Managing Club & High School Soccer Transition - Understanding CIF Rules

Additional ODP Soccer & CIF Conflict Guidelines

August 25, 2012

For many competitive soccer players still playing on competitive SCYSL and Santa Clara Sporting club teams, there is always a tricky transition time period during the month of November when high school soccer tryouts start-up.

High school sports are governed by a sanctioning body called CIF. There used to be a rule allowing soccer players to participate in high school soccer and compete on another soccer team if the non-high school soccer competition had less than 50% of the required 11 players on the field. But the CIF changed that rule two years ago and now there is no outside competition allowed in the same sport during the school/league season.

Soccer players and soccer coaches need to manage the transition. Basically, once the student-athlete plays a scrimmage or league game in high school, he/she cannot go back to club soccer, then return to high school soccer.  If a player and coach are caught violating the rule, the high school team will forfeit all points earned in pre-season and league games, and the player cannot play high schhool soccer for the rest of the season.

Here is the actual rule from the CIF website:

A student may not join a school Varsity team after the first league contest of that team if the student has competed on an outside team or in outside competition in the same sport during the school/league season of that sport except as provided for in CIF Bylaw ARTICLE 60. A newly enrolled student or one who could not participate due to illness or injury may join the team if he/she does not compete on an outside team subsequent to his/her enrollment or recovery from such illness or injury
© 2011

If you are a student-athlete called-up to participate on a US Youth Soccer ODP event, you can read the process how to manage the conflict between US Youth Soccer and CIF here.




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