Last Updated on October 19, 2022 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
Is a student up for expulsion and there is confusion regarding what will happen to their future sports participation? If a student is recommended for discipline, was suspended or expelled, and transferred schools as a result, does this matter for sports participation? Yes!
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…
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, the student is out of all sports at least that long. If an expulsion extends longer, due to the student not meeting the “rehabilitation plan” terms, their sports prohibition also continues.
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 or returns to 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 (freshman, junior varsity or varsity) at the new school.
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.
Lawyer for students Michelle Ball assists with CIF transfer problems and school 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.