UAAP cancels Season 83, cites ‘health, safety’ of student-athletes

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 11 2020 06:28 PM | Updated as of Dec 11 2020 07:11 PM

The UAAP announced on Friday it was cancelling Season 83.

"After a series of discussions, the UAAP board of trustees came to this difficult decision, putting major consideration on the health and safety of the student-athletes and those involved in the operations of our competitions," the league said.

Based on records, the UAAP hasn't called off an entire season since World War 2 until this year, when the COVID-19 pandemic obliterated any sense of normalcy across the world.

The UAAP cut short Season 82 on April 4, after the government extended a strict, Luzon-wide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Student-athletes participated in various philanthropic efforts, following the cancellation of sports activities.

But as virus cases tapered off and several professional leagues restarted, there were talks between government and sports organizations that amateur competitions could follow suit.

The sticking point though was it was difficult to justify running school leagues if in-room classes were yet prohibited and university and college operations remained limited.

Just 3 weeks ago, UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag said he believed an April 2021 opening was possible, although he was cautious, adding that it was "not an official UAAP position" and emphasizing that it could happen "if all goes well."

The UAAP said school officials have yet to discuss what scrapping Season 83 would entail.

Season 82 saw its first-semester sports proceed without a hitch, with its centerpiece men's basketball tournament ending with the Blue Eagles winning the championship.

When the Philippines first reported the presence of COVID-19 in January, the UAAP was one of the leagues that played on until the outbreak turned into a full-blown pandemic.

The stoppage of action was gradual.

The UAAP cancelled all of its high school events on March 14, and suspended the collegiate events in their traditional format. Its original plan was to pursue an "alternative format" should the government lift the lockdown by April 15.

The lockdown extension, however, prompted the UAAP to finally terminate its season, following the NCAA, which terminated its 95th season on March 19.

Cancelled in the UAAP calendar were the men's volleyball and football tournaments, and the women's volleyball competition.

The women's football tournament, baseball, softball, athletics, lawn tennis, and 3x3 basketball didn't even start.

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