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How Twitter is changing the face of sport

It started with the government, now sports bodies are issuing social media guidelines to players. It’s a demonstration of how Twitter in particular is reshaping channels of communications and the traditional media environment.

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According to The Telegraph, The Tennis Integrity unit has sent a warning to all players about Twitter use, with particular reference to the fact that in tweeting, players could fall foul of the sports’ anti-corruption rules.

With so much money being wagered on every aspect of big games (not just the final result), any inside information can become valuable. How a player is feeling, how they think the surface is playing, what they think about their opponent – it’s all information that could make someone a packet.

Over in the States, the NFL has also laid out guidelines for teams, officials and players. And for officials it’s particularly punitive: “The use of social media by NFL game officials and officiating department personnel is prohibited at any time.”

Really? Is this legal, or even enforceable? Sounds a bit like banning cellphones or watching TV.

Players and coaches, meanwhile can use only social media or networking sites up to 90 minutes before kickoff and following post-game media interviews.

Of course, with every innovation comes challenges and new regulation, but it’s enough to make you nostalgic for the good old days, when matchfixing invovled such high tech skulduggery as a couple of phone calls and free leather jacket.

Five sports stars who tweet

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