In 2016 the YJFL introduced a Social Networking Policy. All members and their parents should familiarise themselves with this policy. The policy has been extracted from the League’s Rules & By Laws and is as follows:
2016 YJFL Rules & By Laws: SCHEDULE U – SOCIAL NETWORKING POLICY
- Any Person who is found to have engaged in, or is suspected of engaging in the unacceptable use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other social networking site, including blogs, in connection with the game of Australian Football in relation to the Yarra Junior Football League in any way may be dealt with by the Yarra Junior Football League as it deems fit, notwithstanding the behaviour did not occur on the playing field.
- Without limiting the operation of this Rule, unacceptable use may involve the Person:
- Criticising umpires, players, officials or any other person involved in the Yarra Junior Football League;
- Engaging in but not limited to, the following misuses of technology:
harassing, teasing, intimidating, racially vilifying or threatening another person by sending or posting inappropriate and hurtful e-mail messages, instant messages, text messages, phone messages, digital pictures or images, or Web site postings (including social network sites e.g. Facebook or blogs) and the sending, receiving and or possession of naked or sexually explicit images of a person;
- Engaging in any other behaviour which the Yarra Junior Football League reasonably determines, in its absolute discretion, to have breached this policy.
- In addition, it is important to note :
- It is not relevant that the Person making the remarks was not aware that the content could or would be made publicly available.
- Members must also be aware that postings from their individual accounts, whether done by themselves or another person will remain the responsibility of the account owner.
- All members of the Yarra Junior Football league and individual clubs must be aware that in certain circumstances where a crime has been committed, they may also be subjected to a criminal investigation by Police over which the league and/or club will have no control.
- Yarra Junior Football League and/or club officials or members who feel that they have been the victims of such misuses of technology should save and store the offending material on their computer, mobile phone or other device. They should then print/ save a copy of the material and immediately report the incident to the relevant club representative who will forward the evidence to the Yarra Junior Football League.
- All reports of cyberbullying and other technology misuses will be investigated fully in accordance with Yarra Junior Football League rules and regulations and may result in a notification to Police where the Yarra Junior Football League or the club is legally obliged to do so. If there is evidence, charges will be laid.
- Any proven charges may lead to a suspension for a registered player or club official. In deciding the final penalty, consideration will be given to the seriousness of the act, the impact on the victim, the impact on the club and/or the Yarra Junior Football League and the prior good history or otherwise of the player or official. Players charged with these types of offences for a second or subsequent time and where a suspension has been previously imposed will face deregistration.
- Any player or official presented before the tribunal for the first or subsequent time on a cyberbullying offence must be aware that the penalties available to the tribunal members will cover the complete range including deregistration.
- In the case of a non-playing club member being proved to have engaged in harassment or bullying, the club employing, engaging or otherwise associated with the person at the time of the conduct shall be deemed to be vicariously liable for the conduct of the person and shall pay to the Yarra Junior Football League a fine or bond to be determined by the Yarra Junior Football League.