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PSC, GAB redefine pro sports in landmark resolution

The MPBL will be among the leagues that may be hit by the GAB-PSC resolution on defining pro and amateur sports. MPBL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--In a ruling that may shake the club sports scene in the Philippines, the Games and Amusements Board and the Philippine Sports Commission reiterated that a league that functions as "play-for-pay" should be declared professional.

Through Joint Resolution 2020-01, both government-led sports bodies agreed last week to define professional sports as "individual or team sports, games, contest, bouts, tournament or competitions, whereby the participating athletes are paid sums of money or other forms compensation as salary or prizes."

The resolution in effect considers "sports competitions under the auspices of PSC" and varsity sports as amateur.

The ruling will have an impact on the likes of the MPBL, PSL, PVL, and Spikers' Turf, leagues where athletes are paid to play yet are de jure "amateur".

“This joint resolution fulfills a very long felt need in sports community—if an athlete gets paid and does not play for the flag, then he or she is a professional athlete,” GAB chairman Baham Mitra said on Tuesday. “With this development, it is hoped that there will be no confusion of any kind among sports stakeholders and implementers in the future.”

Only professional sporting events, that is, those sanctioned by GAB, have been allowed to push through in areas under the modified general community quarantine amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PSL, however, got the nod from the Inter-Agency Task Force to push through with a beach volleyball tournament in Olongapo next month.

Two regional leagues, the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 and the NBL, recently declared for full professionalization, eventually getting the clearance to resume their season inside a "bubble" in Calamba and San Fernando City, Pampanga, respectively.

NBL's distaff counterpart, the WNBL, will resume play next year as GAB-sanctioned, becoming the country's first women's basketball league to be formally called pro.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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