As we prepare for the 2014-15 competitive season, below are a few reminders to ensure we as adjudicators and professionals are adhering to the USTA standards of conduct, as well as our own integrity and credibility.
Social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, discussion forums, blogs, wikis, virtual worlds or any other form of user-generated media, are powerful informational engines for our activity. USTA recognizes the value of these tools in sharing information and building our activity.
- Judges must be aware of your association with USTA and your position as a Judge in online social media streams. Use common sense, professional judgment and caution.
- During any USTA-sponsored competition:
- No communication is allowed privately or publicly on any social media streams or other communication venues with any director, coach, parent, or athlete competing at that event. Avoid commenting or any other interactions with these individuals during the course of the competition.
- USTA judges even if not in a judging capacity should not comment on an individual or group’s anticipated or actual performance. Such postings create openings for questions from anyone reading the post. What seems like an innocent comment can be easily misconstrued.
- All USTA professionals should respect the decisions/scores/outcomes of the competitions by not publicly criticizing them in any social media platform.
- Judges should change personal settings on Facebook to allow review and approval of any post visible to the public. Use caution on “liking” any post regarding any individual or group competitor.
- Judges should use extreme caution in posting or “tagging” photos or videos of any competitive athlete on your personal social media streams. It is important to remember that anything posted on the Internet is permanent. Although it can be “taken down,” it may continue to exist somewhere for years to come and often reach large numbers of people quickly. If misinterpreted or open to misinterpretation, such postings can do incalculable damage to the reputation of individuals, organizations and USTA.
- When in doubt – don’t do it!!!
Adherence to these guidelines assists us in maintaining the integrity and credibility of the adjudication process USTA provides to our athletes, coaches and parents. USTA will use these guidelines to determine whether a Judge has been appropriate in their public and/or online behavior with respect to their USTA-related responsibilities. Those associated with USTA must represent appropriate conduct for a competitive-based activity. Violation of these guidelines can lead to removal from judging panel or termination of judging contract.