Intro to NCHC Eligibility Guidelines
NCHC Events are for HomeSchool Student-Athletes, unless otherwise noted.
All teams attending NCHC run or NCHC sanctioned events must have all their parents complete the NCHC Player registration form, additionally, all coaches (head/assistant) must complete the NCHC coaches registration. This requirement has been put in place in order to assure that all parents, coaches, & leaders within the program fully understand and acknowledge NCHC eligibility guidelines that are designed to protect the reputation of HomeSchool Athletics & your team’s post-season experience.
The National Christian HomeSchool Championship (NCHC) Events are designed to provide top-quality tournaments 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 NCHC’s desire to make sure that the teams that participate in the HomeSchool division of the NCHC tournaments do not have a resemblance of AAU/Club teams &/or all-star teams. These rules are not only meant to keep the playing field level at the National Tournaments but are also designed to protect the reputation of HomeSchool teams on a national and local level.
Note: The following rules apply to the National Championships and NCHC-sanctioned Regional Tournaments.
All programs that attend NCHC events are to use only players that are eligible by NCHC Eligibility Guidelines for all games throughout the year. Failure to do so disqualifies a program to attend NCHC Events.
Definition of a HomeSchool Student-Athlete
“Homeschooling” is defined to mean that a student’s education is parent-directed and done at home.
As such, the parents shall be directly involved in their child’s education, playing role of the headmaster thereby (1) selecting curriculum, (2) selecting and/or approving course materials and study schedules, & (3) selecting tutors, coop’s, teachers, dual enrollment options, &/or resources for their child’s education. HomeSchooling would also include a person of legal responsibility* of the student filling the role of a parent (*must be pre-approved by the NCHC)
In September 2020 the EAB Rules Proposal Committee voted over 80% in favor of keeping the NCHC Online At Home policy posted below. As such this entire section has been updated.
NCHC Online At Home – The #1 eligibility question we had in the Summer of 2018 & 19 was “what is the NCHBC stance was with “Online at Home” (Connections Academy, K12, Epic, etc.) The response we have had to this each time has been the same:
“The NCHC does not have an approved or unapproved curriculum.”
The bottom line is the NCHBC leaves curriculum choice to the parent’s discretion, provided it is done at home and the parents have the ability to change curriculum at their discretion.
Clarification: The Online at Home rule excludes students enrolled in their local school district, who are doing school online due to COVID-19, this was clarified by an 85% vote by the EAB Rules Committee in September, 2020.
If a player does not meet all the requirements below they may fill out a Hardships Exemption Form to request an exemption.
Basic NCHC 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.
Age & Gender Requirements
A player’s age group is determined by his/her age on September 1, of the current school year. The EAB approved the following clarification that this means the deadline is August 31st. For example, a player who is 16 on August 31, with a September 1st birthday, who turns 17 is considered eligible to play in the 16-and-under age group at NCHC events.
Players may play in a higher age group if desired. In Basketball we offer 10u, 12u, 14u, 16u, & 18u age groups while in Volleyball we offer 12u, 14u, 16u, & 18u age groups.
Players may play in numerous age groups.
A player is only eligible to play in the gender division that the player was born, as recorded on their original birth certificate. There are no co-ed teams at Nationals. &/or NCHC run postseason Events. No exceptions. Proof of age requirements* at the bottom of page
All teams/programs that attend an NCHC event are to use only players that are eligible by NCHC Eligibility Guidelines for all games throughout the year. Failure to do so disqualifies a program to attend NCHBC Events.
Additional Educational Requirements-
Basketball Only: To be eligible, a player must be homeschooled continuously & 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 a case by case basis.
If a player does not meet the requirements above they must fill out a Hardship Exemption Form
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 any type of school full-time is not eligible. Even if the school is small and does not offer sports. 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.
In September 2020 the EAB Rules Proposal Committee voted on whether or not to readdress this rule in the event it was a “small school that does not have sports” in this vote under 40% voted to readdress this rule. As such this entire section has been updated.
Coop and Umbrella Schools
**EAB approved following update 9/13/18**
The participation in a cooperative school, and/or an umbrella school is permitted in multiple circumstances.
1) In some states, “HomeSchool students” are required by law to attend a private school and, in such cases, cooperative or umbrella schools are formed for this purpose. The approval of these types of schooling situations are automatic in states with these types of laws. 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.
In some states, “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.
51% Rule (this does not apply to Dual Credit/Enrollment classes)
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 (dual credit/enrollment classes are not counted against the student.)
Dual Credit/Enrollment Clause
Freshman, Sophomore, & 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, etc.) High School Courses can be taken through Co-Ops or any other eligible parent directed definition.
Transfers under Disciplinary action
Any student who transfers from a public school, Christian/private School, or another HomeSchool team and is under disciplinary action(s) must go through the hardship approval process OR wait one (1) year before he/she is eligible to participate.
Additional Non-Educational Requirements
- A player must live at home with his/her parent, legal guardian or NCHC Pre-Approved* legally responsible person (in the case of foster children or other family hardships)* in order to be eligible.
- A player cannot be married.
- A New HomeSchool Player that has played as a Senior (1 game or more) at a school, is not eligible. Additional guidelines can be found under upperclassmen transfer policy (below.)
- A player must live within a 100-mile radius of the team’s practice facility.
- All players attending an NCHC Event must have the NCHC player registration complete by their parents.*Legal Responsibility Hardships must be PreApproved by NCHC, the 1st step in these situations is to fill out a Hardship Request.
Additional Basketball Only Guidelines & Procedures:
NCHBC Invitational & 1st Game Policies
Beginning in 2016, all NCHBC (Basketball) Post Season (Regionals & Nationals) Events will be Invitationals, meaning the first eligibility requirement for any team to attend an NCHBC Post Season Event will be to receive an official invitation, to request an NCHBC Invitation Click Here.
To be eligible for participation in the National Christian HomeSchool Basketball Championships, a player must be homeschooled continuously & 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 a case by case basis.
NCHBC Upperclassmen Transfer Polic
June 10th, 2021 Update based on recent EAB Votes–
Public and Private School transfer classifications are based on the student’s grade at the school they are transferring from. This means 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. These rules are based on off-season transfers. See below for the In-Season upperclassmen transfer policy.
Incoming Freshmen and Sophomores– No Sitting Period for 8th Grade & Freshman at school the previous year as these students are not considered upperclassmen transfers and are eligible immediately if they join a program before their team’s first game.
Incoming Juniors– Sophomore at school the previous year. Not eligible until November 23rd. Players who attended school as a Sophmore and transfer to a HomeSchool team before the team’s first game are not eligible to play until November 23rd
Incoming Seniors– Junior at school the previous year. Not eligible until January 1st– Players who attended school as a Junior and transfer to a HomeSchool team before the team’s first game are not eligible to play until January 1st.
Senior at School the previous year– Automatic denial. No player who attended school as a senior has eligibility left in HomeSchool Athletics.
In-season upperclassmen transfers from school must sit until the following season.
Upperclassmen Transfer Waiting Period Waiver Request: If a team has only ONE upperclassman transfer the family may request a hardship exemption (Hardship Form.) In late September to early October, the NCHBC will review all such hardships and respond based on past EAB Precedent for situations with only ONE upperclassmen transfer.
These rules aim to establish incoming upperclassmen students 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 NCHBC.
The transfer rules above are designed for a team with no more than two public or private school transfers in a year.
If a team has more than 3 players with upperclassmen transfers who were not HomeSchooled the previous year, the players could be considered as a group, and the Regional Committee would have the right to include waiting periods for freshman and sophomores transfers and possibly increase a Juniors waiting period. This clause is designed to stop programs from wholesale recruiting players from private and public schools.
A couple of other clarifications: If a player is 16 & under, they would be able to play on the program’s 16u/JV team while they were sitting out. Players would be permitted to practice with their program while “sitting out.”
As in all NCHBC guidelines, players have the right to request a hardship exemption.
NCHBC Program/Team Guidelines
Programs are to use only players that are eligible by NCHBC Eligibility Guideline for all games through out the year. Failure to do so disqualifies a program to attend NCHBC Events.
All Programs that attend NCHBC Regional and National Tournaments must be a member of the National HomeSchool Basketball Association – Click here for Details
NCHBC “Must Play” Policy– A team that enters into our events agrees to compete in all tournament games bracketed. This policy specifically is for teams capable of playing, but choosing to leave the tournament with bracketed games. Failure to do so is a $100 penalty, per game, with additional penalties, including, but not limited to, future tournament ban.
NCHBC Tebow Guidelines
NCHBC Tebow Rule – Many states have adopted the Tebow Rule that allows homeschool students to play on public school teams. The NCHBC has the following guidelines regarding players under the Tebow Rule Provision:
Players who are HomeSchooled but are playing on a school team through the Tebow Bill, may transfer to a HomeSchool Team through January 1st. Players are not permitted to play on a school team and a homeschool team during the year. Players must have been Home Educated for the entire first semester and join a HomeSchool Team on or before January 1st.
The Tebow bill rules are for all age groups High School through 10u.
Clarification: Students playing on multiple school teams during the same year. In September 2020 the EAB Rules Proposal Committee voted 80% in favor of keeping the NCHC Tim Tebow Guidelines as posted, meaning that students may not play on multiple school teams during the same season. As such this entire section has been updated.
NCHC Eligibility Guidelines: Click Here
All Parents, Coaches, & Athletic/Program Directors are required to abide by the posted Eligibility Guidelines, during the NCHC Player, Coaches, & Program registration all individuals are required to read and agree to abide by the NCHC Eligibility Guidelines if you have not yet read these yet please go to the link above and review. The NCHC considers anyone that sits on the bench to be a coach.
Sportsmanship is always encouraged by all parties. Parents or adults should never correct or confront the opposing team’s players, fans or children.
Under no circumstances should fans and children be on the court at half time.
In addition to these posted eligibility guidelines NCHC Coaches are held to a higher standard: A coach is never to confront opposing fans, students, or players before, during, or after a game. A coach is responsible for holding themselves, other coaches, & their players accountable for their language & actions, especially on the court. A coach is never to confront, yell at, or display threatening body language towards a referee after the game. A coach is responsible to make sure their parents &/or fans behave during their game. Social Media Policy: It is not acceptable for a coach, Athletic Director, Parent, Player, or team account to make negative social media posts about NCHBC players, fans, referees, directors, or tournaments.
NCHC PERSONNEL POLICY: As an organization, we at the NCHC are committed to hiring trainers & security for every event that we run. This policy was put in place following the 2021 Basketball Postseason, where we had both trainers and security hired for all NCHC ran events. Many NCHC tournaments are run at multiple facilities; our goal is that every facility with more than two courts has a trainer or security member hired to be on-site open to close.
NCHC Eligibility In Writing Policy: The NCHC ONLY handles eligibility exemptions or questions in writing, it does NOT handle the questions on the phone. Coaches, Athletic Directors, Parents, & Players if you have questions about an eligibility situation in your program and you have told the player has been granted an exemption ask to see it in writing. We are issuing this clarification statement because the last couple of years we have had numerous situations where coaches have told players that it was approved by Tim or Rob but we had not even heard of the situations. 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.
NCHC Cancellation Policy/Notice: Any team that gives a full 21-day cancelation notice will receive full credit for any payments made; the credit will be good for any NCHC run event for 1 full calendar year. However, any late cancelations will forfeit any payments made, and if they have not yet paid they will receive an invoice. Late cancellations are treated the same as if the team attended the event. We have no desire to make a team pay for an event they didn’t attend, however, this policy is nonnegotiable as we require proper notice for brackets, referee’s, gyms, trophies, etc.
NCHC Late Fee: A $50 late fee will be added to any team fees that are not paid in full, 30 days prior to their events start date.
NCHC Refund Policy: The NCHC does not issue refund checks, we do however issue credits for one full calendar year to any NCHC run event of your program’s choice.
NCHC Must Play Policy: A team that enters into our events agrees to compete in all tournament games bracketed.
This policy specifically is for teams capable of playing but choosing to leave the tournament with bracketed games.
Failure to do so is a $100 penalty, per game, with additional penalties, including, but not limited to, future tournament ban.
NCHC Dual Roster Policy: Players may play on multiple different age groups within a program. They are permitted to play on in any age group they qualify for. Players may only play on one team per age group. As always it is the NCHC policy that teams entering our tournaments have enough primary players to compete, our staff will look at all requests to accommodate dual rostering, however, each player must know who their primary team and each team must have enough primary players to begin each game of the tournament. Ultimately each team must be prepared for conflicts that our staff is unable to accommodate.
NCHC Fan* Ejection Policy: If a coach, player, or fan is ejected** from a game by an official or NCHC tournament staff, the following four items must happen:
1. The ejected person must leave the facility immediately NOT just the gym but the facility.
2. The person ejected is ineligible to attend an NCHC Event or be on-site or campus of where an NCHC event is being hosted for 24 hours from the time they report it to email@example.com No exceptions. Failure to comply will result in potential additional penalties to individuals, teams, and programs the fan is associated with that could extend into future seasons.
*Fan is defined as ANYONE ejected that was not on the bench as a coach or on the floor as a player at the time of the referee’s ejection.
**This includes but is not limited to: receiving two technical fouls
NCHC Player & Coach* Ejection Policy: If a coach, player, is ejected** from a game by an official or NCHC tournament staff, the following four items must happen:
1. The ejected person must leave the facility immediately NOT just the gym but the facility.
2. Notify your Program Director (AD…)
3. Within 2 hours the Head Coach or Program Director must notify NCHB headquarters by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org about the ejection within two hours.
4. The person ejected is ineligible to play in the team’s next game for that specific team. No exceptions. Failure to comply will result in potential additional penalties to individuals, teams, and programs that could extend into future seasons.
*Player & Coach is defined as ANYONE ejected that was on the bench as a coach or on the floor as a player at the time of the referee’s ejection. Anyone else is viewed as a Fan, see above.
**This includes but is not limited to: receiving two technical fouls
Seeding Forms/Game Deadline: For a game to count for seeding to an NCHBC Event it must be played before the seeding deadline, dates below. Results after these deadlines will not be considered/counted for seeding, with the only exception being NCHBC run Post Season events, which impact the seeding.
2021 & 2022 Seeding Games Deadlines are–
District: January 10th, 2021 & January 9th, 2022
Regionals/Nationals: January 28th, 2021 & January 27th 2022
NCHC Proof of Age Requirement– Each program must be able (in the event of an age challenge) to provide the NCHC proof of age via birth certificate, for each player. Over the course of 25+ years each age challenge has been handled this way. Worthy of note, no age challenge has been successful. We accept electronic and physical copies, whichever is more convenient for the team/player to provide in the event of the challenge.
Official Verification/Challenge Form: