WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – A judge has ruled that high school basketball referees in Massachusetts cannot leave the court until both teams have exchanged their traditional handshake.

A Worcester Superior Court judge Thursday denied a temporary injunction sought by a group of referees who opposed the new rule requiring them to remain on the court and observe the gesture of sportsmanship.

The rule was instituted by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

In the past, the referees departed immediately after signing the scorebook.

The Massachusetts State Basketball Officials Association argued that the new rule might cause physical harm to referees and expose them to added liability.

The group cited possible danger from fans who may be angry about calls made during the game.

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