Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Improved, But Still Confusing CIF High School Sports Transfer Rules

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

Recently, the California Interscholastic Federation, aka CIF, the governing body for high school sports in California, softened their interdistrict transfer rules for the better.  It is still confusing, but students should benefit from this move.

Previously, there was a single transfer allowed without  a "valid change of residence" (a "valid change of residence" is moving house to house) prior to the tenth grade year.  Under the amended CIF Rule 207, a student may transfer without moving, and may be able to compete at a new school after a "sit out period." This can be during any year of high school, so long as this is their first transfer without a "valid change of residence."  

How this works is, say student A played junior varsity or varsity football at School X.  They thereafter transfer to School Y prior to the first football game that year without a "valid change of residence."  So long as this is the student's first such transfer, this football star can practice with the new team and may be able to play after an October first sit out period.  

If the same student moves to School Y after the first football game is played, the local CIF office will determine the student's sit out period individually.

Other restrictions also apply (not all listed here).  For example, a student may not compete in the same sport at two different schools during the same school year, and the transfer cannot be for discipline reasons.  So if Student A played football at School X that schoolyear, the student could not compete for the new
School Y football team that schoolyear.  Or, if a student moved due to an expulsion agreement, they also may be prohibited from competing at School Y.

For now, it should be easier for some students to switch schools and keep participating in their favorite sports.  For more information, see the CIF website here.  Go team!


Michelle Ball
Education Law Attorney
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-444-9064
Fax: 916-444-1209

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Please see my disclaimer on the bottom of my blog page. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting, etc. etc.!  This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship.