Social Media Info

From: Zebraweb Administrator <>
Subject: International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, Inc. - Resource Center - Officials and Social Media
Date: Sunday, November 18, 2012, 6:01 PM

A new Zebra Memo (Subject - Officials and Social Media) has been added to the Zebra-Secretary Console. Log into to view the new memo.

With the onslaught of social media (Facebook, LinkedIn etc.) there are many ways for officials to become controversial very innocently. Officials love to talk, I am sure you know the old saying "tell a ref tell the world". How often does the conversation between officials start with "I had this play" and then we continue with one upsmanship and "I had this play" and so on. We were always concerned when we were having an adult beverage in an establishment talking basketball, being heard by someone as we made comments about a coach, player or even rowdy fans. Why wouldn't we have the same concern today where, instead of being out in public making comments we now make them online? The danger again is that we do not know who views these comments, and we do not know what they will do with these comments.

In regards to basketball, I have watched officials put up a play online and ask for comments from others and there may be responses from a number of officials that give their "opinion", many of which are incorrect rulings. It amazes me that officials did not ask their own interpreters who have been IAABO trained and most likely can provide the correct response and rule citation. The interpreter also has another resource and that Is Peter Webb who is IAABO's Coordinator of Interpreters and who will respond to each and every question with the correct ruling and rule reference within 48 hours.

My concern is that an errant comment made by an official can come back to haunt them, in fact most Division 1 conferences have added this clause to the officials contract. "The office must refrain from any public criticism of the conference, Conference staff, coaches, student athletes, and Conference athletic departments. This criticism includes communicating with the media, and other basketball officials, as well as any method of social or electronic media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, email etc.). Any violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action being taken, which could include one or more of the following actions: private reprimand, suspension or termination".

This may filter down to the state athletic associations in the near future, thus the point of this article is to give our officials a heads up on what is happening in our officiating world. You just might want to give some thought to the above before you make that next "click".