New York youth soccer club bans high fives and handshakes

Cameron Smith, Yahoo!7 January 16, 2013, 10:03 am

If you thought the flu epidemic in the New York metro area was bad already, it’s getting worse. In fact, now it’s even temporarily killing off two of the most treasured past times in youth sports.

As reported by the New York Post and a variety of other sources, a Manhattan-based youth soccer club has acted to discourage its elementary school athletes from giving each other high fives or even walking through the traditional postgame handshake line. The reason? Officials are worried that contact from high fives and handshakes could spread flu germs.

In an email sent out to parents, the Manhattan Soccer Club (MSC) outlined a variety of ways to minimise flu risks among its players, including the following paragraph:

"At this point the MSC Board and the coaching staff would recommend that players not shake/touch hands with opponents after the games. The safest thing to do is to touch elbows. The coach or manager can explain this to the other team prior to the game."

While the email doesn’t explicitly outline high fives or handshakes, it does go to lengths to discourage them from ever taking place.

And while the soft-ban might seem severe, at least one parent expressed support for the ban when speaking to the Post.

“It shows that [the club] is on top of what is going on with the flu outbreak, and they have come up with a great solution that shows good sportsmanship while also reducing the chance of transferring the flu,” Andy Stenzler, whose 10-year-old daughter plays with MSC, told the Post.

There are no established timelines for how long the handshake/high five ban will continue, but it certainly won’t end anytime soon given the rampant concern over the spread of the winter 2013 flu. Data from CBS New York and other sources have indicated that nearly 20,000 cases of flu have been reported in New York state, roughly five times as many as were reported in 2011-12. More troublingly, two New York children and 18 kids nationwide have died from complications from the flu already this year.

If MSC has anything to do with it, that number won’t swell with any soccer players in Manhattan.

Thanks to Prep Rally

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  1. greg04:01pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I just wish I could be there to CJs face on november 30 when the Labor party are wiped of the political landscape to live in obscurity. In ten years from now people will say "Labor who?"

    1 Reply
  2. greg03:54pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Abbott for PM 2013

  3. bluebag02:20pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    We all know the yanks are paranoid about most things but to stop the high fives? What is wrong with that country? Every sport in the world does it nowadays so why should it stop because the yanks are afraid they might catch the flu, how pathetic.

  4. Ghost Hunter01:54pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    @greg - comrade ju-LIAR 'BARGE BUTT' dullard knows she's getting the boot at the 2013 federal election - why do you think she set herself up to head the latest 'child abuse committee hearing' ??? That's expected to run until 2015 (at least) giving comrade ju-LIAR pocket money while she goes back to writing her communist manifesto for 'THE FABIAN SOCIETY' - the re-named Australian communist party ! :-D

  5. Ghost Hunter01:46pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    @ greg - doesn't matter what old RAT FACED comrade ju-LIAR 'PINOCCHIO' dullard does now, she and all the rest of her lying, thieving, back-stabbing FERAL labor thugs are OUT after November 30th 2013 ! :-) With this latest load of rubbish - do you think that dirty little queer 'c j' and his non-existing 'areel' will continue to support her ? 'c j' SACKED from moping Maccas floors and his alter ego 'areel' SACKED because he's a goat-herding camel shagging muslim ! THAT'S GOT TO BE A BIG PLUS !

  6. greg01:16pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Forget workchoices now you can be sacked for being Gay or of a different religion than your employer. back to the old days when catholics wouldn't hire protestants and forget about it if your jewish or muslim.

  7. greg01:05pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Julia gives a green light for employers to discriminate against workers. Well done Julia for sending our country backwards 50 years. How desperate is this harpie to win the next election

    1 Reply
  8. Robert12:56pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    could Australian sporting officials please ban the American practice of sportsmen placing their hand on their chest when the national anthem is played, it makes me cringe every time I see it

  9. Stephen12:49pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    What a load of garbage. Next they'll say, don't get to close to your opponent or they might breathe on you!. Give us a break and stop breathing altogether people and we won't pass anything on. Peanuts!!!

  10. Phil12:17pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    .........of course i'm kidding there....i love soccer.....just wish they wouldnt keep falling down whenever they lose the ball