While winter sports are finally upon us, getting to watch them will not be the same.

Each school district is dealing with the same requirements and restrictions set forth by the state.

“Due to COVID-19 restrictsions, all school indoor facilities are limited to two spectators per athlete. If a family has multiple athletes on a team, they are allowed two fans per athlete. In order to follow those guidelines, all area schools will be allowing two members of your immediate family to attend home events and two members of your family to attend away events, if that school is allowing fans.”

For those die-hard area sports fans, this will limit your viewing opportunities. To help ease the pain, area school districts are providing live streaming opportunities to home events.

Brainerd, Crosby-Ironton and Staples-Motley will be using NFHSnetwork.com. There is a monthly or yearly subscription cost, but that includes all home events as well as all events from other schools that use the same streaming service. C-I wrestling will have a different streaming service since it’s events don’t take place in the Ranger Gym.

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Fans are asked to visit nfhsnetwork.com and search for their school district and then choose which subscription option they would like.

Aitkin home events will be live streaming on its YouTube page. The first of which will be the Aitkin girls basketball game against Moose Lake-Willow River 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14.

Pequot Lakes will be using the YouTube channel “ISD186 Sports” for events at the high school. For Northern Lakes Hockey Livebarn will be the service used. Lightning fans can visit livebarn.com to get registered.

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Pine River-Backus will be using the YouTube channel “PRB Technology” for its home events.

For Granite Ridge Conference action concerning Little Falls and Pierz, the Flyers are going with the YouTube channel “LFCS tv,” while Pierz fans can click on “Pierz Schools.”

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For Park Region Conference teams Wadena-Deer Creek will start the year using YouTube and they will continue to use YouTube for hockey and when wrestling is in the elementary school. The district is working on installing Pixellot into its main gymnasium. Events then will be available at pixellot.tv. For now W-DC activities director Norm Gallant recommends interested fans visit the school website where links will be available to access the events.

Pillager will be using “Pillager School District” on YouTube.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.