TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey is changing the rules when it comes to school and youth sports. After months of being banned from the stands, a limited number of parents will be allowed to watch their kids play indoors.
BREAKING: Today, I will sign an Executive Order to allow a limited number of parents and guardians to attend indoor and outdoor high school and other youth sporting events – effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/aTiynSjFmnREAD MORE: 'A Game Changer': CDC Recommends Johnson & Johnson's 1-Dose COVID Vaccine, Paving Way For Distribution To Begin
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 12, 2021
“There’s no playbook for what we’re going through the past year,” said grandfather Mike Costantino.
Costantino just wants to watch his granddaughter, Meghan Sheldrick, a basketball player at Washington Township High School, play the game she loves.
“These are times she’ll never get back,” Costantino said. “The last year has been tough enough.”READ MORE: Irv Cross, Former Eagles Star DB And Pioneer Black Analyst, Dies At 81
“It’s different. It’s awful. It’s kinda sad,” Meghan said. “We just have cutouts and they don’t even scream.”
The Minutemen held a fundraiser to get these cutouts in the stands. Otherwise, parents have watched on closed circuit YouTube links from home. But that will change soon.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday, effective immediately, all districts and operators may choose up to two parents or guardians per athlete — under the age 21 — to attend a sporting event as long as the max capacity of the space does not exceed 35% or 150 people max.
“It would mean a lot. We don’t have as much motivation and it’s quiet. And I feel like we don’t play as well because we don’t have people cheering us on or anything,” Meghan said.
For seniors, it would give them one last hurrah at playing that big game.
“A lot of them don’t go onto college and play,” parent Gary Barbara said. “They’re not being able to have senior night, cheerleaders, big crowds. It’s been difficult mentally.”MORE NEWS: COVID In Philadelphia: City Easing More Restrictions Monday On Road To Recovery
The state reminds parents that the COVID-19 situation isn’t over. Going to these games means that health guidelines must be followed.