The US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA ) issued new rules this week that will allow credentialed press to blog live NCAA championship sporting events. The rules, however, limit the number of times reporters can post live blogs depending on the sport they cover.
A Kentucky newspaper reporter was ejected from an NCAA baseball regional championship game in June for live-blogging the event. The NCAA contended then that live-blogging violated its policies with regard to "live representation of the game."
The new NCAA rules (download PDF) allow credentialed reporters to live-blog championship events as long as they limit their posts to those outlined in the rules. For example, a reporter can blog three times per quarter and once at half-time for NCAA football games and five times per half and once at half-time for NCAA basketball games. Two live posts are allowed per overtime period for basketball. In baseball, live-blogging is allowed once per inning.
The rules also stipulate that live-bloggers must link their posts to the NCAA's Blog Central site and include an NCAA sports log on their blog sites. Mike Masnick, president and CEO of IT research firm Techdirt, argued in a blog that the new rules make no sense and only serve to hurt the sport.
"The people who follow live blogs are the really passionate fans -- the ones who love the game the most," he wrote. "They follow the live blogs not as a substitute for watching the game on TV or attending in person -- but because they cannot view the games that way and/or they want to feel the camaraderie of discussing the event with other passionate fans. Cutting off the ability of a reporter to feed info to these fans simply makes no sense. It's hurting your most passionate fans for no good reason whatsoever."