|The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is an athletics association of eight colleges and universities in the Philippines. Established in 1924, the NCAA is the oldest athletic association in the country. The Philippine NCAA is not connected to the NCAA of the United States.
The Policy Board and the Management Committee handles the affairs of the league. The Board and the Committee are composed of representatives of the eight member schools, and determine the acceptance and suspension of member schools, game reversals and replays, and other official actions. During the nearly yearlong season from June to March, each school participates in 11 sports; each sport is conducted in two divisions: the Juniors for male high-school students, and the Seniors for college students. There are male and female Seniors divisions for some events. The Juniors and Seniors divisions each award a General Championship trophy at the end of the academic year to the school which had the best performance in all sports, based on the total amount of points scored in a Championship tally.
With basketball as the principal sport, rivalries have developed within schools. Rivalries have led to withdrawal from the league of some members as some games escalated into full-blown brawls. The NCAA took measures to prevent major brawls, such as the segregation of arenas into supporters of different schools. With the withdrawal of members schools came the admission of new members into the league. As of Season 82, the league is contemplating an expansion into Division II athletics.
The NCAA sponsors eleven sports, which are divided into two divisions: the Juniors division for high school students and the Seniors division for college students. There are male and female Seniors divisions for some events.
Each member college or university has an affiliated high school that competes in the Juniors division. For example, San Beda College's affiliated high school is its campus at Taytay, Rizal, while Letran College's high school is found within its college campus at Intramuros. While these two high schools are integrated within their colleges, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde is not directly connected with its high school affiliate, La Salle Green Hills (LSGH), except that they are both administered by the Lasallian Brothers. As a result, LSGH labels "St. Benilde" instead of "La Salle" on their jerseys.
The NCAA sponsors the following sports for Juniors and Seniors: basketball, chess, swimming, football, taekwondo, tennis, and track and field. Volleyball, table tennis, and beach volleyball are hosted on the Juniors and Seniors level as well as on both a men's and women's level. Cheerleading is a demonstrational event and is not used in the tabulating of each school's final score, and determination of the season's General Champion.
The General Champion for the each division in an academic year is determined by a points system similar to the one used in Formula One, where the school with the highest accumulated score from all events in a division wins the General Championship. A championship in an event entitles a school with 30 points, the second placer 20, up to eighth place, with one point. For an example, see the tabulation of points for Season 81.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament is held every first semester of the academic year (from June up to October). Each year, eight schools vie to win the two championships: the Juniors and Seniors. If a school wins both championships in one season, it said that they have won the "double championship."
The tournament commences with a double-round robin of eliminations, where the four teams with the best records advance to the semifinals, with the two top seeds clinching the twice to beat advantage. The winners in the semifinals meet in a best-of-3 Finals series, in order to determine the champion.
The championship is continually contested since the league's foundation in 1924, except during World War II and the mid-1960s when scandals rocked the league. The current champions are the San Beda Red Lions for the Seniors and the San Sebastian Staglets for the Juniors.
The athletic nicknames of the different teams variously came from the school's founders, or from a distinct quality that separated a school from the others.
Notably, the first champion of this event was crowned in 1925, 14 years before the U.S. NCAA tournament was instituted.