Last Updated on August 19, 2021 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
A few years back, 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.
Sit Out Period Allowed When Student Transfers Without Moving
Previously, there was a single transfer allowed without a “valid change of residence” (a “valid change of residence” is essentially moving house to house with the entire family).
Under the amended CIF Rule 207, a high school 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.”
Example of Moving Without “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 a sit out period.
Students Cannot Play Same Sport at Different Schools Same Schoolyear
One other wrinkle: if the same student moves to School Y after he played in the first football game that schoolyear at School X, the student won’t be able to compete at School Y, even with a sit out period.
Sit Out Period Does Not Apply With Discipline Transfer
If a transfer may qualify for a sit out period on paper, but it turns out the transfer was based on student discipline, a student may not play sports for one year. This means that if a high school student moved due to an expulsion agreement or suspension, they also may be prohibited from competing at School Y.
Other CIF restrictions may also apply.
Although sit out periods stink, at least some students can now play at a new school, whereas before, they could not. For more information, see the CIF website here. Go team!
Michelle Ball, student sports and CIF attorney can help students throughout California. As a Sacramento sports lawyer for students, she assists in many locations, including San Diego, Folsom, Redding, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Elk Grove, Roseville and Los Angeles.
Education Attorney for Students
LAW OFFICE OF MICHELLE BALL
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
Please see my disclaimer. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting. This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship. This blog may not reflect the current state of the law.