Hi Everyone,

Yeah, I put up these offbeat talks now and then, not at all about education and technology, but still (I hope) pertinent to educators and parents.

My question is whether we should--and whether we can--change the end-game ritual of lining up the opposing teams and having them pass each other while slapping hands and saying "Good game." I talked to the players on my women's league teams and asked whether they'd be willing to try something new. We played around with possibilities and ended up with a back-of-the-wrist bump which worked fairly well.

Wondered, would you like to see the ritual changed? Do you think it's important as we try to reduce the spread of illness, particularly this year? What would you suggest as an alternative?

Would you be willing to ask your children's coaches to change the ritual, or would you feel too silly?

Tags: athletics, rituals, sports

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This is something that show sportsmanship, I coach Lacrosse and we do it after every game.
We even tell our player to take off thier gloves and look the players or coach in the eye and shake hands.
I do understand the health impact but should we give this up or just tell our player to wash after the Game ??
Hi Tony,
Thanks for the reply.
You have the perfect setup; why not just ask players to keep their gloves on? I like the looking in the eye part, making it real and personal. You've created a way for players to honor each other.
For a while, on my teams we had a tradition of gathering in a circle as a group (after the line up and acknowledgment of each other, and shouting out to the other team, "Good game, Erickson Middle School!" (or whatever the opponent's name was).
Anyhow, I was wondering what it'd take for people to move in the direction I suggested, which would be best for health. Isn't there a way to honor both healthy practices and sportsmanship? Seems like they go together.
Hey Connie
I agree with you abou the health issue we are dealing with todya
Yes, it's a good call to keep the glove on.
and yes we also to the group call of the other teams name
Tony
Hi Tony,

It's just you and me in on this discussion; it's not a topic that many people want to talk about. My personal feeling is that it should be talked about and that people can be simply scientific when they talk about viruses spreading. Funny, start talking about stuff like this and people think you're a germ phobe or something like that. But, not so, it just takes thinking like an epidemiologist, outwitting the very crafty and rapidly evolving viruses. Why provide them with the absolutely perfect mechanism for spreading, in fact a near even rapidfire spread to every other member of both teams... I wonder why parents aren't making a fuss over this. Just a simple change of practice could do a lot.

It's like that short film "cough safe." Have you ever seen it? It's remarkably powerful in changing people's behavior. The behavior just took a couple of years (maybe three?) until a large number of people (at least in southeast Michigan) found a new way to cough or sneeze, which is into their elbows or fabric and not their hands. The film was just one way things got changed. The film works really well because it's funny, VERY funny--yet firmly gets the point across.

Sportsmanship: I'm all for that. Honoring the other team at game's end is essential. Let's keep in touch about a variety of ways to do it; let's be inventive and start a new trend.

Thanks for the reply!
How about handshakes for the immunised only (given the high effectiveness of the H1N1 vaccine - well according to our GP who just 'jabbed' us.)
Might also be a 'teaching moment' about epidemics, carriers and contagion?

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