The idiocy - OHSAA coronavirus rules: Students can wrestle, but can't shake hands

Not sure if this should go here or in MSIMS:

Regardless of which side you are on some things are just idiotic and this one has to be near the top of the stupid pile.

I understand that businesses and organizations are struggling to operate under COVID restrictions but this seems an all in sort of thing. Either you wrestle or you don’t. Putting a no handshake rule in is pretending to be trying to do something when it does nothing.

Am I missing something here? Is this legitimately helpful or the transparent fig leaf it seems?

Perhaps it’s because when they shake hands in a line everyone touches everyone while during competition it’s limited to one person.

Ack :man_facepalming:

I forgot the article:

I think it is not a line but a shake before and after the match between the two wrestlers to remind everyone (wrestlers included) that this is a competition and not a fight. Be gentlemen about it.

It’s a great thing in normal circumstances. All for that display of sportsmanship.

It’s a fig leave gesture at best. The politics in OH are not going to permit closing down HS sports. Not much more can be said within the bounds of QZ rules.

I agree it is silly, and I think rules like these contribute to a larger issue. What the government is asking us to do in the same of fighting the spread of the virus is unprecedented. Whether it is right, wrong, necessary, or unnecessary, it is unprecedented and requires the cooperation of the public. I think we can all agree on that.

In order for the public to follow the rules, they must trust that the government is competent and is only restricting personal freedoms to the extent needed, and that the restrictions make sense. When the regulations don’t make sense, or are absolutely nonsensical, like in this case of no shaking hands between wrestlers, the public begins to doubt the competence of the government that is making the rules. A substantial amount of people will then begin to questions everything: Do I need to social distance? Do I need to wear masks? Do I need to restrict my Christmas dinner to 10 people? etc.

Americans are especially known to push back on restrictions on freedom, so the powers that be should be extra cautious about imposing restrictions which they cannot immediately and fully justify to the public.

Sounds like the NFL rule that players can play football but can’t exchange jerseys after the game.

All excellent thinking.

But which collides deeply with the desire to be seen to do something while not interfering with anything important or controversial. Which leads directly to token gestures that smell good at first glance, accomplish substantially nothing, and annoy both the thoughtful and the reflexively rebellious. Totally a lose-lose response.

Said another way, if the central imperitive is to make a big change in outputs with no painful changes in inputs, well … the game is over before you’ve begun. The setup is impossible and every move is a loser.

To play Devil’s Advocate…

As a general principle, it’s eminently reasonable to say that physical proximity and contact should be minimized to the extent practicable. To the extent that physical proximity and physical contact are integral to the activity, they are allowed, but should be as brief and safe as possible. To the extent that they are not integral, they are forbidden. It’s a perfectly simple, reasonable principle, although in this particular case it seems to have led to an absurd application.

I’m also wondering - is this a specific rule for wrestling, or did the OHSAA just make a universal “no handshake” rule and not bother to carve out an exception for wrestling? If that’s the case, even though it seems absurd, it’s probably a good idea not to exempt wrestling. Once you start to make exceptions and carve-outs, the rules lawyers and exceptionalists will pounce. If there’s a special exemption for wrestling, why isn’t there a special exemption for football? If there’s one for wrestling and football, why isn’t there one for basketball? And so on and so forth, and you wind up with a confusing patchwork of special rules and exemptions.

There’s also something to be said, I think, for a general ban on handshakes, even if in a particular situation the rule seems absurd. In this crisis, we’re not only fighting a pandemic. We’re fighting deeply ingrained social customs and even primate instincts. Huddling together and seeking physical contact in response to danger are deeply instinctual but also potentially deadly. If we want to change deeply ingrained behaviors like shaking hands, it makes at least some sense to simply institute universal bans, and, again, refrain from carve-outs and exceptions and a patchwork of “it’s ok to shake hands in this situation, but not this one, unless it’s this sub-situation, but if it’s this sub-sub-situation, it’s not ok again - or is it?”

I think this is the main question. If they just said, “no handshakes”, it totally makes sense for tennis, fencing, swimming, track, maybe even volleyball. It’s less useful for basketball, soccer, football, and wrestling, but it’s just easier to state “no post-game or post-match handshakes.”

I’m wondering if it might also be said, or if this might be an example, that Americans are especially known – at least during this pandemic – to install restrictions on freedom. In other words, I wonder if America is proving itself more likely than much of the rest of the world to have such a rule in the first place.

I think you’re asking if the restrictions in the US are harsher than those in other countries. If that’s what you’re asking, the answer is no, at least for other first world countries. For example, my friend who was in school in Scotland went back home to Australia. He had to stay in his hotel room, not allowed to leave the room at all, for two weeks. Other friends who have traveled to the UK say that they’ve been contacted by the authorities to make sure they’re actually quarantining. The rules in the UK about gatherings are much tighter than in the US, and they’re better about enforcing them.

If that’s not what you meant, then I’m sorry for the hijack.

Meanwhile in the US:

I take your point, but I disagree.

Would it provide possible pandemic related benefits to advise spouses that they can still have sex, yet no “unnecessary” kissing or cuddling afterwards? After all, we want to solidify that no embracing concept in all aspects of life, right? Obviously, that is a silly example, but I believe that the larger the “ask” you are making of people, the more solid the logic must be behind it, and the more it must be tailored to specific conduct, if for no other reason than to let the public know that there is serious data behind it.

I think people are generally smart enough to know that if I am grappling with this sweaty guy for 9 minutes, that it adds no further risk to shake his hand before and after. And it resonates with people. When you see people doing a remote broadcast from their home wearing a mask with nobody else around, band members wearing masks with holes cut in them so they can play instruments, or that it doesn’t have to be a particular kind of mask (that has presumably been researched) but that a simple household dish towel will suffice, people do in fact look at such absurdities and wonder if the rule makes sense at all—given that it is such a big ask, because as you mention, the human interaction with seeing one another’s full face has been part of our social conditioning since the dawn of time. There is something very uncomfortable about being asked to forego that, and the pushback is not one of ignorance, but of basic human need and desire.

Instead of blasting people who fight these things, the rule makers need to narrowly craft the rule, publish the data, and set meaningful limits to reassure people that they actually have thought about it. (As an aside, it would also help if the peoples’ representatives in the legislatures would enact these mandates instead of being done by executive fiat, but that is off topic).

In short, I understand what you are saying that it is easier just to say “no handshakes, period” than crafting a 15 page memoranda on when and where handshakes are permitted and when and where they are not, but people simply will not accept such sweeping mandates when in their specific application it makes no sense. The 15 page memoranda says “Yep, we have really put a lot of thought into this and we don’t want to restrict anything more than necessary.”

If handshakes in tennis are too risky, then wrestling, with or without handshakes, is also too risky. If that is the case, then the proper response is to completely ban wrestling.

OK, then, what’s “the activity”? You’re considering wrestling to be the activity, and saying that physical contact is integral to wrestling. But I would say that schooling is the activity, and wrestling is not an integral part of schooling.

I dunno. I don’t think this is all that complex where a million unique situations need to be accounted for. It’s pretty straightforward…avoid contact with other people, apart from immediate family, as best you are able and when in public wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from others wherever possible.

That covers most of it right there. It is easier to make a few exemptions such as for health workers and other necessary things. Why Ohio deems wrestling necessary is beyond me.

Yet you get idiocy like this or the strip-club church mentioned above:

I agree that banning wrestling would be sensible. But that’s not what the OHSAA decided to do. I’m definitely not defending that decision. I’m just saying that banning handshakes at wrestling matches isn’t necessarily as idiotic as it might seem on the surface.

Wrestling is allowed but shaking hands is forbidden because shaking hands is too close to sex.

I don’t disagree at all really. But the question isn’t whether Ohio should permit wrestling. The question is “Given that Ohio does permit wrestling, should it ban handshakes during the event?” The answer to that seems to be clearly no.

The article you linked seems to illustrate my point, IMHO. The organizer and the attendees of the swinger’s convention thought, or at least made up a pretense, that they were being responsible by having social distancing and the like, and it seemed to be legal under local law.

So people see that and think, “Wait, so you are telling me I have to skip Thanksgiving dinner, or wear a mask and stay six feet away when my brother comes over, but you let people have swingers conventions?!? Does anyone in charge have any brains at all?” When rules make sense, people are more likely to follow them because they trust that the powers that be have thought these things through and made intelligent determinations on the appropriate restrictions. When the rules are silly and riddled with contradictions and absurdities, people question the rule in its entirety.

The rules do make sense and are simple and easy to understand:

But the state has to make exceptions for healthcare workers and food workers and whatnot and that opens the door. Then you get churches becoming strip clubs to game the system.