Creation and Maintenance of Social Networking Sites by Local Little Leagues
This policy is in regard to the creation and development of Social Networking sites. Such popular sites include but not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These pages, maintained by local Little Leagues, may offer the presentation of content and information, including images of Little League Baseball or Softball players (from any division). It is important to know, however, that local, state, provincial and national laws take precedent over this policy if there is a conflict.
Photographs and/or links to video of any children must not be posted on a chartered local Little League’s social networks sites/pages without receiving written permission from the child’s parent or guardian. Photos on a web site owned or operated by a chartered local Little League must adhere to the standards for Little Leaguers appearing in the media at: Media Appearance Standards Form
Each league must designate one person to be responsible for posting information and overseeing/monitoring posts. The same person is responsible for monitoring fans (followers) of pages.
Each league will need to exercise “due diligence” with each person becomes a fan – by at a minimum viewing that person’s profile and, disallowing them to be a fan if any inappropriate activity is discovered.
For those leagues currently operating a website, creating a link(s) to the league’s social network site(s) from the league’s home page is recommended. Use of Little League trademarks, such as a local league logo, may be used on social media sites in the same manner they are used on the league website. Such use is required to follow the trademark guidelines for local leagues found here: http://www.littleleague.org/learn/partnerships/licensing/localleagues.htm.
Treat these social networking sites in the same way as the local league site in certain respects, such as making sure it is monitored for inappropriate activity, ensuring that any minor child’s photograph is not posted unless prior written permission is provided from the parent(s) and ensuring that any element of the page (or the page itself) can be deleted quickly if directed to do so by the Board of Directors or Little League International.
Also, the Board of Directors should provide a message to all parents of players in the league that the social network sites pages are live and accessible, allowing them to “opt out” ahead of time with respect to images of children. It is suggested that this information be clearly communicated before or during registration for the upcoming season.
Little League International has no control over non-Little League owned/operated web sites that post photographs of children, provided those children are not identified in any way as Little Leaguers.
However, if a website that is not owned or operated by a chartered Little League program wishes to post video or a photograph of a child or children who are identified in some way as Little Leaguers, the operator of the website must first receive permission to do so from Little League International. Only Little League International can give such permission, and only after the child’s parent or guardian has previously provided written permission to allow its usage.
Example 1: A local league posts an image of a youth baseball or softball player on its Facebook page along with results from a game(s). As long as the player is not identified in any way as a Little Leaguer (such as: showing the Little League patch, in a caption, signage in the image, or through some other identification), Little League International would not be involved in this process. That issue would be between the photographer, the child’s parent/guardian, and the applicable laws. References to specific team names and divisions for the purpose of reporting scores is permissible in a social media post, but specific reference to an individual(s) name(s) and/or game performance is not allowed.
Example 2: A website operating social network pages that is not managed by a chartered local Little League wishes to post an image of a youth batter at the plate, and the image is identified in some way as a Little League image (such as: showing the Little League patch, in a caption, signage in the image, or through some other identification). The website operator would need permission from Little League International to post this image. The website also would need to obtain written permission from the parent or guardian to post the photo. It is recommended that the website operator also receive permission from the photographer.
Example 3: A website that is operated by a chartered local Little League wishes to post an image of any child, whether or not the image is identified in some way as a Little League image. The website operator would need to obtain written permission from the parent or guardian to post this image. It is recommended that the website operator also receive permission from the photographer.
It is Little League policy that the addresses or other contact information for children in the local league never be placed on any internet website. Little League marks including photos of uniforms with the Little League patch cannot be used by any third party without consent of Little League International.
If a local Little League web site operator wishes to post the names of players, as on a roster, this is permitted provided the parent or guardian of the player(s) named have agreed to it in writing. Posting rosters to social networking pages is not recommended.
When the web site is that of a news organization (such as a local TV station, newspaper, etc.), generally speaking, the permissions noted above are not required. However, the local Little League should always be aware when the news media is recording images of children, so the parents can be fully informed. Photos must be used for editorial purposes only, and cannot be used for promotional purposes in any way.
Many news organizations manage social networking pages as part of their social media outreach. Posts typically highlight the news organization’s coverage of a particular event after it has aired or been published. These links often re-direct the viewer to the news outlet’s original report.
There are instances where certain news outlets may produce unique content specifically for its Facebook or Twitter followers. If this is true of the media covering the local league, then the news outlet and the league’s board of directors are advised to coordinate the coverage prior to the start of the upcoming season. Again, parents and coaches are to be made aware of the types of information that is to be made available on these pages.
Violation of the policies in this document may result in action by the Charter Committee in Williamsport, including, but not limited to, suspension or revocation of the local Little League’s charter.