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Sports Participation for Homeschoolers
Q: What is the law regarding homeschoolers and participating in local, high-school sports programs? Can kids play on school teams or can they only play for the community?
A: According to The Homeschooling Book of Answers by Linda Dobson, 24 states allow homeschoolers to participate in interscholastic sports (one school competing against another school). Those states that accommodate homeschoolers include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington state, and Wyoming. Vermont allows homeschoolers to participate in individual sports, like golf and tennis, but not in team sports.
Another alternative is to contact the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) at 1-800-AAU-4USA. This volunteer, multi-sport organization is dedicated to the promotion and development of amateur sports in the United States.
Here in New Jersey, some of the larger homeschool support and resource groups are organizing their own homeschool teams. Check with local and state support groups and see if any homeschool teams exist in your state.
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Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.