Thanks to quick action by board members at a national student archery program, a recent rule change that had made it harder for homeschoolers to participate is no longer in effect.

As we reported several weeks ago, homeschool co-ops across the country have a long history of participating in archery tournaments through the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP). But an unexpected rule change in 2020 caused a whole lot of homeschool students to miss out on tournaments because of restrictions on how teams could be formed.

Homeschool co-ops, as a general rule, are not bound by county lines. Even in areas where there are lots of homeschool families (such as northern Virginia, where HSLDA is located), co-ops often draw from several different counties—or even states! But when NASP amended its rules last year, it ignored this fact and required each homeschool co-op archery team to be composed of students from a single county.

Tremendous Response

HSLDA asked for your experience with archery, so that we could approach NASP with personal stories about homeschoolers in hopes of persuading the organization to reform its rules. We were flooded with responses by both phone and email.

Apparently, homeschoolers love their bows and arrows! We heard from co-op leaders, parents, and students, from Kentucky to Georgia to Arizona.

However, homeschoolers weren’t the only ones who quickly responded to us. Just a couple days after HSLDA’s article went live on Facebook, we were contacted by a NASP board member who was distressed to hear about the problems that the rule change had caused. He offered his services to get the issue fixed.

Using your responses, HSLDA contacted both the staff of NASP and its board, explaining how homeschool students had been badly affected under the new rule.

Taking Action

In a quickly called board meeting last week, NASP examined the numerous rule changes over the years. It decided to throw out the 2020 rule change that had caused so much strife, and it instead reverted to a previous rule that allows homeschool co-ops to form archery teams with members from multiple counties.

The board member called us afterward to explain that he knew homeschooling is a growing movement, and he wants to make sure that homeschool students have a chance to keep participating in NASP’s programs. He also inquired about how NASP could start attending homeschool conferences to promote archery around the country!

His sentiments were reiterated in a formal letter explaining the return to a more homeschool-friendly policy. It stated: “The NASP greatly appreciates our interaction with all schools and youth from across the country. Our goal is to put a quality archery program within reach of every student who wants to learn, regardless of what type of school they attend.”