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

Not necessarily. Supposed we are on the school board discussing the rules for sports, or indeed whether to have them at all. We turn to tennis. We realize that can be pretty safely done as the competitors will likely not be in close contact with each other. Tennis is allowed. Oh, but we also realize that it is customary to shake hands after a match. That could cause the spread of Covid, so we make a rule saying no shaking hands after a tennis match. Approved.

Now we turn to wrestling. We immediately realize that such close contact can cause the spread of Covid. But for whatever reason, we decide to have it. Say we have regular testing, put the participants in a bubble, or we just decide that the benefits of this school program outweigh the risks. So wrestling is allowed. Then we turn to the handshake rule and come to the question in this thread: Does it really make any sense at all to ban handshaking after the wrestling match given the already physical contact inherent in the sport? Can we imagine a single transmission of Covid that wouldn’t have happened during the wrestling match but will during the handshake? If we ban handshaking after a wrestling match will news articles rightfully make fun of us and will we be mocked on the SDMB?

Again, IMHO, it seems that we would be silly to ban handshaking under those circumstances. Maybe it is also silly to allow wrestling at all, but at least either decision makes logical sense. We have either banned it because the physical contact is too risky, or we have allowed it because the rewards of it outweigh the risks. But the senseless rule doesn’t speak well of our logical thought process.

But the rules have exceptions, and in Ohio, wrestling is one. In fact, wrestling breaks all of those rules: you are not avoiding contact, you are not wearing a mask, and are not staying six feet away from others. It makes no sense then to reimpose one of the restrictions (no handshakes) in an event where you have made such an exception.

As far as a church becoming a strip club, that is simply a violation of the law and not because people just don’t understand because it is too confusing. It is beyond any good faith assertion or legal position that your establishment in which naked women dance for money is a religious service.

Assuming for a moment they banned handshaking for all sports, it is simpler to just ban that than ban it for this sport, not for that sport. It simplifies the rules - no handshaking after any games or matches.

That way, they don’t need to do the sport by sport analysis.

Picking pepper out of flyshit always annoys the audience who has to be told the rules, and is expected (and perhaps enforced) to abide by them.

As @Chronos said, if a post-match handshake is too risky, then the wrestling match itself is insanely risky. All that any regulation set can realistically do is chop out the big risks, not the baby nuance risks. Especially once you consider the “friction” between rule set as written and as implemented by the public net of their combined individual ignorance, sloth, or malice.

If for non-risk based reasons (read “politics”) the ruleset is not able to work from large risks down towards smaller risks, then the whole thing is a nonsense and is rightly seen to be a nonsense. By both skeptics and boosters of precautions. That’s some serious lose-lose decision-making there when you can get those two diametrically opposed groups to agree on something.

But the fix is not to laugh at “Those silly regulators banned post-match handshakes”. It’s to laugh at “Those silly regulators allowed wrestling in the first place”. That’s the decision that doesn’t pass the laugh test.

Absurd for the reasons I gave above. And for a second reason.

The magnitude of the risk prohibited is tiny compared to the magnitude of the risk allowed. It’s allowing an activity with, say, 100 “risk points” while prohibiting one with 0.01 risk points.

The way to avoid the absurdity is to prohibit ancillary activities that materially contribute to the total risk profile. If wrestling itself is worth 100 risk points, then if some ancillary ceremony cost 50 risk points and could be prevented, we’d be knocking the total risk points down from 150 to 100. That might be a big enough decrement to make sense.

But from 100.01 to 100.00? It is to laugh.

Yeah, that completely misses the points I was making.

I AGREE that allowing high school wrestling is a bad idea. But this thread isn’t about that. It’s about banning handshakes at high school wrestling contests. Given that the OHSAA has decided, rightly or wrongly, to allow wrestling, is banning handshakes “idiocy”?

As a general principle, it’s completely reasonable to try to minimize close physical proximity and physical contact. In this specific instance, the result is, as I wrote, absurd. That doesn’t make the general principle idiotic.

Even the seemingly absurd specific situation isn’t necessarily “idiocy”. A general rule against handshakes at athletic events seems eminently reasonable. As I wrote, which you conveniently ignored, carving out an exception to that general rule for wrestling might make sense, but then there would almost certainly be complaints about not making an exception for football. And if football and wrestling are exempted, why not basketball? And so on, creating a confusing patchwork of regulations. It might well be a better policy to ban handshakes only where they significantly increase risk of transmission. But that doesn’t make a general, easily understood and enforceable ban idiotic.

And as a part of shifting broader cultural norms on handshaking, it might also be justifiable. Again, not necessarily a good policy, just not idiotic.

I am NOT arguing that this is a good policy or that it is well-thought out, much less that allowing high school wrestling is a good idea.

ALL that I was trying to argue is that banning handshakes is not necessarily “idiocy”.

All that being said…this isn’t an issue that I particularly care about, and not a hill I want to die on. If you all are convinced that this is idiocy, agree to disagree.

It may be. It gives an impression that they are trying to be careful with their students’ health when they are instead putting them at risk.

If the handshake ban is a specific rule for wrestling events, and the OHSAA has different rules for other athletic events, then it does seem kind of idiotic. If the OHSAA has banned handshakes in general but only as a token safety gesture, without taking any other measures to protect high school athletes, that also seems idiotic (although as LSLGuy points out, in that case it’s not really the handshake ban that’s idiotic). Of course, no one in this thread has actually established that either is the case.

Again, though, defending the OHSAA against a charge of “idiocy” isn’t particularly important to me, and it’s not a hill I want to die on. I’m going to bow out of this thread.

OK, so I looked up the OHSAA rules for field hockey and volleyball, and handshakes and fist bumps are banned from those as well. So, my guess is that they eliminated handshakes from all sports as a blanket rule.

The handshake rule for wrestling doesn’t seem as silly then – they probably started by banning handshakes and then allowed the various sports.

You can see the various rules in the here: There are several PDFs at the end of the article which point to the rules.

Whether it’s stupid to allow wrestling at all seems like a topic for a different thread (I think it should not be allowed). However, it seems perfectly reasonable to ban all pre- and post-game handshakes for all high school sports, rather than having to weigh the plusses and minuses for each sport. I think the article that prompted this thread (that I posted again) is misleading in that it implies that they specifically disallowed handshakes for wrestling while allowing the match itself.

Sorry for the double post.

I looked at more of the PDFs and shaking hands is also banned in tennis and volleyball. Hopefully we all agree that not shaking hands makes tons of sense in tennis, since the players are naturally distanced from each other. What about volleyball? Tough call – they get in each others faces when they go up for a block, but it’s brief. Hmm.

I have an idea! Let’s just ban shaking hands for all sports. Easy peasy. Then, we don’t have to think about edges cases like volleyball. Sure, it’s silly for wrestling (tell me again why we’re allowing wrestling?), but it’s a simple rule that all the players in all the sports can follow.

In addition to what I said (which is that a big ask requires some hard work in making rules instead of the ease of administration) someone else upthread made a good point. It depends on the level of generality we are talking about. We are talking about “Rules at the Wrestling Match” and you say no, we should be looking at “Rules for Sports in General.”

But why stop there? Why could someone look at your proposed rule for no handshaking at sporting events and say how ridiculous that is because kids could legally shake hands at school, after school, french kiss at each others house, or even have sex with each other in parked cars after school. I mean, why allow all of these activities, but ban simple handshaking and only at sporting events?

The government will always have complaints about this. Why is X considered essential, but when I do Y, which is no more harmful and equally beneficial considered not essential? But at least at the boundaries the rule can be justified. Whichever side of the line volleyball falls on (handshakes or no handshakes) you can at least justify that as a close case that the majority of the school board thought it fell on this or that side of the line. You cannot justify that with wrestling at all.

And to say that we wanted to make it easier on ourselves just to have blanket arbitrary rules will not fly with a public who is tiring of the regulations. They must make internal sense.

I think the difference is the sporting event ordinarily has a handshake as part of the whole gig. It’s usually expected and perhaps obligatory. So they need to tell them for the time being, do not do what we usually tell you to do.

And the sport, in this case, is a sanctioned event by a government agency so they get to tell you what to do. Once out of their realm it’s not the OHSAA’s place to tell you what to do. Maybe some other government entity can like the governor/legislature laying down some rules but the sporting agency cannot.

I agree. However most people view mandatory restrictions from the powers that be as “they” are telling me that I can or cannot do X, Y, and Z. And in a sense, people are right. The same state government that runs the schools is also in charge of the rules of general applicability. Someone at the top, say the Governor, has to get his subordinate groups all on the same page with these things.

Now, I’m not suggesting that we should have a comprehensive ban on high school students having sex as it would be even more laughably unenforceable than most other rules. But that is part of the problem as noted above when people see inconsistencies in the rules that we are told are so vital. People will get on board and make sacrifices so long as they believe that they are being treated fairly and that the rules make internal sense.

If people see that swingers conventions are allowed to go on, then the government must really not be taking this seriously, and I’ll be damned if I’m wearing a mask in the parking lot at Lowe’s to talk to my brother when the next block over hundreds of people are having an orgy. I’m not saying it is logical, but people always rebel over this type of stuff. Our own revolution is an example. We had lower taxes than the home country, but dammit, we didn’t have representation, so it is not fair even though we were treated better. I think it unwise to simply demand that people do what they “should” do when hundreds of years of studying human psychology shows that they will not, and then turn around and blame people for acting as people always act.

Very well said.

Regulators of every stripe should not be looking at how the PDF reads when they publish it. They should be looking at how the public behaves after they read the PDF. Shape what you say to what will achieve the result you want.

That’s better done in the positive sense of driving motivation than it is in the negative sense of blanket prohibitions.

And it still leads to trouble.

Imagine in the very early days of COVID if CDC had published this guidance: “Being in a small group indoors or a big group outdoors without a mask is as risky as running across a busy freeway. But right now it’ll be 3 months before we’ve produced enough masks to protect our hospitals. So all of you need to not go buy any sort of real medical mask for 3 months. Instead make something out of rubber bands and an old T-shirt. It won’t work for shit, but it’s the best we can let you do.”

Yeah, that would have totally prevented the public panic-buying every N95 or ordinary surgical mask in existence.

Tell 'em the truth: they’ll misbehave. Tell 'em something nuanced: they’ll misbehave. Tell the simplest possible absolute truth: they’ll misbehave. Tell 'em something meant to out-psych their misbehavior: they’ll mis-misbehave.

You just can’t win with some crowds.

Didn’t your mom ever ask you if your friends jumped off a bridge would you do the same? :slight_smile:

And I suppose never consider that maybe they don’t need to be told (truth, nuance, or lie)?