Homeschool Sports Access by State

In some states, homeschooled students participate in public school athletics alongside other students. In other states, they are banned from participatingIn other states, homeschooled students are barred from participation in public school athletics. The trend in recent years has been towards allowing participation, and the states are today split fairly evenly down the middle on the issue. CRHE supports homeschooled children’s access to public school athletics.

  • 20 states allow homeschooled students access to interscholastic activities (AL, AZ, AK, AR, CO, FL, IA, ME, MN, NV, NH, NM, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, UT, VT, WY).
    • In 3 of these states (AK, IA, TN), only one homeschool option is affected.
  • 5 states allow homeschooled students to participate in interscholastic activities with the approval of the local school district (MA, ND, NJ, RI, SD).
  • 5 states allow homeschooled students to participate in interscholastic activities if they are enrolled part time or are dual enrolled. The amount of coursework they must take varies. (ID, IL, IN, NE, WA).
  • 20 states’ athletic associations bar homeschooled students from participating in interscholastic activities by requiring students to “attend” the school, be enrolled “full time”, or be “bona fide” students of the school (CA, CT, DE, GA, HI, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, MO, MT, NY, NC, OK, TX, VA, WV, WI).
Alabama The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) changed its eligibility rules in 2016 to allow homeschooled students to participate in public school athletics provided they do not receive more practice time than their public school peers. You can read the old AHSAA Eligibility Rules here.
Alaska In 2012, Alaska passed legislation making students enrolled in “alternative education programs” or “accredited homeschools” eligible to participate in interscholastic activities if they meet certain basic requirements. Thus correspondence school homeschoolers have access while homeschool statute homeschoolers’ access is left in question. Alaska Statute § 14.30.365.
Arizona Homeschooled students have full access to participation in interscholastic activities “in the same manner” as public school students. Parents must submit evidence of satisfactory academic progress. Arizona Revised Statutes § 15-802.01.
Arkansas In 2013, Arkansas passed legislation giving homeschooled students full access to participation in interscholastic activities if they score at least the 30th percentile on their annual nationally standardized achievement test. The school district may allow a student with a lower score to participate, and may also require participating homeschooled students to attend the school for not more than one period per day. Arkansas Statutes §6-15-509.
California No access: The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) prohibits students not enrolled in the public school they represent from participating in in interscholastic activities under their supervision. See Rule 305. However, students enrolled in public school independent study programs have full access.
Colorado Homeschooled students “have the same rights as” and “may participate on an equal basis in” extracurricular and interscholastic activities. Colorado Revised Statutes § 22-33-104.5(6) and § 22-32-116.5.
Connecticut No access. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) requires student athletes to be bona fide students at the public school they represent. See CIAC Eligibility Rules.
Delaware No access. The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association requires student athletes to be enrolled as students at the school for which they participate. See DIAA Reg. 1008 2.3.
Florida Homeschooled students have full access to participation in interscholastic extracurricular student activities. This includes both homeschool statue homeschoolers and private umbrella school homeschoolers. Homeschool statute homeschoolers must be making adequate progress in their evaluations or on their standardized tests and private umbrella school homeschoolers must be wiling to show their academic records. Florida Statutes § 1006.15.
Georgia No access. The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) requires student athletes to be enrolled in the public school for which they compete. See GHSAA Eligibility Rules.
Hawaii No access. The Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) requires student athletes to be enrolled in the public school for which they compete. See HHSAA Eligibility Rules.
Idaho Homeschooled students may gain full access to participation in nonacademic public school activities through dual enrollment. These students need not enroll in academic courses but are nevertheless considered dual enrollment students for the purposes of school funding. Parents must demonstrate that the child is at grade level through either standardized test or portfolio review. Schools receive state funding based for homeschool participation. Idaho Code § 33-203.
Illinois The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) requires student athletes to be enrolled in the public school they represent and be taking at least 25 credit hours, or five classes. These courses may be taken “at the member school or in a program approved by the member school,” but the student “must be granted credit toward graduation by the member school for the work taken either at the member school or in a program it approved.” See IHSA Home School Fact Sheet.
Indiana Beginning in 2013, the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) has allowed homeschool participation in public school athletics for students enrolled in and taking at least one course at the public school for which they play.
Iowa Students receiving competent private instruction, but not students receiving independent private instruction, have full access to participation in extracurricular activities. Iowa Code 299A.8.
Kansas No access. The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) requires student athletes to be “bona fide” students at the school they represent. See KHSHAA Handbook.
Kentucky No access. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) requires student athletes to be “full time” students at the school they represent, and to not be enrolled in any other school (under Kentucky law, homeschools are considered individual private schools). See KHSAA Handbook.
Louisiana No access. Private school homeschoolers have been barred from public school athletics since 1970, and homeschool statute homeschoolers were briefly allowed athletic participation by the legislature before the Louisiana Supreme Court struck it down.
Maine Homeschool students have full access to participation in extracurricular and cocurricular activities. Students must meet equivalent academic standards. M.R.S. ann. tit. 20-A, § 5021.
Maryland No access. The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) requires students to “attend” the school they represent. See MPSSAA Handbook.
Massachusetts Individual school districts may develop their own policy for homeschool students’ participation in interscholastic activities. To be eligible, students’ Educational Plans must be approved by the school district. See the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s handbook for more information.
Michigan No access: The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) requires student athletes to be enrolled and take a course load equivalent of 66% of a full course load at the school they represent. See MHSAA Eligibility Brochure.
Minnesota Homeschooled students have full access to participation in extracurricular activities. According to the statute, homeschooled students are “eligible to fully participate in extracurricular activities on the same basis as public school students.” Minnesota Statutes Annotated, 123B.49, Subd. 4(a).
Mississippi No access. The Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) requires student athletes to be making “satisfactory progress toward graduation” at the school they represent. See MHSAA Eligibility Rules.
Missouri No access. The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) requires student athletes to be enrolled in an 80% course load at the school they represent. See MSHSAA Eligibility Guidelines.
Montana No access. The Montana High School Association (MHSA) bylaws state that “A home school student is not eligible to participate for an MHSA member school.”  See MHSA Bylaws. The Montana Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that it was “reasonable” for school districts to bar homeschooled students from participation.
Nebraska The Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) allows homeschooled students to participate but requires that all student athletes be enrolled in at least 20 credit hours, which amounts to 1/2 time, at the public school they represent. See Bylaws for All Activities.
Nevada Homeschooled students have full access to participate in extracurricular activities, subject only to the same regulations as public school students and provided there is space. Parents must demonstrate that the student is “qualified.” Homeschooled children may also participate in athletics through a charter school. Nevada Revised Statutes § 392.070, § 386.462, and § 386.580.
New Hampshire Homeschool students have full access to participation in cucurricular activities, including athletics. While local school boards are allowed to develop their own policies regulating homeschooled students’ participation, these policies may not be “more restrictive” for homeschooled students than for public school students. New Hampshire RSA § 193:1-c.
New Jersey Each school district may decide whether to allow homeschooled students to participate in athletics in district public schools. Since 2011, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) bylaws have stated that homeschooled students may participate if they reside in the district, obtain approval from the local school board, demonstrate an equivalent education, and comply with all requirements. See NJSIAA Bylaws, Rules, and Regulations.
New Mexico Homeschool students are eligible to participate in up to three school district activities in their school district of residence. The school district may verify the student’s academic eligibility. Public schools receive funding for homeschool involvement. New Mexico Statutes Annotated § 22-8-23.8
New York No access. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) requires student athletes to be “bona fide students” at the public school they represent. See NYSPHSAA Eligibility Rules.
North Carolina No access. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) requires student athletes to be “in attendance” at the public school they represent. See NCHSAA Eligibility Rules.
North Dakota Homeschooled students “may” participate in extracurricular activities “under the auspices” of the school district of residence. Participating homeschooled students must be subject to “the same standards for participation” as other students. Homeschooled students may also participate in athletics at approved nonpublic schools. North Dakota Century Code § 15.1-23-16.
Ohio In 2013, Ohio passed legislation granting homeschooled students full access to participation in extracurricular activities. To be eligible, the student must have successfully passed the homeschool statute’s assessment requirement the previous year, or, if the student was not homeschooled the previous year, have met the academic requirement established by the school district for participation. The same nonacademic and financial requirements as for other students must be fulfilled. Ohio Code § 3313.5312(A).
Oklahoma No access. The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) requires student athletes to attend the public school they represent. See OSSAA Eligibility Requirements.
Oregon Homeschooled students have full access to participation in interscholastic activities. To meet academic eligibility, the student must have achieved at least the 23rd percentile on a nationally normed standardized achievement test the previous year; the school district may also ask the student to submit a portfolio or other documentation of academic achievement. The student will be subject to all other participation requirements during the time of participation. OR Rev. Statutes § 339.460.
Pennsylvania Homeschooled students have full access to participation in any activity subject to the provision of section 511, including athletics. Homeschooled students must meet “the eligibility criteria or their equivalent” required for public school students. 24 Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated § 13-1327.1(f.1).
Rhode Island The eligibility requirements of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) allow for homeschooled students to participate at the discretion of their school district if they provide the school district with quarterly grades, comply with all other RIIL rules and regulations, and have the approval of the public school. For more information see the RIIL Eligibility requirements.
South Carolina In 2012, South Carolina passed legislation granting homeschooled students full access to participation in interscholastic activities. Students must have been homeschooled in compliance with South Carolina’s homeschool statute for at least one year and must meet all requirements other than attendance and enrollment requirements. SC Code Article 1, Section 59-63-100.
South Dakota Homeschooled students are eligible for participation in interscholastic activities subject to school board approval. SDCL §13-36-7. Students who enroll in public school on a part-time basis may be guaranteed the opportunity to participate. SDCL §13-28-51.
Tennessee In 2013, Tennessee passed legislation granting students homeschooled under a local education agency (LEA) full access to participation in interscholastic athletics. As required by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA), the director of schools must confer with the parents to determine that the student is academically eligible. Other basic requirements must also be met. See TSSAA Home School Rule and Tennessee Statute §49-6-3050(e). Students homeschooled through church schools are not included.
Texas No access. The University Interscholastic League (UIL) requires student athletes to be full time students in regular attendance at the school they represent. See UIL Eligibility Guidelines
Utah Homeschooled students have full access to participation in extracurricular activities. The parent must submit an affidavit indicating that the student has met academic eligibility requirements. If a question arises, the superintendent may create a panel to determine the student’s academic eligibility. School districts may not impose requirements on homeschooled students that are not imposed on other students. Utah Code § 53A-11-102.6.
Vermont School districts are required to “adopt a policy which, in accordance with rules adopted by the state board of education, will integrate home study students into its schools through enrollment in courses, participation in cocurricular and extracurricular activities and use of facilities.” Vermont Statutes Annotated 16 § 563(24).
Virginia No access. The Virginia High School League (VHSL) requires student athletes to be “regular bona fide students” at the school they represent. See VHSL Handbook.
Washington The Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) considers students homeschooled through their local school districts, but not those homeschooled under a private school, to be “regular members” of those districts, but does not require public schools to allow them to participate. See the WIAA Handbook and Home Based Instruction & WIAA Eligibility. However, all homeschooled students may gain full access to participation in interscholastic athletic activities through part-time enrollment. See RCW 28A.150.350.
West Virginia No access. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission requires student athletes to be enrolled in the public school they represent. See WVSSAC Eligibility Rules. This has been upheld by the West Virginia Supreme Court.
Wisconsin No access. The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) requires student athletes to be enrolled full time at the public school they represent. See WIAA Eligibility Rules.
Wyoming Homeschool students have full access to participation in all activities governed by the Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA). Homeschooled students are held to the same rules and policies as other students, and may not be charged higher fees for participation than public school students. See Wyoming Statutes Chapter 4 § 21-4-506 and the WHSAA Handbook.

Published January 30, 2014. Updated February 6, 2015. 

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