Acceptable Number of Entries for a Varsity Race and/or JV Race?


Active member
A lot of variables on this subject. With the onset of mega meets starting with Tiffin back in the 1980's, many, many meets have grown into large masses.

Or terrible parades at times. Personally, I see no benefit of racing in a race with over 20 teams. Our conference meet is less than 20 teams. The district is just over 20 teams. Regional and state are both at 20 teams. So that means around 200 runners in a race if they are allowing 10 runners to be on varsity.
Agree or disagree?

JV races, in my opinion, need to be also at this capacity to 300 runners. Obviously, JV races have a more diverse time range from 17:00-35:00 instead of varsity being 15-20 minute time range usually. I personally do not think it is fair to the runners of any level to not have room to race, pass, or move up in many of these races.

What are peoples thoughts on this?

Just stirring up the pot, as I see some races at 400-500 runners. And then some JV races at 700+ runners. any input on your end?


Well-known member
The correct answer is that max numbers (max teams and runners per team) should be based on the course. If your course has a short starting straight and a bunch of tight turns and narrow areas where it is tough to should be more restrictive with your entries than a course that has a quarter mile long starting area, and is wide open with plenty of room to pass for the rest of the race.


Well-known member
Also. Make sure you can fit 6 feet (rulebook minimum) * the number of teams on your starting line. If you are inviting the teams with 100+ runners, make sure there is room in the starting box(es) for them.
I always used meets throughout the season as developmental. The larger the race the better chance of athletes experiencing a lot of people around them which can teach them to push and find their limits. I do not see an advantage of doing this week in and week out but it can have its place.
I think it really depends on the course. I've been to small meets that feel really crowded because you're turning a lot early in the race, and I've been to mega meets that you don't notice the crowds. Most of the courses our team visits now are built to accomodate 200-400 runners pretty easily. Long opening straightaway, big boxes at the start line, and life is good.

In 2017 we went to Fairmont and there were 826 finishers in the open race. The start line and first 400 or so was insane, but most of our kids found their positioning and ran about what I'd expected them to run time wise, so it didn't seem a huge detriment.

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
It's up to coaches to select meets that fit their runners' needs. If my team is going to finish 44th in a 45-team meet and score 1200 pts, maybe that's not the right meet for my team. If my team is going to "15" a 6-team invite, maybe that's not the right meet for my team either. Since the meets generally exist to make money, the free market will do its thing, and meet managers will either adapt to coaches' preferences or watch their program's fundraiser go down the tubes.

Also as others have already mentioned, some courses handle crowds better than others. My school's course works fine for the size of meet that it hosts but would be an utter disaster for hosting a larger invitational or even a smaller one if the wrong DI teams showed up. Not having room to race is no fun, but the worst thing in the world I've seen is the finishers stacking up so badly that they extend in front of the line. I've seen that happen twice. In both cases, the finishers stacked up to roughly 50m before the finish line.

IIRC, Boardman capped team sizes sometime in recent memory in order to allow more schools to enter. Timing chip availability may have been a factor, but also 1 school bringing 100 runners means just 1 team entry check, whereas capping them at 50 and creating room for 5 more schools w/ 10 runners apiece to enter means an additional 5 team entry checks.
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Active member
It depends on the course and race environment, start line for the Schul is 85 yards long. The first 1k is wide open and no runners have an issue with congestion. Also look at Night lights,,,,,those races are big and insane. It makes for a fun meet