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The Campanile

The Campanile

CIF bylaws for athletes should be praised, encouraged for promoting equity, student-wellbeing 

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The California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for high school sports in the state, has had a rule since 2012 that student athletes who participate in winter sports cannot play on their high school team and a club team at the same time. And according to the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League, if a player violates this rule by competing on an outside team, they will be ineligible to participate on their high school team for the remainder of that season.

When Paly winter sport athletes violated the bylaws in December 2022, the SCVAL board enforced the consequences outlined in their constitution and banned these athletes from the school team for the rest of the season. More recently, in November 2023, SCVAL Commissioner Brad Metheany said the league also has experienced growing concerns over students’ dual participation in fall and spring sports, such as baseball, track and swim.

The Campanile thinks expanding the rule preventing school and club sport participation at the same time will foster a more positive culture on Paly teams by encouraging all athletes to make a commitment to their high school team before the start of the season.

Unlike athletes who participate in club sports, high school athletes have the unique opportunity to represent their school, build close bonds to their peers outside the classroom and develop the valuable skill of setting and achieving goals as a part of a team. However, in club sports, the athletic environment tends to become more competitive and individualized, as students focus on being identified and recruited to play their sport in college and at higher professional levels.

While The Campanile acknowledges the value in participating in both high school and club sports, The Campanile also urges students to recognize the potential for inequity that simultaneous participation in high school and club sports creates. Athletes who compete in clubs often have greater access to resources such as money, time, and support, whereas playing sports in school is more accessible for students. Allowing dual participation can exacerbate skill disparities between club athletes and school athletes, the former of which have had more opportunities to improve their athletic abilities.

The Campanile praises the CIF and SCVAL for ensuring commitment, equity and fairness for all student athletes and for continuing a commitment to equalizing opportunity for all student athletes. 

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