Clarification on “The Association Rule”…Or Not

CIFConfused about the CIF Association Rule? I think we all are. The way it was explained to me is that actually there is no Association Rule. The Association Rule is dead…with exceptions. I was also advised that there were no amendments or changes to the rule.

CIF simply clarified the meaning of the old rule in a memo to all Athletic Directors and Principals. The memo was dated September 20, 2013 from CIF Commissioner Rob Wigod and sent to all ADs and Principals in the CIF Southern Section.

Here’s what the memo said:

“There are many outside organizations, NOT AFFILIATED with our member schools, that sponsor high school age activities outside the jurisdiction of the CIF and its member schools/Districts. In many examples, the teams participating use the school name and are coached by school personnel BUT ARE UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE OUTSIDE, NON-SCHOOL ORGANIZATION such as club teams, AAU or the local Parks & Recreation Department.”
“Therefore, I am asking your office to review the involvement of students and/or staff from your school in these off-season competitions/leagues and make sure they are being conducted in the color and the authority of an OUTSIDE ENTITY AND NOT YOUR SCHOOL/SCHOOL DISTRICT. To assist you in making that determination, I would ask that you verify the following:
1. The outside group using your facilities for any reason, including practice and/or competition is being treated as an outside user and has followed your required processes to use these facilities.
    * Does the WRITTEN approved use by an outside group include the PROPER LIABILITY COVERAGE?
2. Is all the equipment being used being supplied by the outside organization?
    * If school purchased equipment (balls, bags, uniforms, etc.) are being used by the outside organization, does the school/district have WRITTEN AGREEMENT WITH THAT GROUP FOR THE RENTAL OF THAT EQUIPMENT?


So, according to this “memo” there are standards regarding throwing 7 on 7 (or for any other sport) still in place. Bottom line according to Rob Wigod is if you choose to practice out of season you need to become an “outside” user with no affiliation to a member school.

You must have written proof of liability insurance, written proof of equipment rental from the school, can’t use school buses or vans, and cannot pay for tournaments using ASB funds. The last one is one is really confusing. It appears to mean that a coach can’t pay for half of a tournament entry fee out of pocket and get the rest from ASB.

Apparently the entire point of this clarification is to reduce or eliminate the liability exposure of CIF, schools and districts.

Hope this clears it up…or not.


4 Comments to "Clarification on “The Association Rule”…Or Not"

  1. MidValley's Gravatar MidValley
    April 18, 2014 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Changing the name does not make your football team an “outside user”. What CIF is mandating is that anyone that throws has written proof of liability insurance for the group, and does not use school purchased equipment without having a written rental agreement with the school or the district. Everyone that has already been throwing should have those two things to legally be able to throw. If they do not then, as CIF states, they are placing themselves (and their districts) “in extreme legal & liability risk.” The team liability insurance is the key. That absolves the school/school district and CIF from liability if there is an injury. Kids already have to have there own personal proof of insurance to play. This is above and beyond that. The liability insurance for the “outside user” makes that group it’s own entity and therefore not under the umbrella of a school, district or CIF.

    CIF cares less about the rules regarding undue influence, then they do about legal issues regarding off-season liability. All teams CAN practice and throw 7 on 7. But, If those teams pictured had used school purchased equipment (without a written rental agreement), used school transportation or participated without written proof of liability insurance on record with the district… then by rule they are in violation.

    I don’t like the stipulations either, but saying there are no rules is wrong as well. I would be willing to bet that all these teams throwing are either knowingly or unknowingly in violation. How would a high school coach even know where to begin the process of obtaining liability coverage for his skill players to go throw 7 on 7. CIF pushed this through without really walking coaches or AD’s through the process of how to legally take advantage of the elimination of the Association Rule. So now this is what you have. And, the principals are in charge of compliance! So keep throwing without insurance and if a kid suffers a serious injury see how fast CIF points the finger at the Principal and how fast the district moves that Principal.

  2. Fan's Gravatar Fan
    April 17, 2014 - 10:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s the term “outside association…” It’s those guys who are ruining it for true high school teams whether it be club in soccer. AAU in basketball, travel ball in baseball/basketball and 7 on 7 in football…
    So in other words, if a club soccer team has several El Monte players, (just using EM as a fictitious example) an El Monte coach but a few members from arroyo, but still holds it’s practices at EMHS, then they better make certain that EMHS receives 0 money from this program and is called a different name.

    The biggest concern is in football. The reason why some teams are starting football so early now is because of the fact that the outside associations of football are inundating their agendas to say that it will help kids get scholarships while the outside coaches gain a favorable profit. This is not something the local HS coach (at least 90% wants). Although there are a few who are going to use these outside associations as a means to lure talent away from other schools which is what CIF wants to avoid.

  3. Fan's Gravatar Fan
    April 17, 2014 - 7:44 pm | Permalink

    No. I think what this means is that the purpose of this is to limit outside organizations (I.e. Snoop dogs 7on 7. Uplands 7on 7 etc) and that they are regulated and have no affiliation with a school which would indicate undue influence. In fact it seems to me that CIF is discouraging outside organizations and encouraging high school involvement. At no point do I read that a team cannot come together and have practice or that teams cannot compete against others like the picture you’ve posted previously.

  4. schurr's Gravatar schurr
    April 17, 2014 - 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Dont understand what is so confusing about the rule its simple dont use the schools name and u are fine.

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