Q&A: Can Online Students Participate in School Sports?

Answer: Yes, it is possible for students to play sports while enrolled in online schools. Enrollment in online schools will not typically prohibit a student from participating in sports or any other extracurricular activities. However, participation in these types of activities is most often limited to the student's zoned school. In other words, if a student wants to participate on a sports team, he/she must sign up with the school in which the student is zoned (the school where he/she would enroll if the student had not enrolled in online schooling).

Once a student decides to participate in the zoned school's sports team, registration for that sport or activity is required at the school building. Paperwork must be filled out along with a physician's sports clearance. The family is also responsible for fees (which vary depending on your school and the selected sport − expect the total fees to range from $100-$500). It will be important to contact the school as soon as possible to find out when the sports tryouts will occur. One last thing to remember is that the student will need to maintain the required GPA, often 2.0, in order to participate in the sport. It is also the student's responsibility to be enrolled in a normal class load, which is usually four classes per semester.

Other extracurricular activities that an online student may consider would be: band, color guard, rifle team, speech and debate, or any after school clubs. Occasional meetings may be forfeited due to students meeting at lunch time, but most occur after school.

Participation in the zoned school sports while being enrolled in online schooling is a great way to meet new people and create long lasting friendships. Enrollment in online schooling will not prohibit a student from still having some connection to the neighborhood school. While enjoying the nearby school's activities, online students have the luxury of pacing themselves through school without sacrificing their social life.

Christi WilsonChristi Wilson is a credentialed teacher of highly-gifted students in Northern Nevada. She has 11 years of classroom teaching experience, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in education leadership, and has even taught K-12 education online. A mother of three busy boys, she knows how important it is to keep students engaged in the classroom and interested in a lifetime of learning.