Collegiate training to return soon

Published October 26, 2020, 1:48 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

The Commission on Higher Education on Monday released the guidelines to be used by collegiate athletes and schools for them to be allowed to resume practice.

CHED chair Popoy de Vera said the recommended protocols are now up for approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force and, as soon as it gets the green light, will allow athletes from the college ranks to start training.

“We hope our stakeholders and administrators can seriously implement the guidelines,” said de Vera in an online presser also attended by representatives from the Department of Health, Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusements Board and school leagues like the NCAA and UAAP.

The guidelines, however, would be limited to workouts, drills and physical conditioning and do not allow scrimmages or actual games just yet.

Athletes who are aged 18 to 21 years old would have to secure parental consent while those in the younger bracket would be limited to virtual training.

It also bans live audience and is limited only to places under General Community Quarantine or more relaxed levels of quarantine at a “bubble” or schools.

Upon the recommendation of the DOH, a 14-day quarantine is recommended as an alternative to testing.

De Vera said it could be enforced as soon as the IATF gives it a go and how quickly schools can meet the requirements.

“The earlier they can comply with guidelines, that’s the determination as to when they can start,” said de Vera.

De Vera said if athletes follow the guidelines to the letter, there’s a strong chance competition would be allowed next just like what happened in the pro-leagues like the PBA and Chooks-to-Go 3×3.

“It’s the same with pro-sports. It will be very easy to convince the IATF groups doing the practices if they can do a very good job protecting the athletes. And if we can show this, I don’t see any major obstacle why the IATF won’t approve tournaments,” said de Vera.

The NCAA and UAAP are both targeting the first quarter of next year as the start of their respective seasons.