MANILA, Philippines – Live sporting events will be allowed to resume when a locality shifts to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), with the exception of contact sports and Filipino favorites like basketball and boxing.
Sporting events – along with other mass gatherings like movie screenings, concerts and other entertainment activities – will be allowed but limited to 50% of the venue seating capacity, according to the updated omnibus community quarantine guidelines released by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Saturday, May 23.
The IATF said in MGCQ, fitness activities and sports “such as but not limited to walking, jogging, running, biking, golf, swimming, tennis, badminton, equestrian, and skateboarding are allowed.”
But all indoor and outdoor non-contact physical activities will be required to practice “minimum public health standards” such as wearing of masks, physical distancing, personal disinfection of materials, cough etiquette, and respiratory hygiene. Sharing of equipment isn’t allowed.
According to the Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC) guidelines for high-performance athletes, full-contact sports can be played provided there is a vaccine and treatment for coronavirus. (EXPLAINER: When can sports resume amid coronavirus pandemic?)
For elite athletes in contact sports, team practices can resume in MGCQ, but they will be limited.
In basketball, for instance, scrimmage won’t be allowed but agility drills or ball skills may be performed.
Sparring against an equipment (ex. heavy bag, speed bag, mitts workout) in boxing, baseball batting, and fielding practice and soccer non-interactive practice will also be allowed.
PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez canceled all the scheduled national sporting events this year, including the country’s hosting of the ASEAN Para Games, as the government sports agency will strictly follow the “no vaccine, no sports rule.”
Several sports like karate have shifted online, and on Sunday, Filipino karateka James delos Santos clinched a world No. 6 ranking off his silver medal finish in the karate e-tournament world series. – Rappler.com