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School Choice for Sports

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Lori McLane Land

I will try to keep this as short as possible, but I need some guidance on where to start on this issue.  My oldest son is 13 and has played travel baseball since he was 9.  We live in Seneca, but we are zoned for a different school because of the boundary lines.  He has played on a Seneca travel baseball team for two years and so we received a call 3 weeks before school started this year letting us know that school choice doesn't apply for sports that if he wanted to play at Seneca that he would have to enroll there.  We didn't really have much time to make a decision, so we just went with it and enrolled him in public school.  Our issue is that he is dyslexic and has a major processing speed disorder (as in 5th percentile).  We were told by two independent psyschologists that one on one schooling was best for him.  He is very smart, has been homeschooled his whole life, but was able to go into 7th grade and take all advanced classes except for math, which is just grade level math.  He has begged for months to please let him homeschool again next year.  I know that we will because learning is so much easier the way that we do things at home, and he also takes some co-op classes too.  The only problem is that he would have to play baseball at the school we are zoned for and that is breaking his heart not to be able to play with the boys that he has played travel ball with and that he played with on school ball team this year.


I have heard through the grapevine that there is possibly something in the works that would allow homeschooled children school choice regarding sports within their school district.  Does anyone know where I can start to follow up on this.  I have never had to contact legistlators, etc and so I really don't know the best route to go. 


Thanks in advance!



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It's my understanding that your child is allowed to do sports only for the school he is zoned for if not enrolled. However, if that school does not have a team for that sport, then there's a chance you can do a different school in your district. I'm not sure if it's a given though, or just a possibility. (Or even different district from district). As a former public school high school coach, I totally understand why there isn't school choice with sports. However, in your son's case there's a possibility of getting around it a different way. If your child's disabilities are such that he would do better on one team than another emotionally, then there's a chance of an exception - but this would need to be addressed in his IEP or 504.

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Laura Launius

Another baseball mom here  -- also happens to be a 2E kiddo so homeschooling is clearly the best option for him.  There is not school choice within the district as far as the equal access for homeschoolers go for playing sports.  If the school you are zoned for does not have a sports team then you can apply to play at another school in your district.  We play through Anderson District One and they have been very easy to work with - but were very clear that we could not choose the school to play for.  

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