NCAA opens Season 96 for sake of continuity
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will try to salvage a pandemic-stricken Season 96 which it will unveil on June 17 under extraordinary circumstances. Games will be held mostly online.
The season will last just until September and officials hope it would serve as a “springboard for Season 97,” slated later in the year.
“We call this continuity,” said management committee official Peter Cayco of Arellano, host of last year’s season which was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cayco said it won’t be just a “ceremonial season” because actual games will be held and traditional opening ceremonies will be staged, albeit pretaped by TV carrier GMA Network.“We want a no-gap transition from Season 95 to Season 96 and then Season 97,” said Cayco.
Management committee chief Fr. Vic Calvo of host Letran said they are trying “to squeeze in all possibilities” to stage the meet amid the safety restrictions.
“We mean to show our resiliency and creativity,” said Calvo. “It’s tough and not a normal situation so we have to adjust. We can’t just give up.”The few games that will push through are chess and taekwondo (poomsae), both of which can be played online as proven by tournaments that have been run by the chess and taekwondo federations since last year.
Fan-favorite events basketball and volleyball will also be played, although a format for the games has yet to be finalized.
Earlier reports said that both sports could be limited to skills events so that they can be played online, too.