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Homeschool Teams to Play Interscholastic Sports
|Senior Counsel Dee Black answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Arkansas. He and his wife homeschooled their children.
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With the enactment of Senate Bill 331 on March 20, 2015, homeschool teams in Arkansas may now compete with public and nonpublic school teams in most major sports. Two years ago the legislature passed a law entitling homeschool students to participate individually in public school interscholastic activities, but the law passed last month makes Arkansas the first state to officially legalize participation by homeschool teams.
The new law requires the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA), which establishes eligibility requirements for public and nonpublic schools and student athletes, to permit any of its member schools to play a homeschool team that complies with AAA rules. Team sports include basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, and volleyball, but not football or track. Further, homeschool teams are not permitted to participate in an AAA sanctioned conference or to play in any conference-related tournaments.
The new law went into effect immediately to allow scheduling for the 2015-2016 school year.
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