With the start of the High School soccer season here in Missouri, I thought I’d share some recent legislative initiatives related to trash-talking. While the competitive spirit is always high, a lesson in what is appropriate is in order for players and fans. I’ve also added a link to a story on social media monitoring of student-athletes below. Any thoughts? Add them in the comment section.
The days of taunting, baiting and trash-talking during high school sporting events are over, thanks to teamwork between the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) and the office of the Attorney General of New Jersey and its New Jersey Division on Civil Rights.
Beginning this fall, the NJSIAA, which sets rules and regulations governing high school athletics, will enforce new rules that will make it clear that harassing conduct related to race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or religion is unsportsmanlike and will not be tolerated at high school events.
The new rules — which apply to all public, parochial, and private school members of the NJSIAA — will also require officials to report this conduct to the NJSIAA, which may investigate the incident and will, in turn, notify the state. If such comments are heard, officials can immediately assess penalties. Coaches will be responsible to remind their players about this policy.
Trash talk during a game can get a player into a lot of trouble – from drawing a foul to being ejected and having to sit out the next contest.
Section executive directors and members of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Central Committee will discuss two forms of talking trash – electronic and verbal – at their quarterly meeting in Rochester today through Thursday.
Section III executive John Rathbun wants the central committee to consider adding taunting or baiting opponents via social media to a list of no-nos during state playoffs.
“I’m aware of a couple of situations where there’s been taunting, or baiting” on social media, Rathbun said last week.
Rathbun said he’ll propose wording that could be added to a code of conduct agreement that all high school athletes must sign before taking part in state playoffs.
On the topic of social media monitoring, as the RFT showed following the tragic death of the three students in the Rockwood school district, social media can be the basis for an entire article about your child. It is also the source of much of the trash-talking, or bullying, that occurs.
As one social media attorney has noted, “Monitoring the public social media posts of student-athletes is legal. In fact, it may be advisable to check up on a student-athlete’s public online posts in the same manner as his/her real world activity.”
The next step for many school districts will likely be the introduction of social media monitoring using tools such as Fieldtrack as the line between trash-talking and bullying blurs.
On a related note, do yourself a favor and implement Log-In Verification with your Twitter account. It ties your mobile phone to your account which reduces the odds you’ll be hacked.