By Xy-Zha Cabanlong
MANILA, Philippines -- The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced on Thursday afternoon that the opening of its Season 96 will commence in the early months of 2021.
In a press statement released by the host of Season 96; Colegio de San Juan de Letran, the NCAA Policy Board decided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to halt the league for the rest of the year due to the on-going community quarantine imposed in the country to fight the spread of the virus.
The statement also mentioned that once the Inter-Agency Task Force gives the green light for sports leagues to hold its games, the NCAA will strictly abide and observe safety and health protocols.
The league has also downsized its number of events to at least four disciplines for Season 96, labeling basketball, volleyball, swimming, and track and field as "mandatory sports."
Online chess and esports are also being considered as additional events but are yet to be finalized, according to the statement.
As to the concern about the eligibility of the student-athletes that will be competing for the games come Season 96, the press statement also read that the eligibility rules and requirements shall be relaxed.
"Some rules and requirements on the student-athletes' eligibility such as age, enrollment, grades and even playing years shall be relaxed, in consideration of the disruption of the school year and major changes in the educational system," the statement said.
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