Big vote on athletic transfer rule on Wednesday .. Are you for or against 30-day sit-out period?

The CIF-Southern Section’s league representatives that make up the ten sections of CIF will vote on Wednesday to either approve a new transfer rule that would require a 30-day sit-out period for all transfers, or keep the current rule in place intended to curb “athletically motivated” transfers.
Athletes that transfer under the current rule must sit out a full calendar year unless showing they have a legitimate change of address and that the transfer was not whole or in part for athletic reasons. Athletes can also file a hardship waiver, rules that are in place to stop athletes from transferring for sports-related reasons. If the 30-day sit-out proposal is adopted, it will go into effect for the 2012-13 season. Under the proposed 30-day sit-out rule, athletes that transfer over the summer or prior to their sports season would be eligible Oct. 1 for fall sports, Dec. 31 for winter sports and April 1 for spring sports.

Click to read more important information from CIF commissioner Rob Wigod on the proposed rule changes.

From Rob Wigod….
There are four very misunderstood parts to the proposed rule change.
1) Students would only be allowed to have a sit out period once in their high school career. A few athletic directors have stated that a student could move each sports season and that is incorrect. Any 2nd transfer will be under thestrict transfer bylaw.

2) Hardships – There are real hardships for students but as you have seen, too often individuals review our rules and then attempt to gain eligibility using the hardship rule by looking “where can I find a hardship that fits my situation” when a real hardship doesn’t exist- they just want to change schools. The new proposal will significantly narrow the hardship guidelines. Hardships will still exist, but they will have to be supported by strong documentationfrom both the school and the family.

3) Transfers will increase – We only have a one year of data as the CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section had a similar rule before. What the SJS saw was a decrease in transfers as most kids and parents did not want to miss a significant portion of the season in order to change schools. Yes, some still did, but there was not the mass transfers so many envision. I would encourage you to call and talk with your peers in the SJS who have actually lived under a similar

4) Many say the sit out period is only 30 days. That is incorrect. I urge you to look at your schedules and then review. Take Basketball as an example: Winter Sports would gain eligibility on January 1 yet most Winter sports now start games the week of Thanksgiving. If this is in effect next year the transfer student would have missed at least 38 days of competition. The same holds true on the other seasons of sport so 30 days is a misnomer and is

The data validates that the overwhelming number of CIF student-athletes do not transfer schools (98.4%). When those few students do transfer the vast majority are granted unlimited eligibility (94.8%) while only a small number were found to have violated 510 rules. We are on track to spend in excess of 1 million dollars on legal and liability issues for the second year in a row and our third time in the past four years.
The Los Angeles City Section schools just voted and agreed with the ten Section Commissioners and directed their representatives to support the proposed rule changes at the upcoming Federated Council meeting in May.
Their schools had many of the same concerns that you may have, and maybe more so, as many of the LA City high schools are only blocks apart and the fear of mass transfers could impact them dramatically. But, they are willing to try something different as they too viewed our present rule is not fulfilling our mission.
I think everyone will agree that no rule is perfect (or someone would have proposed it years ago) but the proposed changes to the transfer rule is the attempt, given the data, to improve on our present rule that has not curbed transfers and has significantly eaten up resources that could be focused on more important issues that could benefit all 737,727 student-athletes.
As you prepare for the upcoming vote, I have included the Synopsis of Major Changes document that we have created for you to review. If you have any questions, or need clarification on any of these proposed rules changes, please contact our office and we will do our best to help you.

(Revised – February 6, 2012)
Rule 206 – Valid Change of Residence (Choose one)
– 206-1 Proposal – Allows for student to choose any school: public, as long as the school district approves of their enrollment, private or charter.

– 206-2 Proposal – Allows for student to have eligibility at the public school where they move, a private school that is geographically closest to the new family residence, or a charter school within the boundaries of the public school attendance area the family has moved into.

– Existing rule. Student has eligibility at public school where the family moved or any private school, or charter school within the public school attendance area the family has moved into.

(There are 2 proposals to choose from here. The Council will be asked to vote for 206-1 or 206-2. If neither one passes with a majority vote, then the existing rule will stay intact. There is no longer a 206-3, that was just the existing rule.)

Rule 207 – Transfer Eligibility – Student Does Not Make a Valid Change of Residence
– Student would not be eligible for Varsity competition, in any sport the student participated in at their former school during the last 12 calendar months, until the following dates…
– Fall – Monday of NFHS Week 14: October 1, 2012; October 6, 2013
– Winter – Monday of NFHS Week 27: December 31, 2012; January 6, 2014
– Spring – Monday of NFHS Week 40: April 1, 2013; April 7, 2014
– This concept is referred to as the Sit-Out Period (SOP).
– Student can be eligible immediately for non-varsity competition, in the sports they participated in at their former school during the last 12 calendar months. If the student chooses immediate non-varsity eligibility, the student cannot play varsity at any time during that season, including playoffs.
– Student cannot seek a Hardship Waiver to become immediately varsity eligible, student is not eligible for varsity competition until the SOP has passed.
– 1st Time Freshman Transfer is eliminated.
(There is a limit on the number of times a student can transfer under this bylaw. A student may transfer ONE time under this bylaw. Any subsequent transfers, without a Valid Change of Residence, will be subject to the existing rule in place: the student would be limited to non-varsity competition, in the sports they have played at their former school(s) during the last 12 calendar months, for one year from the date of transfer.

A student who is a multi-sport athlete would be under this bylaw for all of the sports they participated in during the last 12 calendar months at their former school(s). For example, a football, basketball and track athlete would be under the SOP bylaw for all 3 seasons of sport at their new school. They could be eligible for varsity competition after the SOP, or be eligible for non-varsity competition immediately. Finally, a multi-sport athlete could be a varsity athlete in one sport and a non-varsity in another, they do not all have to be the same level at the new

Rule 208 – Hardship Waiver
– Specific Hardship Waiver categories, limited to 3 listed below…
1) Court Ordered Transfers – Court order or child protection order that moves a student from one location to another.
2) Children of Divorced Parents – Student changes residence for one parent to the other and the other and there is a court-ordered change of full physical custody.
3) Individual Student Safety Incidents – Student transferring because of a specific safety incident in which the student was involved. Incident must be documented from the former school and/or police records (if any).

Rule 209 – Foreign Students
– 209B – Moved into the 207
– Existing rule unchanged, in terms of students in an approved foreign exchange program having varsity eligibility.
– Students not part of an approved foreign exchange program are the same as all other 207 Transfer Eligibility students.
A) Unlimited Eligibility – If the student did not play any sports during the last 12 calendar months in their foreign country.
B) Limited Eligibility – If the student did play sports: high school, club, youth teams, community teams, national teams, or individual instruction for competition for developmental schools or programs.
– CIF Southern Section Rule 209.1 would be eliminated.
Rule 510b – Undue Influence
– Athletic Motivation – Narrowed to 1 category.
1) Student and/or parents/caregivers/guardians have had a verbal, written or physical altercation with the coach of the student’s former school, prior to transferring.

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  • 12th man

    All sports will soon turn into a travel-ball environment if this new proposal passes~ Recruiters will have a field day & every game will feel like your watching the (NFL) pro bowl with all the top programs stacked with talent…Sounds like a money maker for CIF~

  • Joe Amat

    This answer is mostly for Aram, who has been the most adamant and outspoken about the rule.

    His take has been very “pro-student” and you complain “too many kids have missed all or parts of a season because of it.”

    Under the previous rule, in 2010-2011, of the 12,256 transfers in the entire State only 513 of them had to miss games because their eligibility was either denied or limited (4.2%)

    With this rule the other 11,621 who were approved (94.8%) will now have to miss 30 days of eligibility – no matter what.

    Are we willing to change the rule to help 513 players (122 of them who were denied due to Undue Influence, and others who knowlingly falsified addresses) and instead make ELEVEN THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED and TWENTY ONE Student-Athletes, who apparently met the transfer guidelines, sit out upwards of half their season because of it?

    Given these numbers, maybe AT can explain his stance further.

  • Fred Robledo

    More importantly Joe, it will save CIF more than a million bucks in legal fees defending their decisions. Let them play …

  • Not so fast my friend

    Actually Fred, I believe that CIF legal fees will increase because of the new rule. The age old saying, “give them an inch and they’ll take a foot” will come into play. With the new rule there will be that many more transfers and that many more parents that sue CIF over the 30 day sit out period. These helicopter type parents won’t stand for “world class johnny” having to miss 4 or 5 games. A couple of years from now CIF will be pushing to abolish all transfer rules for the same financial reason. This new rule is nothing more then a stepping stone to get there.

  • Prep Fan

    Joe Amat, those 11,621 who transferred due to a valid change of address will still be immediately eligible under the proposed rule.

    Part of the impetus for this rule is to stop wasting so much time and money restricting the opportunities of those 513 transfers that did not have a valid residence change.

    A sit our period (which includes sitting out JV contests)will make families pause before transferring.

    Also, you only get to use the SOP for your first transfer. Any subsequent transfers without a valid residence change would be under the old rule.

  • Joe Amat


    I get the money thing ( i refrenced the $1.2M on AT’s blog) but if there is any mandatory ban, I think you’ll still see legal fights. especially from in-season transfers. How will they handle those?

    Prep Fan,, are you sure of the wording? Because if so, CIF will still have to do all the research and spend all those resources to investigate addresses and hear appeals if thet aren’t approved. Then I’m really not sure of the savings on time and money they’ll see. On Arams blog he wrote “30 day sit out for all transfers).

  • Prep Fan

    Not so fast, there would be no point in suing because the process of suing would take much longer to resolve then the 30 day period. In fact, this process would take less time them most hardship appeals currently. The truth is the SOP resolves currently contested transfers faster then the current hardship appeal and sue process.

    Also, free transfers for sophomores go away with this rule so it is not the free for all some seem to think.

  • Fred Robledo

    I don’t think you’ll see a lot of parents going to court over a 30-day sit-out period. Maybe a small, small minority of them, but not enough. Heck, it takes a month just to get it heard, what’s the point? The new rule benefits the super powers, no doubt about it. In football, West Covina, Charter Oak, Damien and Bishop Amat will all benefit bigtime. Joe, wasn’t Amat at its best during the open enrollment 90s?

  • Prep Fan

    Yes, I am sure of the wording. This rule only applies to non valid address changes. There would be no extra work for CIF because right now it is the responsibility of the school a student is transferring too to confirm a transfers valid change of address. CIF would only ask for documentation if someone came to them with information a change was not valid (the same as they do now).

    They will not have to hear as many appeals because an additional part of this rule change SEVERELY restricts the appeal criteria (no more financial hardships for instance) to items which can be readily documented and verified and turned in with the transfer application. And again, there is little point in appealing a decision when that process takes nearly as long if not longer then the proposed sit out period.

  • Not so fast my friend

    Fred, that is only true, time wise, if you decide to transfer in August or September. These parents with money and lawyers that are causing the financial hardship with CIF are all smart enough to transfer their kids mid semester or worst case in June which should afford them plenty of time to have their case heard in court.

    prep fan, the Free Freshman transfer will indeed be eliminated, however their is a non-Varsity option that can be chosen that would make the athlete eligible with no sit out period. The catch is that the athlete in question can not participate at the varsity level for the entire season of that sport. Probably 80% + of all Freshmen moving into their Soph. year would not see much playing time at the Varsity level anyway.

    Joe Amat, the information about the rule is posted on the CIFSS website under “Rules,Rules,Rules” Based my interpretation of what I read, I believe that Prep fan is correct in that the rule only applies to “non address changes” Based on that, I’m with you, I don’t see too much in terms of savings (time or money) to CIF.

  • Prep Fan

    Not so fast, that is all true, but parents will have limited options on which to appeal so the idea that it would be worse for CIF then what they deal with now does not hold water. Also, even if they started the procedure in June the idea that they could get through all of CIF’s due process AND a court case before October does not stand up to scrutiny.

    And yes, students both in the past and under the new rule are almost always eligible to play lower levels. I was assuming we were talking about varsity eligibility here.

  • bohi

    I would implement a 1 season delay. If you transfer after the start of a season (the start could be defined as the beginning of the official practice season OR the start of games), then you have to sit that season….i.e. if you transfer in September, you are not eligible until the start of th winter season. So, if you play basketball and transfer in September, you are ok. If you play football, you are ineligible. I probably think it should be the start of the official practice season so disgruntled players cannot transfer at last minute when the lose the starting QB job. Thoughts??

  • Prep Fan

    Under the current and proposed rule students coudl not play the same sport at two different schools without a valid change of residence, therefore the idea that a student who loses his starting job after week one could be eligible to play for another team the same season is a red herring.

    Also, any transfers which occur after the start of the season will be held to the same length of SOP as those who transferred before. In other words, if a student transfers a week after the start of the season, they will have to sit out a week longer then all the other students who transferred before the start of the season.

  • Would this rule apply to freshman transfers who haven’t played any varsity sports???? If so this is unfair to students who wish to transfer for personal reasons but play sports and to students who have already transfers or planning on. there should be a game sit-out but a month is way to long, if a student athlete was competing for a spot, the could lose that position which is unfair to our student athletes.

  • Not so fast my friend

    Prep fan, I just thought that Non-Varsity Footnote to the rule was interesting read material. In reading the Wigod posted info, it looks as if the Hardship loop holes are being tightened up and the sit out period implemented to replace the 1 year ineligibility aspect. Personally, I don’t know why they don’t incorporate the new hardship guidelines and retain the 1 year ineligibility aspect of the rule. If the reason for so many law suits rides on the interpretation of the current hardship rules then, to me, that should be the only aspect of the transfer rule that needs to be adjusted. However, if CIF is insistent on a sit out period, I for one would be much more in favor of the sit out period being for all of the playoffs instead of the meaningless non-league season. This way coaches will have to balance transfers with kids that they will eventually need for the playoffs.

  • Seems to me a lot of people are fearful of the whole same kid playing for two different teams in the same season.

    Prepfan is right, this would only happen WITH a valid residential change. Meaning:

    Lil Johnny transfers from Monrovia to Charter Oak without a residential change. He sits out until Oct. 1 at which time Big Lou names him starting QB. On Oct. 28, Lil Johnny and his dad get mad at Big Lou and want to go to Rancho Cucamonga for the playoffs. If the family moves, Lil Johnny would then be able to your new QB at Rancho Cucamonga right away.

    Very rare that this scenario unfolds, but it has happened before.

    Also, I think the BIG THING to keep in mind right now is that there is NO SIT OUT for valid residential changes.

    The more you read the proposals the less the doomsdayers’ arguments hold water.

  • Prep Fan


    Yes, all students who played a sport for their previous school at any level would be affected.

    As with the current rule, students would be immediately eligible in sports they did not play at the scholastic level in the previous 12 months.

    All of the people complaining that this rule would open the flood gates fail to note it is actually MORE RESTRICTIVE then the current rule for transfers made prior to the start of your sophomore year.

  • What if i didn’t play a full season of lets say football i quit after 3 weeks due to grade issues what would happen then??????

  • Prep Fan

    Well, depending on what those grade issues are, transferring would not save you. If you are ineligible due to grades at school A that transfers over to school B.

    If you transfer after week 3 you would be ineligible for the rest of that season and then eligible at the start of the following year as your ineligible time will have exceeded the SOP.

    If you transferred in week 9 is the more interesting scenario as you would have to miss the start of the next season such that the sum of ineligibility (the end of season A and start of season B)is equivalent to all the others who sat out. This is still better for the transfers as under the old rule this student would have to sit out until week 9.

    While this seems like it might be harder to keep track of, the actuality is the logistics would work the same as it does now. Currently when a student is declared ineligible by CIF they include the date he or she becomes eligible, now instead of being a year later, it will just be the specific date of the season when the SOP runs out.

    And again, these only apply to moves WITHOUT a valid change of residence. If there is a valid change the kids can play right away.

  • With all this said what is the likely hood that this actually passed???

  • Prep Fan

    The 10 state commissioners are pressing for it to pass. The LA City section has already decided to vote for it at the state meeting in a few weeks. Word is that the proposal is gaining momentum and will likely pass at the southern section meeting this Wednesday. If the SS votes for it it will almost assuredly pass, there is even a chance it will pass without southern section support.

    Right now I would put its passing 65-35 for.

  • ok you said this goes into effect 2012-2013 season, could we see a change in this date or some kind of change in the proposal such as keeping the freshman transfer rule, anything along those lines.

  • Prep Fan

    The effective date if passed will be July 1. League representatives can propose modifications but that is unlikely to happen at this time. These proposals have already had their chance for a first reading and are now coming up for a vote. Schools have known about this proposed change since early last fall.

  • Ok i have read everything and i want to suggest my situation last season I played football for 3 weeks and quit due to disagreements with the coach the exact date i quit was September 23 i am transferring for reasons because i am being bullied at school. I also would like to play varsity football next year would i have to do the SOP till Oct 1st or could i be eligible sept 23, because i would be 12 months. or because im a freshman transferring could i play immidently or what??? Im not planning on moving so i would like to know. I will still transfer but i just want to know how long i have to sit for.

  • Prep Fan

    Deandre, if the proposed rules pass you have two options. A hardship appeal is still possible for an unsafe environment but it must be documented with either a school or police report, anecdotes will not be enough to substantiate a hardship claim.

    One barely mentioned aspect of these new rules is it will severely curtail the “athletically motivated” discretion of CIF. You need to be careful however as disagreements with a coach are actually one of a few specified reasons your previous school would be able to challenge the transfer should they so choose.

    If a hardship is not granted in your case you would be eligible to play after September 23rd because limited eligibility only applies for sports played during the previous calendar year.

    If the new rule does not pass, you will be immediately eligible next year under the free transfer rule for those transferring before the start of their 3rd semester of high school.

    The only exception being if your disagreements with your coach were documented and severe enough that your previous school decided to challenge the transfer. If that was the case you would need to go before a panel to prove your change was not made for athletic reasons. Under no circumstance would you be ineligible beyond September 23rd.

  • Please address Deandre by his other screen names: “Mike” or “John” … or FC or Damien Dad.

    Man, you are SICK!

  • Sierra League Fan

    Shut up D ick Face!

  • too funny!

    “Shut up d ick face”? What are you, twelve? That was funny as $h!t though and I literally laughed out loud and had to respond.

    Aram, way to out “Deandre” aka “Mike” aka “John” aka “Damien Dad” aka “FC” aka etc etc etc….!

    Looks like the 30 day sit is gonna pass from what I can tell and am hearing. Can’t wait to hear, as I think it might open up some options for a lot of kids.

  • King of Beers

    Shut up Dick Face!