Letter to the editor: CIF gender sports guideline


The Cougar Press


I am writing to express my disappointment with the opinion article in the print edition of the Cougar Press by Lia Hersh, “Opinion: CIF gender sports guideline is being shunned by VHS,”  that came out on December 9, 2022.

Ventura High School is absolutely not ignoring any CIF rules or guidelines.  On the State CIF website, Article 30, School Regulations, 300. General Provisions states:

  1. Gender Identity Participation

Participation in interscholastic athletics is a valuable part of the educational experience for all students. All students should have the opportunity to participate in CIF activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s records. (Approved February 2013 Federated Council/Editorial May 2022)  Here is a link to that page: https://cifstate.org/governance/constitution/300_Series.pdf

When interviewed by Ms. Hersh for this article, I made it very clear that CIF rules and California state law are very clear that a high school athlete has the right to participate in a CIF sport with the gender they identify with.  Schools absolutely may not require an athlete to “go through a physical examination, have them talk to a psychologist, and have them write a letter to the CIF to get approval.”   I do not know where Ms. Hersh found “Understanding the Different Rules and Policies for Transgender Athletes” that she referenced in her article, but that information does not come the CIF and it is absolutely incorrect.  I would hope that in the future the Cougar Press would do more relevant research and base their opinion pieces on factual information.


David Hess

Athletic Director

Ventura High School