SACRAMENTO — Today Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 949, introduced by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), to classify competition cheer as a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) sport beginning in the 2017-18 school year. The CIF looks forward to bringing competitive cheer into the family of CIF sports where it will join basketball, badminton, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo and wrestling.
“The CIF is excited to add competitive cheer to our sports offerings,” stated Roger Blake, Executive Director of the CIF. “We look forward to working with the California Department of Education to develop policy and standards allowing the student-athletes involved in competitive cheer to enjoy greater opportunities to display their athletic talents in a safe environment.” Blake continued, “One of the major goals in this process will be to develop guidelines for competitive cheer programs that our member schools can implement, meet the standards and be compliant with Title IX as defined by the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.”
The CIF will immediately begin the process of developing policies for the implementation of competitive cheer as a CIF sport and will seek the input of experts at the California Department of Education, the high school cheerleading community and the NCAA cheerleading leadership as they have previously established safety standards and policies.
In accordance with the bill, the CIF shall seek a United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights Title IX compliance designation for competition cheer. Competition cheer will not be counted towards a school’s Title IX compliance unless the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights deems competition cheer compliant with its definition of a sport.