Eligibility guidelines for students displaced by the Japan earthquake, tsunami and radiation fall out

Letter to Principals and Headmasters

Japan Eligibility Waiver Form

March 28, 2011
TO: High School Principals/Headmasters
FROM: Marie M. Ishida
RE: Eligibility guidelines for students displaced by the Japan earthquake, 
tsunami and radiation fall out

After discussion with the CIF Executive Committee, it was very important to them that all student-athletes being displaced by the Japan earthquake, tsunami and radiation fall out be treated compassionately and their athletic eligibility is determined consistently throughout the State.

Consistent with the authority the CIF Constitution provides in Bylaw 1108, I am directing all CIF member schools to follow the procedures outlined below:

1. All student-athletes displaced because of the Japan disaster wishing to participate MUST fill out the attached form prior to becoming eligible
2. The school will determine whether a student is eligible based upon the information provided on the form and any other information the school is able to obtain.
3. The school MUST forward a copy of the form to their local section office and to the CIF State Office.
4. Schools, in the absence of formal documentation such as transcripts, driver’s license, etc., will rely upon the integrity of the information provided to them by the student, parent(s), guardian(s) and/or caregiver(s) and their school personnel in charge of determining eligibility.
5. Unless there is information provided on the form that would indicate otherwise, all student-athletes initially will be ruled academically eligible until at least the first grading period. All schools are expected to continue to follow up on these students to ensure academic eligibility and proper grade placement.
6. Schools which rule students eligible based upon the completed and approved form, including their best efforts to determine eligibility, will not have to forfeit any contest played by an athlete who is later ruled ineligible.
7. This athletic eligibility waiver is extraordinary and applies to students displaced by the Japan disaster ONLY. Displaced students will be eligible at the public school/school district within the residential area they are being housed, private school within the area of residence, and/or at the school where students currently residing in the same household attend. For any other situation you should check with your section office or the State Office. All other students should be treated like any regular transfer and all section and State CIF Bylaws should be applied.

One would hope that no one would try to take advantage of these students to gain an athletic advantage under these circumstances. However, should the need arise, it is CIF’s expectation that the school, section and State will deal with any undue influence swiftly and appropriately.

Most state associations receiving displaced students are following similar procedures as I’ve outlined here. There are just so many unknowns and “what ifs” that they all can’t be listed here. Should you or anyone on your staff have any questions, please call your section office or the State CIF Office.