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Transfer Eligibility

Transfer Eligibility

A student who participates in an interscholastic athletic contest or attends a school shall be considered enrolled in that school and shall be classified as a transfer student if the student subsequently enrolls at another school.  Please review the handbooks on the CIF website to understand transfer eligibility process and procedures.

California Interscholastic Federation

CIF Student Eligibility Brochure Link




The purpose of these guidelines is to assist student-athletes and their parents and/or legal guardians in understanding the “transfer eligibility” standards and the process that CIF member schools and administrators take in determining “transfer eligibility.” This guide should not be considered as a legal reference and is merely a guide to better understanding of CIF Transfer Eligibility.


Anytime a student moves from one school to another school (School “A” to School “B”), the student is considered a “transfer” student.


When a family makes the decision to transfer the student anytime after establishing their Initial Residential Eligibility there may be limitations on the student’s athletic eligibility, depending on the classification of the student.


Classifications of Transfer Students

1. A valid change of residence student.

2. A transfer without a valid change of residence.

3. An involuntary transfer student (when a school/district forces the student to change schools).


Regardless of the type of transfer, there will be paperwork, (forms and documentation) that the student and his/her parents/legal guardians will have to complete for the new school (School “B”) in order to request athletic eligibility. The new school (School “B”) will communicate with the transfer student’s previous school (School “A”) and work with the parents to complete the necessary forms to ensure not only residential eligibility but also academic eligibility. On the following page is an abbreviated explanation that describes the athletic eligibility process for students who transfer under these circumstances. It is hoped that families will be better prepared to make “school choice” decisions with an understanding of the impact of those decisions on their student’s residential athletic eligibility.



When a student transfers schools (changes from School “A” to School “B”) regardless of the reason for the change, the new school (School “B”) must take steps to ensure the athletic eligibility of the student.


These steps will include: The new school principal or administrative designee must determine if the student is academically eligible and has made a valid change of residence.

  • The new school site principal/designee shall review if the student made a valid change of residence by following the process of its respective CIF Section for a “Valid Change of Residence.” The process will include submission of paperwork to the CIF Section office prior to participation in games/contests.
  • The new school must also verify the student has met the academic requirements of the school and CIF. 
  • The new school (School “B”) and the prior school (School “A”) must verify there was no “Undue Influence.” 
  • The new school (School “B”) must verify that there are no pending school discipline issues existing at the prior school (School “A”) that could jeopardize the student’s eligibility at the new school; that the move (by voluntary transfer or change of residence) did not occur either to avoid discipline or pending discipline, or that the move was involuntary due to discipline issues. 
  • The new school (School “B”) athletic director/administrator must contact the athletic director/administrator from the previous school (School “A”) to inform him/her of the valid change of address and check on any other issues that could affect the student’s eligibility. 
  • This process will not begin before the student is enrolled and attending the new school (School “B”)

If it is determined that the student did not make a valid change of residence, the new school (School “B”) must take a few additional steps prior to determining the eligibility of the student. 

  • All CIF Sections WILL require that the appropriate forms be submitted to and APPROVED by the CIF Section office PRIOR to the student participating in contest/games when there is NOT a “Valid Change of Residence”. 
  • The new school is responsible for determining if the student meets the academic requirements of the CIF, CIF Section and the school. 
  • The new school is responsible for using Pre-Enrollment Contact Affidavit (CIF Form 510.) to determine that there was no “Undue Influence.” 
  • The school must also verify that there are no pending discipline issues existing at the prior school that could jeopardize the student eligibility at the new school. 
  • If this is the student’s first transfer, refer to Bylaw 207.B.(5) for his/her eligibility options as they may be granted unlimited athletic eligibility with a “Sit Out Period” in sports they have previously participated in the past 12 months. (If a request for a “Sit Out Period” is denied based upon not meeting the criteria of Bylaw 207.B.(5), there is NO appeal of this finding)  
  • If this is the student’s second (or more) transfer, the student will be limited to sub-varsity (limited) eligibility in those sports as described in CIF Bylaw 207.B.(3). 
  • PRIOR to participation, the new school must seek approval of eligibility by the CIF Section office and submit all forms and paperwork for review and approval. 
  • There are limited circumstances where a hardship exception maybe granted to the transfer rule. However, these hardships are specific and must be documented with court, school or police documents. Please refer to Bylaw 207.B.(5).c