ECB Guidance on the use of Social Media and other electronic communications

Everyone at Vine CC is reminded that the relevant Codes of Conduct also apply for all online communications: 

Social Media 

Social Media can be safely used as a promotional tool and a means of communication for the club by following ECB simple guidelines: 

Guidance for Club Officials / Coaches / Managers 

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media accounts are great for promoting your club and cricket in general, but it is essential to maintain separate cricket-club related and personal accounts. All contact with players should be through the club-related accounts 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 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. 

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 that if an U18’s picture is published then no name should appear (the picture/no name guidance for under 18s). 

Texts, apps 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 all communication methods, including text and email or WhatsApp messages etc. Version: March 2021 

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 that appear inappropriate they should be brought to the attention of the parent or carer. 

All contact with children should be in relation to coaching, matches and cricket-related activity. 

Social Media: Do’s and Don’ts: 

Coaches / Managers / Clubs DO: 

  • Have 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 using social media, 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 NOT: 

  • Do not send text messages to juniors – make arrangements via their parents. 
  • Do not send private messages to children and young people via apps or social media. 
  • Do not invite or accept children and young people to become “friends” on social media. 
  • Do not send inappropriate text messages or post messages on social media that are offensive, nasty or derogatory in any way. 

Adult players in Open Age teams: 

Please be mindful of who may have access to material you share via social media, including Facebook, twitter, etc. 

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 Safeguarding Officer, the County Safeguarding Officer, or the ECB Safeguarding team – email safeguarding@ecb.co.uk. 

If you believe that an offence has been committed, or that someone’s use of social media is placing a child is at risk of harm, inform the police immediately. 

Parents/Carers 

It is against Facebook’s rules for your child to have an account if they’re under thirteen years old. This is to prevent them from being exposed to potentially inappropriate content. You will find all you need to know about keeping young teens safe on Facebook on their official safety page for parents. 

The WhatsApp minimum age is 16 years old.

It is important that your child feels they can talk to someone if they are being bullied online, or if they’ve been exposed to something that makes them upset or uncomfortable. Any cricket related behaviour can be discussed with the Club Safeguarding Officer. 

Parents / Carers DO: 

  • Make sure you are aware of who your child has contact with online and via text. 
  • Be aware of the ECB and the club’s expectations for coaches and social media. 
  • Talk to your children about using social media in relation to cricket-related activities. 

Children and Young People 

You should think about the points below whenever you use the internet, or speak to people online or by text: 

If someone isn’t your friend in real life, they aren’t your friend on the internet. Be careful when accepting friend requests. 

Sometimes people on the internet aren’t who they say they are. If you’re not 100% sure, don’t risk it. 

Remember to change your privacy settings so that only your friends can see information about you, your posts and your photos. 

If someone is sending you messages or texts that you are worried about, tell your parents, an adult you trust, your teacher or the Club’s Safeguarding officer. 

  • Remember that your coach is a professional, just like your teachers. They should not be your friend on Social Media and should not be texting or messaging you. 
  • You can expect them to make arrangements for coaching and matches via your parents. 
  • Bullying can happen online too, and it’s known as cyber-bullying. If you, or someone you know, has had this happen to them you should tell an adult that you can trust. 
  • Don’t be afraid to tell someone if you have concerns. 

Young people DO: 

  • Keep your photos and personal information private 
  • Conduct yourself in a respectful and courteous manner on social media as you would at home, in school or at cricket. 
  • Tell a professional or an adult you trust if you are worried or concerned about online behaviour or unwanted contact/ communication. 

Young people DO NOT: 

  • Do not text messages or post messages on social media that are offensive, nasty or derogatory in any way. 
  • Do not accept any friend requests from people you don’t know or you feel uncomfortable accepting. 
  • Do not send or forward any indecent images of yourself, someone you know, or anyone you don’t know, even if it seems to be done in fun – it is wrong and it is against the law. 

Version: March 2021