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Home School Students Allowed To Play Sports in Public Schools PDF Print E-mail

It’s official: Home-school athletes can begin playing Alabama high school sports. The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Legislative Council approved a new measure April 12, 2016, allowing home-school, charter school and virtual school students to play high school sports at the public school for which they are zoned.

Here’s a look at the details:

  • Non-traditional students will be eligible to enroll at the public school that serves the district where their parents reside. All current AHSAA eligibility and transfer rules will apply to traditional and non-traditional students.
  • The home-school and other students will count for classification purposes.
  • Non-traditional students can play only at public schools, not private schools
  • Home-school and non-traditional students cannot have more practice time than traditional students.

“A lot of time and thought have gone into developing this important legislation,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “We now are ready to move forward. This will give our outstanding coaches an opportunity to make a positive difference in even more students’ lives.”

The Legislative Council approved several other proposals today, but the home-school by-law is the most notable.

The AHSAA agreed last year to develop a rule to allow home-school students to play, a move aimed at preventing the Legislature from mandating it. Today’s vote made good on that promise.

A number of other states have rules allowing home-school students to play high school sports. Most famously, home-school student Tim Tebow played high school football in Florida before winning the Heisman Trophy.

The new rule for home-school and other non-traditional students goes into effect this summer, thanks to another move made by the Legislative Council.

The AHSAA Legislative Council, made up of 32 members, considers proposals for by-law and constitutional changes on an annual basis. It takes a two-thirds majority of the 32 Legislative Council members for a proposal to pass.

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