SENATOR Grace Poe has urged school leagues to rethink their eligibility rules to streamline competitions with the full implementation of K-12 set for next year.
Poe said leagues like the UAAP and NCAA can expect an influx of top athletes with the entry of the first batch of Grade 12 students, which she said can only raise the level of competition in the juniors division.
“The addition of two years to high school education (Grades 11 and 12) will surely have a huge impact on these leagues with the quality of competition in their junior divisions growing by leaps and bounds,” noted Poe.
“With a player starting his/her collegiate career at the age of 19, then the collegiate leagues will surely bask in the number of more experienced athletes,” she said.
Aside from the first batch of Grade 12 students, the K-12 implementation is expected to lure a bigger number of foreign or Fil-foreign students to the Philippines because the school system now conforms to international educational standards, Poe added.
"We now have a slew of Fil-foreigners and foreigners in our country’s many colleges. With the K-12 program, we will surely have a spike in enrolment from these students,” said the independent presidential candidate.
However, Poe said the influx of talent may lead to gray areas in terms of age limits, adding there may be a need for inter-school competitions “to properly define their levels of competition to avoid any contentious arguments as to player eligibilities.”
“It may not even be far-fetched if, say, the UAAP would also like to divide its juniors competition to junior and senior high school,” she said.
Under current rules, collegiate leagues allow juniors players to see action for the high school team until the age of 18 for as long as he or she continues to be enrolled in the school’s secondary school.
“With the K-12 program welcoming its first Grade 12 seniors, most of whom would be 18 years old in 2016, then these collegiate leagues may be well-advised to review their rules of eligibility for players in the junior level of competitions,” she said.