THE NCAA has added volleyball to its list of mandatory sports.
NCAA Management Committee chairman Jose Mari Lacson of Season 92 host San Beda confirmed the board's approval in officially naming volleyball as the fourth sport branded as mandatory along with basketball, swimming and centerpiece athletics.
"It's approved," said Lacson.
It will be imposed this season for the seniors division, meaning all schools must field teams in the men's and women's volleyball tournaments. However, juniors volleyball squads will be required for all NCAA members by 2018.
All 10 members schools are already participating in men's and women's volleyball, and the league's move to officialy make it mandatory means no school will now be allowed to withdraw their teams.
The NCAA is also mulling the possibility of making all its calendared sports mandatory for all members in the future.
Major sports events such as football still has to draw full participation from members with only seven teams seeing action.
"The NCAA's goal is to increase participation not just in a few sports but all [events], and the NCAA plans to make it all sports mandatory in the future," said Mancom member Peter Cayco of Arellano U.
"The NCAA started with volleyball first because all schools are already active when it comes to volleyball," he added.
Set to open basketball hostilities are Mapua against Jose Rizal at 2 p.m. while defending champion Letran battles last year's runner-up San Beda in the main game at 4 p.m.
Organizers also promised a big opening number that will be choreographed by Roxanne Lapus and directed by Douglas Nierras to jumpstart the season set to unfold at 12:30 p.m.