MANILA, Philippines –The NCAA has decided to push back its Season 96 launch to early 2021 in a statement released on Thursday, June 11.
Per earlier reports, the league is maintaining its stance on holding just 4 mandatory sports – basketball, volleyball, swimming and track and field – next season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (READ: 4 events only in NCAA Season 96)
The official statement also said that students’ eligibility rules, including playing years, will be relaxed “in consideration of the disruption of the school year and major changes in the education system.”
Due to the pandemic, Season 95 was prematurely terminated and all ongoing and upcoming tournaments were immediately canceled in the wake of the decision. (READ: NCAA Season 95 terminated)
Because of this, the eligibility of many athletes, especially graduating ones, were left in doubt.
Although only 4 sports have been announced for Season 96 under host school Colegio de San Juan de Letran, the NCAA is mulling the inclusion of online sports like online chess and esports.
“It remains the NCAA’s top priority to ensure the safety and health of our student-athletes, coaches and trainers, and the general viewing public,” the statement read.
“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.”