Nonpublic school students; organizations governing participation in interscholastic programs. (HB905)

Introduced By

Del. Randy Minchew (R-Leesburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Nonpublic school students; participation in interscholastic programs.  Prohibits public schools from joining an organization governing interscholastic programs that does not deem eligible for participation a student who (i) is receiving home instruction, (ii) has demonstrated evidence of progress for two years, (iii) is entitled to free tuition in a public school, (iv) has not reached the age of 19 by August 1 of the current school year, (v) is an amateur who receives no compensation, but participates solely for the educational, physical, mental, and social benefits of the activity, (vi) complies with all disciplinary rules applicable to all public high school athletes, and (vii) complies with all other rules governing awards, all-star games, parental consents, and physical examinations applicable to all high school athletes. The bill allows such students to be charged reasonable fees for participation. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/11/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12102417D
01/11/2012Referred to Committee on Education
01/18/2012Assigned Education sub: Students and Early Education
01/26/2012Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
02/14/2012Left in Education


The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers writes:

The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers supports this bill:

•Virginia’s homeschooled students would benefit from the opportunity to participate in athletic and other interscholastic programs governed by the Virginia High School League, but VHSL’s current eligibility requirements specifically exclude homeschooled students.

•Homeschooled students in Virginia’s rural communities would particularly benefit. In small, rural communities there are few options for homeschooled teens to play team sports or participate in other activities -- particularly at the high school level -- except through public school programs.

•Homeschool sports and activities access is working smoothly in 28 states, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah and others. HB 905 is an approach that will work in Virginia.

•High school interscholastic programs are an important opportunity to qualify for college scholarships. Currently homeschooled students are denied the opportunity for that exposure.

•Homeschool sports access will strengthen community support for high school programs. Homeschooling families are already active, committed members of the community, and the addition of homeschooled students would expand the base of families involved in high school interscholastic programs.

•Homeschooled students in Virginia need legislative support in order to be allowed to try out for their local high school interscholastic programs. Despite significant effort by homeschooling organizations to work with members of VHSL to develop fair, reasonable and practical eligibility guidelines for homeschooled students, VHSL has refused to consider any change. Virginia’s homeschooled students are depending on the General Assembly for a chance to try out.