Forum Guidelines

Whether you're a forum rookie or veteran, it won't hurt to flick through these guidelines for the Hoops SA Forum.

The Basics

Forums are composed of topics (also known as "threads") and replies. They are either flat (replies are all made at the same level, and ordered sequentially -- imagine a comb, with each tooth coming from the main handle) or threaded (replies are attached to a parent comment -- imagine a tree, with multiple branches).

The Hoops SA Forum is a flat forum, mostly because flat forums are faster and easier to output and read. One downside to this of which everyone should be aware, is that if you want to reply to a comment made further up a thread, your response will be added at the bottom as it is the most recent. There is a tip on how you can ease the confusion under "Best Practice" further down.

Tips for Rookies

The Hoops SA Forum is home to a number of opinionated contributors, some of who know each other, and many of which are familiar with the style of others. It's a balanced community for the most part, so instead of diving in and splashing those in the "slow laps" lane, maybe dip in a toe or watch from the side before you make your mark. When you're comfortable to participate, get involved.

As a general guide, read for a while before you reply, and reply before you start a topic. Too many topics can overwhelm readers, and if you follow the forum for a while before starting something, you'll be more aware of what's already been discussed in recent weeks.

Your Identity

Rookies will notice a lot of posts from an "Anonymous" -- this is the default name given to someone who leaves their Author field blank. Sometimes it will be a shy-type, sometimes it will be a forum regular not wanting to divulge their identity as they make a controversial point or lame joke.

Be aware, though, that generally people place more value in posts from someone using an alias or real name. Posting under an alias is great for the forum as it builds an identity, but don't feel invulnerable with what you post. People have lost jobs and been reprimanded over posts on this forum, despite using an alias. Eventually, any alias will be found out by someone else based on your posting history or otherwise. Changing your alias from time to time does reduce the level of identity within the forum, but is preferable to remaining entirely anonymous.

Please do try to come up with something unique and not use an alias that is already in regular use.

Best Practice

Hoops SA is a site primarily oriented towards basketball fans in South Australia. Topics will generally cover local basketball (juniors, ABL, 36ERS), the NBA, non-SA NBL teams, the WNBL, and whatever else. While the focus is basketball, it's OK to stray from the court. If you want to discuss something non-basketball related, prefix your topic title with "NH - " which designates "Non Hoops". If you want to advertise something basketball related, I'd appreciate you contacting me first.

When starting a topic, first review other recent topics to make sure a discussion on that subject is not already underway. You can also try the search function to see if an issue has been covered before. If it's well in the past, you can try it again. If it's recent or very controversial and you start it regardless, you should expect someone to say something like "not this again!".

Please always choose a descriptive topic name that will give a good indication as to what's inside. "Junior winter programs" is better than "programs".

Please avoid anonymously starting a thread or asking a question just to see if anyone thinks you're hot, a great player, a fantastic coach or similar.

When posting in reference to another reply, you can use the unique reply ID number next to a title to help people keep track of who you're replying to. Alternatively, use their name; i.e. "cheezeburger, you have to be kidding me about Atlanta!".

The Rules

The basics of the Hoops SA Forum are pretty simple -- keep it clean and reasonable. People of all ages and from all clubs read and post here and if you absolutely must swear, self-censoring is appreciated. Try to imagine that you're speaking to people face-to-face, and post accordingly; if everyone is reasonable, discussions will be much more constructive!

Don't post anything illegal (there are some Terms of Use that you must agree to in order to use the forum) and don't trash anyone -- it's annoying when I get contacted by people threatening legal action. There's a difference between saying "so and so is a useless player" and "I don't think that so and so should be starting for this team". Try to phrase things as your opinion rather than decreed fact as often as possible (see example in the previous sentence!).

Please try to avoid naming players who are under the age of 18, unless they have played at a higher level (AIS, ABL, etc). This is encouraged rather than being a strict rule, and it is done so at the request of a few coaches who are concerned about the potential effects of public discussion of player performance on young players.

Where possible, don't slam referees. They have a tough job and they make mistakes. There's scope to discuss a contentious call, but keep it fair. A number of refs read and post to the forum -- if you piss them off, who's going to call your game?

If you have a problem with a club or coach, please try at least talking to them about it first. If they're not really interested in what you have to say, and you think you have a solid problem or point, by all means try your luck on the forum. Some dirty laundry is best kept unaired, but there are times when something needs to be discussed.

Even if you know the identity of someone using an alias or if it's mostly common knowledge, it is not your right to 'name' people publically in the forum - they are probably using an alias for a reason.

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