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April 25, 2017

Sometimes HSLDA's advocacy helps more than homeschoolers.

Little League Policy: Home Run for Military Homeschoolers

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HSLDA recently worked to fix a Little League policy that discriminated against homeschooled students who live on certain military bases.

A homeschooled student in South Carolina was disqualified from Little League play because his dad’s position with the Air Force required him to live on the local base. Since the student was educated at home on base and not in an official Little League boundary area, he was initially told he could not play ball.

However, Little League granted a waiver allowing the student to compete during regular season play. And play ball he did—well enough to be selected for the all-star team.

Unfortunately, he was told shortly before postseason play began that he would not be allowed to compete on the all-star team.

I heard about the student’s predicament just a few days before postseason play began. I immediately contacted Little League to request an official review. Called out for being on base? It just didn’t sound right.

Little League confirmed the ruling: one of the conditions of the waiver that allowed the homeschooled student to play during the regular season explicitly prohibited him from participating in postseason play.

But it wasn’t a strikeout. Little League acknowledged the bad result and understood the discriminatory effect of the strict boundary area policy. They assured me that they would seek to improve their policies to prevent this situation in the future.

This week a Little League official confirmed that the league has revised official boundary areas to ensure military families are not stranded on base. Homeschooled students who live on base should be eligible to compete during both regular and postseason play.

The homeschooled student’s family has since moved to another state. He’s living on a base within an official boundary area and already looking forward to the upcoming season.