Citizens Against CIF

Citizens Against CIF

Citizens Against CIF is a grassroots organization based in San Diego (CA) whose mission is to change the practices of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). The CIFs abuse of power has become increasingly detrimental to high school sports and kids and resulted in a ground-swell effort to change to CIF! Join us in making change happen quickly!

Please visit Citzens Against CIF on Facebook.

  1. Anonymous
    February 8, 2019 at 11:22 am

    We registered my child in school A at the start of the new school year , we moved six days later due to an incident ( crime that was committed against my child ) I notified school A of the incident that occurred off campus and that we as parents were concerned for my child’s safty due to the person who committed the crime against my child was a former student of school A and were unsure if we would be staying at school A ( Notified Assistant principal , AD/ assistant principal and Coach )
    I did Notify My New District that we were currently going to stay at MLK . As time passed we would see the person who committed the crime against my child on a daily basis which not only effected my child but us as well as parents. In November is when we moved my child , I told school B the situation as to why we moved her due to safety concerns and we also did a full family move in August . My AD said it was better to file the Hardship wavier so we did . The Lead Detective in my child’s case had multiple conversations with school B and also had a phone conversation with CIF SS stating due to the nature of the crime he could not release the Police report because it was an on going investigation and it was illegal for him to release a police report regarding a minor . School A Assistant Principal Wrote a letter stating he was made aware That there was an incident That accrued and that the parents moved the child due to safety concerns , My child’s therapist wrote a letter stating my child had PTSD and felt unsafe at school A . CIF continued to ask for the police report and stated that without the police report they could not make a decision, in a string of emails I would repeated it was illegal for them to have and I as a parent didn’t even have accuses to . CIFSS after several weeks changed position and said they needed a document from a school administrator from school A . I then replied the letter from school A is a Document from a school a administrator . Commissioner is stating my child’s file will stay incomplete until we have met bylaw 207 standards. I have combed over 207 and there is nothing else we can provide CIF with . I asked him in an Email plesase spell out in words to me what in 207 am I missing ????? Because he has went from we didn’t meet 206/207 now he only states 207 . I feel my child is being held hostage . When the assistant commissioner kept saying my child’s hardship was incomplete I asked if we could file the full family move she said yes . So we did and CIF Cleared my child , within hours she was uncleared and under Review, CIF states that because we stayed at School A we forfeited our rights to the full family move . But I’m the bylaws it says full family move before the beginning of the next school year and report to CIF within 30 days that bylaw contradicts it’s self . CIF will not apply a 30 day sit because she is not eligible For a SOP . My child is a Top athlete and ranked number 2 in the State and the whole season has been taken from my child who is a senior . Any Guidance would be greatly appreciated

  2. Artrie P Jones
    December 22, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Hi my daughter was just suspended for 1 year by cif panel due to contact before registering into school.cif bylaw 510/207. We as a family wanted to know do we have a case against the cif in northern California

    • Stewart Payne
      December 22, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      what are the circumstances

  3. December 6, 2018 at 8:00 am

    I am starting a go fund me to bring sense to this CIF mess. Hopefully the result is obliterating the organization and replace it with a smaller, better for kids/athletes option that does not abuse power.
    I do not want any money from this and won’t touch any of the funds. 100% will be for erasing this terrible organization from the student athlete landscape and using modern technologies to replace the entire CIF system

  4. M. Ross
    October 18, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Is there anything one can do to have common sense prevail with this organization. We submitted an appeal which was not even reviewed before it was denied. After contacting the president of the San Joaquin section he said that we could pay $150 to appeal but it would be denied. My daughter attended a D1 school, never played varsity, the school she attended was over 65 miles away from our house so we moved her to a much smaller school where her brothers are now attending that was much closer to where we live. There is only one girls team because the student body is so small and they are not allowing her to start the basketball season. Any advice to remedy this ludicrous injustice is appreciated. Her AD says there is nothing that can be done which I find extremely disturbing. Why hurt the student athletes? If coaches and adults are participating in questionable activities, investigate them and fine them. Please someone help me understand or give me an Avenue to remedy this…

  5. Jay wood
    September 25, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    HELP..the cif is ran bye a dictator that does not care about our children.who is Mike garrison protecting by his rulings because it sure isn’t the children.i dont understand how there is a system in place that makes it harder for kids to succeed.what are these bye laws for to protect the schools whom we pay for?all.childeen should have extra chances if necessary to sucseed.

  6. Jason wood
    September 25, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    HELP..the cif is ran bye a dictator that does not care about our children.who is Mike garrison protecting by his rulings because it sure isn’t the children.i dont understand how there is a system in place that makes it harder for kids to succeed.what are these bye laws for to protect the schools whom we pay for?all.childeen should have extra chances if necessary to sucseed.

  7. Zack
    August 21, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    GA. My son left his private school in April of this year and enrolled in a local private school were we moved into that schools district. He plays football. We were cleared by the AD at the time and CIF cleared him also. Then people began to bombard CIF with calls that my son had been influenced by his new school. The reason, one single photo, with a coach that is not affiliated with the school but many believe he is at a 7on7 tournament. CIF has told us they have never received so many calls concerning one kids transfers. They have ruled him ineligible for the whole year even though his coach at the time recommended the 7on7 team, the AD was aware of it, the principal has given them written confirmation that he is cleared but CIF will not release him. Does anyone know a lawyer we can hire because he deserves to play and is being recruited by lower level schools with scholarship money.

    • August 21, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      Try Jason Montgomery (link below). He is one of the best with these type issues. He specializes in NCAA but may be able to help or refer you to the right people. Good luck!

    • Stewart Payne
      August 21, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      what section of cif?

  8. madthom
    April 9, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    My daughter began public high school at the varsity level swim. We wanted a better academic based school and sent her to a private high school. She sat out the 30 days for her swim season. The private school was terrible. Constant change in teachers and the academics were not as good as her original school. We want to transfer back. What will the penalties be and how can we work to get her back on her old team with minimal punishment?

  9. Cindy
    February 26, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    After our 3rd daughter’s round of unfair Title IX issues at a local high school caused the All-American administrator to suggest we report the school we decided it best to simply leave. The other 2 daughters also experienced it, but it seemed to get worse each round.

    It was a hard decision. We finalized it only 2 weeks before school started while she finished her summer swim season. It was especially painful at the beginning of her Junior Year in high school. But the Title IX went beyond denying her the All-American status/requests by coaches done for the boys, and not for the girls.

    We transferred her to our local school district, which has “open enrollment”. When we learned that CIF would only allow her to compete in the school of residence (though it’s an open enrollment district), we tried to transfer but found that:
    1)The school district didn’t allow transfers to another district school during the year.
    2)The school of residence, and the district Athletic Director refused to even ask for a multi-school agreement so that her school could participate with our school of residence. Although our Assemblyman’s office set up a request for a CIF waiver of the 9 month lead time for Swim Teams (whereas Football and other Fall sports had only a 3 month lead time), our district of residence refused to even ask League or submit a request to CIF. There was too much for League to lose, they said, since the agreement would cover all sports, not just swim. The masses they needed to keep at bay were in other sports, which still locked my daughter out of the swim team. Or perhaps, they said, a school would fear she would win a race that would go to one of their slower students – even if she went “freelance” since there was no swim team in her school.
    3)No one cared that she had been in what I would call even an “abusive” situation before.

    It seems as if CIF gives a “private room” for Leagues and Athletic Directors to break Title IX issues, or participate in other abusive deeds with little consequence to schools, ADs and coaches. If a school decides not to deal with Title IX or abusive situations and the parents seek a safer school, CIF will have a maze of rules tempting, even forcing the student-athlete to stay in an abusive situation. The effect of the rules is to punish the student for having stood up to the abuse and ‘talked with their feet”. Moving is penalized (except for an actual change of house) – even for students who have been in abusive situations! I can’t imagine a more dangerous situation for students. ADs and Coaches who get away with such actions are “protected” by CIF that doesn’t abide by Title IX rules as a “private” organization if the Leagues or the Schools choose not to abide by them in their own school districts. CIF has no consequence for them. Yet, most of those ADs and League coaches are paid by Federal funds which require Title IX rules be followed. CIF would have no basis for its power, if all of the schools receiving public funds were removed from their positions to vote on multi-schools, or other voting privileged issues and leagues.

    If I follow further this freedom for coaches, ADs and leagues to act in “private” places without consequence by CIF whose rules they follow, I am not as surprised that we see other abuses occurring. There have been local coaches who have been able to get away with illicit relationships with students though warning signs began to show, and even were reported. There are schools that ignore the signs of these ADs and coaches. ADs and coaches, they assume, are supposed to be busy keeping up with CIF administrative bylaws and rules. Abundance of rules and too-harsh consequences by CIF (ALL students can’t play? At any school?) means a school really depends on a very good AD and very good coaches. Some school trust and freedom has to be given to them. But, CIF turns the eye to more serious problems than too-competitive schools. This removes a needed checks-and-balances which would otherwise protect future students. Indeed, CIF sweeps more serious problems under the carpet! I’d take Grace Brethren stacking their football team any day to a young, impressionable girl or boy being led off on buses by coaches who have too much access to their future student-athlete lives, with too-trusting schools and a lack of checks and balances by CIF making an overabundance of bylaws and rules filling the minds of those attempting compliance. It creates the familiar “inattentional blindness*” which makes average people miss what is in plain site. This access is empowered by CIF with bylaws and rules that strain out much that is more important in life while beating down the masses that want to win League.

    With CiF protecting the playing courts for ADs and coaches, not to mention school districts, from student athletes who “talked with their feet” when they suspected abuse we are bound to see more problems ahead.

    To further illustrate the growing “unfair competition” set up or aided by this perhaps well-meaning, but unwise group of rules — In League this year, the league meet manager was also friends with one of the boys’ moms from this local high school. This Meet Manager did 2 things for her friend during those 2 racing days:
    1)She added 2 seconds on the board to at least 2 races (I didn’t watch other race times as carefully, as you can imagine) – my daughter’s and my daughter’s record-breaking relay team (I’m getting the picture that this boy’s mom was in competition with my daughter, by now). As a result, those “fudged” times/numbers were recorded, instead of the correct numbers that showed on the timers’ sheets that were 2 seconds faster. The Girls’ Coach of our then- local high school noticed it, as he also timed with his own timer. But, being a disempowered school “coach-only”, not a “coach-teacher” ( who came under the boys coach-teacher at the school ) he allowed it to slide. When I called the local CIF office, they said “Only coaches can report such things.”

    2)At the request of this boys’ mom who felt he didn’t have enough time before his race and complained to this mom who complained to the meet manager – they RE-RACED that race! No considerations that all swimmers had the same initial start conditions. No other rules but the rules of that manager at that moment. No other place to complain as an non-Meet Manager or Coach – if the coach decided not to complain. The coach didn’t complain because of other dynamics that existed, for him, which oppress such complaints.

    We need to correct un-level playing fields set up by CIF bylaws, that protect ADs/coaches without proper checks and balances that include perhaps some outside their League circle. In this way, perhaps the resulting dynamics which teach the wrong ethics to our youth can be stopped. Currently there are even dangerous, private power sections within schools and leagues. I simply don’t know where else to go …CA State Dept of Education only forwarded the complaint to the last school. We’re not going back. CIF refuses to look at it, though I’ve spoken to Commissioners, to administrators in our section and at State. Where have all the leaders gone?

    * Inattentional blindness definition, wikipedia. It suggests that those with ADHD are more able to avoid inattentional blindness that the average person.

    • Payne
      February 27, 2018 at 10:57 am

      What section? What you describe is common and will require action by the state legislator to take action on CIF. Much of what you describe can be addressed by organizing parents and exposing it in the media. That is sometime the only thing they understand. Being vocal at the local school boards can also produce results but it will require alot of dedication.

      • Cindy
        March 29, 2018 at 9:37 pm

        Southern Section. CIF agrees that a member school can put in a hardship waiver for my daughter. But, the plot thickens. My own school district doesn’t want to. They had 1 pool when I started the school year, but no AP chem at the school. Eventually they brought 2 pools back up. But, the one belonging to our home district, failed again. It appears there’s not a swim team again there. The other school didn’t want to share their pool either. The school district even has their Title IX numbers (made up for the swim team at least) from the year before (no pool) including a school swim team, which it definitely didn’t have as the school admits. This is unbelievable.

  10. CIFconcerns
    December 25, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Hi there….looking for some input. My soph son transferred from a D1 private school to the D3 public school in our district. His frosh year, he played JV baseball and as a soph expects to play varsity at the D3 school. We didn’t move, and he’s now going to the school he should’ve gone to from the start. He transferred bc he didn’t like the private school experience. CIF should consider these situations, right?

    • Stewart Payne
      December 25, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      you should consult your section rules on transfer. there have been some changes recently statewide and at some section levels.

  11. Tasos
    September 28, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Thank you for the quick response.
    I understand how the CIF clearly states sports participation is a privilege, however there is no club alternative as in other sports. The school is impeding her ability to compete as an equal with other athletes. I was amazed that the CIF has no rule limiting the number of practice days a school coach can demand of athletes. The only limit is hours per week -18hrs. If they said max manditory days is 3, then problem solved- good programs would have kids showing up excited every day of the week, poor programs would see talented kids three times a week and the athletes would use the off days as they saw fit to train as they felt best.
    My argument to the CIF is a legitimate student in good standing should have the opportunity to compete as an individual in invitationals in individual sports. Our school has shown that distance running is not a priority when compared to other sports it offers. If the CIF did ban private coaching it would end the opportunities for kids from poor school programs.
    This has been especially painful for us as a family as big sister is now at a Div 1 school playing a team sport for which the same HS school made certain to provide competent coaching.
    Thanks again for providing this forum to discuss these issues.

    • Payne
      September 28, 2017 at 10:44 am

      While private coaching is a logical solution to your problem, it has created many problems in other circumstances and other sports. You will learn if you haven’t already, CIF does not care about kids getting to the next level. I would focus on the school site and try to get better coaching. I would not mention having outside coaching, that will certainly backfire and make your situation worst. CIF will not support it and the school will turn on you as well. Whatever you do, I would make sure to read the CIF Bylaws and get a good understanding first. CIF will not take any action or make any concession for anything they can’t justify in the bylaws. Unfortunately, the same is not always true when they are sanctioning athletes. Again, I don’t think you have a CIF issue, you have a school site leadership issue. I would take this up with the principal/athletic director and the district if necessary. I would only focus on the deficiencies of the coach/program and not bring up anything about private coaching. You are however free to participate as individual in any event that is not CIF Sanctioned (all comers races, road races, etc,) outside of your season. But be sure to read what your local bylaws say.

      • Tasos
        September 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm

        Thank you for the response. I will see by end if season how we will take action. The sport of track and cross country is unfortunately only available through high school athletic programs. There is no alternative club system as in many other sports. Open races are sporadic and it is difficult to find similar level competitors. This monopoly is not lost on school coaches and ADs. Also a huge disconnect here between HS and university, and ironic when a school boasts about its athletic programs, NCAA signing day events, etc.

        Thanks again for your valuable feedback

  12. Tasos
    September 28, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I am interested in getting permission from CIF for my running daughter to be allowed to compete in track invitationals without school affiliation.
    My daughter entered high school as the fastest middle middle school runner (800m) in our county, having competed for her middle school and at a local track club for 7th and 8th grades.
    She has endured horrible school team coaching her freshman and fall of her sophmore year. For sophomore spring track season she negotiated a day off to at least get some training with her former coach and running mates who fortunately for them had no such issues with their schools to train a few days on their own, away from school team.
    This fall new cross country coach demands 6 days a week presence and he has only scheduled one competition before October 1st, leaving our kids without much of a season. Team morale is horrible and my daughter runs with the boys due to lack of other competitive girls. Her competition either has competent school coaches, or the coaches allow some off campus training when athlete has other coaching available. My daughter has neither option available to her and suffers due to lack of quality training.
    We want to be able to run in a few high school track invitationals this spring without representing the school. No dual meets, league meets or regional/state championships. Just 5-6 high school invitationals. She is an excellent student and does not want to change schools.
    Can the CIF allow a student to compete independently, without representing the school?

    • Stewart Payne
      September 28, 2017 at 6:49 am

      not likely to happen. what county and cif section?

      • Tasos
        September 28, 2017 at 7:21 am

        CCS, Santa Clara county. She ran 2:22.5 800m and 4:56 1500m in Junior Olympic competition end of 8th grade

      • Stewart Payne
        September 28, 2017 at 7:26 am

        you should read your local section bylaws, every section is different but in general only members of cif member school’s may participate in CIF competitions.

      • Tasos
        September 28, 2017 at 7:25 am

        Would a letter as parents or the athlete herself to the CIF be the way to approach this?

      • Stewart Payne
        September 28, 2017 at 7:50 am

        no. it is my opinion that uou do not have a strong argument. they will tell you participation in sports is a priviledge not a right. many sections are developing rules against outside practice and competition so you might not want to open that can of worms because you might have to eat them. seems your issue is poor coaching, that is a school site problem I’d start there with a complaint.

  13. German A Lopez
    March 10, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    My Son was attack by a bullies he defend him self, My son never been in a fight ever the staff was upset with me, because I proved them wrong on another innocent incident the case settle after numerous messages, recording statements that incriminated them. The situation got worse after I moved my son to a Rival football team and now CIF has benched my son for 12 months. I don’t what to tell him He asked me why the took team, my childhood friend and now I can even play, He’s 1st year in high school. I’m old school and believe that if you make a mistake You own it until you fix it I really need some help football is his passion.
    Please Please!!!!

    German A Lopez
    phone : 408-660-6586

    PS: the School district in Newman Crows landing unified
    Stanislaus County CA

  14. Mario Encarnacion
    March 4, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I live in Victorville, My son attends a Charter school. Excelsior Charter I would love to get him out of this school. This Charter school is a independent study school not what I was told when he transferred here. If I move him to another school he will need to sit out 5 games not fair.

  15. David
    December 31, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    CIF SacJoaquin Section violated unethically

    • German A Lopez
      March 17, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      I have the same issue with the San Juaquin Section Let’g all get together and fight this bureaucratic organisation or all me 408-660-6586 We all need to take stand against this unfair practice, they found a players selling drugs and he they got no suspension and they are allowed to play,something is wrong ?

  16. David
    December 31, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Son violated for athletically motivated and ineligible move. Both are false allegations. Please call me at 916-759-2027 David

    • German A Lopez
      March 17, 2017 at 10:38 am

      I have the issue I.m on the process of hiring a attorney
      you can call me at 408-660-6586

  17. Arely
    December 9, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    question: is this a SOP? Student transferred in February 29, 2016, did not play any sports. Now CIF says she needs to sit out until March 1, 2017 because she has not been at new school for 12 months, but she did not play her entire 10th grade year anywhere. Now she is a junior. Whats your opinion?

  18. Jaca DeSpain
    September 7, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you!

  19. Stewart Payne
    September 7, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Bob Ottolie san diego. he is rude and abrasive but he is good.

  20. Jaca DeSpain
    September 7, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Does anyone have a name of an Administrative Attorney I can contact who deals with CIF. We are located in Temecula, California….so anywhere Southern is fine. TIA

  21. socalsports
    September 7, 2016 at 10:11 am

    i have an email from a parent showing that Centennial in Corona is offering gifts to 7th and 8th grade football players in effort to get them to the HS next year. who should i send to?

  22. Sp
    February 20, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    What are your concerns and what section and school and/or district.

  23. Tracy Caldwell
    February 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    I am interested in stoping the CIF from harming any more Student Athletes. Their abuse needs to stop! Pls send me any info on how to stop this treatment of our children.

    • SP
      February 20, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      What are your concerns and why section and school/district are you in?

    • Jason wood
      September 25, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      How is there a system in place where a person can dictate as if they are god.with no concern for kids futures.there are so many things wrong with this and no one cares.someone with the power to make a change needs to stand up and help us.sports are not a privilege anymore.for family’s that are not rich it is the only real.chance our children have at getting a scholarship.mike garrison commissioner of the sac San jaoguin section is the worst person to make decisions.

  24. Phil
    February 17, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Does anyone one know how to file a formal complaint against coaches that are racially and personally discriminating against my daughter?

    • JoAnna Jensen
      February 17, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      youll have to prove he is discriminating agaisnt her based on her race and not her ability. You have to prove up “intent” and thats hard to do.

    • SP
      February 17, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      you can file a uniformed complaint with your school district. There is a simple form to complete. YOu have rights of appeal with this process as well.

  25. John Duffy
    December 8, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Anyone have experience or ideas with this?
    Daughter home schooled in 9th grade with assistance from a NON CIF christian school. She played club soccer only. No CIF.

    Transfer in 10th grade to a CIF affiliated christian school so she could play soccer, still home schooled, No problem. Unlimited status granted.

    Now transfer to public school for 11 and 12 grade. CIF claims 2 transfers and will not allow a sit out period even though she has NEVER utilized a sit out period.

    Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.

    • Jaca DeSpain
      August 12, 2016 at 11:47 am

      I am going through this exact situation with my daughter! What came of your situation? We are looking into filing an appeal.

      • John Duffy
        August 12, 2016 at 1:12 pm

        They would not hear an appeal of SOP.

  26. Kathryn Sonne
    December 2, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Do you recommend lawyers for CIF issues?

    • SP
      December 3, 2015 at 7:38 am

      Depends on the situation. You should file an appeal first unless time is a consideration.

  27. Frank Fontanilla
    November 30, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    My daughter attended her first semester at Colony HS in Ontario. Due to a bullying incident, we transferred her out of Colony into Notre Dame HS Riverside (private school). Unfortunately rather than playing a game of he said she said, we decided to not bring the matter into the school’s attention and subsequently further damage a troubled student’s future, and simply transferred my daughter out after the semester (winter)break. She played a few games of JV soccer (all non-league) during December and transferred out before the season began. We were then told that she would have to sit out the remainder of the season at Notre Dame because of CIF transfer rules. During the semester, our financial situation changed drastically and we could no longer afford for her to continue at Notre Dame so we transferred her again after the school year was over, originally to Eleanor Roosevelt HS but were then told that the school was full and put her into Norco HS (same league/district). We were told yesterday that she has been tagged with limited eligibility (No Varsity) due to the second transfer after she made the Varsity squad. Needless to say we are very upset about it. I am not sure if there is any recourse but is it fair that she is essentially being punished twice by having to sit out another season for a transfer that we couldn’t help nor foresee?Please keep in mind that the transfer are intra district. I own my own business and sometimes am not available to pick her up from school most afternoons at her designated school 6 miles away. The reason for the transfer to Norco was that a lot of my clientele are in the immediate area and we also have friends living there that could help out if needed. Not so with the designated school. IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO APPEAL? PLEASE HELP!!

    • SP
      November 30, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Unfortunately, CIF does not care about your financial situation and will tell you that you should have foreseen the financial situation coming. There bylaws are written to support them on that positioning.

      Your case is complicated because you have too many transfers. I hope you had all of the bullying documented at the prior school. That is your strongest argument. The other transfers will complicate the issue but if she only played JV it should make it easier. You should be sure to read the CIF Bylaws.

      You have a right to file an appeal and you should do so immediately! I think you have 15 working days from the time you got the notified. You will probably need a lawyer as well, because they will no doubt rule against you on appeal. Even though they are going to rule against your appeal (that is what they do), you will need to show that you have followed the process. Your next option will be to file a temporary restraining order against them. You should find a lawyer familiar with the CIF to do so.

      Long term change with the CIF must come from the California Legislature. I would encourage you to complain to your elected officials. I would also encourage you to go to the media, They don’t like that and when it airs, you will likely found out that there are others similarly situated as you but have not come forward for a fear of their child being punished.

  28. SP
    November 29, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    unfortunately, their bylaws are written in this manner. They automatically assume your move was motivated by athletics. You should file an appeal and then get a lawyer. Try to find one that is familiar with CIF.

    • Craig Zaragoza
      November 30, 2015 at 3:16 am

      Thank you,

  29. Craig Zaragoza
    November 27, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    We are new to this whole CIF chaos. In short, our daughter was attending a private high school. She has found great motivation in her schooling because of her interest in basketball. When it was time for our next daughter to start high school, the private school raised tuition a substantial amount while cutting staff and services. We realized that if we were going to send both kids to college, we needed to stop paying this excessive tuition and start saving for college. So we decided to enroll both kids in our proper district public high school. The problem is our daughter played AAU basketball with many players and a person associated with the coaching staff from that high school during this last summer. We just received a decision from CIF of ineligibility thru this season till the start of the next school year. The CIF stated my concerns were “Personal in nature and a personal choice.” I couldn’t agree more! My finances and choices for my daughter’s education are very personal. I feel my daughter is being penalized because of changes in my financial situation and the decision I had to make to be able to save for a college education for both kids. We are looking for any assistance in this matter. Thank you.

    • SP
      November 27, 2015 at 11:37 pm


      What school and what section? You will most likely need to get a lawyer. Unfortunately, the CIF does not consider finances a hardship. They usually tell you that you should have foreseen the financial situation coming. The private school that you attended most likely opposed your transfer as well, which doesn’t help your argument. The fact that your child played on an AAU team with a member of the new schools coaching staff is considered pre-enrollment contact and they will contend that your transfer was athletically motivated.

      You can file an appeal, which I encourage you to do immediately because your clock is ticking. This is not likely to work in your favor with the CIF as they very rarely overrule the local commissioner. It is important to show the courts that you have exhausted all remedies with the CIF. You should also know that the CIF will do everything they can to delay until the season is over. You should start your fight immediately. If I knew what school and which section you are in I could probably give you more specific advice.

      • Craig Zaragoza
        November 29, 2015 at 2:28 pm

        Thank you for your reply in this matter.

        We are in the Sac-Joaquin section of CIF. We came from El Dorado Adventist School in Placerville. We transferred into Union Mine H.S. in El Dorado.

        I don’t believe the private school opposed the move. It was noted they could not sign the CIF form because they heard of the AAU coach’s association with the new high school.

        This move came about because while we were enrolling our younger daughter in the public school, our older daughter was present during counseling sessions and decided she also wanted the greater variety of educational options of classes combined with the greater resources at the public school. The other school was good but it was so small and limited in all these areas.

        Once again, thank you for your time.

      • Bill Gibson
        October 19, 2018 at 2:00 pm

        The appeals board members are hired and paid for by CIF, they don’t go against the commission. They are not stupid enough to bite the hand that feeds them. It is a rigged system with the judge, jury and appeals court all working together, bringing down judgements to justify their existence. See – we found many violations so we are a needed regulatory body. Quota filling misguided rent a cop wanna be’s.

  30. Julie Rogers
    May 9, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    My sons school has had several problems with the CIF and NCS. Can anyone recommend someone to contact? I tried to email Christian Hendricks but the email bounced back.

    • Stewart
      May 9, 2015 at 5:29 pm

      What type of problems? and who are you looking to contact, a CIF Representative, a community advocate, or a lawyer?

  31. June 1, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I guess you did not know that No One holds them accountable, and to make matters worse if they make a ruling and you decide to appeal the ruling, the appeals board is selected by them and paid by them. There is no way to receive a fair hearing from the CIF or CCS or any other section.
    Our appeal was revealing in that you are not allowed to appeal the ruling on the original grounds or determination. You must make your appeal based on new grounds not previously considered by the Section. That is what we did. However the appeals board can ignore and not even respond the new grounds for your appeal but rather make a “final” ruling of the appeal based on the original section finding.
    Yes, this is true. In our case we appealed the finding on procedural violations. The procedural violations were not addressed in the appeals hearing by the section commissioner or the panel members on the appeals board. The section commissioner argued against our appeal by making statements referring to the original ruling of “athletic motivation” for the school transfer but did not respond to our claim of procedural violations.
    Ultimately, the appeals board wrote a new finding that decided in favor of upholding the Section sanctions placed on our child, stating that they decided the transfer was athletically motivated. Their finding did not make a single mention of their consideration of our appeals claim that a procedural violation had occurred. In essence, our appeal was not actually considered.
    This relationship is questionable and suspicious. If the appeals board members are hired by and paid for by the CIF themselves how can anyone expect to get a fair trial. The appeals panel knows that if they rule against the Sections or CIF there is a good chance that they will not be hired again to do this job.
    This is the fox being asked to guard the hen house.

    • kt houston
      November 16, 2015 at 10:43 am

      Yes I agree with view on this matter with CIF
      their setup for the appeal process. If you’re
      will to discuss this matter further, please feel free to call me. 323.687.3900

      My son is now being denied by CIF

      • Stewart
        November 16, 2015 at 11:18 am

        Why is your son being denied? Which school? contact me direct at

      • JoAnna
        November 25, 2015 at 11:27 pm

        I have a situation where my daughter has an IEP due to ADD and anxiety, but excels at sports. However, getting the IEP took over two years and the school she transferred from continually did not offer Free and Appropriate Education that was supposed to be given in her IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Each meeting with the principal and administration was horrible and adversarial. She qualifies under section 504 of Americans with Disabilities act. She was being bullied by girls at her old school in addition to the major problems with administration not being empathetic to a student with a disability, we had no choice but to move her to a new school. The NCS director tells us she moved because she had a problem with the previous coach, which was not true at all. I have asked him to send me proof of this information, I believe we have that right. But if he does not reverse his ruling I want to file a TRO and then a lawsuit.

        So here we were fighting a school for two years for her civil rights for a free and appropriate education, and finally decide to switch schools instead of filing a lawsuit then are told by NCS she transferred because she wanted to follow the coach… This is absurd, and unfounded.

  32. stewart
    May 31, 2014 at 11:32 pm


    Ultimately, the cif answers to the state legislature. What is needed is a strong push to the legislature from around the state to demand action by the legislature. Other states legislatures (Illinois most recently) have demanded accountability of the state governing bodies of high school sports.

  33. Jennifer
    May 31, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Have you seen the CIF’s recent behavior with regards to the Santa Monica Baseball team? First they declare Peninsula High School
    Baseball team disqualified for batting practice (rule states “may” result in forfeit) then choose to not enforce rule 1519 when Santa Monica clears their bench to engage in an altercation with other team! I don’t have high school athletes yet and I am appalled at the behavior of this self governing board! Who holds them accountable?

    • stewart
      May 31, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      Check my response.

  34. stewart
    April 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    In the other case the private school moved to a new location about 35 miles north making it difficult for the family to get the child to school. They were also told they should have foreseen they hardship. In their mind there is no such thing as a financial hardship.

  35. stewart
    April 7, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Unfortunately, the new change to hardship rule is not the real issue. They would have likely ruled the same way without the rule change. I had two friends about 7 years ago with the same circumstances and both was ruled ineligible.

    One case was exactly like yours and the parents where told they should have foreseen the hardship.

  36. stewart
    April 7, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    What section and which schools?

    • Cif financial hardship
      April 7, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      Southern section – bishop amat and south hills

  37. cif_financial_hardship_unrealastic
    April 7, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I have a child that attended his freshman year and half of sophomore year at a private school. Due to situations beyond my control my finances changed and my monthly bring home pay was reduced 2000$ per month. I had to pull my child and place him in the local public school. I filed a CIF hardship and learned that in 2014 that financial hardships are no longer considered. does this mean even though i cannot afford private school my son has to suffer and sit out for 30 days. The CIF officials live in an ivory tower and make unrealistic rules. does anyone know how a financial hardship can be considered – or does my child have to further suffer?

  38. Randy Teffeteller
    March 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    CIF and the California School System are additional examples as to why the public sector is shamelessly a disaster when asked to manage anything. I am logging a formal complaint with the California Board of Education, my District (again) as well as CIF. A local guy new some people at the district office. That turned into firing the current coach, launching a bogus investigation only to remove him from the school so they could use his job position for the new guy. The school said they looked long and far, just there luck they found a guy that had not coached for years and previously lost more than he won. His last school he went 0-15. Prior to this year our team had gone deep into the playoffs further than ever, this year 1-9 in league. The season was beyond a joke, the organization was a joke, the school is allowing the program to use an illegal booster (per CBOE and District Guidelines). Not only did we just so happen to stumble on to this coach a few weeks before season, it just so happens he has a friend in town of 20 plus years that just happens to have a 6’8 player living with with his family that had attended a new school each of his High School Years, oh did I mention the family is all white and the player is African American so its unlikely they can use they were family. The same player also assaulted another player causing significant bodily harm and the school only gave him a week off.The new coach also had coaches not cleared working in his program and was trying to recruit kids in intermediate school which too is a no, no.. Lets see if we can get CIF off their big lazy butts to deal with these obvious infractions.

  39. February 5, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Well then maybe the team simply has many very good players that the coach is playing instead of your daughter because, in high school, that is what most coaches do if they want to be a dominant team and he wants to keep his job. Public schools are definitely not allowed to recruit so if it is happening there is a problem.
    My understanding is that the CIF only bother to do their job if someone complains and the complaints are substantiated.
    To get more playing time for your daughter you might have to sign her up for a club team in the mean time, if the school allows that.
    Best of luck

      February 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      yeah there are a lot of good players on the team an the coach is a good coach.. But I may just move here to a different school

  40. February 5, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Rules will not be changing over night or maybe never. Unfortunately, CIF rules are created to prevent recruiting and therefore an unfair advantage to the schools that can and do recruit like the one your daughter is in, but CIF jurisdiction only goes so far. Apparently certain schools are allowed to recruit and are allowed to compete against schools that can not. They are usually private schools (De La Salle High School comes to mind) like the one your daughter is attending.
    I would recommend you save your money and send your daughter to a public school that will allow her to be recognized for her athletic ability. College scholarships are easier to get for athletes(less competition) and if your daughter is a good student she will do well at a public school too.
    This rule is no different than the CIF rule that allows some kids to use cleats at certain cross country meets while not allowing others. It gives an unfair advantage to kids with cleats when running in wet weather like it did this year at the Mt Sac meet, but the CIF can’t manage to figure out how to make fair and equal rules and therefore an equal playing field for athletes. They are just really bad at their job.

    • Upset
      February 5, 2014 at 9:51 am

      It is a public school. It is the top academic school in sac. They only take 300 kids per year and have a lot today for the kids that make the cut. Because there are so many kids tring to get in.

    February 4, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    My daughter goes to a school that is a college prep school and it is tough, She loves basket ball but don’t get to play much because the coach use a school with lower academic standers to send girls to that don’t have sports so he can recruit players. Its not fair she has to compete with recruited players and another school to play for her team. 3 of the starters alone are from the other school and its the same way on the boys team. My daughter worked hard;. read books in the summer took a exam to get in the school and did community serves to get in the school. Now she sits on the bench and watches all these girls that done work half as hard as she does play. ITs not fair to her…. BUT yeat I would have to give up the great education she is getting for her to get a fair chance for playing time. The coaches favor these lkids and put them first. That’s how they get them to play there… WHAT CAN I DO?

  42. Bill Gibson
    October 18, 2013 at 9:08 am

    We are preparing for an appeal regarding sanctions put on our child to stop her from competing for this entire year. The AD in this case was actually instructed by a CCS representative to approve the transfer even though he had suspicions of certain contact violations which we discussed with him. In essence, the AD was instructed by CCS to lie to us, lie on the transfer document and then work to build a case against our child regarding the transfer. Had he simply marked the box stating that he had issues with the transfer and informed us of the potential issues (providing Athletic Direction to his athletes as you think would be part of his job) it is highly likely we would have reconsidered the transfer. Now it has become a legal battle that will likely cost us greatly but it needs to be fought. We are urgently looking for a lawyer to help if you can recommend one. Thanks.

    • considerthechild
      October 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Have you found anyone, Bill? We also are looking for some legal assistance in fighting the harshness of Rule 207 in our son’s unique, individual case. We are in CCS. The new rules allow no flexibility or consideration of “the best interests of the child” as required by California law. They must be nullifed and rewritten fairly!!

      • Bill Gibson
        October 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        No, we have yet to find a found a lawyer. We are hoping to find one with some experience with cases such as this. It does seem that we are not the only ones in such a position. We will let you know if we find someone that might be able to help. Unfortunately, CCS or CIF has made the appeal process very restrictive and challenging as well, by design I am assuming.
        Best of luck.

      • Stewart
        October 31, 2013 at 8:56 am

        Bob Ottollie has beat CIF on numerous occasions. Tell him Stewart Payne referred you. (619) 231-4841

    • Payne
      October 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Contact Bob Ottollie attorney at law. Tell him Stewart Payne told you to call.

      • Bill Gibson
        October 30, 2013 at 9:13 pm

        Thanks for the referal, can you tell me why you recommended him? Does he have experience with CIF cases?

      • Dvaid
        February 24, 2015 at 11:29 pm

        Spoke with Bob about a CIF matter, not impressed in the least. Seems to be quite a fan of CIF and their practices. But call and be insulted yourselves.

    • Stewart
      October 31, 2013 at 8:59 am


      Yes, he has beat them several times. He is vicious and they are afraid of him. Here is his number (619) 231-4841

  43. Cifabuse
    December 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I would be happy to share my experiences of September 2009 where a private school in the CCS lied and falsified documents to stop my kids from participating in athletics. The CCS commissioner then jumped on the band wagon and became irrational. We had to hire an attorney and go through the appeals process where the AD admitted lying on his written statement and admitted the head coach falsified a document. We won the appeal, but GUESS WHAT? No sanctions against the AD and coach.

    • January 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      Just saw your post. Can you please email, us we have a case similar to yours and the coach also received no sanctions and has remained in his postion where many beleive the coach maybe be continuing problematic behavior. We are interested to know how much you spent on legal in this case see us on CCS Watchdog on WordPress or email us at: So far CCS has denied any cases like yours have ever existed. They do not appear to have large legal bills until the 2010-11 tax year. Much of that may have been realted to a CalPERS audit, but hte legal fees appear to be escalaing lately and we have been flooded with families that have issues similar to yours. CCS often claim legal fees are realted to litigous parents, not to their own improper behavior. We are anxious to know if a conflict of itnerest may also have been present with your case that would have subjected you to unnessary legal expenses. If there are enough of these , it may warrant a class action suit to recover legal fees families incured legal fees to fight for their children’s rights when CCS officials acjust to retain their rights for their children in a clearly biased Section. Do you know where the coach and AD went, could they still be a problem for other athtltes that can’t fight or spend money on lawyers?

  44. October 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

    We are looking at a case where a coach and school gave false information and an athlete at a new school was kept form competing in Section finals. The coach and school who provided false information were never sanctioned as CIF rules claim they should be, and went on to win the Section Championship the ahttles in question was kept from competing in. May be some bad people playing the rules to their benefit at the expense of teams and athletes doing the right thing! CIF and Sections are not going after schools and athletes equally. We are finding so many huge issues with the Central Coast Section. If there is mismanagment and fraud, may open up class action lawsuits to have all these cases reviewed and decisions overturned!

  45. October 24, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    School being penalized in a manner that hurts everyone… even though the school in question had no idea of the problem… and when found out they alerted CIF.
    CIF is not looking out for the best interest of the Kids involved!

  46. ken riley
    March 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    please call Ken at 530-227-5855

  47. Payne
    September 12, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    CIF Is overcharging schools and districts for membership. In the San Diego Section, Schools are required to pay $1.80 per student enrolled at the school. of these funds, $1.15 goes to the local CIF and $.65 goes to the state CIF what we belief to be legal fees. In the district that I reside approximately 35% of the total student population participates in athletics. That leaves 65% of the student population that receives no benefit for the $1.80 spent on their behalf. This results in the district being overcharge about nearly $30,000.00

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