Scrimmages still banned, activities by minor athletes restricted in plan to return college varsity training

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2020 11:16 AM | Updated as of Oct 26 2020 11:21 AM

Team scrimmages will not be permitted when college varsity sports are allowed to return to training, the group working on the guidelines covering the planned activities said on Monday. 

Student-athletes between 18 and 21 years old will need parental consent, and those 18 years old and below will only be allowed to participate in a virtual setting, said Francis Diaz, dean of the College of Human Kinetics at University of the Philippines in Diliman.

"Training should be limited to body conditioning. Drills should only be limited to non-body contact drills, and should only be concentrated to individual skills development training," the guidelines noted.

Prospero de Vera, chairman of the Commission on Higher Education, said the guidelines would be passed to the COVID-19 Inter Agency Task Force this week and once approved would later be issued to schools interested to adopt the measures. 

"The question is not when they can start, but how soon they can comply with the requirements," de Vera said.

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The group clarified that, even though training activities were to be permitted again, reopening sports competition remained far along down the road.

"As far as competition is concerned, we're still cautious," NCAA representative Hercules Callanta said, adding that tournaments should ideally be back "3 months to 4 months after the new normal has been declared."

Diaz said the guidelines were "not compulsory," and only for colleges and universities that were capable of complying. 

For the safety of participants, he acknowledged that the "very strict, very tedious" measures must be followed.

UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag said no school would be required to join in the activities.

"Just because pinayagan, it doesn't mean lahat sasali," he said. "It will depend on a lot of things."