High school trans­fers are on up­swing

CIF says a state-record 16,595 stu­dents switched schools for the 2016-17 sea­son.

Los Angeles Times - - BASEBALL - By Eric Son­deimer eric.sond­heimer@latimes.com

If you’ve no­ticed that sports trans­fers seem to be in­creas­ing in Cal­i­for­nia, you’re not dream­ing.

A record 16,595 stu­dents switched schools for the 2016-17 high school sports sea­son, ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics com­piled by the Cal­i­for­nia In­ter­scholas­tic Fed­er­a­tion.

That’s an in­crease from 15,882 in 2015-16 and 15,886 in 2014-15. The South­ern Sec­tion had the most trans­fers of the 10 sec­tions at 6,999, up from 6,876 in 2015-16.

Be­cause there are more than 785,000 stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing in sports, the CIF ex­pects the trans­fer fig­ures to con­tinue to in­crease.

The CIF changed its trans­fer pol­icy sev­eral years ago, no longer re­quir­ing stu­dents to sit out an en­tire sea­son if there was no change of res­i­dence. The sit-out pe­riod for those who don’t move is about one month.

And be­gin­ning in 2017-18, stu­dents can trans­fer for any rea­son, even sports rea­sons, and not be pe­nal­ized. Pre­vi­ously, if an ath­lete trans­ferred for sports rea­sons and the CIF could prove it, he or she would be in­el­i­gi­ble im­me­di­ately.

“We’ll be watch­ing that closely this year,” ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Roger Blake said of the change in trans­fer lan­guage.

Blake said over­all, the trans­fer num­bers are “in­signif­i­cant.”

“When you look at the big over­all pic­ture, less than 2% of par­tic­i­pants are trans­fers,” he said. “Num­bers-wise, it’s in­signif­i­cant, but that’s easy to say when it’s not your op­po­nent who got the all-star quar­ter­back.”

The South­ern Sec­tion al­ready has more trans­fers for last month (194) than it did in July 2016 (144).

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