[Hart District] – After several weeks of deliberation, the Foothill League, comprised of all six comprehensive Hart School District high schools, has adopted a transfer eligibility policy that varies slightly, but significantly, from the “30-day sit out” transfer rule recently announced by the California Interscholastic Federation. While the Foothill League policy incorporates the CIF’s seasonal eligibility dates, the local policy still imposes a one-year restriction on varsity competition for students who transfer under certain conditions and at specific times of the year.
“Our principals, assistant principals/athletics and especially our athletic directors felt strongly that we want to promote the practice of students remaining in their home school or at least at the school where they initially establish their athletic eligibility,” Greg Lee, Director of Human Resources, said. Lee oversees the District’s athletic programs.
Lee also pointed out that the District approval of a transfer does not necessarily ensure athletic eligibility. “The CIF rules governing transfers, including pre-enrollment contact, waivers and appeals, are very much in effect. Coaches are prohibited from inducing transfers and parents need to be very clear on what the rules are regarding contact with schools that their children are not enrolled in,” Lee said.
Here is a brief synopsis of the new Foothill League rule:
* Students who transfer within the League before July 31 may have varsity eligibility, effective on the date established by CIF for their season of sport. CIF Rule 207 states, in part: A student who transfers without making a valid change of residence, is not eligible for varsity competition, in any sport the student participated in at his/her previous school during the last 12 calendar months, until the following dates: Fall Sports: October 1; Winter Sports: December 31; Spring Sports: April 1
* Students who transfer within the League after July 31 will be restricted from varsity competition for one calendar year in any sport that they participated in at their previous school (regardless of whether the previous school was a Foothill League school or not).
* Students who transfer within the Foothill League, and with a valid change of residence, may have varsity eligibility following the 30-day sit out period. A student who has a change of residence may opt to remain enrolled at the previous school of attendance, with athletic eligibility intact, per existing CIF rules.
* Students who transfer from a non-Foothill League school into a Foothill League school, may have varsity eligibility after the 30-day sit out period, if the student enrolls in the school designated for his or her address. A student who enrolls in a school outside of his or her attendance area will be ineligible for varsity competition for one calendar year in any sport participated in at the previous school.
* Students who transfer from any high school into a Foothill League school, with or without a valid change of address, may have immediate eligibility in lower level (non-varsity) athletics. A transfer student who participates in lower level athletics shall be ineligible for varsity competition for the remainder of the season, including any playoff competition.
“All of our schools are competitive and they all want to win,” Lee states. “But, as educators, we realize that having a general parity among our schools is good for the District, the league and the community. We are concerned that a relaxed transfer policy might result in the emergence of schools that are super-dominant in a particular sport. If that kind of success comes about naturally, that’s great, but we don’t want schools to become powerhouses because of creative transfers.”