New Developments with TSSAA and Homeschoolers by Ken Shreeve

On March 11, 2015 the TSSAA Legislative Council voted to revise the Home School Rule in their Bylaws. Below are the specific revisions made to the Rule. The portions removed are shown with strike-through text and the additions are in bold.

Article II
Section 25.
A. Definitions
  1. A “home school” is a school conducted by a parent(s) or legal guardian(s) for their own child. To be a “home school” for the purposes of this bylaw, the child must be registered with the LEA that the child would otherwise attend if he/she were not being home schooled. For a student of a “home school” to be eligible under this bylaw, the parent-teacher must satisfy all of the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 49-6-3050(b) [see Appendix].  The home school must be operating in compliance with state law.
B. Minimum Eligibility Requirements
  1. a.  The student shall be enrolled in a home school conducted by his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The student cannot be enrolled in home school and an umbrella program (nonpublic school) at the same time. A complete list of non-public schools may be found on the State Department of Education website at:  

So what exactly does this change mean for the homeschooled athlete? Essentially, they have now opened up the ability to try-out for a local public or private school sports team as a homeschool student to those who are enrolled in an umbrella school (Category IV Church-related School). This DOES NOT, however, remove the requirement that the student be registered with the LEA (Local Education Agency or Board of Education) by August 1.

Even though the TSSAA removed language stating that the parent teacher must satisfy all requirements of Tenn Code Ann. Section 49-6-3050(b) from their Bylaws, this DOES NOT mean that those parent teachers are not subject to those requirements. By registering with the LEA in compliance with the Home School Rule, those parents will be submitting themselves to the requirements of that section of the Code. This revision only makes it possible for homeschooled students to be eligible to try-out under the Home School Rule while registered with the county AND enrolled in an umbrella school at the same time.

While this is a huge step forward for homeschool athletes in our state, allowing them to be fully enrolled in and gleaning the benefits and support of their umbrella schools including official transcripts and diplomas, my hope is to one day see the requirement to register with the county be removed completely.

Please note, there are other requirements that must be met such as notifying the local school for which your student intends to tryout by August 15 as well as academic requirements, insurance coverage, participation fees, etc. If you have questions regarding these changes or desire more information regarding the additional eligibility requirements for homeschool athletes, please contact me or my assistant, Bryanna Cash, at the email addresses or phone number below. More information on the changes over the past few years may also be found on our Homelife Academy Blog

Ken Shreeve
Senior Administrator, HomeLife Academy
(888) 560-0774


  1. We're new to TN so still trying to make sense of the law here. Does registering with the LEA only apply if your child wants to play sports on a school team or do all students have to register, regardless if they are athletes or not?

  2. Hi, Tracy. This article is only referencing the requirements associated with TSSAA eligibility which is a separate thing from the legal requirements associated with the compulsory attendance laws (truancy laws) of Tennessee. To be eligible to participate in sports with a TSSAA member school you must register with the LEA and have the option of also simultaneously registering/enrolling with a CRS (Church-related school, sometimes referred to as an umbrella school).

    As it relates to meeting the compulsory attendance requirements for the State, one or the other is sufficient and students aren't typically registered in both.

    I've written a somewhat lengthy blog post about this subject on our blog here:

    I hope this helps. :)

    Ken Shreeve
    HomeLife Academy


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