Following the lead of the NFL and NBA, the National Hockey League (NHL) plans to prohibit its players from using Twitter and other social networks 30 minutes before and after games, practices, meetings and media access periods, Reuters reports. The ban would also apply to coaches, trainers and all game-related personnel.
The NFL struck first in early September when it said anyone involved with the production of an NFL game is banned from using social networksbefore, during and after the game. The NBA implemented a similar ban earlier in the week.
In the NBA, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban got in trouble for criticizing game officials on Twitter. He was fined $25,000. The Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers are among the NBA teams that have already announced a stricter ban on social networking than the league's rules, essentially forbidding it on anything regarded as "team time," ESPN.com reports.
Major League Baseball (MLB) has no specific guidelines regarding social networking, but a longstanding policy regarding communicational devices prohibits their use 30 minutes before the start of a game.
For the NHL, the policy appears to be more of a precautionary measure, rather than a response to a Twitter problem. NHL director of social media marketing Mike Dilorenzo told Reuters that very few hockey players use Twitter.