The policy review was considered a first reading so it has not been finalized.
The IHSAA Board of Directors unanimously approved allowing home-schooled students to compete on athletic teams at local public schools serving their residences, effective with the 2013-14 school year, as long as certain criteria are met, according to an April 29 news release.
The association’s criteria: the student, in conjunction with the school, provide proof to IHSAA that the spirit of the eligibility rules will not be compromised, including passing a physical exam and participating in the required number of practices in a given sport; the student must have been home-schooled for the previous three consecutive years; the student completes all statewide examinations as authorized by IDOE; the student’s family must submit grade information to the school to affirm the student is passing all courses; and the student must be enrolled in the school for which he or she is participating for a minimum of one class daily.
Batesville High School principal Andy Allen said he is “beginning to get bombarded with questions” from home-schooling families. His proposed policy adds more requirements. Each potential athlete must be enrolled in one core subject class, be enrolled for the full academic year, pay the technology fee and complete IHSAA and BHS paperwork.
Allen said he wants to safeguard current athletes. “I don’t think we want somebody to show up at the beginning of the second semester to play baseball.” A few have requested to take Ivy Tech Community College dual credit classes, so they may not physically be at BHS during the school day.
Lowery maintained, “If we can make the program accessible to the children of taxpaying parents and grandparents, I think we should do that.”
Former trustee Mike Bettice suggested adding a provision stating that if a home-schooled athlete plays on a team, but then quits taking classes midyear, the student won’t be allowed to play sports in succeeding years and officials agreed. Trustees approved the policy.