TSSAA Home School Rule
2015-16 TSSAA Bylaws
Article II, Section 25
This bylaw establishes the minimum eligibility requirements for a home school student desiring to participate in extracurricular athletics at a member school:
Frequently Asked Questions
Home School Rule
1. Who is eligible to tryout, as a home school athlete, for a TSSAA member school team?
Only those who meet all ten criteria outlined within TSSAA’s Home School Bylaw are eligible.
2. For a home school athlete to be eligible to tryout for a TSSAA member public school team must my child be registered with the LEA?
3. Are there any requirements that the parent conducting the home school must meet for purposes of the TSSAA Bylaws?
Yes. First, the home school athlete must meet all ten criteria outlined within TSSAA’s Home School Bylaw. Additionally, the parent-teacher must satisfy all state law requirements in order for the home school student to be eligible to try out for a TSSAA member school team.
4. What are the academic requirements for a home school athlete?
The academic courses must be approved by the local board of education (or private school) in compliance with state law. TSSAA does not regulate where or how any student athlete receives credit toward graduation. TSSAA is concerned with the following: (1) Are the participants enrolled in a minimum of five academic courses which have been approved by the school and/or school system? And (2) If taken at a member school would the course count towards graduation? If the answer to both questions is “yes”, the home school athlete would meet the requirements set forth in the “Academic Rule” and “Home School” Bylaw.
5. What if a student takes four of the five academic courses at an independent home school, but registers and attends a non-public school for the fifth credit (i.e. science lab,) would this potential home school athlete be eligible under the Home School Bylaw?
6. If a potential home school student wants to tryout for a TSSAA member school baseball team, what is the last date that the home school student can registered with the local school superintendent (or head of school if a private school)?
A home school student must be registered by August 1 of the current school year, regardless of whether the student desires to participate in a fall, winter, or spring sport.
7. What is the last date that a home school student can make application for participation in athletics to the principal of the member school in which the athlete wishes to tryout and possibly participate?
August 15th of the school year in which they desire to participate.
8. Can a home school student tryout for a team prior to meeting all requirements of the rule in the TSSAA Bylaws?
No. All requirements of the rule must be met prior to the home school student trying out for a team, with the exception of the participation fee. If a participation fee is imposed by the LEA, the home school student would only be required to pay that fee only if they become a member of the team.
9. What type of insurance, if any, does a home school athlete participating on a TSSAA member school team need to maintain?
The home school student must provide proof of basic medical insurance coverage and liability insurance coverage which names the TSSAA as an insured party in the event the school’s insurance provider does not extend coverage to students enrolled in home school programs. TSSAA Catastrophic Insurance will extend to the home school athlete as it does with all other student-athletes participating at a member school.
10. If the LEA imposes a participation fee, could the home school athlete be responsible for any additional monetary payments after he/she makes a particular team?
Yes, but this will be left to the LEA, and not TSSAA. Many LEAs charge an additional fee to all the athletes participating in a particular sport, such as golf. Some LEAs charge an equipment fee or uniforms fee, while other LEAs require athletes to raise a certain amount of money with fundraising. If the non-home school student athlete is being held responsible for monetary contributions, the home school athlete can be held responsible for those same monetary contributions, which will vary within LEAs.
11. If a home school athlete makes the roster of a TSSAA member school team in football, basketball, and baseball, what is the participation fee?
The answer will vary by LEA. The maximum amount that the home school athlete could pay shall not exceed the fees or costs charged to or borne by students enrolled at the school.
12. If a home school athlete wants to participate on a TSSAA member private school team, what must the home school athlete do?
(1) The student must register with the local Board of Education regardless of where they wish to tryout. (2) The home school athlete must register with the head of school on or before August 1 of the current school year. (3) Additionally, the home school athlete must pay full tuition and abide by all financial aid rules.
13. If a student has dropped out, withdrawn, or been expelled from a TSSAA member school, will that student be eligible to participate at another TSSAA member school as a home school athlete?
No. If the student was expelled then he/she would be carrying a discipline record which makes them ineligible for one year or until the disciplinary charges have been removed. If the student dropped out or withdraws from school he/she would be subject to the TSSAA’s transfer rules.
14. If a home school athlete tries out for a TSSAA member school team, is the home school athlete automatically on the roster?
No, like all sports rosters, the ultimate decisions are left to the member schools regarding the athletes that make the team as well as the amount of playing time that each athlete receives.