MTFOA updates‎ > ‎

How one league will run its XC meets

posted Oct 10, 2020, 9:18 AM by Paul Williams   [ updated Oct 10, 2020, 9:19 AM ]
Following up on the recent MTFOA general membership meeting, here's commentary that Tri-Valley League commissioner Jim Morris provided regarding how cross country meets in the TVL will be conducted this season:

With the start of the cross country season less than 2 weeks away, I wanted to send out some information to you all regarding how this season and meets should unfold. As you know there have been many guidelines sent out for high school cross country, including MIAA and state, as well as individual conferences and towns. I will try to give you  the TVL guidelines as best I can though there may be changes as we get closer. 

First and foremost, the TVL has ruled that face masks must be used by all officials during meets. Gaiters are not permitted so be sure to bring a mask with you and wear it for the entire meet.

It is vital that you check in with the coaches when you arrive to discuss how their meet will be run. Teams may have different means of denoting runners such as color wristbands, hip numbers, etc. to determine runners in different waves. Please use the coaches' guidance to best run the meet.

All athletes should be wearing a number, which they should use throughout the season. This will help with placements and recording for finishers.

The Start...
Meets in the TVL will be run by up to 20 runners from each team per gender. The start will have 5 runners from each team separated by 6 feet for each runner. Therefore, the starting line should be 60 feet wide. This will prevent the use of tracks as starting and finishing lines. In the event that the start line is not 60 feet, runners will have to be lined up behind others on their team, again separated by 6 feet. To accommodate the 20 runners per team, there may be up to 4 waves per gender, each wave separated by 3 minute intervals. For timing purposes, officials should start watches for first wave and use this time for all runners at finish. Times will then be adjusted by 3-minute increments for scoring. Officials will need assistance from coaches to aid in scoring the meet.

The Finish...
The finish line must be 28 feet wide and will be separated into "lanes," one left for the 1st team and the other right for 2nd team. All athletes must finish with their own teammates in whichever "lane" is determined to be theirs. In meets officiated by 2 officials, each official should take a "lane" and time that lane only. If there is one official, you may need the assistance of coaches to aid in timing as it is very difficult to time a 28-foot-wide finish with runners going in different directions at the line. Results should then be recorded on a sheet that can then be broken down by waves for official times. Officials should again check with coaches to see how the finish area will be handled. If the officials are timing the meet, then coaches will need to record the finishers in order by number. If officials are recording, then coaches will have to assist with timing of runners. Again, this must be worked out before the start of the meet. Nothing will be handed out to runners finishing to determine places and runners from each team will be kept separated by the coaches at the finish area. Some teams may try to videotape the finish line; this is approved for scoring purposes by the MIAA.

There will be new courses for some schools this year. Hopkinton and Ashland will be running on campus and not at state parks. Other teams such as Norton and Westwood, who have started and finished on the track are revising their courses, so please cover this with coaches prior to the start. You should be all use watches at meets assigned, and brush up on NFHS cross country rules, especially rules involving scoring of the meet to be sure you have this covered for the meet. Even though all TVL teams are running on Saturdays this season, start times will differ for each meet, as will which gender goes first. When I send out weekly assignments to you during the week before the meet, I will note start times and which gender goes first. Meets are separated by 1 hour for each gender, so all boys will start at 10am then all girls will start at 11 am as an example. Fee for meets this year will be $120. Be sure that you have updated your status on MIAA website and have paid your annual $80 fee to MTFOA.

I'm sure there will be questions and I will do my best to answer them for you. In addition there may be changes that I will hear about from schools and AD's this season...I will update you on these as I get them. In short, try to be as flexible as possible as this will be a very unusual season and there are many variations we have never experienced before.

Jim Morris