Virtual students can participate in sports, TSSAA says

TENNESSEE — The TSSAA Board of Control has approved for virtual students to participate in any TSSAA sport at the student’s zoned brick and mortar school.

The TSSAA Board of Control met on June 8 and 9 in Murfreesboro.

The Board addressed a growing issue concerning virtual schools and athletic eligibility.

The Board voted to permit the transfer of a student’s athletic record to a district-operated virtual school under the existing rules permitting transfers due to a student’s reassignment by the school district.

As an emergency action for the upcoming school year, the Board voted to give virtual schools two options to choose from based on how it wishes to conduct its athletic programs. The school (1) may field its own teams, or (2) allow their students to participate in any sport at the student’s zoned public school. Virtual schools who are currently members and already participating in cooperative agreements must choose one of the above options for the 2021-22 or make a special request to the Board of Control to continue their cooperative programs.

The Legislative Council will discuss this action at its December meeting and consider whether to make these rules a permanent part of the TSSAA Bylaws or to make changes as it sees fit.

Twelve schools applied for and were approved for membership in the association. Each school that applied for membership at the June meeting is a virtual school. Those schools are Rutherford County Virtual School, The iLearn Institute at Lenoir City, Collierville Virtual Academy, E.B. Wilson High School, VITAL (Virtual Instruction to Accentuate Learning), Greene Online Academy of Learning, Johnson City Virtual Academy, WCS (Williamson County Schools) Online, Jackson Academic Steam Academy, Pioneer Virtual Academy, Germantown Online School of Learning, and Roane County Virtual Academy.

For complete details on the ruling from the TSSAA Board of Control, click here.

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