High School Sports

Kentucky schools can play sports against home-school teams starting this fall

File photo: Bluegrass United team merchandise includes t-shirts at Imani Baptist Church gymnasium in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, December 15, 2009. Bluegrass United has high school sports teams comprised of home-school students that compete in the Kentucky Christian School Athletic Association.
File photo: Bluegrass United team merchandise includes t-shirts at Imani Baptist Church gymnasium in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, December 15, 2009. Bluegrass United has high school sports teams comprised of home-school students that compete in the Kentucky Christian School Athletic Association.

Kentucky shook up the competitive landscape for its home-school students earlier this month.

House Bill 290, which allows members of the state board or designated agency that manages interscholastic athletics to play in regular-season contests against non-member home-school students, passed in both houses of the Kentucky General Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin on April 2. It will go into effect for members of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association — Kentucky’s designated agency — on July 1.

The bill does not enable home-school students to play for KHSAA member schools, which has been sought by proposals in the past, and does not make it compulsory for KHSAA member schools to play against home-school individuals or teams of home-school students; such contests are voluntary. It also does not allow KHSAA members to schedule contests against schools that have elected not to join the KHSAA, a practice which remains prohibited.

“From our reading, the bill would give competition opportunities for home-school students against our member schools without impacting our member schools and their postseason competition,” KHSAA Commisioner Julian Tackett told the Herald-Leader in February. The KHSAA had been working for years to “find a workable path that didn’t intrude on either our schools or the home schools and their basic structure and this appears to follow that path,” Tackett told lawmakers then.

The KHSAA noted in a blog post Monday that passage of the bill means it must slightly amend Bylaw 22, Section 1 — which penalizes schools for participating in contests against any in-state non-member schools — during its next regulatory meeting in the spring.

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

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