Citing growing number of school transfer requests and mounting litigation costs, the California Interscholastic Federation Friday passed a new regulation that addressed eligibility of student/athletes who switch schools.
The CIF, which governs high school athletics in California, voted 114-21 to allow an athlete to transfer schools but the student would be ineligible for the first 30 days of their season. According the language of the new rule, fall sport athletes would become eligible Oct. 1, winter sport athletes on Dec. 31 and the athlete participating in a spring sport could participate in games beginning April 1.
The new rule is to overcome the subjectivity of hardship cases, according to Elk Grove Unified School District athletic director Jim Smrekar. Plus, he added, there would no longer be a "one free pass" transfer after the student/athlete's freshman year.
In the past, CIF rules stated a student/athlete would be ineligible in their sport for one full year if they transferred schools without changing residences.
Smrekar also said the participant would be fully eligible for play in the sport if there is a legitimate change-of-residence.
According to CIF officials, the number of transfers has increased by 38% in the past four years.