The Southern Tier got some pretty goods news on Monday, February 22nd when Broome County Executive, Jason Garner announced that spectators would be allowed to attend sporting events that had been previously off-limits.

You may remember that New York State in a surprise move had announced that "high-risk" sports could resume on February 1st. That included basketball and as a basketball official, I was thrilled to hear the news. The high school boys and girls basketball season began on Friday, February 12th and we didn't know what to expect.

It's going to be a condensed season of around 10 games and will be done in early March. Things have been different and I think that we've all adjusted well but one of the things that feel strange is no fans in the stands.

Don't get me wrong, it's kind of nice not being yelled at by overly-enthusiastic fans who think they know the rules better than me. By the way, we are always looking for officials and it is open to everyone.

It's great that the student-athletes can play but I feel bad that their parents couldn't attend the games. The schools are streaming the games for everyone to see but it's not the same as seeing or son or daughter playing in the gym.

The parents are the ones that would pick up their child after practice and take them to AAU tournaments in the summertime. They make sacrifices for their children and until now they couldn't watch them in person at their school.

It will be limited to only two spectators per home student-athlete allowed. So you'll have to watch the stream for the away games. This is a start and it certainly is better than no fans.

I'll be looking for you in the stands as you cheer on your kids. I'll tell you what our basketball board told us, "Remember that everything is being recorded with streaming so don't put yourself in the "picture-perfect" moment that you will always regret."

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