High School Sports

Discussions begin on making competitive cheerleading an official CIF sport in 2017-18


Cheerleaders at Loyola football game last season.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Commissioners from the 10 CIF sections in California met this week in Sacramento to begin discussions on making cheerleading an official CIF sport starting with the 2017-18 season.

Coaches will need to be certified and trained about safety for the more than 9,000 students participating in competitive cheerleading. More than 25,000 students who participate in sideline cheerleading are not affected.

A proposal on defining competitive cheerleading is expected to be offered as a first reading in January at the CIF Federated Council meeting.

Each section will have to decide what championships they plan to offer. City Section Commissioner John Aguirre said he will be forming an advisory committee of cheerleading coaches to come up with a plan for how teams will compete. There will be no state championship the first year, according to Aguirre.


Cheerleading initially could become similar to lacrosse and field hockey in that it depends on how many schools are participating before an official section championship can take place. Cheerleading competitions have been taking place in the Central and San Francisco sections for years.

But cheerleading is set to become an official CIF sport next year. So watch out for potential recruiting and transfers. Just kidding. Or maybe not.

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