COYS is an online community for Spurs fans only.

This site is not compelled to grant free speech to anyone.
What we all have is the right to post here on any topic, as long as we do so within the community rules, as outlined below. If our core ethos of 'Play the ball, not the man' doesn't appeal to you then you might be better off frequenting one of the many other excellent Spurs sites on the web.

This is a community where we invite Spurs fans in to ‘pull up a chair’, relax and discuss Spurs (and other) matters in a comfortable, mature, amusing and (mostly) intelligent environment. To preserve this environment COYS has rules and a Moderating Team. Every member of COYS is subject to the site rules, known as the COYS Code of Conduct (the CCC). You may find the COYS’ Moderators adhere to the guidelines more assiduously than some sites, in order to encourage respect for fellow Spurs fans. The CCC is rigorous, however please bear in mind that we are doing our best to provide a cyber-warrior, gooner, wind-up merchant and loud-mouth free 'safe haven’ for you to relax in and enjoy. We haven’t, don't and won't get that right 100% of the time.

1.
You should respect other members and their views at all times, even if you disagree with them. Aggressive or abusive comments aimed at other members or their views are not acceptable. Spurs are a passion for all of us. When the club is successful all is well with the world. It can be much harder to get along when things are going badly. Regular sniping and intolerance of the views of other COYSers makes life miserable for the mods and members alike. Turning on each other in times of trouble is destructive. We’re in this together so let’s show some class and some respect … even if that means walking away from a thread whose style or content we don’t like. These comments apply to both those who are anti something/someone and to those who struggle to tolerate views that are less-than-rosy. Please THINK BEFORE YOU POST about the tone of your words and their adherence to the CCC.

(a) RESPECT is the key to COYS, so please ensure you PLAY THE BALL (the issue) and NOT THE MAN (a fellow COYSer, ITK or another forum). If you follow this rule, it is likely your stay on COYS will be a long and positive experience. If you choose to play the man, including the use of sarcasm or phrases like 'knee jerk' to denigrate the views of fellow COYSers, you are also choosing to risk a suspension of your account. You have ample opportunity to express your own point of view sensibly and reasonably without making your comments personal which is only likely to result in a similar response. If you are incapable of venting your frustration without resorting to digs at one or more fellow COYSers then this is not the place for you. There are many other sites where one can indulge a penchant for keyboard-warriorhood. COYS isn’t one of them. Please be sure your words are compatible with the CCC before you hit the 'post' button.
(b) Emoticons: Try to use emoticons to take the edge off what might otherwise seem an aggressive post. If you choose not to use smileys and you are misinterpreted, or if you use them to mock or belittle someone else's opinion, then you must accept any consequences that ensue.
(c) Self Control/Report Function: If someone makes you angry, take a break before you reply. Carefully consider if you have really appreciated what they meant to say. If you are still upset or offended, then please don’t get into an argument with the other poster - instead, either (i) PM the other person and see if you can reach an amicable resolution or (ii) use the “report” function at the bottom of the relevant post and leave it to the Mod team to decide if the rules have been breached.
(d) Venting: Within reason, negative comments aimed at the footballing qualities of players, coaching staff or directors of any team (including Spurs) are fair game, although we urge you to try to make them as constructive as possible. There are members of the playing, coaching and admin staff of THFC who are also members of COYS, who are entitled to the same respect that is afforded to all COYSers, thus abusive and personal comments are not acceptable. Venting frustration at on- and off-field events is fine, as long as it isn't directed at a COYSer or group of COYSers.

(e) Repetition: Repetitively negative posts are not healthy for the community or for the person making them. These one-trick ponies will be asked to broaden their contributions. Failure to do so will mean a parting of the ways.

(f) Thread ‘Hijacking’: Diverting any thread, including Off Topic (OT) discussions, to propagate one's own biases, is disrespectful to both the thread starter and to those who are debating the issue at hand. Please ensure that all discussions that have existing threads in the Soapbox forum are kept in there, and are not posted in other forums.
(g) Lost Marbles: Attention-seeking announcements of departures from COYS run contrary to the spirit of the community. If you make such a post, your account may be terminated. If you want a break, take one. That way you will have the choice of whether to return or not at a later date.
If you make a "look at me" post along the lines of "I always stay away from here for x days after a defeat", it will be treated as a request to have your account terminated.
(h) Stalking: Stalking of other posters, either in a forum or via PM, will not be tolerated. If a particular poster bothers you, please use your powers of self-restraint, or use the 'ignore' feature. The same goes for those who indulge in 'clique
banter', which can be adequately communicated using the COYS PM system, rather than the forums.
(i) Stranger Danger: If you have reason to doubt the credibility of any other COYS member, then please remit the proof to Prof or one of the Mods and the matter will be dealt with accordingly.

(j) Play The Ball, Not The Men: Threads and posts that 'call out' sections of the COYS membership (e.g. "to all you Keane haters", or "you lot who defend the club") are unnecessary and inflammatory, and will be treated as if they were attacks on individuals. If you dislike (to the point of being unable to adhere to the CCC) criticism of any of the players and staff of THFC, or if ‘head in the sand’ type posts irritate you, then stay away from those threads.
(k) Bumping Old Threads: Bumping someone else's thread in order to mock/belittle the posts therein is very much against the CCC. Opinions cannot be taken out of their original context. The same is true for bumping one's own threads or posts, which is a 'Told You So' action by those who are low on self-esteem.

(l) The 100% Rule: One of the mod team's pet peeves is COYSers who whine that the reason they breached the CCC is because someone else's post or posting style made them do it. This shows that the person is unwilling and/or unable to exercise the minimum of self-control required to be a COYSer, or to accept responsibility for their choices. Every COYSER is 100% accountable for the words they choose to post. No excuses --- e.g. the topic being discussed or the poor posts of other COYSers --- diminishes that responsibility one iota, so please don't waste the mod's time by trying to invoke it.
(m) Use of Sources: COYSers must provide a link to the source of non-ITK information (e.g. specific blog or twitter account) and articles (with a link if possible, and the article pasted underneath) within their post, to ensure the appropriate credit is being given. Do not post information without attribution, as the type and reputation of the source is important in helping COYSers assess its credibility.

 

2. What you say on COYS about other sites, and what you say about COYS on other sites, reflects on us. Please credit COYS when posting information from here on other sites, and vice versa.
(a) What people who are not members of COYS post on other sites is between them and the admin of that site. We hope that members of other Spurs sites will be respectful towards COYS and its members. The only way that we can reasonably expect this is if COYS does the same. You should not, therefore, make negative comments on COYS about other Spurs sites or their members.
(b) COYSers are justifiably proud of this community and what it has become. While those who have been banned from here may snipe, it is hard to think of circumstances which can justify a COYS member criticising this board or its members.
If you have any issue with COYS then PM the Mod team or (if yours is a technical problem) create a thread in the Danny Blanchflower Saloon; but unless you're trying to ingratiate yourself with a clique of the 'dispossessed', you should not need to make a post about it on any other forum.

3. Some COYSers have sources close to Spurs or other clubs, that give the rest of us an insight into the workings of Spurs. This is generally called ITK (In The Know) information.
Transfers are complex beasts and even those with genuine sources might be wise to avoid definitive statements until the finish line has been crossed; transfers can unravel all the way up to the last minute and nothing is a 'done deal' until it's announced on the OS. The world of sports forums contains a mixture of

- Genuine ITKs --- there aren't too many of them, and their information doesn't always come to fruition, but they do have access to people who know what is going on,
- Copycat ITKs --- those who package ITK info from one or more online sources and then pass it off as their own work,
- Fantasist ITKs --- those who simply fabricate 'plausible' ITK in the hope that if they throw a sufficient number of darts in all directions, one or two will hit a target, and they'll be associated with those 'successes' while all the failures will be forgotten.

Most COYSers have become quite adept at working out into which category various purported ITKs (both COYSers and non-COYSers) fall. The wisest course for all COYSers is to make up their own minds about each potential ITK (whether they post on COYS or elsewhere), and then ignore threads relating to information from posters they believe fall into either the charlatan or fantasist categories. No need for posts alluding to or depicting pinches/mountains of salt, etc. Simply ignore the thread and if enough people feel the same way, the thread will tumble down the pages. It's easy to make sure you don't lose your head over something as trivial as phony ITK. All you need is self-control. :-)

(a) As the long time COYSers are well aware, this community is fortunate enough to have a number of people who acquire ITK snippets, and who (as and when they can) provide us with insight into the machinations at our club. Although we cannot vouch for all ITK information, those posters with “ITK” badges have proved themselves over time. That's not to say other people on this forum or on other forums are not ITK, just that those COYSers that have ITK badges are the ones to have proved to the COYS mods that they have acquired unique and accurate information before it is generally known. Badges are given out for consistently passing on bits of accurate and unique ITK.
(b) Of course, football is a business, and business transactions are complex - there is no guarantee that suggested deals will come off, nor that a piece of ITK information is invalid even if it didn’t come off. Modern transfers involve huge sums and complex negotiations between many parties, which often break down at the last minute. During transfer windows in particular, there will be a variety of threads containing varying amounts of fact, gossip, rumour, innuendo, half-truth and downright lies. Some like to express their appreciation by thanking the providers, some don't. Either way is fine. “If it came off, it would be a terrible signing” is reasonable comment .... “WALOB” is not.
(c) Please do not make spoof/'joke' ITK posts. Also, don't post snippets that are obviously ludicrous. Responsibility lies with the person who posts on COYS so exercising good judgement on this is important.
(d) If you have knowledge or evidence that casts doubt on the validity or credibility of ITK information, please do not post it in a forum; PM it to Prof.
(e) If you post ITK information here that was gleaned from another site, please credit the source. Likewise, if you feel the need to post something you've read here onto another board, please ensure that you name COYS as the source.
(f)  Don't make posts that are ambiguous as to whether they are ITK snippets or personal opinion. 
(g)
People can choose to present their information in the style and at the time of their choosing. If you don't like it you should exercise your right to ignore it. If you are emotionally incapable of doing so, the problem is YOURS, not theirs.
(h)
Just because someone posts something on another forum that is alleged to come from "a COYS ITK", doesn't actually make it so. In fact, they often don’t. Some vendors of third-hand snippets are less than scrupulous. Caveat Emptor.

4. We want to create a pleasant, friendly and welcoming environment, so please do not post offensive content or unapproved advertising.
(a) Posts expressing a prejudice (e.g. racist, homophobic, sexist, anti a particular nationality) that could be offensive to some of our members, or that mock, belittle or dismiss religious beliefs are unacceptable. We realise that this might seem to be an issue of political correctness to those who enjoy bigotry, however for us it is about the right of COYSers to enjoy the forum without feeling abused or insulted. There are sites that exist specifically for bigots to gather with like-minded souls. COYS is not such a place. There will inevitably be people who are unwilling and/or incapable of chatting with other members of the COYS family, about significant topics, within the parameters of respect. They will be shown the door. We very much don't want to do this, however the good of the community is paramount and if that leads to replacing some bigots with some of those on the waiting list who are eager to join us, then it will be in the long term best interests of this community.
(b) Anything not suitable for work viewers should be posted in the Grotto and clearly marked NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) in the thread title. COYS does not welcome the posting of images of a sexual nature. Please do not include any NSFW content in signatures or avatars. If you must add content which could be offensive or defamatory, please include a link rather than recreating the content in here, and mark the link as NSFW
(c) Do not use terms that relate to illness or disability, e.g 'cancer', 'retard', to describe someone who is not suffering from those medical issues. Using those words inappropriately causes unnecessary distress to COYSers whose loved ones have faced, or who currently are facing, these major challenges.
(d) Please try to keep swearing to a minimum, ensure that thread titles are 'clean', and don't circumvent the swear filter.
(e) Please do not post images in signatures. Signatures which are too obtrusive may be removed.
(f) While political discussion threads are fine (as long as the topic and the individual posts adhere to the site rules and regs), COYS is not primarily a political forum. In light of this, and to avoid giving offence to COYS members who come here for 'Spurs, sport and silliness', please do not initiate or publicise any campaigns or petitions. One person’s righteous cause is another’s ‘disrespect to my political/religious beliefs, country, etc’.
(g) If you wish to publicise a non-political campaign or petition, you must get approval from the mod team before posting.
(h) Please bear in mind that comments like "The Sudanese are mass murderers", "The Americans are warmongers" or "The Palestinians are terrorists" are so broad-brush that they are bound to be offensive, so please be specific (e.g. "The Sudanese government ...", "The Bush Administration ..." or "Hamas ...") in stating your views. If you aren't capable of avoiding sweeping generalisations in explaining your views, please don't post them. Failure to exercise this modicum of self-control will lead to your departure from COYS.
(i) Please do not advertise any items for sale or any businesses on COYS. COYS is not to be used to gain contacts for commercial purposes, or as a market research tool for a commercial enterprise, which includes (but is not limited to) soliciting feedback for products, prices, locations and logos.
(j) Please contact a member of the mod team if you have a question related to your access to COYS, or if you have a question as to why a post or thread has been moved/merged, or not moved/merged. Contact Prof if you have a question as to the whereabouts of a fellow COYSER, assuming you have a legitimate reason for needing to know (i.e. something more tangible than nosiness).
(k) If you want to advertise a venture from which this community (not just an individual COYSer) will benefit, then please contact Prof via PM.
(l) If you have a not-for-profit website or blog, that is NOT associated with a sports forum, which you wish to publicise on COYS, then please contact Prof or a mod first. Once you have the official thumbs up, you may start ONE thread advertising your endeavour and may bump that thread ONCE only. You can also add a standard sized link to the URL of your site in your signature. In the spirit of partnership, please add a COYS link to your site.
(m) Sometimes we come across non-political/charitable causes which touch us and which we want to share with the COYS community. However, in order to ensure fairness and consistency, please contact a member of the moderating team and gain their approval, before making a post in a forum.
(n) Threads which request COYSers to vote for them in non-COYS competitions can only be made by site sponsors. Those sponsors must have received permission from the moderating team prior to starting the thread. Mod-approved threads may be bumped twice.


5.
Gossip and accusations are potentially libellous and COYS cannot afford to be sued. Those who choose to ignore this site rule are in effect choosing to put their own need to be a purveyor of gossip ahead of what's best for COYS .... which leaves them no room to complain when their account is suspended. .
Please do not post speculation, unsubstantiated gossip or accusations about anyone's public life or private life. It is the responsibility of each poster to ensure any such information they post is in the 'public domain' at the time of posting, and is available via a mainstream media source (e.g. the BBC). If you choose to post such material, please make sure your post contains a link to that mainstream source. It is not enough to simply put “allegedly” after every sentence – please do not try and get around this rule by simply removing names or alluding to the persons involved.

6.
Make sure the email address in your profile is up-to-date and do not share your login with anyone else. COYSers should not have more than one account.
(a) One COYS account per person is sufficient. As such, and in order to try to pro-actively protect this site, if we find that someone has applied for more than one account we will have to assume it is a hostile act (a prelude to a hacking attempt perhaps) and will be compelled to terminate those accounts and reserve the right to report the email and IP details to the authorities/relevant ISPs. They may or may not take any action, but at least they will have that person's details on record.
(b) To ensure that we can communicate with you if necessary, periodic checks are run by the Gnomes on the email addresses in the database. If yours is returned as not valid, your account may be suspended.
(c) Your login details are personal to you and if you allow anyone else to use them you will be held responsible for their actions.

7.
The Mod team is responsible for protecting the COYS environment so please acknowledge Mod team messages promptly and courteously, and respect their requests.
(a) When a moderator sends a member a PM to discuss a potential problem, that member's posting rights may be suspended until such time as they reply. Ignoring PMs from the Mod team will lead to account suspension.
(b) A member’s response to a Mod team message is often more important than the original issue. Responding aggressively to a Mod team message is likely to lead to an account suspension.
(c) Any complaints about the way COYS is run, or about the mod team, should go by PM to Prof. It isn't okay to publically complain about any COYSer, least of all those who give so much time and effort to help keep COYS running smoothly.

8. Netiquette (by greenegg). The mod team have been giving some thought to the COYS experience, and how it can be made using COYS simpler, faster, and more pleasant for all of us. We would like this to be treated as good manners. Please note - bad manners make for grumpy mods. If we can all stick to these simple rules then we will all enjoy COYS that little bit more - if such a thing were possible. :-)
(a) O/T. Please put O/T at the start of a BNL thread if it is NOT spurs-, sports-, or COYS-related. Any thread to do with sports (not just football), or about COYS or a COYSer, is on topic. Threads in the subfora don't need this.
(b) Replying. If you are replying to a post which contains images or videos, please delete these from your reply before hitting the 'Add Reply' button. There really is no need for replies to contain images etc - this makes the page longer and more repetitive, plus it all puts additional strain on our server.
(c) Block Capitals. Please do not write a header, or a significant part of a post, in BLOCK CAPITALS. It is the message board equivalent of shouting and is unpleasant. For the same reason, exclamation marks shouldn't be used in thread titles.
(d) Emoticons. Please do not reply to a post with which you disagree with nothing more than an emoticon. Whether it is the intended outcome or not, this is usually seen as derisory and adds nothing to the debate. If you disagree, explain why.
(e) Textspeak, white text, etc. Don't use them. Simple. We have users from all over the world and of all ages and cultures, so let's keep communication as clear as possible.
(f) Post Icons. Please don't use the 'Post Icons', which are the icons that can be added to the left of thread titles in the index view of a forum (see the arrow next to this thread as an example), as they are for mods or gnomes to highlight threads of general interest.
(g) Thread Titles. When creating post-match player-specific threads you should include the players name and our opponents in the title. Also, please don't start threads with a sensationalist title without any explanation.
(h) Duplicating Threads. Please take the time to check whether there is an existing thread on the subject, BEFORE starting a new one. COYS has a search facility which is available at the top of the page (click on the cog to the right for enhanced options), which will reveal if the subject of your intended thread already exists. The only exception is for post-match player-specific threads.
(i) Discussion. If you find an article or news item somewhere and think it would spark a good discussion on COYS, that's great - bring it in, but don't just copy and paste the item, say 'discuss' (or something similar) and walk away. Explain why you brought the article into COYS and what your opinion is. Start the debate, and if possible, hang around to participate. If you aren't able to hang around, then start the thread when you can be there for awhile, so you can respond to points others make.