Should home school students play on sports teams?

Sarah Arreola, Staff Writer

Imagine being on a school sports team and finding out that there is student on the team that doesn’t go to the same school, but is homeschooled. How would that feel? Would it feel like the student should find another sport team that isn’t a school team? Or is it cool to have a non-student on a school team?

There are several states in the United States of America that allow homeschooled students to play an a public school sports team. However, it depends on the state. Some states require part time enrollment in the school, while others don’t. Most of all, these states require homeschooled students to meet the same academic requirements as public school students.

In Tennessee the rules for a homeschool student to be on a school team are that the student must have a legal residence in the area if it’s a public school. If it’s a private school, the student must have a legal residence within 20 miles of the private school and meet all tuition and financial aid requirements. The student should meet the same academic requirements as the school.

A homeschooled student is not eligible if the student is not receiving at least 4 hours per day of instruction and if the student is 3 months or more behind the students grade level. The student must meet the same standards of behavior, responsibility, performance, and code of conduct as the other students.

Is this fair for the students that attend a school full-time?

The students who attend a school full-time and play a sport on the school team are part of the school community, but homeschooled students are not. The school sports teams are for students attending the school. It is not open to the public.

There are other kinds of sport teams that are open to the public. Those teams are open to homeschooled students and everyone else.

If a student is going to the school just to play a sport and never has any classes at the school, it makes the school look bad. The school seems like a place with a fun sports program, but the classes are not good enough to help students learn.

Homeschooled students usually are homeschooled for various different reasons. Perhaps the student was bullied, or the student was expelled, or the student just prefers to be homeschooled and works better in a smaller environment. So, why would homeschooled students want to play in a school sport team?

Bullied students could be bullied on a sports team, too, expelled students don’t belong on a sports team at all, and students who generally work better on their own will struggle working with a team.

Colleges don’t let people who don’t attend the college play on the colleges sports teams, so why should public schools?

The key word in homeschool is home. The homeschooled student is someone who is being taught at home, and choosing to be homeschooled means missing out on the social aspect of school. If a homeschooled student wanted to be on a school sport team, the student should not have chosen to be homeschooled.

If a homeschooled student wants to play a sport, the student should choose a sports team that is not school operated, since they chose to be taught at home, not at a school.