Age factor

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By Henry G. Doble

Take Two

Friday, August 22, 2014


AN UPDATE on Negros Occidental Private Schools Sports, Cultural, and Educational Association (Nopsscea) Season 34 dated August 8, 2014 were sent to school heads of member-schools by an unnamed chair of committee on sports.

Sports directors, moderators, and coordinators were advised of important dates from August 15, 2014 to January 15, 2015.

Most important item is the opening program on September 12 that will start with its traditional parade from the Capitol Lagoon to the USLS Coliseum.

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The plan to hold a Zumba Run on September 7 as part of the season's launching have been deferred until further notice as stated on page 1.

On page 2, Futsal (high school girls football) and collegiate beach volleyball were transferred from second to first semester events in preparation for Western Visayas Prisaa. Regular competitions will be finished by November 23 before the start of the second semester to avoid problems with player eligibility.

Since Panaad Park is fully booked on September and October, athletics competition will either be held at USLS track oval or on weekends subject to Board of Trustees approval.

Item 7 was a surprise as it mentioned (and blamed) the previous committee on sports for its failure to work for the amendment of the Nopsscea Sports Handbook, which still contains (Article 5.1.2) Grade 7 athletes and (5.2.3) collegiate athletes having a maximum of five playing years within a period of seven years.

It said that allowing Grade 7 athletes to play in the elementary division was a concession in the past to schools using the "Integrated School" concept. Under the K-12 program, Grade 7 is classified as "Junior High."

This issue has been questioned since the 1990s because it gives advantage to schools tagged with an "IS." Their student-athletes who have not reached the age of 13 at Grade 7 can play in the elementary division while those first year who are below 13 years old cannot since they are not from an "IS" school.

For college athletes, the "5-in-7 years" have been practiced ever since. Those who want to increase the number of playing years, probably, still need the services of their "aging star players" to give them one or two championship titles.

Why can't Nopsscea put a closure to these issues?

If they can't, why not follow the Department of Education's memorandum No. 112, series of 2014, dated July 10, 2014, to avoid confusion and save embarrassment in fielding ineligible players in the Provincial and Regional Meets, and worse, in the Palarong Pambansa.

Even the difference in Nopsscea's and DepEd's birthday cut-offs were presented in the eligibility guidelines. Allowing student-athletes whose dates of birth contradict that of DepEd's is plain stupidity, as they will not pass the screening in the next level competition.

Nopsscea could probably cannot count the number of its athletes who have been disqualified in the higher meets. Or will look the other way if asked why the champions or second placers did not join the Provincial Meet.

There are only three universities that have been lording over or have people to run the Nopsscea show. Simply put ...it is a rigodon.

When will the music stop?

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 22, 2014.

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