Last Updated on September 10, 2021 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
Is your child up for expulsion and you are wondering what will happen to their future sports participation? If a student was suspended or expelled from school and transferred schools as a result, does this matter? Yes- big time! These are important questions, as if things don’t go exactly as CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) orders, students can be banned from all sports for a year, or longer…
CIF Rule on Discipline Transfers
CIF Commissioners are rule followers and BIG rule enforcers, so it is always good to know and understand their bylaws (if possible). The bylaw relevant to students being allowed to play high school sports after a discipline transfer is CIF Bylaw 209.
Bylaw 209 states:
DISCIPLINE, EXPULSION AND TRANSFER FOR DISCIPLINARY REASONS
A student who is expelled by a public school district… or any private or parochial
school or district, shall be ineligible to practice or compete with any CIF team or individual sport program that is
under the jurisdiction of the CIF for the period of the expulsion.
B. Suspended Expulsion
A student who has been expelled and has the expulsion suspended… and remains
at his/her current school may be eligible so long as all other CIF State and CIF Section requirements are met. The
conditions under which this student may be eligible will be determined by the local school board or board of directors.
If the student is deemed eligible to participate, the conditions of his/her eligibility must be sent to the appropriate CIF
C. Disciplinary Transfer
(1) If a student transfers from any public or private school when a disciplinary action is in place or pending,
that student shall be ineligible for competition in all sports for one (1) year from the date of the transfer
to the new school.
(2) A student, permitted by the principal to return to the school compelling the disciplinary transfer, may
be granted unrestricted athletic eligibility by the Section if the student did not participate in any
athletic program at the transfer school; compete for the transfer school; and, at the time of the transfer,
conditions for return were established by the school administration that include, but are not limited to:
a. Satisfactory attendance criteria; AND
b. Applicable behavior standards; AND
c. Academic performance standards; AND
d. Principal’s approval of the return based upon documented evidence provided by the transfer
Effect of Expulsion on Sports Participation
Under bylaw 209, if a student is expelled and moved to another school, they cannot play sports for the duration of the expulsion.
This means if an expulsion goes 2 semesters, they are out of sports at least that long. If an expulsion extends out longer, due to the student not meeting the “rehabilitation plan” terms, the sports prohibition would continue.
Suspended Expulsion Provides Hope, But Only If Student Stays At Same School
If a student receives a suspended expulsion (an expulsion, but which is somewhat probationary), usually they are moved to another school. However, if the student remains at the same school while on the suspended expulsion, if allowed by their school, the student can play sports per CIF.
If the suspended expulsion forces or causes the student to transfer schools, the student cannot play any sports (junior varsity or varsity) at the new school.
If the student on a suspended expulsion is transferred to another school and then later returns to their earlier school while on the suspended expulsion, the student should be allowed to participate in all sports. This presumes the school they are returned to will allow them to play and that they did not play sports at the school they were transferred to.
Transferring after Suspension or Other Discipline (not Expulsion)
If a student transfers from school to school due to any form of discipline (suspension, behavior contract, detention, involuntary transfer, etc.), the student will not be able to play ANY sports (varsity or junior varsity) at their new high school for 1 year.
So, if a student is suspended and the parent decides to move them as a result, they can be banned from all sports.
If a student is put on a behavior contract and the parent later moves them because of this or date concurrent with it (e.g. around the same time they got the discipline), they won’t play for a year.
If CIF does not find a discipline issue and it is a first transfer, the student still gets a sit out period (SOP) for Varsity sports they played at the former school.
Students also may be impacted by the CIF transfer rules generally, particularly if the parent is the one initiating a transfer without a valid change of residence.
A student transferred from one school to another and then back to the original school, even without a discipline issue, will have two transfers, which means a one year ban.
Needless to say, CIF definitely will impact sports play upon discipline transfers of students.
Student sports lawyer Michelle Ball assists with CIF transfers, discipline transfers, defending school expulsions, suspensions and discipline. As a student attorney since 1995 located in Sacramento, California, she can help throughout the state, in locations such as Redding, Roseville, Napa, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Turlock, Tahoe, Vacaville, and many other areas.
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.