The purpose of this social media policy is to establish guidelines for the appropriate and responsible use of social media platforms by members, players, coaches, volunteers, and stakeholders associated with the Trails West Hockey Association (TWHA). The failure of any TWHA player or member to adhere to this Social Media Policy are considered in violation of the TWHA Code of Conduct, and shall be subject to investigation and potential disciplinary action.
This policy aims to ensure the safety, well-being, and positive reputation of the organization and its participants while promoting respectful online interactions.
This policy applies to all individuals involved in the activities of TWHA, including but not limited to TWHA Members, players, coaches, volunteers, parents, officials, and administrators. It encompasses all forms of social media, including websites, blogs, social networking sites, messaging apps, forums, and any other online platforms.
TWHA maintains official social media accounts on major platforms, managed exclusively by our Social Media Coordinator. The objectives of TWHA’s social media presence are as follows:
- Augment communication of critical dates and events to the membership.
- Celebrate achievements and success of TWHA teams and individual athletes.
- Promote a sense of community for TWHA members and athletes.
Creating an official or unofficial TWHA social media presence using the organization’s trademarks or name requires prior approval from TWHA. TWHA’s intellectual property includes, but is not limited to, trademarks, logos, slogans, and imagery posted directly on TWHA’s official social media sites or website. No individual may imply they are authorized to speak on behalf of TWHA without official authorization from the TWHA Board.
For the purpose of this policy, social media encompasses all publicly available online media and communications platforms. This includes internal and external websites, blogs, online social networks, wikis, video and photo sharing sites, as well as other forms of personal online publishing and discourse. Additionally, policies regarding text messaging, email, and individual telephonic communications are covered under this policy.
TWHA acknowledges that players and members utilize social media positively within TWHA official social media channels and also with team and related social group activities. We have established guidelines and boundaries for the safe and positive use of social media platforms in all TWHA activities.
Respectful conduct is expected from all TWHA members. This policy aims to foster a culture of openness, trust, and integrity when utilizing social media and other online platforms. It provides practical guidance to ensure all parties can benefit from social media while minimizing potential risks and protecting those involved.
Note: This policy does not apply to personal use of social media unrelated to TWHA, where there is no reference to TWHA or its business, competitions, teams, participants, services, events, sponsors, members, or reputation. However, any misuse on social media by individuals that does not directly refer to TWHA or registered teams may still be regulated by other TWHA policies, rules, or regulations.
TWHA is committed to promoting respectful behavior and conduct both on and off the ice. We strive to eliminate all forms of social media misconduct, including discrimination, harassment, bullying, or offensive language based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law.
All TWHA members, players, volunteers, and contractors shall abide by the following guidelines in the use of social media, and contravention of these guidelines is considered a violation of the TWHA Code of Conduct:
- Use of social media for bullying, harassment, intimidation, or threats of any type is prohibited.
- No pictures, videos, audio, or any other type of media may be captured in any form from within the dressing room.
- Do not post photographs, videos, or comments promoting negative influences and dangerous or criminal behavior, including but not limited to: violence, firearms, racism, sexism, drug use, alcohol abuse, underage alcohol use, public intoxication, and sexual exploitation.
- Do not make negative or derogatory comments or statements deemed detrimental to the welfare of any individual or group.
- Social media should not be used to divulge confidential information or any other matter of a sensitive nature relating to individuals or groups.
- Social media may not be used for undertaking activity that contradicts the current policies of TWHA.
- Do not post complaints about referees, league officials, opposition players, coaches, or fans on social media.
- Social media should not be used for communication to other teams (including other TWHA teams), players, coaches, or spectators with any form of harassment, bullying, or threats against the team or individuals associated with the team.
- Do not publish pictures or personal information about players, TWHA Members, or team staff without their prior consent.
If an error is made while posting on social media, be upfront about the mistake and address it quickly. If modifying a previous post, the edit should be clearly noted. If someone accuses TWHA of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them), address it promptly and appropriately, and if necessary, seek legal advice.
TWHA’s preference is to educate, inform, and help develop positive habits when unacceptable or inappropriate comments or posts occur on social media channels. When required, disciplinary action or sanctions will be assessed toward any individual violating the above guidelines. Depending on the nature of the infraction, discipline may be assigned based on the TWHA Discipline Policy, or the incident may be reported to the Calgary Police Service or other authorities.
PROCESS AND PROCEDURE
The policy outlines behavior over social media that may result in disciplinary action by TWHA at the discretion of the Disciplinary Committee. In addition to the TWHA Social Media Rules set out above, teams may establish team-specific rules for social media, provided the rules do not derogate from the TWHA Social Media Policy.
TWHA Directors shall have the authority to monitor and enforce this Social Media Policy. TWHA Directors, Social Media Coordinator, and Administrator shall have the authority to remove any inappropriate or offensive comments from official TWHA sites and to block any individual or organization from posting on any official TWHA social media platform if they determine, in their sole discretion, that it is necessary.
The failure of any TWHA player or member to adhere to this Social Media Policy shall be considered a violation of the TWHA Code of Conduct, and shall be subject to investigation and potential disciplinary action, as per the TWHA Discipline Policy.
The expected process for any individual member or player to manage a case of social media misconduct is as follows:
- Screenshot and save any post or or posted media, so evidence is available for review in TWHA discipline process
- Attempt to de-escalate or resolve the situation if possible.
- If responding, be courteous and accommodating.
- Do not feel obligated to respond further in any unwanted post or thread.
- Report the incident with any supporting evidence to the appropriate TWHA authority for review and action.
Social Media Interaction Guidelines Between Teammates
It can be a positive, team-building enabler for teams to establish “group chats” that allow players to chat while away from team functions. The key elements to having positive and inclusive team chats are as follows:
- Parental awareness of the group chat with full access to the chat for periodic review of content.
- Invite ALL team members to join the chat
- Be respectful of team members who decline to participate in group chats and do not discuss any team members who declined participation on the chat
- Do not discuss anything on the chat that you would not say in the dressing room in front of coaches or while at a team function with all parents present.
Social Media Interaction Guidelines Between Players, Coaches and other Team Volunteers
Any social media interaction between an adult member or volunteer and a minor participant (player) should be maintained on the official team platform assigned by the association (TeamSnap). Any contact outside TeamSnap should be limited to email, text (or related direct messaging), and be related to specific logistics of team functions, including practice times, cancellations, schedules, etc. Coaches should strive to include another adult in messages whenever possible.
- Coaches and team representatives should only use text messages and email for issues that are hockey-related, and all communications should include a parent or guardian copied on the message.
- There should be no private messages and no one-on-one direct contact through any social media chat functions, direct messaging, chats, instant messaging, or any other platform.