CIF reverses, allows athletes to participate in same-season club and school sports

STORY BY GARV VIRGINKAR, PHOTO BY GIL RUBINSTEIN

Note: At the moment, Santa Clara County cohorting restrictions still prohibit participation on multiple teams.

The California Interscholastic Federation has reinstated its waiver of Bylaw 600-605, allowing student athletes to participate in both school and club sports through the same season.

This latest development, according to the CIF, follows clarification from the California Department of Public Health that language in its Dec. 14 youth sports guidance regarding multi-team participation is a “recommendation,” rather than a mandate.

Football is an exception to the ruling, and athletes in the sport are still barred from participating in both school and club sports during the same season; the CIF cited the full contact nature of the sport, as well as consultation from its own sports medicine advisory committee and California law regarding full-contact practice limitations.

No guidance was provided as to if this will be revised at a later date, but no football athletes have currently lost eligibility in relation to the decision as there have been no CIF football games. 

Under typical circumstances, the CIF does not permit athletes to participate in same-season club and school sports, but had rescinded that rule during the pandemic to allow athletes to play in club sports while school seasons had not yet started. That decision, however, was reversed last month following new state guidance, but in yet another reversal, has been reinstated again today.

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