What's buzzing:

Prep Rally

New York youth soccer club bans high fives and handshakes amid growing flu scare

Prep Rally

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.

View gallery

.
The Manhattan Soccer Club has discouraged both high fives and handshakes amid flu concerns — ManhattanSC.org

The Manhattan Soccer Club has discouraged both high fives and handshakes amid flu concerns — ManhattanSC.org

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 minimize 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.

View gallery

.
The Manhattan Soccer Club's athletes won't be able to put their hands together for awhile — ManhattanSC.org

The Manhattan Soccer Club's athletes won't be able to put their hands together for awhile — ManhattanSC.org

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 through Monday, 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.

Want more on the best stories in high school sports? Visit RivalsHigh or connect with Prep Rally on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Outside the Game from Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Ravens' John Harbaugh inspired Indiana hoops team
Kings' proposed sale to Seattle group inches forward
Y! News: Photographer turns dreams into surreal photos

View Comments (5723)
  • Wily Peralta returns for Brewers and shuts down Giants

    Wily Peralta returns for Brewers and shuts down Giants

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Wily Peralta returned from the disabled list and shut down one of baseball's hottest teams in his first start in more than two months, pitching the Milwaukee Brewers past the San Francisco Giants 5-2 on Tuesday night to snap … More »

    AP - Sports - 4 minutes 19 seconds ago
  • Kang's homer sends Pirates to 8-7 win over Twins

    Kang's homer sends Pirates to 8-7 win over Twins

    Jung Ho-Kang is enjoying the spotlight in the major leagues and showing the Pittsburgh Pirates just what they hoped when they brought him over from South Korea. Kang hit a tiebreaking home run off the facing of the second deck in left-center field … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • NFL Commissioner Goodell upholds Tom Brady's 4-game suspension, citing destroyed cellphone

    NFL Commissioner Goodell upholds Tom Brady's 4-game suspension, citing destroyed cellphone

    Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC championship game was upheld Tuesday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell said the New England quarterback told an assistant to destroy Brady's … More »

    The Canadian Press - 8 minutes ago
  • Chiefs' Berry cleared to return after lymphoma treatments

    Chiefs' Berry cleared to return after lymphoma treatments

    Chiefs safety Eric Berry is returning to the practice field, less than eight months after a stunning cancer diagnosis threatened to derail his Pro Bowl career. Berry was cleared by the Kansas City medical staff and his own doctors after a battery … More »

    AP - Sports - 13 minutes ago
  • Sonny Gray throws 3-hitter, Oakland A's beat Dodgers 2-0

    Sonny Gray throws 3-hitter, Oakland A's beat Dodgers 2-0

    Sonny Gray pitched a masterful three-hitter for his second shutout in July, and the Oakland Athletics snapped their four-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Josh Reddick homered, doubled and singled … More »

    AP - Sports - 23 minutes ago