As we all prepare for the implementation of Cheer as a CIF sport for the 2017-2018 school year, I thought it would be important to highlight several items related to beginning this venture in the effort to help everyone involved understand the ramifications of what lies ahead. However, I am hoping that this information will be forwarded to our Cheer coaches to make sure that they are prepared to join the CIF next year.
Implementation Date – The Cheer Bylaws that were passed on April 7, 2017,at the CIF Federated Council meeting will take effect on July 1, 2017. Therefore, schools that have already held tryouts, or are planning to hold tryouts for their Traditional Sport Cheer and/or Competitive Sport Cheer teams for the 2017-2018 school year, are not in violation of any CIF rules if those tryouts include current 8th grade students, or even current student from other high schools. Remember, Sideline Cheer is not affected by the Cheer Bylaws that were passed last month.
Season of Sport – As we begin, Traditional Sport Cheer will not have a defined season of sport. The Competitive Sport Cheer season of sport has been identified as a Spring sport.
School Choice – Every member school in the CIF Southern Section has a choice whether they wish to participate in CIF Cheer. Each school who wishes to participate in CIF Cheer will do so by registering their team(s) on CIFSSHome after July 1, 2017, when the portal for the 2017-2018 school year will open. Just as schools have always registered each sport they are going to field for the upcoming school year on CIFSSHome, they will have the opportunity to register their Traditional Cheer Team, Competitive Cheer Team, or both.
CIF Rules – While we focus on Cheer Bylaws, there are several other related bylaws that come into play such as…
– Bylaw 205 – Scholastic Eligibility – Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average (4.0 scale) in their most recent regular grading period and be passing at least 20 semester credits to be eligible for interscholastic athletic competition.
– Bylaw 506 – Practice Allowance – A maximum of 18 hours a week of practice/competition time is allowed during the season of sport.
– Bylaw 504.M – Sunday Restriction – No practice or competitions can take place on Sundays during the season of sport.
– Summer Dead Period – All Traditional Sport Cheer and Competitive Sport Cheer teams must observe a 21-day consecutive day Summer Dead Period between the first Friday in June and the last Monday in August. There can be no association: practices, competitions, meetings, etc., between student-athletes and their coaches during the Summer Dead Period.
– Bylaws 206, 207 – Transfer Rules – Valid Change of Residence, Sit-Out Period, etc.
– Bylaw 510 – Undue Influence – Student eligibility may be affected in situations where they have enrolled and/or transferred to a school where a student was offered inducements by someone associated with the new school, transferring to a school where a student’s club cheer coach is the high school cheer coach, following a high school cheer coach from the student‘s former school to the new school, etc.
– Bylaw 703 – Sanctioned Events – Only schools under the jurisdiction of the CIF, or other state high school associations, will be allowed to participate in CIF Cheer competitions. All member schools that host CIF Cheer competitions involving four or more schools must apply to the Southern Section Office for sanctioning of those competitions in advance. Outside organizations who sponsor CIF competitions are not allowed to apply fo sanctioning, they must work with a CIF member school to do so.
Questions and Answers – The CIF State Office has prepared a Q and A page below. While Q and A’s are
not bylaws; they attempt to clarify and help interpret situations and scenarios.
CIF Questions and Answers
Q: When will Traditional Competitive Cheer and Competitive Sport Cheer become CIF sports?
A: These two types of cheer will become CIF sports effective July 1, 2017, and will be considered as such starting with the 2017-2018 school year.
Q: Is Sideline Cheer considered a CIF sport?
A: No. Only Traditional Competitive Cheer and Competitive Sport Cheer are considered CIF sports. Therefore, CIF Bylaws do not apply to Sideline Cheer. However, schools are strongly encouraged to ensure that their sideline coaches are certified in cheer safety issues.
Q: Are Sideline Cheer squads allowed to go to competitions?
A: No. Once a Sideline Cheer squad competes they are considered to be a Traditional Competitive Cheer team and would be subject to CIF Bylaws as they relate to that sport.
Q: Is there a CIF season of sport for Traditional Competitive Cheer?
A: No. At this time, Traditional Competitive Cheer teams may operate and attend competitions throughout the school year. However, Competitive Sport Cheer teams are restricted to the CIF Spring season of sport.
Q: Since there is not a CIF season of sport for Traditional Competitive Cheer, does CIF Bylaw 600 (Outside Competition) apply?
A: No. Since CIF Bylaw 600 only applies to outside competition during the student’s high school season of sport, the rule would not apply as Traditional Competitive Cheer does not currently have a season of sport. CIF Bylaw 600 would apply to Competitive Sport Cheer as that sport has Spring as its identified
CIF season of sport.
Q: Do transfer rules now apply to Traditional Competitive Cheer and Competitive Sport Cheer since they are considered CIF sports?
A: Yes. All CIF Bylaws related to transfers now apply to Traditional Competitive Cheer and Competitive Sport Cheer. The only exception would be the application of the “Sit Out Period” for Traditional Competitive Cheer. Since there is not currently a CIF season of sport for Traditional Competitive Cheer, the “Sit Out Period” would only apply to the first season of sport following the transfer.
Q: Does CIF Bylaw 504.M. (Sundays) apply to Traditional Competitive Cheer and Competitive Sport Cheer?
A: Yes. Schools may not compete on Sundays in either sport unless they have been approved by their local CIF Section Office to select either Friday or Saturday as their alternate day of respite for religious purposes.
Q: Does CIF Bylaw 506 (Practice Allowance) apply to Traditional Competitive Cheer and Competitive Sport Cheer?
A: Yes. Traditional Competitive Cheer and Competitive Sport Cheer must comply with CIF Bylaw 506 (Practice Allowance – 18 hours a week maximum practice/competition time during the season of sport).
Thank you very much for your consideration and good luck always.
This article was written by Rob Wigod, CIF-SS Commissioner of Athletics.