MANILA, Philippines -- The 96th season of the NCAA will start in early 2021 and will have only four mandatory events, host school Colegio de San Juan de Letran announced on Thursday.
This, as the league grapples with the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, Letran announced that the NCAA Policy Board agreed to begin Season 96 "in the early months of 2021, subject to the decisions of the government for the favorable conduct of games."
Only the four mandatory NCAA sports will be contested -- basketball, volleyball, swimming, and track and field.
There are also plans to hold an online chess tournament and esports, although these have yet to be finalized.
As for eligibility, the Policy Board agreed to relax its rules and requirements on age, enrollment, grades, and playing years, "in consideration of the disruption of the school year and major changes in the education system."
The league also guaranteed that proper health and safety protocols will be observed, as their priority is "to ensure the safety and health of our student-athletes, coaches, and trainers, and the general viewing public."
"The league's objective of youth development through sports deserves our unequivocal support in order to continue and contribute to the future of our nation and our world," the statement concluded.
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