The California Interscholastic Federation will add competitive cheer to its stable of sports beginning in the 2017-18 school year.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed into law Assembly Bill 949, which had been sponsored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego.
Gonzalez, a former Stanford cheerleader, said the law will mean better safety and coach training standards and potentially more resources for competitive cheer athletes. The law would not affect cheerleaders who root on football or basketball teams, better known as sideline cheer.
Competitive cheer will have the same standing as other CIF sports, such as football, basketball, baseball and softball.
“The CIF is excited to add competitive cheer to our sports offerings,” said Roger Blake, executive director of the Sacramento-based CIF, in a news release. “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.”
CIF officials also will seek the input from the high school cheerleading community and the NCAA as it establishes the new guidelines no later than July 1, 2017.