IHSAA leader concerned over violence at high school games


Tom Keating Executive Director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. (WHO 13)

BOONE, Iowa — Viral video this week showed two separate incidents after boys basketball games this week. In one clip a player was knocked over in a post-game handshake in a game at Carlisle. Another incident happened after a game at East Union, where at least one punch was thrown.

“You know you can’t help but be disappointed when you see something like that happen, sportsmanship and … and character are things we emphasize,” said Tom Keating Executive Director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association, the organization that regulates boys high school sports in Iowa. “It’s basically about respecting the person across from you for you know doing what they feel they need to do to try to win a contest and you’re doing what you need to do and then you know when it’s all said and done and it’s over to just acknowledge that we gave our best effort against each other.”

Keating said in an interview that he was pleased with how the Carlisle and Nevada Superintendents handled the situation. He was still gathering information on the East Union incident.

“In a week we had two incidents in one night, and we’re not happy about that we don’t want any incidents, for the fact of the matter is you look at the 350 schools involving about 700 games when you look at boys and girls and you look at all the people the walk-through and shook hands and, and you know they did it respectfully that’s that’s a good sign,” said Keating.

Keating said that often these lessons are being learned by you athletes maybe 16, or 17 years old. They sometimes need guidance.

“We need to understand that we can only control what we can control and one of the things we control is how we react to situations and we control how we respond when things don’t go our way,” said Keating. “Somebody calls, you know we heard that a kid did this through a handshake line and there’s no video of it, somebody else could say oh no, that didn’t happen but when there’s video I think we all know what happens.”

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