Ed. note: This is written from Tim's voice as the site manager, but is endorsed by the entire staff.
As Bull Run continues to grow it occurs to me that I have not updated our site guidelines since joining SBNation back in 2010. After conferring with the other editors here is our updated community behavior guidelines.
1 - My initial vision for Bull Run was "Sports Bar"
People of all shapes, sizes, and dispositions come to cheer for their team and polite fans of other teams receive at most a good-natured ribbing.
Like a sports bar I reserve the right to remove disorderly abusive people who are ruining the experience for everyone else.
2 - The community members are what makes Bull Run unique and special among college fan sites
Bull Run's comments-to-page view ratio is among the top of all blogs on SBNation. I'd rather only get 500K visits and vibrant comments than 5,000,000 and a sparse insular community.
Our year-over-year growth has been driven by a vibrant community new faces and great voices. Many of our number were in high school when Bull Run was founded.
3 - Every Bulls fan is your friend on Bull Run
You don't have to like them in real life, but just like the guy sitting next to at a game or watch party it would be uncouth to spit in their face because they are a different color or vote based on a different ideology.
Heated arguments about policy, playbooks, or other athletics issues is allowed and encouraged. Just don't transfer someone's disagreement about a defensive scheme into a vendetta against that person.
4 - Attacks on student-athletes are 100% off limits
You can make a statement about a kid's weakness on the field. Like "I'm not sure X is a quarterback who can lead us to a winning season, he is so indecisive"
You can not make a personal attack about them outside of on the field issue. No "They are stupid" or "they don't care..."
5 - We welcome all new UB fans and community members
We do not want Bull Run to be an insular community where there is "an old guard" who look down on people who don't get the inside jokes or are new to UB fandom. To that end Matt has done a fantastic job putting most of our inside community jokes into a list.
6 - Polite fans of "the bad guy" are our guest
There are polite guests and there are jerks. Polite guests can stay and get no more than some polite jabs. They are also free to give a few polite jabs. No one is unwelcome just because they cheer for another team.
Jerks with a problematic volume will be removed from the site's comment section by a manager
7 - Some lines of discussion and language are highly discouraged
Among even our six or so active editors there is a significant amount of ideological, religious, and political diversity. Yet we all get along fantastically because, for the most part, we seldom talk about politics or religion on Bull Run.
That does not mean we run from how the world at large effects sports. Some of our best received articles have been very much about the world at large and how a decision made might hurt UB or a certain group of people. What it means is that we don't touch third rail issues hoping to provoke a fight.
8 - The F'ing rules about language
We don't filter profanity here but I ask that you all be mature adults who respect that crude overuse of "colorful metaphors" pulls down the quality of discussion. If it gets to be a problem a warning will be issued.
9 - When there is a problem:
When abuse happens there will be first a private warning. When you log into the site to comment a popup will have a message regarding the issue.
If it continues a cooling off period when an abuser can not post will be instituted.
98% (or more) of the time, everything runs smoothly here, and we thank you for that. Nothing listed here is a departure from the way we've run the site the past few years, but rather an attempt to turn unwritten rules into written ones.