RefVB.com Forums Rules
RefVB was created to become a valuable resource for volleyball officials around the world. This site should always be a welcoming place for all users, regardless of their age, experience, or qualifications.

The moderators want you to feel free to express your opinions on officiating volleyball and other matters discussed on this forum. Thus, we encourage our users to post their thoughts, both positive and negative. We must, however, require guests, users, and moderators to participate in a civil, constructive, and respectful manner while on the site, allowing all visitors to enjoy and benefit from the forum.

All users have a responsibility to be familiar and comply with the features, guidelines, and rules described below. Users that fail to comply are subject to various actions by the Moderators.



EXPLANATION OF FEATURES & GUIDELINES


USER ACCOUNTS
The site allows unregistered guests to view topics and posts. In order to create topics or posts, guests are required to register. Registration requires an email address, which will be verified through a link sent to the address you list. Users cannot register for more than one account per email address.

SAFETY AND SECURITY
The site Administrators and the forum Moderators are not responsible for user negligence pertaining to safety & security. We do recommend users do the following to mitigate the chance of security issues:
  • Use a strong password. Do not share the password with anyone.
  • Be careful what personal information you share with users. The User Control Panel allows users to input personal information; however, only an email address and username is required to be a member. All other information is optional and can always be updated or removed by the user.
CATEGORIES & TOPICS
The forum is organized into several categories. Each category is divided into forums, which contain topics. The categories and forums are determined by the Administrators, while topics are created and discussed by the users. When creating topics, please ensure it is being created into a category that makes sense for the topic. Moderators will be generally lenient, but topics may be moved or deleted if placed in an improper category.

The Ask the Referee category is unique. The category allows guests to ask a question to the users without creating an account. In response, registered users answer the question and continue further discussion when needed. The purpose is to allow a guest the ability to pose a question or situation - often observed during a match - and receive valuable responses from the users. This category will be highly moderated and only volleyball-related questions will be allowed to remain.

BLOCKING USERS
All registered users have the ability to block other registered users. When a user is blocked, you will not be able to see posts or private messages from the user. However, you may see posts that quote the user's posts. To block a user, go to UserCP -> Buddy/Ignore List and add their name to the "Add Users to your Ignore List" textbox and click "Ignore User(s)". You can also go to the user's profile by clicking their username, then selecting "Add to Ignore List" from their profile.

ADVERTISING
In general, advertising your website, product, or service on the forums is not allowed. Some leeway is given when the advertisement is relevant to volleyball officiating and isn't an attempt to sell something to the users. If you would like to advertise a website, product, or service you are attempting to sell, let the Administrators know through the Contact Us page. Note that "advertising" does not include all websites outside of RefVB.com. Links or references to websites, images, or videos are allowed if they directly relate to the existing topic. Anything else is considered spam.

PRIVATE MESSAGING
Private messages are subject to the rules below regarding Misbehavior, Piracy, Spam, and Meta-Forum Commentary. In addition, private messages are meant to be seen only by the intended recipient, unless the sender and receive agree otherwise. However, Moderators can review all private messages that are reported.

MODERATORS
All content on the forum is moderated. The Moderators are here to help keep things organized and within the scope of the forum rules. Moderators can always be contacted by private messages for any questions regarding content on the site or changing of account information. Moderators may post in a thread what is on- or off-topic or to notify users of rule violations; users must heed these guidelines.

REPORTING POSTS AND PRIVATE MESSAGES
To report a post, click the "Report" button located in the bottom-right of the post. A window will appear to give a reason for the report. For Private Messages, the steps are the same. Moderators will be notified of all reports and will take appropriate actions as judged by the Moderators. Abuse of the report function may result in actions being taken against the user.

MODERATOR ACTIONS
Use of the forum is not a right. Moderators have the ability to take several different actions in response to users who break the forum rules. These actions include:
  • Edit/Move/Delete posts that break rules, as well as posts that quote or refer to the post.
  • Lock or Delete a topic.
  • Issue warnings or infraction notices to users. Multiple infractions may lead to a ban. Moderators will always notify users of warnings or infractions by private message.
  • Issue immediate bans to users.
  • Delete accounts created against the forum rules (multiple accounts, spam accounts).




PROHIBITED CONTENT


The following types of content are prohibited across the forums. This includes posts, images, usernames, avatars, profile information, edit comments, and reputation comments. Using external links to circumvent these restrictions is also prohibited. Prohibted content is subject to Moderator action.

MISBEHAVIOR
Flaming: Insults, personal attacks, name-calling, accusations, harassment, abuse, intimidation, or retaliation. Derogatory slurs against a person's race, religion, gender, age, nationality, etc. If you are flamed, don't respond. Report the post or message!
Filth: Unreasonably profane, obscene, vulgar, pornagraphic, or adult-themed content. These forums are open to users of all ages. Filtered words are replaced with a heart (♥). Any attempts to bypass the filter will lead to Moderator action.
Off-Topic or Derailment: Digressing from a thread's original topic, such as by questioning a user's choices or views outside the scope of the discussion. Moderators understand that officials love to digress, so some leeway will be given to this. However, derailment to the detriment of the thread or forum will not be allowed.
Trolling: Intentionally starting arguments or upsetting other users by posting inflammatory or off-topic posts. This is generally covered in other forms of misbehavior.
Impersonating: Acting like another user of the site. This can also include impersonating a person (typically one with high regard or repect) on the forums.

OFF-LIMIT TOPICS
Any topics that are not related to volleyball must be posted in the Off-Topic category. However, moderation of topics and posts will still occur throughout the forum that violate the following:
Re-Openings: Continuation or restarting of topics that were previously closed or deleted.
Politics, Religion, or Sex: This forum will not allow any discussion of politics, religion, or sex, whether positive or negative. Tongue-in-cheek statements will be removed without warning. The community consists of people across all spectrums of thoughts and beliefs. Any attempts to moderate a discussion with such vast opinions will ultimately lead to users feeling their opinions were treated differently than others.
Moderator Actions: Topics or posts related to the actions made by Moderators. Any discussion can be sent through a private message to the Moderator in question.



BAD NETIQUETTE


Duplicate Topics: Making a new topic when there's already a similar topic. Moderators will be relaxed on this, only acting upon obvious duplicate topics. This will usually occur with recent news related to volleyball. In these instances, the Moderators will attempt to merge the discussions into a single topic.
Bumping: Short posts made so a topic appears more active, without adding anything of substance. Bumping of topics in the Buy, Sell, Trade forum will be allowed within reason.
Necroposting: Replying to old threads with outdated information. Volleyball rules and topics can change in the matter of months. To keep discussions relevant to current rules and situations, Moderators will remove new posts and lock topics when "outdated information" is either posted or quoted.
Spam: Redundant content posted more than once. Intentionally off-topic or nonsense content. Multiple short posts in a row.
Non-English Languages: Posts must be made in English, so they can be effectively moderated. Administrators may include non-English categories if demand is made.
txtspeak, ALL CAPS, l33tspeak: Any hard-to-read writing styles will be removed.

FINAL NOTE: While these rules attempt to cover all situations, it certainly is not exhaustive in examples or ideas. Moderators will make a decision on any issues that arise that are not specifically mentioned above.