ECB Guidance on the use of Social Media, texts and email
Everyone in cricket is reminded that the Relevant Codes of Conduct apply online and in text and email communications, just as they do in the ‘real world.’ Many cricket clubs have formally adopted this expectation into their constitution and / or disciplinary processes.
Social Media, when used properly, is exciting and opens up a lot of opportunities, but at times it can seem strange and even intimidating for people who did not ‘grow up’ with it. Facebook, Twitter, texting, Blackberry messenger, online gaming and personal emails are everywhere. By following some simple guidelines potential pitfalls can be avoided, and Social Media can be safely used as a promotional tool and a means of communication for the club.
Club Officials / Coaches / Managers
Facebook and Twitter accounts are great for promoting your club and cricket in general, as well as being a fun way to unwind and stay in touch with friends: it is essential to keep these two worlds separate. You should have separate cricket-club related and personal pages; all contact with players should be through the former, and strictly in relation to training, coaching, matches and cricket related activity. You should also adjust the privacy settings for your personal account so that content is only visible to accepted ‘friends’. This will keep younger players safe from material that may be unsuitable for them, and will reduce the risk of your online interactions from being viewed with suspicion. Although younger players may see you as a friend, and may request to be your ‘friend’ on a social media site, you should direct them to the cricket- club related page and keep all contact professional. What they might consider innocent, friendly contact may not be seen as such by their parents, people at the club and others. It is also important to be mindful of any content you post online via the cricket-club related page; remember: You are representing the club Your communications should conform to ‘Safe Hands’ policy and guidance. Ensure that nothing you post could cause personal distress or be seen as inappropriate for children. If you wouldn’t put it on the club notice board, it doesn’t belong on the club’s social media pages You should have consent before posting any personal information online – this includes photographs where an individual can be identified. Remember the picture/no name guidance for under 18s If you are in charge of a social media page for your club, league, panel etc., further guidance has been provided by the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU)
Texts and emails: contacting Under 18 players
The Children Act defines a person under 18 years as a child . You should make arrangements for under 18s via their parents or carers; this includes text and email messages. It is understood that in the case of over 16’s this may not be ideal for yourself or the parents. An acceptable exception to this rule is to text or email the parent and to copy in the 16 or 17 year old, with the parent’s prior consent. This means the parent is able to monitor communications, but the 16 or 17 year old receives the information directly. If you receive any responses from that appear inappropriate they should be brought to the attention of the parent or carer. You should not engage in individual text or email conversations with a 16 or 17 year old without their parent receiving the same messages from you. All contact with children should be in relation to coaching, matches and cricket-related activity.
Social Media: Do’s and Dont's
- Coaches / Managers / Clubs DOHave separate social media accounts for cricket-club related and personal use. Keep your photos and personal information private. Apply the Codes of Conduct and appropriate professionalism to your behaviour online, by text and email. Obtain consent before posting any personal information online – this includes photographs where an individual can be identified. Remember the picture/no name guidance for under 18s
- Coaches / Managers / Clubs DO NOTSend text messages to juniors – make arrangements via their parents. Send private messages to children and young people via social media. Invite or accept children and young people to become “friends”. Send inappropriate text messages or post messages on social media that are offensive, nasty or derogatory in any way
- Adult players in Open Age teamsPlease be mindful of who may have access to material you share via social media, including Facebook, twitter and other platforms.
- No hate speech or bullyingMake sure everyone feels safe. Bullying of any kind isn't allowed, and degrading comments about things such as race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender or identity will not be tolerated.
- Be kind and courteousWe're all in this together to create a welcoming environment, Let's treat everyone with respect. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required.
- Respect everyone's privacyBeing part of our social media groups requires mutual trust.Authentic, expressive discussions make groups great, but may also be sensitive and private. What's shared in the group should stay in the group
If you have concerns regarding social media, texts and emails
If you suspect that someone is using social media in an unsafe or inappropriate manner, you should report their behaviour to your Club Welfare Officer