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.
RULES, RULES, RULES
SYNOPSIS OF MAJOR CHANGES – CIF BYLAWS 206-209 + 510b
(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.