This policy shall apply to all coaches, players, parents, guardians, officials, or other persons associated with USA Softball of South Dakota regarding the use of social media. This policy applies to the above participants on and off the field. The goal of USA Softball of South Dakota is to assure that its participants – coaches, players, parents, officials, guardians, and fans – maintain the highest standard of sportsmanship and ethical behavior at all times. Adherence to this policy shall be a condition for continued participation in the USA Softball of South Dakota program. All who register in their local association acknowledge this policy with their membership. Each association will inform the participating players and officials of this policy. This policy will be included in the USA Softball of South Dakota State Code. This policy will be documented on the USA Softball of South Dakota website.
We have a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate use of social media.
Social media is defined to include: Web sites, Web logs (blogs), wikis, social networks (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, etc.), online forums, virtual worlds, email and any other social media generally available to the public or consumers.
Inappropriate is defined to include:
· Players, parents, coaches, umpires, or any participant associated with USA Softball of South Dakota who denigrate (attack the character or reputation of, speak ill of, defame, disparage or belittle) other individual’s players, teammates, or evaluation processes as related to USA Softball of South Dakota.
· Parents, who send harassing emails, denigrate the evaluation process or board members or officials; or swear as it relates to USA Softball of South Dakota.
All participants in USA Softball are expected to serve as positive ambassadors of our organization. Because readers of social media networks may view the participant as a representative of USA Softball of South Dakota, requires participants to observe the following rules when referring to USA Softball of South Dakota, the players, activities, volunteers, coaches, parents, umpires, on any social media networks:
· Use of any social media network and postings, displays or communications on any social media network must comply with all state and federal laws and any USA Softball of South Dakota policies and USA Softball of South Dakota code of conduct.
Participants must be respectful and professional in all communications (by word, image or other means). Participants shall not use obscene, profane or vulgar language on any social media network or engage in communications or conduct that is harassing, threatening, bullying, libelous or defamatory or that discusses or encourages any illegal activity or the inappropriate use of alcohol, use of illegal drugs, sexual behavior, or sexual harassment.
· Participants may not act as a spokesperson for USA Softball of South Dakota except as authorized by the USA Softball of South Dakota State Commissioner.
· When authorized as a spokesperson for USA Softball of South Dakota, participants must disclose their relationship with USA Softball of South Dakota.
· Participants may not disclose information on any social media network that is confidential or proprietary to USA Softball of South Dakota, its players, parents, coaches, umpires, or that is protected by data privacy laws.
· Participants will be held responsible for the disclosure, whether purposeful or inadvertent, of confidential or private information, information that violates the privacy rights or other rights of a third party, or the content of anything posted on any social media network or internet site as it relates to USA Softball of South Dakota .
· Anything related to USA Softball of South Dakota posted on the participant Web site or Web log or other internet content for which the participant is responsible will be subject to all USA Softball of South Dakota policies, rules, regulations, or guidelines.
An USA Softball of South Dakota participant who is responsible for a social media network posting that fails to comply with the rules set forth in this policy may be subject to discipline as outlined in the USA Softball of South Dakota State Disqualification.
These are the guidelines for social media in USA Softball of South Dakota. If you’re a participant contributing to blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds or any other kind of social media, these guidelines are for you. We expect all who participate in social media to understand and follow these guidelines. Failure to do so could put you at risk. These guidelines will continually evolve as new technologies and social networking tools emerge, so check back once in a while to make sure you are up to date.
It’s your responsibility. What you write is ultimately your responsibility. If it seems inappropriate, use caution. What you publish is widely accessible and it will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully. Trademark, copyright, and fair use requirements must be respected.
Ensure the safety of the players. When participants choose to join or engage in the social networking groups, they do so as an ambassador of USA Softball of South Dakota and have the responsibility for monitoring content and addressing inappropriate behavior or activity on these networks. This includes acting to protect the safety of minors online.
Be transparent. Your honesty-or dishonesty-will be quickly noticed in the social media environment. If you are posting about your involvement, use your real name and identify your relationship with USA Softball of South Dakota. Be clear about your role; if you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out.
Protect confidential information. Be thoughtful about what you publish. You must make sure you do not disclose or use confidential information. Players, parents, coaches and other participants should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. For example, ask permission before posting someone’s picture in a social network or publishing a conversation that was meant to be private.
Respect your audience and other participants. Always express ideas and opinions in a respectful manner. Make sure your communications are in good taste. Do not denigrate or insult others. Remember that our communities reflect a diverse set of customs, values, and points of view.
Keep your cool. One of the aims of social media is to create dialogue and people will not always agree on an issue. When confronted with a difference of opinion, stay cool. Sometimes, it’s best to ignore a comment and not give it credibility by acknowledging it with a response.
Be careful with personal information. Make full use of privacy settings. Know how to disable anonymous postings and use moderating tools on your social media sites.
The person(s) subject to suspension shall be entitled to a hearing before a Deputy or District Commissioner and a committee of three (3) or more persons appointed by the Deputy or District Commissioner in whose area the violation took place.
The individual(s) must be notified, in writing or email, of the time, place, and date of the hearing. Individual(s) is entitled to an alternate date if, for good cause, the original date is not acceptable. Should the accused party fail to attend the hearing, the person conducting the hearing may proceed and take the evidence of those in attendance.
After hearing the evidence, the person presiding at the hearing shall render a written decision within fourteen (14) days. The person(s) involved shall be advised, in writing, by the District Commissioner of the action taken. A copy of the ruling must be sent to the State Office. (and all associations shall be notified of the negative ruling of the individual should a suspension be involved).
RIGHT OF APPEAL
Any person(s) suspended from USA Softball South Dakota play may appeal to the State Commissioner. The decision of the State Commissioner may further be appealed according to the USA Softball Code.
Anyone wishing to appeal must notify the State Commissioner, in writing, within fifteen (15) days after the mailing of the notice of disqualification. However, any person(s) suspended from USA Softball of South Dakota or local Association play shall remain in a suspended status pending appeal.
An individual shall cease to be eligible for all play conducted or sanctioned by USA Softball or the Association while disqualified by either USA Softball or the Association.
Individual(s) may be disqualified for period of time, including a probation period, at the discretion of his/her District Commissioner for violations.