NCAA to return in 2021 with only four sports

FILE – NCAA Season 95 opening. INQUIRER PHOTO/TRISTAN TAMAYO

MANILA, Philippines—There won’t be any NCAA action this year as the league announced on Thursday that it pushing Season 96’s opening to 2021 with only four sports to be played.

In a statement, the NCAA said that Season 96 will start “in the early months of 2021” as the world races to find a cure and vaccine for COVID-19.

The launch of the new season, though, is still “subject to the decisions of government for favorable conduct of games, while strictly observing safety and health protocols.”

Season 96 will feature only four mandatory sports of basketball, volleyball, swimming, and track and field. Letran, which will celebrate its 400th anniversary this year, will be the host.

Plans for an online chess tournament and e-sports competition are also being finalized.

Season 95 abruptly ended due to COVID-19 pandemic. The student-athletes who didn’t play or finish their final collegiate years are still eligible to play in Season 96 as long as they’re still enrolled in their respective schools.

“Some rules and requirements on student-athletes’ eligibility such as age, enrolment, grades, and even playing years shall be relaxed, in consideration of the disruption of the school year and major changes in the education system,” said the NCAA in the statement.

Rev. Fr. Victor Calvo Jr., OP, the Season 96 Management Committee Chairman, and Rev. Fr. Clarence Marquez OP, Season 96 Policy Board President, signed the statement.

INQUIRER reported on May 1 that Season 96 was likely to open in 2021.

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