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CIF Report: It’s Bigger Than Sports


Why is it essential for us to have a seat at the CIF table, both at the state and local levels? We find ourselves navigating the complex world of education, striving to make our schools the best they can be by fostering positive campus cultures and active participation. While our presence on the Federated Council over the past seven years has granted CADA a seat at the table, our mission extends to representing all 10 sections. Numerous decisions are made that directly impact student activities, finances, and the overall student experience. We must remember that athletics, like leadership, are education-based experiences. It is imperative that we continue to collaborate for the betterment of our students and communities.

Last year, the State Executive Committee, Federated Council, and the 10 section Commissioners came together to craft a new CIF mission statement:

It’s bigger than sports. The CIF provides students with
the opportunity to belong, connect, and compete in

education-based experiences.
Every student in California has the unique opportunity to
participate and experience being a part of a school team
or student organization. The CIF and our school communities
support our students’ journeys by developing impactful
relationships through transformational educators and coaches
who provide a healthy environment for growth and
development. It is essential to have families and community
supporters who display positive behavior which will allow our
students to create their own experiences.

To quote Dr. Ron Nocetti, Executive Director, CIF State Office; “Our school communities are a place for everyone, our actions need to match that. The CIF and our member schools are committed to providing opportunities for all students. We consistently hear that our students want to have fun, be with friends, and enjoy being part of a community where they feel they belong. Let’s keep those ideas at the forefront of all that we do.
We need to remember it’s not about YOU or ME, it’s about WE. What we permit, we promote. Not allowing poor sportsmanship and fan behavior will set a culture for positive educational opportunities.”

One of the most remarkable transformations in recent years has been the return of students to the stands at athletic events. Witnessing students support each other in the name of their school has led to a resurgence of school spirit and pride. This transformation has been primarily driven by student leadership and activities. Providing student leaders with a platform to inspire one another by promoting their school is paramount. However, we must impart the distinction that we are not part of professional or collegiate athletics; instead, we stand for Educational-Based Athletics. Your school should wholeheartedly support YOUR School. There is no place for disparaging other schools in cheers, posters, or actions. Let’s endorse what is right; students must learn this. A recent conversation at a Women’s volleyball match with a colleague from a neighboring school underscores this point. While many posters celebrated their school positively, some demeaned their visiting opponent. I inquired about their perception of this behavior as pursuing victory with honor. Their response highlighted that they had observed this behavior at other schools, leading them to believe it was the norm. It falls upon adults to educate that this is not the standard in high school athletics. I posed a simple question: “What legacy do you want your school to have? A welcoming place that embraces opponents or a hostile institution that denigrates them?” The posters came down, marking a valuable teaching moment.

CIF is presenting a grant opportunity for all leagues and conferences that opt to provide in-person Sportsmanship and Fan Behavior Workshops for their member schools. For more details, please visit: CIF Sportsmanship Grant.

If you wish to contact your local CIF section, kindly refer to the provided chart for the respective section office.CADA and CIF share a common mission—creating positive experiences for our students. The dedication of CADA members to improving their schools is commendable. My fervent hope for each of you is to persist in your noble efforts, infusing every endeavor with positive intentions.

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