.
May 2, 2018 - Dalton, GA - No suspensions for Bruins after brawl with LaGrange, reported by Jacob Hoag, Dalton (GA) Daily Citizen-News. Sometimes you get away with one - no suspensions appear to have been issued in a post-game handshake baseball fight.
February 13, 2018 - Columbus, Ohio - Post-game handshake spitting after college tennis match. See Tennis Match Ends In Disgusting Spitting Incident, New York Post.
October 14, 2016 - Dallas, TX - Video: Fight Breaks Out At Midfield After Lakeview Centennial Beats Garland, Dallas Morning News; For national coverage of this incident, see Video: Fight Erupts In Postgame Handshake Line Of Texas Crosstown Face Off, reported by Cam Smith, USA Today High School Sports, October 17, 2016.
September 30, 2016 - Omaha, NE - Boyd Waldmann, a 52 year old coach, allegedly attacks 10-year-old player in post-game handshake line after flag football game. See Omaha Youth Football Coach Accused Of Attacking 10-Year-Old After Boy High-Fives Him 'Too Hard,' reported by Kevin Cole, Kearney Hub. Click here for Omaha television coverage.
Bloomington, MN - March 14, 2015 - Players Scuffle at Bloomington Youth Basketball Game; Adults Get Loud, Ornery by Paul Walsh, Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 15, 2015. This matter could have been much worse. For some reason the adults engaged in a verbal dispute but never came to blows. This incident began with a post-game fight between players, but it is not clear whether the post-game fight began in the handshake line.
Chicago, IL - March 12, 2015 - Prep Team Suspended From Playoffs After Brawl Breaks Out At Game, reported by Erik Runge and Courtney Cousman, WGN Radio, Chicago; andSuspended Team Denied Reinstatement For Playoffs, CLTV, March 13, 2015. This post-game handshake line had severe ramifications for the two teams involved as their league issued a three game suspension to both teams, causing the two teams to miss the playoffs.
Rockford, IL - March 6, 2014 - For the second straight year, the Illinois High School Association's (IHSA) State Basketball playoffs have been marred by an ugly incident. Last year, saw an ugly incident with racial overtones. See Illinois State Championship Game Marred by Allegations of Racism by Ben Rohrbach, Yahoo Sports Prep Rally, March 13, 2013. This year, saw an ugly post-game handshake incident. See Brawl Breaks out After High School Basketball Game, CBS TV Chicago, March 6, 2014; and click here for video
Kentucky - October 2013 -
Kentucky High School Commissioner Falls Into Post-Game Handshake Mess - And Takes Steps To Clarify His Most Rational Position. It all started in October, when national headlines said Kentucky High Schools Told No More Postgame Handshakes fox news, Oct. 9, 2013. Kentucky reported more than two dozen post-game incidents over the past two years. They never actually barred handshakes. Rather, Julian Tackett, Kentucky’s athletic commissioner, tried to send a fairly rational message: namely, schools should either manage and observe post-game handshakes or they shouldn’t hold them. Well, Commissioner Tackett found that discussions of post-game handshakes strike an emotional chord. Commissioner Tackett’s message that schools do it properly or don’t do it gained him national headlines as the man who tried to ban handshakes. It seems like there’s a myth that youth and high school sports are pure, and people who even dare suggest that there’s a problem in some handshake lines are narrow minded bureaucrats who want to attack something that’s pure. So Tackett has spent a lot of time trying to ensure that people know that when he says, “If you have 75 players shaking hands, you’d better watch what’s going on”, he’s not trying to attack the purity of sports; he’s just saying that we have an obligation to manage our athletes when the game is over. The latest message comes in the May 2014 edition of NFHS’s High School Today. Click here for Handshake Remains Key Part of High School Sports by Mike Dyer.
New York, NY - January 15, 2013 - New York Flu Epidemic Leads to Post-Game Handshake Restrictions. Normally, post-game handshake restrictions come in the aftermath of poor post-game sportsmanship. Generally, the restrictions lead local - and sometimes national - media to run a series of stories criticizing the local administrator who imposed the restrictions, and calling for the traditional post-game come together moment. New York may have the first post-game handshake restriction that we've heard of that is purely illness related, and has led a league to suggest that players "touch elbows" instead of shaking hands. Yes, illness leads to strange bedfellows. See Flu Is Hand! Youth Soccer Club KOs High Fives by Beth Defalco, New York Post, January 15, 2013.
Ann Arbor, MI - October 12, 2012 - Player Hit By Crutch In Post-game Brawl. A post-game coaches' discussion about running up the score morphed into a midfield brawl in which a player was hit in the face with a crutch. See Michigan High School Football Player Hit By Crutch During Post-Game Midfield Brawl, Associated Press Wire in Greenfield (Indiana) Daily Reporter, October 13, 2012, and see Detroit News, October 14, 2012. For local coverage, see Mother of Huron Player Injured In High School Football Brawl: 'It's Just Terrible' by Matt Durr, AnnArbor.com, October 13, 2012; and A Huge Fight Between Two High School Football Teams In Ann Arbor Sends A Player To The Hospital reported by Julie Banovic, WXYZ TV, Ann Arbor, October 13, 2012.
Vancouver, Canada - June 23, 2012 - Youth Hockey Coach Trips Opposing Players In Post-Game Handshake Line. This is another case of a man who simply should not be coaching kids ... or adults. At the end of a youth hockey game involving 13 -year old kids, one of the coaches was caught on film casually shaking hands while extending his leg and tripping some of the opposing players. One of the players suffered a broken wrist. The tripping sure looks intentional on the youtube clip posted by one of the spectators. However, a court will get to decide as the coach has been arrested and charges are pending. See Canadian Youth Hockey Coach Arrested For Tripping Player In Post-Game Handshake Line by Cameron Smith, Yahoo Sports Prep Rally, June 27, 2012; and Hockey Coach Investigated Over Accusations He Tripped Teenage Player, The Globe and Mail, June 26, 2012.
Baytown, TX - November 26, 2011 - Brawl Mars Texas Football Playoff Game. An ugly fourth quarter bench-clearing brawl was topped off by an even uglier post-game handshake brawl. Police officers on hand had to resort to pepper spray to break up the post-game fights. One big question: why did they even bother to let these teams have a post-game handshake line after they'd had their fourth quarter fight? Sometimes, you just need to clear the field even if it means dispensing with post-game handshakes. Safety - and common sense - should always come before formal gestures - and here the post-game handshake was a formal gesture. See Melee Erupts Between LM, Ozen Players After Game by Jordan Godwin, The Galveston Daily News, November 27, 2011.
Dumfries, VA - Chaos In Football Post-Game Handshake. Virginia High School football brawl breaks out after Virginia's Hylton High beats rival Potomac High School. This brawl was bad enough to require police and school officials to break it up. See Brawl Breaks Out During Post-Game Handshake of Hylton-Potomac Game, by Robert Daski, insidenova.com, October 29, 2011. Of course, what would a good post-game handshake be without some local waxing philosophical about it? This incident has its muse, and that muse is David Fawcett, a local scribe for the Virginia News and Messenger. The message, of course, is that the post-game handshake is worth doing even if sometimes things go wrong. See An Important Lesson From Last Week's Potomac-Hylton Post-Game Handshake, insidenova.com, November 3, 2011. This Virginia high school incident is timely as it comes in the wake of the post-game dustup between NFL coaches Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz. For those who like some history, a bit more thought, a better counterargument, and even a survey, the renowned ethicist and sportsmanship expert Michael Josephson may be more in order than Fawcett. See Is The Post-Game Handshake Worth Keeping? Cast Your Vote, Michael Josephson Sportsmanship blog, josephsoninstitute.org, November 1, 2011.
Greenfield, Ohio – September 29, 2011 – Every couple of years we see someone who thinks it’s funny to make a mockery of the post-game handshake by doing something offensive. We’ve seen people spit on their hands and then shake all of their unsuspecting opponents’ hands. We’ve seen people slap the opponents’ hands really hard, and we’ve even seen one person who gave a hard hit to some of her opponents. A Washington (Ohio) football player probably thought that it was witty to place a sharp object in his receiver’s glove before shaking his opponents’ hands. Of course he was wrong – he was a classless, immature fool as we all know. However, youth will occasionally be classless, immature, and foolish. We can teach our way out of these things even though they’re not pleasant. What we don’t expect to have to deal with – and aren’t all too thrilled to have to tolerate - is a trip to the hospital. But, that’s exactly what happened here as the student who used the sharp object punctured the skin of 27 of his opponents, requiring all 27 to have to go to the hospital for tetanus shots. See Police: Ohio Player Pricked Opponents In Handshake, Associated Press Article in Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 6, 2011; and 27 H.S. Football Players Pricked In Post-Game Handshake, Fox-28, Columbus, Ohio, October 7, 2011.
April 4, 2011 – Mike Austin, a blogger on the philosophy and sports blog, recently gave his thoughts on post-game handshakes, and opened an interesting dialog. Mike asks whether one could be morally justified in not engaging in a post-game handshake if one disapproved of how one’s opponents comported themselves. Moral indignity strikes me as a pretty lousy justification for not engaging in a post-game handshake. After all, if one decided that their moral disapproval justified not engaging in a post-game handshake, there would be a whole lot of games without a post-game handshake. In short, the post-game handshake isn't a gesture of approval; it's a gesture of respect. Anyway, read Mike's blog for yourself at Respect For Opponents And The Post-Game Handshake, Philosophy and Sports Blog, April 4, 2011.
Middletown, CT - January 5, 2011 - Post-Game Handshake Breaks Down At Connecticut High School Game. See Fight at High School Basketball Game by Jim Bransfield, Middletown Press, January 5, 2011.
Kenosha, WI - October 14, 2010 - Coaches & Parents Involved In Post-Game Brawl At 5th Grade Football Game: Coaches From Both Teams Dismissed by Myra Sanchick, WITI-TV, Fox6 Wisconsin, October 14, 2010. There are a number of points worth noting here. First, this incident began in the post-game handshake line where members of the opposing coaching staffs had a verbal exchange. Second, parents and spectators are no longer content to sit in the stands; they just have to come out, and when they do things invariably escalate. Third, there's always a camera; this incident is on film. There is one difference between this matter and a number of other matters. The administrators fired the coaches. A lot of administrators tacitly bless misconduct by not cracking down on offenders.
Samson, AL - September 17, 2010 - Alabama HS Player Proves That You Can Be Too Friendly In The Post-Game Handshake Line. See Samson, Alabama Prep Player Accused of Groping Cheerleaders, Associated Press Wire on Alabama Channel 13 website, September 28, 2010; and High Schooler Turns To Groping In Post Game Handshake Line by Slanch, September 28, 2010, slanchreport.com.
Baton Rouge, LA - September 17, 2010 - Outstanding Louisiana Rivalry Game Ends With Post-Game Handshake Fight. See McKinley Rallies For 34-30 Victory by Duane Lewis, Baton Rouge Advocate, September 18, 2010. Ultimately, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association suspended 24 players for their role in the post-game brawl. See USA Today's SportsUpdate, September 30, 2010. Once again, though, we see athletes unable to handle their emotions in the post-game handshake.
Slidell, LA - August 5, 2010 - The New Orleans Times-Picayune Won A Legal Battle to Get Test Results on Jason Chighizola. The results confirmed that Chighizola tested positive for steroids in 2008 when he beat a rival coach to a bloody pulp following a baseball game in a 8-year-old's league. This one has it all: steroids, a coach losing it in a post-game handshake line, a grown man going nuts in a league for little children, and, yes, the two 8-year-old teams were the Yankees and the Red Sox. If it wasn't a true story, you wouldn't believe it. Chighizola was ultimately convicted of battery, and we can only hope that he never coaches anywhere again. He's a danger to us all - and to himself. See Slidell Youth Baseball Coach Who Beat Rival Coach Tested Positive For Steroids by Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, Times-Picayune, August 5, 2010.
Ann Arbor, MI - July 3, 2010 - Post-Game Handshake Fight in Youth Baseball Game Sends Teens To Hospital. See Fight Breaks Out At Youth Baseball Game At University of Michigan Field by Tina Reed, AnnArbor.com, July 5, 2010.
Toms River, N.J. - March 14, 2010 - NJ Girls Basketball: Incident In The Handshake Line mars Group 1 Final by Chris Orlando, NJ.com, March 14, 2010 (ejected player comes out swinging during post-game handshake). An interesting sidenote: one of the officials was quoted as saying the ejected player should have been taken to the locker room. No she shouldn't. For supervision reasons, ejected high school players are ejected to the bench. The same social forces that lead to the increase in poor sportsmanship make it unsafe to leave a high schooler unsupervised following an ejection so rulesmakers send ejected high schoolers to the bench.
Charleston, SC - Feb. 27, 2010 - Post-game handshake line turns into brawl in this South Carolina high school basketball game. See Fight Breaks Out At Upstate High School Basketball Game, Channel 5 News, Charleston, SC, Feb. 25, 2010; Basketbrawl: High School Puts Both Schools On Warning, WSPA Channel 12 (Greenville, SC), February 26, 2010. In the aftermath of this incident some South Carolina coaches are questioning whether they should continue to have post-game handshakes. These coaches know that post-game handshake bans inevitably touch off media controversies so one idea that's been floated is to have a pre-game handshake. See Coaches Consider Ban on Post-Game Handshake by Scott Keepfer, Greenville News (on-line edition), February 26, 2010.
Hartford, CT - February 12, 2010 - Post-Game Handshake Fight Touches Off Spectator Riot. Multiple Parents Arrested. See Four Parents Arrested After Fight at HS Hoops Game, Hartford Courant On-Line, Feb. 12, 2010; and Names Released of Parents Involved In High School Basketball Game Brawl by Grace E. Merritt, The Hartford Courant, February 13, 2010.
Hawaii Survives "Minor" Post-Game Handshake Incident At State Football Championships. See Postgame Handshakes Can Be Valuable Learning Tool, Honolulu Advertiser Prep Talk Blog, November 10, 2009.
Westfield, N.J. - June 25, 2009 - Post-Game Headbutt Mars New Jersey Little League Game. See Little League Rage: N.J. Game Ends With Headbutt - Substitute Coach Allegedly Attacks Other Coach After Teams Shake Hands; Parents Furious, CBS 11, New Jersey, June 30, 2009; See Violence Flares At Little League Game, Police Called, New Jersey.com, June 26, 2009..
Albany, N.Y. June 16, 2009 - Post-Game Handshake Incident Leads to Legal Charges: But was the wrong person charged? Corey Hall was allegedly punched in the handshake line. He reacted to the punch by pushing the alleged perpetrator and kicking a helmet in frustration. The alleged perpetrator was expelled from his youth baseball league. After the alleged perpetrator was punished, his father, a police officer, filed charges against Corey on the grounds that Corey damaged property by kicking the helmet and committed a battery by pushing the kid who punched him. The lethal combination of a post-game handshake line and a parent who can't accept his son's punishment will tie up the judicial system for a little while. See Score Deputy's Move An Error For Justice by Mark MgGuire, Albany Times-Union, June 23, 2009.
Florence, SC - August 28, 2008 - This Post-Game Incident Happened Right After The Game Before The Teams Could Reach The Handshake Line. Bench Clearing Brawl, Multiple Arrests, Helmet Swinging Mar Season Opener for South Carolina's Defending Football State Champs. See Brawl Mars Lake City's Upset Win Over Wilson by Kevin Smetana, South Carolina Now, August 29, 2008. The end of the game is an inherently dangerous time as the threat of in-game penalties no longer exists to deter angry players, coaches and spectators. Here, the attack occurred right after the final whistle before the teams could get into a post-game line. The normal remedies people take to prevent post-game handshake violence would not have worked here as these players simply waited for the final whistle and then went at it.
Parma, N.Y., June 30, 2008 - Post-Game Handshake Attack Kills Adult Softball Player. See Hilton Man Dies After Assault At Parma Softball Game by Claudia Vargas, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. For more on this story see Hilton Ballplayer Dies After Punch To Head In Parma Softball Game by John Boccacino and Claudia Vargas, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, July 1, 2008 and Upstate Man Dies After Softball Game Altercation, WNBC TV New York, N.Y, July 1, 2008, and Police: NY Man Dies After Assault At Softball Game by Ben Dobbin, Associated Press Wire Service in San Francisco Chronicle, July 1, 2008, and Athlete Accused of Fatally Punching man Spent Time in Prison Washington Post, July 2, 2008 page E02. version. This game was marred by trash talk. Sadly that trash talk spilled over into a post-game handshake line attack. Worse, Sean Sanders, the man accused of delivering the fatal blow, punched the victim, Daniel Andrews, in the back of the head. A lot of bad elements combined here. First, trash talk is something that athletic administrators constantly work to quash. Often athletes say it's harmless fun. It's not. Trash talk often leads to retaliation, and sometimes that retaliation is physical. Second, post-game handshakes may be an excellent and traditional display of sportsmanship, but they also offer angry people a free cheap shot at opponents. There are a lot of post-game handshake line incidents. In heated games, post-game handshake lines need to be monitored closely. There's no harm in suspending a post-game handshake where conditions warrant - although if one looks at the post-game handshake line incidents on thesportsmanship page of this site one will see that any sports administrator who tries to eliminate post-game handshakes - even temporarily - will come under an immediate media assault (remember, the local press isn't responsible for actually running the games and they have no idea of some of the problems that may occur in someone's leagues - in other words, they're uninformed). Third, blows to the back of the head are cowardly and they're also extremely dangerous.
Long Island, N.Y. - March 31, 2008 - Post-game handshake problems in New York where a Hofstra University assistant football coach playing in a touch football Rec League punched an opponent in a post-game handshake line after a game. See Hofstra Asst. Football Coach Arrested In Touch- Football Assault by Bill Mason, New York Newsday.
Layton, UT - March 15, 2008 - Post-Game Handshake Problems Mar Utah Baseball Game. See High School Baseball: Fight Mars Pirates' Comeback Over Lancers by Michael Black, Deseret Morning News.
Pittsburgh, PA - March 8, 2008 - PIAA Basketball Playoffs: Fight Erupts Following Contest by Mike White, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 9, 2008. This ugly post-game fight led PAHoops.org to call to end post-game handshakes. See Playoff Storylines by Bill Gaffey, pahoops.org.
November 2, 2007 - Razor Blade Attack After High School Football Game, WUSA9.com, Rockville, MD, Nov. 3, 2007. Also See The Cruelest Cut, by Sarah Barr, Montgomery County Sentinel, Nov. 2, 2007, and Handshake Incident Stuns Colonels by Alan Goldenbach, Washington Post, November 7, 2007 page E10.
Tampa, FL - October 4, 2007 - High School Football Game Ends, Brawl Begins by Beth Gaddis, Tampa Bay Online.com. Six players engage in post-game handshake line brawl during the Alonso and Jefferson High School Junior Varsity football game.
Sioux City, Iowa, January 17, 2007 - Wrestler's Parents Press Charges Against East High Coach, KTIV News Channel 4. Students, parents, coaches involved in post-wrestling match handshake line dust up. Another bad post-game handshake - this one involved a hard hand slap, a retaliatory shove, a coach allegedly pushing a student in the face, and a parent dashing out of the stands because of the post-game handshake dust-up.
Hudson Valley, N.Y., November 2, 2006 - Cops Arrest Girl After Post-Game Attack by Justin Rodriguez, Times Herald-Record (girls' teeth knocked out in unprovoked post-game handshake attack after girls' soccer match - Jasmine Crespi, the puncher, was arrested), Nov. 2, 2006. For follow up, see Girl Heads To Trial For Felony Charges In Post-Soccer Game Punch by Justin Rodriguez and Oliver Mackson, Times Herald-Record, March 31, 2007. The charges were later reduced to a misdemeanor. See Judge: No Felony for Soccer Punch, The Cornwall Local, August 31, 2007. For a coach's view, see Coach's Playbook: Violence In Sport by Gus Alfieri, December 14, 2007, Long Island Ultimate Athlete Magazine (liultimateathlete.com).
Hampton Roads, Va. October 22, 2006 - Oscar Smith Still Reigns Over Deep Creek by Jami Frankenberry, Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, October 22, 2006 (at the conclusion of this game, Oscar Smith High did not go to mid-field to shake hands. Oscar Smith's coach stated he wished to avoid any potential problems resulting from vandalism to Oscar Smith High's new $10,000 victory bell). Hampton area schools enact a sportsmanship education program in 2006 to prevent further incidents of this nature. See Chesapeake Schools Put Good Sports Into Sports by Cindy Clayton, Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, August 30, 2006. Click here for a local sportswriter's reaction to this incident.
Terre Haute, IN. August 26, 2006 - Post-Game Confrontation Mars West Vigo-Paris Contest, Terre Haute Tribune Star, August 26, 2006 by Todd Golden (coaches involved in post-game fight).
July 21, 2006 - Post-Game Handshake Lines Should Be Banned If Fights Keep Breaking Out In Them: True/False, Rise Magazine On-Line: The Truth Section, July 21, 2006. Click here for the Sports Illustrated On-Line Reprint.
New York, N.Y., May 21, 2006 - 43 Year Old Softball Coach Allegedly Taunts 11 Year Old From Other Team and Then Gives Her a Hard Slap in Post-game Handshake Line. (New York Newsday, May 21, 2006 by Susana Enriquez).
Cincinnati, Ohio, May 5, 2006 - Post-Game Handshake Turns Into Fight Between Teams and Parents In Fifth Grade Girls Basketball Game. (Channel 5 News Cincinnati).
Port St. Lucie, Fl., April 5, 2006 - Top Florida High School Star Beaten and Injured In Post-Game Fracas. (South Florida Sun - Sentinel, April 5 & 6, by Shandel Richardson) (note: Richardson is one of the few media people who does not think that administrators are out of line when they temporarily bar post-game handshakes or institute pregame handshakes).
Roanoke, VA. 2005 - Too Many Fights Lead 5 Principals In Eastern Virginia To Ban Post-Game Handshakes. See Media Reaction Here - Postgame Handshake: A Tradition To Keep, Roanoke Times Editorial November 14, 2005. (Roanoke did produce a postgame handshake feel-good story in 2006: See McElwees Vow To Settle Matters On Court, By Robert Anderson, Roanoke Times, January 26, 2006, writing about the postgame handshake where a dad coached against his daughter's high school team).
Charleston, WV 2005 - MSAC Gets Tough On Bad Sports, By Rick Ryan, Charleston Gazette August 17, 2005.
Mountain State Athletic Conference's Sportsmanship Policy, May 18, 2005 (a comprehensive policy that covers post-game hand shaking; also covers trash talking, fighting, abusing game implements and throwing objects, and placing team penalties on schools that have multiple unsportsmanlike incidents in a single season).
Westchester, NY, January 5, 2005 - Shake It! Win or Lose, Athletes Shake On It by Srikanth Reddy, Westchester JournalNew.com, Jan. 5, 2005.
Illinois, April 21, 2004 - Illinois High School Association Sportsmanship Advisory Committee Recommends Pre-Game Handshake - not to replace the post-game handshake ... of course. It's just that, "emotions between competitors tend to run high after the game..." Click here for more.
Honolulu, HA. 1997 - Pregame Handshakes Instituted in Hawaii After Huge Postgame Spectator Brawl - Columnist Objects: See Pat Bigold in The Honolulu Star Bulletin on September 30, 1997, Keep Games Safe With Better Security; and on September 223, 1997, Bring Back the Postgame Handshake.
California, 1994 - The Post-Game Handshake: and the 40 days that shook the Marmonte League (CA) by Terry Dobbins, Scholastic Coach, May, 1995; See also, Nice Guys Finish Last In Ban On Handshakes by Seth Mydans, New York Times, April 9, 1994.