The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers since 1997 has worked to increase access at the state and local level. We have attempted numerous times to work with VHSL and other public school organizations to develop voluntary agreements to support the inclusion of qualified homeschooled students in VHSL programs. VaHomeschoolers is the only statewide homeschooling organization that has consistently lobbied in favor of sports access legislation (“Tebow Bills”) in the Virginia General Assembly.
Our advocacy efforts have included a great deal of research about homeschool sports access in other states, including laws and policies as well as regulations and eligibility requirements of other state athletic associations. The links below provide a great deal of background information for the interested reader. We hope that this information will assist legislators, policymakers, school division officials, coaches and athletic directors, media representatives, homeschooling families and members of the general public who are interested in learning more.
FAQs About Homeschool Sports Access
Answers to many common questions about this issue and about the 2013 homeschool sports access legislation (“Tebow Bills”).
Reasons to Support Homeschool Sports Access (HB 63)
Arguments in supports of Virginia legislation to create homeschool sports access (“Tebow Bills”).
Addressing Concerns about Homeschool Sports Access
VaHomeschoolers’ specific proposals to address opponents’ concerns and explain how homeschoolers’ access to public school sports can work in Virginia.
Beyond Virginia: Homeschool Sports Access Laws and Policies (pdf)
A VaHomeschoolers-compiled summary of how homeschool sports access currently works in other states. 29 states currently allow some sort of access to public school athletics for homeschooled students.
Homeschool Sports Access in 50 States (pdf)
More detailed research on homeschool sports access laws, policies and legislation in all 50 states.
Sample Homeschool Eligibility Requirements (pdf)
VaHomeschoolers reviewed the eligibility guidelines for homeschoolers developed by high school interscholastic athletic associations in several other states, in order to discover how these states have handled the inclusion of homeschooled students. Here are some specific models that are working in Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Florida.
VaHomeschoolers’ 2012 Survey of State Athletic Associations (pdf)
See what other states’ high school athletic associations are saying about their experience with including homeschooled students in their programs.
Information on Other Sites
VSBA Document Library
The Virginia School Boards Association Discussion Group on homeschool sports access that met in the summer and fall of 2012 created an online collection of information and perspectives on homeschool sports access that were submitted by both supporters and opponents.
Commonwealth Education Poll 2012-2013
Virginia Commonwealth University’s Commonwealth Education Policy Institute found that more than two-thirds of Virginians (67%) favor allowing homeschooled students to participate on public school teams.
Virginia Tebow Bill
Delegate Robert Bell’s (R-Charlottesville) website highlighting his work to secure sports and activities access for Virginia’s homeschooled students.
What are the academic standards currently in place for public school athletes to be eligible to play sports in their community’s schools?
An article from The News Virginian about state grade requirements for student participation in sports.