Important Forum Rules

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Forum VAR
Staff member
Level 6 Referee
FA Referee
Ok, about time we introduced a set of formal rules for the forum:

In general, we like to think that RefChat is a fairly tolerant Forum. However, there are rules and we expect you to adhere to them. Failure to do so will result in your account possibly being blocked or banned. Please note that these rules are only the most common things that we have found. Just because a rule isn't listed here, doesn't mean you can do it... please use common sense when posting. The main goals of the discussions on the RefChat Forum are to learn and to share the knowledge with anyone who sincerely wants to benefit from the experience of other members. We are a like-minded but diverse group of individuals who share a common passion for all things relating to refereeing

The Basic Rules
1. No abusive language towards other people,
Do NOT post degrading messages about other users. This rule is NOT just for new threads, but it is also for replies. If you have something bad to say about a thread, tough luck. Don't post a reply in it and ruin it for other people. Users who abuse this rule will have their posts deleted and they may be banned. Please also be aware that we will not tolerate personal abuse via Private Message either. If you receive an abusive PM from another user, please report it to a Moderator. RefChat is intended to be a family-friendly website and, as such, swearing is not tolerated. We do have a swear filter in place and persistent deliberate attempts to circumvent it may be met with Warning Points. Posts in the public areas should generally be safe to read for those of all ages.

2. Use the appropriate forum
The Moderators are not forum caretakers... they are not here to move your posts for you. Users who continually post messages in incorrect forums will be removed. This also includes cross-posting, the practice of posting the same thread in two (or more) forums. Pick the most appropriate forum for your thread and post it there only.

3. No Spamming
We do not tolerate spam. This includes trying to sell illegal copyrighted goods via the forum as well as posting rubbish for the sake of it (or to raise your post count).

4. Moderator's say is FINAL
Please do not argue with the Moderators over closed, deleted or edited posts. If a Moderator has closed a post, chances are it will not be re-opened so please do not make an issue of it. If you believe a Moderator is abusing his powers, please contact an Administrator.

5. One Account per member
Each user may only post with one account. Please do not use multiple accounts. Breaking this rule will lead to the newer account being permanently banned and the older account incurring Warning Points.

6. Use the "Report Post" function
If someone insults you, don't flame them back, it will only make the situation worse. Instead, click on the "Report Post" button under their post and the post will be brought to the attention of the Moderation Team. It is especially frowned upon to Report a post and flame a member in return. You can expect to incur Warning Points yourself if you do this.

7. No links to Porn, Warez or Pirated stuff
We do not support anything illegal or inappropriate. This includes porn, warez, TV shows etc. Exercise a little common sense! In general, the following are not allowed:
  • Links to filesharing/P2P sites/streamable TV shows etc
  • Explicit instructions on how to obtain illegal or copyrighted material (including "backup" copies)
  • Requests for serial numbers/keys for licensed software you do not own
We fully appreciate that this is a huge grey area on the Internet, but please exercise some common sense. RefChat has no desire to be associated with illegal activities, so discuss such topics elsewhere please. In general, if it's even slightly dodgy don't link to it.

8. Signatures / Avatars / Titles
Signatures must be kept to a sensible size (no longer than 8 lines of standard-sized text). If you use inappropriate avatars, they will be removed and you will have your avatar privileges taken away. These rules also apply to custom titles... do not abuse these features. Content of signatures, avatars and custom titles must be suitable for general, public viewing. No profane or obscene comments or pictures please!

9. Pointless posts / Multiple posting
Posts such as "I agree" and "yeah" or "Hi!" would be considered pointless posts/spam and these will be deleted. Do not post unless you have something to say that is related to the topic. Also, if you have something to add on to your post, use the "edit" feature, do not post another reply to it. The edit feature is there for a reason, please use it. Any users who are found trying to inflate their post counts will have them reset to 0.

10. Pyramid scams etc
Posts regarding pyramid/affiliate schemes will be deleted and Warning Points may be incurred.

11. "Thread from the Dead"
Replying to a long-dead thread is not useful or helpful. Such threads will be locked and Warning Points may be incurred. If you wish to ask for help with something, please start a new thread rather than bumping an old one with your question. As a rule, please check the last post date before you post. If it's more than a few months old, you probably shouldn't bump it.

12. Ignorance of the Rules is not an excuse
It is your responsibility to know what the Rules are. In general, you will be politely warned before any major punishments are administered, but it is down to you to read the Rules and act accordingly.

Warnings and Bans
When you break the rules on RefChat, there are a variety of possible outcomes, depending mainly on which rule you break and how much of a problem it is. There aren't any hard and fast rules about which punishment you will receive, but this section covers the common punishments that may be awarded.
Informal Warning - An informal warning is what we call a polite word from a Moderator. This may take the form of a post, a PM or an email. The general idea is to remind you that a situation (generally a thread) is being watched and that you would be wise to heed the rules.
Formal Warning - A formal warning will see you issued with Warning Points. Collect 10 of these and you will be banned. It is up to the Moderation Team's discretion how many points a particular situation warrants. Most formal warnings will only receive 1 point, a severe disregard for the rules, repeat offence or ignoring an informal warning from a Moderator may see the amount increased.
Ban - Generally you have to work pretty hard to earn a ban on RefChat if you're otherwise a useful member. Normally a 2-week ban is awarded initially. If you take the punishment and disappear for 2 weeks, you're welcome to return afterwards. If you sign up another account when you are banned, the odds are that both your original account and the new one will be banned permanently. Be aware that RefChat's Moderators are pretty good at discovering duplicate accounts, and coming back after being banned is not looked upon kindly.

And last, but not least..... have fun!!! We enjoy providing them for everyone and hope we will be able to continue to do so for years to come. With that being said... enjoy the forums!
A&H International
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