I Didn’t Know That!

History of the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section

1. When the CIF-SS was created in 1913, there were 5 leagues and 30 schools. There are currently 569 schools and 82 leagues.

2. The first name of the CIF-SS was the Southern California Interscholastic Athletic Council (SCIAC). The name was changed on September 26, 1914, to “The Southern Section of the C.I.F.”

3. The CIF-SS referred to illegal transfers as “tramps” in 1914.

4. Some of the early coaches were referred to as the “town bums.”

5. Boys who moved from school to school in the 1920’s to play athletics were referred to as “free agents.”

6. Prior to the creation of the CIF-SS, adult coaches used to play on the high school teams.

7. During the early days of track and field, if you false started you were put back one yard behind the starting line.

8. The “hand grenade throw” was substituted for the javelin throw during the 1919 CIF-SS track meet…won by Tyson of Huntington Park with 11 “puts”…throwing for accuracy and it was an exhibit event with rules and grenades provided by the Spalding Company.

9. The first maximum age limit to participate in CIF-SS was 21 years old.

10. The first four State CIF Sections were the same as the California Teachers Association Sections (Southern, Central, Central Coast, Northern).

11. The biggest controversy in 1913 was the definition of what is an “amateur.”

12. Track and field was the sport that got the CIF-SS started.

13. To run in the 1913 track meet the entry fee was 25 cents per athlete.

14. One of the star players for the 1924 CIF-SS Football Champions from Glendale High School was guard Marion Morrison who went on to become John Wayne…he was called “Duke” because that was the name of his beloved dog .

15. Long Beach Poly defeated Phoenix High School by a score of 102 to 0 for the Southwest Championship in 1920…it became known as “The Big 102.”

16. The official attendance for the 1956 CIF-SS Football Championship in the Memorial Coliseum was 41,383 although many felt there were over 60,000 in attendance.

17. 85,000 attended the Shrine Football Game in 1957 to see Mickey Flynn of Anaheim and Randy Meadows of Downey play for the South.

18. Horse shoes had CIF-SS rules in 1932.

19. The football throw was substituted for the javelin throw in the CIF State Track meets from 1932 to 1936.

20. John Raitt, father of the famous country singer Bonnie Riatt, held the state record in the football throw of 220 feet (almost 70 yards).

21. The first Constitution of the CIF-SS was two pages long.

22. The CIF-SS sanctioned an interscholastic ski meet for March, 1940 on the slopes of McGee Mountain, 35 miles north of Bishop. It was held during a storm that added, according to the local press, a little “tang” to the event.

23. If you were in a high school fraternity in 1927, you could not participate in CIFSS sports.

24. School CIF-SS dues were $2.50 for less than 100 ADA running up to $20.00 for schools over 2,000 ADA in 1933.

25. The first CIF-SS office was in a Junior High School building.

26. For a short period of time (1949), the CIF-SS office was located in the Commissioner’s home.

27. From 1949 to 1959, the CIF-SS office was located in the Helms Bakery.

28. The CIFSS Basketball Championship game in 1915 was played inside a gym the first half and on an outdoor court the second half.

29. One of the stars of the CIF-SS Basketball Championship in 1915 was referred to in the local papers as a “fat boy” named Dalin.

30. It took wrestling a long ten years after their first unofficial CIF-SS Championship to be sanctioned because they came under the control of the State Athletic Commission just like boxing.

31. In 1935, schools were holding polo and fencing competition.

32. Bowling attempted to become an official CIF-SS sport in 1935.

33. The CIF-SS was urged to add handball to its sponsored activities in 1937.

34. Six man football was popular in small schools during the late 1930’s.

35. The first “Blue Book” was issued in 1945…it was 44 pages in length.

36. The Los Angeles City CIF Section broke off from the CIF-SS in 1935 as the 5th State CIF Section.

37. The San Diego CIF Section broke off from the CIF-SS in 1960 taking 32 schools as they created the 9th State CIF Section.

38. The largest school in the CIF-SS in 1937, was Phoenix High School of Arizona.

39. The 1937 CIF-SS budget was $4,500 and the Commissioner was paid $2,400.

40. During World War II CIF-SS meetings were often held by phone conference to save gasoline. No night contest and 8 mile travel limit.

41. Many games were cancelled during World War II due to the lack of rubber balls…rubber was needed for the war effort.

42. In 1922, a Four Point Classification System (Exponents) was established based on semester in school, age, height and weight…there were four classes…A, B, C, and D the lowest.

43. In 1935, they changed to a Three Point Classification by getting rid of the semester base.

44. Japanese students interned in camps during World War II were initially ruled ineligible because of attendance rules when they returned to their home schools.

45. The “Instituto Tecnio Industrial” of Tijuana, Mexico was a member of the CIFSS in 1940.

46. Trona High School is the only school in the United States that has a sand football field…they call it “The Pit.”

47. The Sherman Indian Institute (Sherman High School) played USC in rugby during the 1890’s and won.

48. In 1925, the famous “Flying Finn” and Olympic hero Paavo Nurmi, ran against Indians from the Sherman Indian Institute in the Memorial Coliseum.

49. The Sherman Indian School’s best runner in 1933 was Elmo (The Great) Lomachotzkeema.

50. Speedball during the 1940’s was an unofficial CIF-SS sport.

51. Jackie Robinson, John Muir High School, was named the second greatest California athlete ever behind Joe DiMaggio.

52. The greatest female athlete from California was Billie Jean King (Moffitt) who attended Long Beach Poly

53. The CIFSS has a school with a “Home School Sea Sick Advantage”…Avalon High School 26 miles off the coast of Southern California on Catalina Island.

54. Glenn Davis, Heisman Trophy winner from Bonita High School in 1946, once dated Elizabeth Taylor. His third wife Yvonne Ameche Davis was married to two Heisman Trophy winners.

55. Clarence “Bud” Houser from Oxnard High School, a three time Olympic track and field champion in 1924 and 1928, had the athletic field named after him while he was still in high school.

56. One of the heaviest football players ever in the CIFSS was Bob “Big Man” Pointer who played for Santa Barbara High School in 1967 alongside the great Sam Cunningham. Bob was 6’ 1” and weighed
447 pounds.

57. The tallest basketball player was Mamadou Ndiaye from Brethren Christian High School who stood 7’5” in 2011.

58. In the 1984 cross country season Sherman Indian High School had a runner by the name of Michael Fasthorse and Newport Harbor had a runner named Buffy Rabbitt.

59. The largest stadium used by high school athletes in the United States is the Rose Bowl. Muir, Pasadena and Blair High Schools use the football field.

60. The hammer throw was an event in the 1915 State CIF track meet.

61. Prior to the creation of the CIF-SS, the girls’ basketball team from Long Beach Poly defeated the Poly boys’ team in 1907 by a score of 20-14. Basketball in those days was referred to as a “sissy sport.”

62. Some of the schools you might not recognize that were once members of the CIFSS:
Berkeley, Black Foxe, Brown Military, California Prep, Calipatria, Cambria, Citrus Union, Coast Union, Cutler, Jacob Riis, John Dewey, La Verne Academy, Las Vegas, Lankershim, Lomita, Midland, Mt. Empire, Newman, Mission St. Agnes, Oneonta, Owensmouth, Pacific Military, Randsburg, Shannon, Spanish American, St. Frances de Sales, Tucson, Urban Military, U.S.C. High School, Yuma.

63. Named as, “The Noblest Trojan of Them All,” was Morley Drury, who played at Long Beach Poly High School.

64. The man who is said to have integrated football in the South, was Sam Cunningham U.S.C. star from Santa Barbara High School

65. During World War II, the CIFSS had Championship events in “basketball free throw shooting” and the “standing broad jump.”

66. The first track athlete to break 7’ in the high jump was Charlie Dumas
from Centennial High School.

67. Cornelius Johnson from Los Angeles High School was the black athlete snubbed by Hitler in the 1936 Olympics, not Jessie Owens.

68. First woman to try out for the NBA was Ann Meyers for the Indiana Pacers (Sonora High School).

69. There are 14 former CIF-SS athletes in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

70. Terry Schroeder, water polo player from San Marcos High School and Olympic team member, was used as the model for the male statue that appears outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the 1984 Olympics.

71. Softball was a popular sport in the mid 1930’s, but it was played only by boys.

72. Long Beach Poly, due their refusal to play in the CIFSS Football Championship series and a negative CIF-SS school newspaper cartoon, was removed from the CIF-SS for a short period.

73. The 1918 CIF-SS Championship Football game was played March 8, “1919,” because of the Influenza breakout of 1918.

74. Redlands High School is the only school in CIF-SS which has continuously remained in the same League (Citrus Belt) since its inception (1913).

75. Seth Van Patten, the first CIF-SS Commissioner, was formerly a teacher at Escondido High School in San Diego. He was also the star pitcher on their high school baseball team in 1903 while serving as the coach.

76. The first team to win a CIF-SS baseball title in 1914 was Orange High School and they were referred to as, “The Orange Pickers.”

77. Jackie Robinson of Muir Tech was a great all-around athlete in his high school and college career staring in baseball, basketball, football and track. Some say his “best” sport may have been tennis as he won the Pasadena All-Negro League Title.

78. When they ran the 220 yard race (200 meters today) at the Coliseum in 1934 it was in a straight line and no curve. They started in the west end tunnel.

79. The first football game played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was between Santa Ana High School and the USC Frosh on October 10, 1923.

80. Chaffey High School’s Championship football team in 1913 had an offensive line that averaged 147 pounds. In 2016, St. John Bosco’s offensive line averaged 310 pounds.

81. Louie Zamperini’s running jersey that he wore when he broke the World Interscholastic record for the mile in 1934, was made by his mother (hand sewn). He was known as the, “Torrance Tornado.

82. In the early Bulletin minutes of the CIF-SS, football was written as “foot ball” and the first “foot ball” Champion was Chaffey High School in American Football and Pomona High School was the State “foot ball” Champion in rugby. Basketball was also “basket ball.”

83. Aaron Wade, Centennial High School, was the first African American high school head football coach in the United States (1953). In 1954, Centennial won the CIF-SS Football Championship.

84. The first night football game was played on October 31, 1928, between Midget Division (“C” classification) Anaheim and Downey High Schools. It was played under electric lights hung in the park during Anaheim Annual Halloween Festival.

85. First CIF-SS “sponsored” event for girls was the Girls Team Champion in swimming won by Millikan High School in 1970.

86. Rowing, with shells left over from the 1932 Olympics Games, was an official CIF-SS sport in 1933. Strong teams were Long Beach Wilson, Long Beach Poly and Compton.

87. Debbie Siewert, Alhambra High School, was the first girl to Place in a CIF-SS Boys Championship in 1974… Boys Diving – 3rd Place.

88. Some of the unique sports that were played by CIF-SS schools included Quoits, fencing, rifle team, sailing, squash, checkers, boxing, Karate, surfing, Judo, weight lifting, canoeing, cycling, etc.

89. The first official CIF-SS Sponsor was Dr. Pepper in 1978 for $30,000.

90. The first official medal used for the CIF-SS…note 1913 as the founding date.

91. The first radio coverage of a high school football game was in 1940 with Adohr Farms serving as host (Adohr is Rhoda spelled backwards).

92. Manzanar High School (Japanese relocation camp) played Big Pine High School in football on a fire break behind barbwire and a guard towers in 1944.

93. Junior High Schools were official members of the CIF-SS (as example, 54 schools in 1963). Ray Gulmatico won a Wrestling CIF State medal while wrestling for Bancroft Junior High School (Lakewood, 1978).

94. The “Hammer Throw” was a non-scoring event in the 1915 California State CIF Track Meet.

95. The famous Anaheim-Downey Championship Football game played in the Coliseum in 1956 before close to 60,000 fans ended in a tie. There was no tie-breaker rule for a Championship game and both teams were declared Co-Champions. The problem was the fact that the CIF-SS had only one trophy to present and had to flip a coin at the end of the game to see who got to keep the trophy first and Anaheim won. The Herald-Expresss also handed out their trophy which was given to Downey for six months and then to Anaheim. The CIF-SS had a rule in affect during the preliminary play-off games that the team with the most first downs was declared the winner. If this was used to declare a Champion 1956, Downey would have been the winner 13 first downs to 10 for Anaheim. When the first down rule was used, Anaheim had lost play-offs game due to that tie-breaker criteria in both the 1953 and 1955 seasons.

Commissioner Ken Fagans flipping the coin…Meadows #71 and
Flynn #25
Presentation of Herald-Express
Trophy….Note Mickey Flynn
on the right holding the
CIF-SS Trophy.
The famous Anaheim-Downey Championship Football game trophy.