MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State High School League is relaxing some of its rules.

Families will be able to watch their student-athletes compete, but they might have to take turns.

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Per new guidance, only two spectators for each participant are allowed to watch from the stands.

The league also requires school districts will still have to keep gyms and arenas at 25% capacity, and keep the paired-off spectators six-feet apart from each other.

For some student-athletes and their parents, this announcement is extra special. Sheila Stern is the mother of Maple Grove High School senior Anna Stern, who plays post for the Crimson girls’ basketball team.

“This is her last year as a senior, and she’s not going to play sports on into college like some do,” Sheila Stern said. “We were really excited to be able to cheer her on for her last year at Maple Grove High School.”

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Even though the state league says this new guidance is effective immediately, WCCO spoke to several districts who say they still need to make a decision on how to bring back spectators safely. And they need families to remain patient before immediately returning to the stands.

“We’ll have 18 games instead of a regular 25, but we’re just going to make the most out of the 18 we get,” Anna Stern said.

Her winter basketball season will also have a one-month delayed start, beginning in December instead of November. But Anna says this one change of adding back some fans is a huge improvement.

“Spectators, they just add a different dynamic and atmosphere to each game, and they can really influence how stuff goes on the floor,” Anna said.

Many districts are also still requiring masks to be worn inside. In some cases, athletic directors are trying to make a conference-wide decision so the rules won’t change for every game and location.

The league is also requiring advanced ticket sales for games. Walk-up sales will not be allowed.

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Marielle Mohs