By Waylon Galvez
In a bid to continue its plans for the 96th Season, the NCAA Policy Board has approved the opening early next year with just four sport disciplines to be played due to the coronavirus pandemic.
NCAA Management Committee chairman Fr. Vic Calvo said the board, headed by its president. Fr. Clarence Marquez of host school Letran, approved the Mancom recommendation in a meeting the other day.
“Only the four mandatory sports will be played in the 96th Season – basketball, volleyball, swimming and track and field,” said Calvo as the school posted the NCAA decision on its official Facebook page.
Manila Bulletin/Tempo initially reported the league’s plans to start early next year.
The hosting of Letran this season coincides with the school’s 400th year anniversary, and Calvo said they are hoping to make it exciting and memorable for the 10 schools.
In its official statement, the NCAA said the staging of the 96th NCAA Season still depends of the COVID-19 situation, and subject to the decisions of the government for the favorable conduct of games, while strictly observing safety and health protocols.
“Of course, we’ll follow the guidelines of the government,” said Calvo, adding that eligibility would be relaxed in terms of age, grades, student enrollment, as well as playing years.
The longtime Letran athletic director also said it is possible other sports would be played, depending on the availability of participating schools.
The NCAA is also looking at holding online competition for chess and e-sports.