01/09/2015 11:07 EST | Updated 03/11/2015 05:59 EDT

Soccer programs replace handshakes with elbow bumps

A long-held tradition in sports is being replaced with a more sanitary gesture, because of concerns about the spread of the flu virus.

Shaking hands after a game is common in many sports, but many soccer leagues in Metro Vancouver say its time for a change.

North Delta's mini-soccer program for five to nine-year-olds is one of several programs telling its players just to bump elbows or fists after the game.

The flu-prevention technique was adopted by many clubs in the province during the swine flu outbreak of 2009, and remains in place at some clubs to this day.

Health authorities say handshakes are one of the most common ways to pass on the flu.

The flu has been challenging to contain because this year's vaccine does not protect well against the dominant strain —  H3N2.