How Can BU Teams Play Against Public Schools?
Recently, Kentucky passed into law House Bill 290 giving homeschool teams and student-athletes like those at BU the “freedom to play” against their peers attending KHSAA members schools in the state of Kentucky. This landmark rule change not only opens up doors for homeschool student-athletes across the state but for teams comprised of homeschool student-athletes, like those at BU, to have the opportunity to compete locally against in-state teams. Below are frequently asked questions about HB290.
Q. What is HB290, also known as “Freedom to Play”?
The “Freedom to Play” bill states that coaches of KHSAA member schools would be permitted to schedule regular season games with homeschool athletic teams and individuals.
Q. Does HB290 require homeschool families to submit scholarship reports to the public school system?
Q. What sports are included?
Any and all sports that are sanctioned by the KHSAA.
Q. Would coaches of homeschool teams need to meet any sort of requirement?
Coaches of homeschool athletic teams would be required to comply with the rules concerning certification of non-KHSAA school coaches.*
Q. What grades does HB290 primarily affect?
It primarily affects grades 9-12.
Q. Are homeschool teams be allowed to participate in district, regional or state championships?
Q. How does HB290 differ from HB99, aka the “Tim Tebow” bill?
The “Tim Tebow” bill would allow homeschooled student-athletes to join athletic teams at their respective public school. HB290 does not allow homeschooled student-athletes to join public school teams, but rather gives the public school coaches freedom to compete against homeschool teams and individuals without being fined by the KHSAA.
Q. What would be required of homeschool student-athletes according to HB290?
Student-athletes would be required to complete physical exams, as well as comply with KHSAA rules concerning age and semesters.*
Q. Are KHSAA teams required to schedule games/meets/matches with homeschool teams?
No, they are not mandated to do so. Games would be scheduled at the discretion of the public school coaches. This bill gives freedom to compete if desired.
Q. Does HB290 include “Freedom to Play” for private school teams as well as homeschool team?
No. While initially the “Freedom to Play” effort included private schools, the KHSAA did not ultimately endorse this provision as it is their hope for schools that are able to do so to join the KHSAA in order to play KHSAA member schools.
Q. What makes a kid “homeschooled?”
Every student in Kentucky who is homeschooled essentially attends a “private school at home.” Parents indicate their desire to school at home each year by filling out a letter stating their intent to school at home. Homeschool students may participate in classes, or study groups with other homeschool students at cooperatives, like Bluegrass United, to aid the parents in the education curriculum they are administering and to provide social and athletic opportunities with other homeschool students.
You can read HB290 here.
*Coach and student-athlete compliance would only apply if their team competes against KHSAA teams