Social Media Policy & Code of Conduct: Players, Parents, and Coaches


Social Media Policy & Code of Conduct: Players, Parents, and Coaches

See section 8.0 of the MYSA Governance and Operational Policies document. 

Meridian Soccer - Governance and Operating Policies

Social Media Policy: Players & Coaches

These guidelines were developed in February of 2020.

Do not use information technology to make or post inappropriate comments against players, clubs, club officials, match officials or which is discriminatory or offensive. Information technology includes, but is not limited to, email, instant messaging, text messages, phone messages, digital images, website postings (including social media such as Snapchat, Instagram. TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs).

SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES FOR COACHES AND ATHLETES set out by Meridian Soccer Association (MSA). The Social Media Guidelines for Coaches and Athletes is a document within our MYSA Governance and Operational Policies. 

  1. The following term has this meaning in these Guidelines: “Social media” shall be used moving forward in this document - The catch-all term that is applied broadly to new computer-mediated communication media such as email, instant messaging, text messages, phone messages, digital images, website postings (including social media such as Snapchat, Instagram. TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs).
  2. These Guidelines provide coaches and athletes with tips and suggestions for social media use. Coaches and athletes are strongly encouraged to develop their own strategy for social media use (either written down or not) and ensure that their strategy for social media use is acceptable pursuant to the guidelines set forth by Meridian Soccer Association (MSA)
  3. Given the nature of social media as a continually developing communication sphere, Meridian Soccer Association trusts its coaches and athletes to use their best judgment when interacting with social media. These Guidelines are not hard and fast rules or behavioural laws; but rather ideas that will inform coaches’ and athletes’ best judgment.

Social Media Guidelines for Coaches

  1. The following tips should be used by coaches to inform their own strategy for social media use:
  2. a) Choosing not to engage with social media is an acceptable social media strategy. But you must have good reasons for your choice and be active in other communication media;
  3. b) Despite what Facebook says, you are not actually “friends” with athletes. Resist commenting on athletes’ personal activities, status updates, or Instagram Posts;
  4. c) Consider monitoring or being generally aware of athletes’ public social media behaviour to ensure compliance with MSA’s Code of Conduct and Ethics;
  5. d) Coaches may not demand access to an athlete’s private posts on social media;
  6. e) Do not “friend” athletes on Facebook unless they request the connection. Never pressure athletes to “friend” you;
  7. f) If you accept some “friend” requests, or follow one athlete on Instagram, you should accept all friend requests and follow all the athletes. Be careful not to show favouritism on social media;
  8. g) Consider managing your social media so that athletes do not have the option to follow you on social media or “friend” you;
  9. h) Seek permission from athletes before posting pictures or videos of the athletes on publicly available social media like a blog or on YouTube;
  10. i) Do not use social media to ‘trap’ athletes if they say one thing to you in person but their social media activity reveals they were doing something different;
  11. j) Keep selection decisions and other official team business off social media;
  12. k) Never require athletes to join Facebook, join a Facebook group, subscribe to a social media feed, or join a Facebook fan page about your team or organization;
  13. l) If you create a fan page on Facebook for your team or athlete, do not make this social media site the exclusive location for important information. Duplicate important information in more official channels (like on a website or via email);
  14. m) Ensure that parents are aware that some coach-athlete interactions may take place on social media;
  15. n) Exercise appropriate discretion when using social media for your own personal communications (with friends, colleagues, and other athletes) with the knowledge that your behaviour may be used as a model by your athletes;
  16. o) Avoid association with groups or social media feeds with explicit sexual contact or viewpoints that might offend or compromise the coach-athlete relationship;
  17. p) Never misrepresent yourself by using a fake name or fake profile;
  18. q) Be aware that you may acquire information about an athlete that imposes an obligation of disclosure on your part (such as seeing pictures of underage athletes drinking during a trip);
  19. r) Attempt to make communication with athletes in social media as one-sided as possible. Be available for athletes if they initiate contact via social media - athletes may wish to have this easy and quick access to you - but avoid imposing yourself into an athlete’s personal social media space unless explicitly requested to do so Social Media Guidelines for Athletes.

SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES FOR ATHLETES

  1. The following tips should be used by athletes to inform their own strategy for social media use:
  2. a) Set your privacy settings to restrict who can search for you and what private information other people can see;
  3. b) Coaches, teammates, officials, or opposing competitors may all add you to social media or follow you on Instagram. You are not required to follow anyone or be social media friends with anyone;
  4. c) If you feel harassed by someone in a social medium, report it to your coach, club official, or to Meridian Soccer Association;
  5. d) Do not feel pressure to join a fan page on Facebook or follow a social media feed;
  6. e) Content posted on a social medium, relative to your privacy settings, is considered public. In most cases, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy for any material that you post;
  7. f) Avoid posting pictures of, or alluding to, participation in illegal activity such as: speeding, physical assault, harassment, drinking alcohol (if underage), and smoking marijuana;
  8. g) Model appropriate behaviour in social media befitting your status as a) an elite athlete, and b) a member of your club and of MSA. As a representative of MSA, you have agreed to MSA’s Code of Conduct and must follow that Code when you post material and interact with other people through social media;
  9. h) Be aware that your public Facebook page, Instagram or social media feed may be monitored by your club, coach, or by MSA and content or behaviour demonstrated in social media may be subject to sanction under Meridian Soccer’s Discipline Policy and Club Responsibilities.
  10. Clubs should not attempt to impose social media restrictions onto coaches or athletes. There are many situations where social media contact is desirable and necessary; yet many situations where social media contact is unwanted and risky. Coaches and athletes should be trusted, pursuant to Meridian Soccer Association’s Code of Conduct, to navigate social media using their best judgment.
  11. Clubs should monitor social media use by its athletes and coaches and should consider regular surveys and reviews to understand how coaches and athletes are using social media. Coaches and athletes may need to be reminded that behaviour in social media is still subject to MSA’s Code of Conduct.
  12. Complaints and concerns about an athlete’s or a coach’s conduct or behaviour in social media can be addressed by contacting the Meridian Soccer Associations Board of Directors.

 

Code of Conduct: Player, Parents, Coaches

It is the intention of this pledge to promote fair play and respect for all participants within the soccer club. 

Player Code of Conduct: The following code of conduct has been developed to provide players with a clear set of guidelines outlining the behavioural and procedural responsibilities of playing with Meridian Soccer Association (MSA).

  1. I will play by the rules of soccer and in the Spirit of the Game.
  2. I will act in a respectful and responsible manner. Abusive language and disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. I will be removed from the program if my behavior is not acceptable.
  3. I will respect my opponents and teammates. Acknowledge all good plays and performances - those of my team and my opponents.
  4. I will do my best to be a true team player and strive to give my best for the good of the team.
  5. I will remember that winning isn’t everything - that having fun, improving skills, making friends and doing my best are also important
  6. I will acknowledge all good plays and performances - those of my team and my opponents.
  7. I will remember that coaches and officials are there to help me. I will accept their decisions and show them respect.

Parent(s) Code of Conduct The following code of conduct has been developed to provide parents and guardians with a clear set of guidelines outlining the behavioural and procedural responsibilities when participating with Meridian Soccer Association (MSA).

  1. Let the coaches do the coaching for all team members.
  2. Support the program by volunteering to assist the team in some way.
  3. Be your child’s best fan; support him or her unconditionally.
  4. Acknowledge your child’s effort, as well as his or her support of team members, adherence to player responsibilities, etc.
  5. Support and root for all team members. That fosters teamwork.
  6. Be enthusiastic for all kids’ effort, successes, and hard work.
  7. Support your team, coaches, players and referees in all situations. Model good sportsmanship at all times during practices and competition.
  8. Orient your child to the enjoyment of participating and his or her responsibility to the team.
  9. Encourage direct communication. If your child is having difficulties in practice or games or can’t make a practice, encourage him or her to speak directly to the coaches.
  10. Understand and display appropriate game behaviors (e.g., watch; make positive remarks; don’t berate players, officials or coaches). Remember, your child’s self-esteem and game performance are at stake. Be supportive.
  11. Keep sport in its proper perspective: Sport should be fun for you and your child. Highly skilled children and their parents must be especially careful to maintain a balanced view.
  12. If your child’s performance produces strong emotions in you, maintain a calm demeanor. Your relationship with your child remains long after competitive sport days are over. Keep your goals and needs separate from your child’s experience.
  13. Reality test: If your child’s team loses but has played its best, help your child see that as a “win.” Remind him or her to focus on “process” and not only “results.” Children should derive fun and satisfaction from “striving to win,” and playing well and hard.
  14. Let other family members and friends who might attend your child’s games know what constitutes appropriate and supportive behavior. You are responsible for their behavior.
  15. Have fun. Remember children play organized sports for fun first and foremost.
  16. Encourage your child to play by the rules and to resolve conflict without resorting to hostility or violence.
  17. Teach your child that doing one’s best is as important as winning so that your child will never feel defeated by the outcome of the game. Make your child feel like a winner every time by offering praise for competing fairly and hard.
  18. I will remember that children learn by example. I will applaud good plays and performances by both my child’s team and their opponents.
  19. Never question the referee’s or coach’s judgment or decision.
  20. Respect the official’s decision, respect the players, and respect the coaches in all situations.
  21. Respect and show appreciation for the volunteers who give their time to soccer for my child.
  22. Support your team, coaches, players and referees in all situations.
  23. Meridian Soccer wants to adopt a behavioral stance against persons who insult, harass, threaten or assault other persons at any event where a Meridian Soccer team is involved.
  24. If someone is acting in an unacceptable manner, they may be instructed to leave the area immediately. If the behavior continues in any way, shape, or form during the game and is documented, the MSA Board will take appropriate action towards said person or persons.
  25. If the person is identified as a parent, friend or family member of a Meridian Soccer athlete, the parent, and possibly their child will be suspended from any and all Meridian Soccer activities for the season or longer if needed, and will be subject for a behavioral bond before their child or children are allowed to play again.
  26. Upon suspension or any other discipline from the Meridian Soccer Association there will be no refund provided for any fees paid.

COACHES CODE OF CONDUCT The following code of conduct has been developed to provide coaches with a clear set of guidelines outlining the behavioural and procedural responsibilities of coaching with Meridian Soccer Association (MSA).

  • I understand that I am representing the Meridian Soccer Association (MSA) as well as my team and will act accordingly at all times. Any inappropriate conduct directed towards members of the MSA Board of Directors or the representatives of other associations, other volunteers, parents, players and officials will not be tolerated.
  • I understand that coaching is a position of trust, and leadership. Therefore, I will be a positive role model for my players and will maintain my personal integrity and dignity at all times.
  • I understand that being a coach means being, first and foremost, a teacher. I will teach my players basic soccer skills, techniques and strategies, and will give all my players the opportunity to improve their skills, gain confidence and develop self-esteem.
  • I will not swear, use profanity or make obscene gestures, or engage in any inappropriate behaviour or conduct, while acting in a coaching capacity or representing the MSA.
  • I am aware of the Saskatchewan Soccer Association, CSA, and tournament bylaws, policies, rules and regulations and agree to abide by them and to be bound by them and shall support and uphold them to the best of my ability. I understand I may be disciplined (suspended) if I violate the bylaws, policies, rules and regulations.
  • I will respect the referees and game officials and their authority during every game. I will not dispute, challenge, or excessively argue any decisions made by them, or confront any referee or league official at the field before, during or after a game. If necessary, I will take the time to calmly and rationally discuss any situation or call made during a game with a tournament official or by utilizing proper channels with the Director of Soccer for Meridian Soccer Association.
  • I will always display good sportsmanship and fair play, and will encourage the same from my players, colleagues, opponents, parents and spectators.
  • I understand that the game of soccer is a team sport and will treat all my players in a fair and equal manner.
  • I will have a positive attitude and will always praise my players for trying hard, playing fair and doing their best, regardless of the outcome of the game. I will not criticize or yell at any player for making a mistake or losing a competition. I will not tolerate physical or verbal abuse in youth sports.
  • I will maintain an open line of communication with my players' parents. I will explain my goals and objectives for the team.
  • I shall discuss openly with Parents about items specific to their child’s need’s. Not other child’s.
  • I will maintain an open line of communication with the Director of Soccer at all time.
  • I will be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

I agree to abide by the principles of the CODE OF CONDUCT as set by Meridian Soccer Association. I also agree to abide by the rules, regulations and decisions of the Meridian Soccer Association.

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