Programs are to use only players that are eligible by Eligibility Guidelines for all games throughout the year. Failure to do so disqualifies a program to attend our THSSBC event.
The Texas Home School State Basketball Championships (THSSBC) is designed to provide a top-quality basketball tournament for homeschool student-athletes. There are a series of eligibility rules that are designed to ensure that every participant is a homeschool student first and an athlete second. As homeschool sports continue to grow, it is the THSSBC’s desire to make sure that the teams that participate in the THSSBC tournament do not have a resemblance of AAU/club teams and/or all-star teams. These rules are not only meant to keep the playing field level at the THSSBC tournament, but are also designed to protect the reputation of homeschool teams on a national and local level.
To be eligible for participation in the THSSBC, a player must be homeschooled continuously and begin playing on their team before the team’s 1st game. Any players joining the team after the 1st game must follow the next step listed below. Each unique situation is dealt with on case-by-case basis.
If a player does not meet all the requirements below, they may fill out a THSSBC Eligibility Inquiry Request Form.
Definition of a Homeschool Student-Athlete
“Homeschooling” is defined to mean that a student’s education is parent-directed.
As such, the parents shall be involved in their child’s education by assuming the role of principal or headmaster, thereby (1) setting the date and requirements for high school graduation; (2) selecting and approving course materials and study schedules; and (3) selecting tutors, correspondence courses, videos, computer courses, and similar resources for their child’s education. Homeschooling would also include the person of legal responsibility* of the student filling the role of a parent (see below):
Basketball Transfer Policies:
Homeschool players may transfer to another homeschool program during the off-season and be eligible immediately. “Off-season” is defined as before a team’s first game.
Public and Private School transfer classifications are based on the grade the student was in at the school they are transferring from. What this means is that if they were a Junior at their previous school, they are considered an incoming Senior. If they “reclassify,” they are still treated as an incoming Senior in terms of the following rules.
Incoming Freshmen and Sophomores who transfer from a school are eligible immediately if they join a program before their team’s first game.
Incoming Juniors who transfer from a school to a Homeschool team before the team’s first game are not eligible to play until they have sat out 30 days, starting with their team’s 1st game.
Incoming Seniors who transfer from a school to a Homeschool team before the team’s first game are not eligible to play until they have sat out one full semester.
Definition of “one full semester” October 15-December 31.
Any player joining a team after their season’s first game will need to request an Eligibility Exception, and there is no guarantee they will receive this exception.
The goal of these rules is to establish incoming upperclassmen as Homeschool Students first, before they are eligible for athletics.
A player who has attended private or public school as a Senior is still not eligible to participate in the THSSBC.
The transfer rules above are designed for a team that has two public or private school transfers in a year.
If a team has only one transfer in a year, the team could request that an incoming Junior’s 30-game day waiting period be waived or if the one player was an incoming Senior, they could request the waiting period be reduced to 30 game days. Each situation would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
If a team has more than 2 transfers, then the players would have to be considered as a group, and the Eligibility Committee would have the right to include waiting periods for Freshman and Sophomores’ transfers and possibly increase a Junior’s waiting period. This clause is designed to stop programs from wholesale recruiting players from private and public schools.
A couple other clarifications: If a player is 16 & under, they would be able to play on the program’s 16u team while they were sitting out. Players would be permitted to practice with their program while “sitting out.”
Players have the right to request an eligibility exception.
Any student who transfers from a public school, Christian/private School, or another Homeschool team and is under disciplinary action(s) must wait one (1) year before he/she is eligible to participate in the THSSBC or play against other Homeschool teams.
A transfer player that has played as a Senior (1 game or more) is not eligible.
The Role of Outside Institutions
Private and Public Schools
Full-time enrollment in a traditional public or private school is not homeschooling because the child’s education in such schools is not parent-directed. A player that attends a private, public, charter, or university-model school full-time is not eligible for the THSSBC. For part-time students at these types of schools, the student must maintain at least 51% of his/her education from classes that meet the homeschooling definition.
Coop and Umbrella Schools
Cooperative schools and/or an umbrella school can create some questions. In some states (excludes Texas), “Homeschool students” are required by law to attend a private school and, in such cases, cooperative or umbrella schools are formed for this purpose. These schools, whether called cooperative, umbrella, or “private,” are characterized by significant and direct parental involvement, often simply representing different forms of homeschooling within a group of like-minded families. In such cases where the student-athlete meets the definition of Homeschooling and is involved in a coop and umbrellas school, he/she is deemed eligible by the THSSBC.
In some states, including Texas, “Homeschool students” are permitted to take classes at vocational schools. A student may take classes at such schools as long as he/she maintains at least 51% of his education from classes that meet the homeschooling definition.
For clarification purposes, a normal course load for a full-time student is six (6) core courses; therefore, if a student-athlete is taking more than three (3) courses at a public, private, or vocational, he/she is not considered 51% homeschooled. If there are special circumstances, a student may apply for an eligibility exception.
Dual Credit/Enrollment Clause
Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior homeschool student-athletes that are taking advantage of Dual Credit/Enrollment Programs are required to take a minimum of three (3) High School Courses per semester. Senior Homeschool Student-Athletes that are taking advantage of Dual Credit/Enrollment Programs are required to take a minimum of two (2) High School Courses per semester. High School Courses can be electives (like Physical Education). High School Courses can be taken through Co-Ops or any other eligible parent-directed environment.
THSSBC Eligibility Rules
Each member team and/or program shall have standards in place to make sure that all participating players maintain at least a 2.0 GPA (on a 4-point scale) during the active season. To be eligible for participation in the THSSBC, a player must be homeschooled continuously and begin playing on their team from October 1st to the beginning of this year’s tournament.
A player’s age group is determined by his/her age on September 1 of the current school year. For example, a player who is 16 on September 1, but turns 17 on October 5th is considered eligible to play in the 16-and-under age group at the THSSBC. Players may play in a higher age group, if desired. In Basketball, we offer 10u, 12u, 14u, 16u, and 18u age groups.
Additional Educational Requirements
- A player that has participated in a graduation ceremony is not eligible to participate in the THSSBC without being approved for an eligibility exception.
- To be eligible for participation in the THSSBC, a player must be homeschooled continuously and begin playing on their team before the team’s 1st game. Any players joining the team after the 1st game must follow the next step listed below. Each unique situation is dealt with on case-by-case basis.
If a player does not meet the requirements above, he/she must fill out an THSSBC Eligibility Exception Form.
The THSSBC ONLY handles eligibility exemptions or questions in writing. It does NOT handle the questions on the phone. Coaches, Athletic Directors, Parents, and Players: If you have questions about an eligibility situation in your program, and you have been told the player has been granted an exemption, ask to see it in writing. As players, coaches, and parents, it is your responsibility to make sure your team meets the eligibility requirements. Again, all eligibility issues must be dealt with in writing. No exceptions!
Additional Non-Educational Requirements
- A player must live at home with his/her parent, legal guardian, or legally responsible person (in the case of foster children or other family hardships)* in order to be considered homeschooled.
- A player cannot be married.
- A player must live within a 100-mile radius of the team’s practice facility.
- Co-ed teams are not allowed (including 10U).
*Legal Responsibility Hardships must be Pre-Approved by the THSSBC Eligibility Committee.