Will there be venues open for XC competition?

xcandtrack

New member
There has been much talk of XC practice and if and when we will have a XC season. I haven't seen a discussion of how events could be held and where.
I run a small XC series, four weeks in September for young kids in NEO. We've been doing it for 10+ years. We usually have our site permits in hand by now. We use a community college and metro parks as venues primarily. LCCC which hosts numerous HS XC meets and is a district site said check back later they are not issuing permits at this time. The Cleveland MetroPark which also hosts a few meets at various levels said they are not issuing permits before September 30th.

I curious if there are any other race directors having site issues?

We have 200 athletes and at least that many spectators at our events. I'm small with only 100 kids on the line for each race and I line them up and start quickly. 100 kids and 200 parents gathered around a finish chute. Is anyone going to give a permit for a XC event?
 

CC Track Fan

Active member
Baseball and softball games/tournaments are being played all over the state so I assume that locations will allow CC meets. All that is assuming the governor bestows the freedom on the schools to open and have sports.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
I can't answer the OP's question, but I can tell you this:

Got an email about a July 4 road race in the Youngstown area taking place at the local fairgrounds which will run on the roads and packed gravel surfaces around the fairgrounds. The email states that the event has been approved and designed in conjunction with the local health department. From 6:30am to 10am, they're going to have groups of no more than 50 runners staggered to start every 30 minutes.

To the OP, I would ask if you've talked to your local health dept. If you work with them to create a workable plan for your events and get their approval, you might be able to convince either LCCC or the Metroparks to grant you the permits you seek. I would think the local health dept's approval might carry some weight. It's worth a shot.
 

xcandtrack

New member
Working with the health department seems like a worthwhile approach to at least get some direction.

NFHS/OHSAA will need to have some meet guidelines, guidelines might even be in conflict with the current rule book. NFHS has already put out basic NFHS guidelines for preseason activities. I'm also a CYO XC commissioner in the CLE diocese, I know that the CYO admins are working on how to put on events in a manner that provides the most separation in the team camps, starting and finish areas. One suggestion is to run the races on time. Each team would begin at 1 min intervals. Runners might/will overtake other runners on the coarse but it will avoid a tightly packed starting area and thin things out at the finish. School transportation is an other issue, luckily I don't have to deal with that one. Who knows what the conditions will be in August but plans need to be in place now so we are able to address whatever the situation might be. If the conditions/mood are like they are today I doubt events will be be run as they always have been.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Working with the health department seems like a worthwhile approach to at least get some direction.

NFHS/OHSAA will need to have some meet guidelines, guidelines might even be in conflict with the current rule book. NFHS has already put out basic NFHS guidelines for preseason activities. I'm also a CYO XC commissioner in the CLE diocese, I know that the CYO admins are working on how to put on events in a manner that provides the most separation in the team camps, starting and finish areas. One suggestion is to run the races on time. Each team would begin at 1 min intervals. Runners might/will overtake other runners on the coarse but it will avoid a tightly packed starting area and thin things out at the finish. School transportation is an other issue, luckily I don't have to deal with that one. Who knows what the conditions will be in August but plans need to be in place now so we are able to address whatever the situation might be. If the conditions/mood are like they are today I doubt events will be be run as they always have been.
Good planning involves having contingencies in place, no matter if they end up being implemented or not.

Maybe XC needs some "old school" relay meets to make a comeback? There might be a few old-timers on this board who competed in a few of these types of XC races. In doing some research of past XC meets, I came across a few of these from the '70s. As I understand them, a team's 5 fastest finishers' times were added up, and the teams were placed overall by aggregate time. Obviously, lowest aggregate time wins. The other thing that made it unique is the racing was conducted in "waves." The teams' 5, 6, and 7 runners competed in 1 wave. The teams' 3 and 4 runners competed in another wave. The teams' 1 and 2 runners competed in the final wave. JV races could be done any number of ways if there was a need to split them up to limit the number of runners competing at the same time.

Maybe it's a workable idea for some meets, maybe not.
 

cvctrackfan

Active member
Yes, Mr. Slippery I remember the relay meets. My senior year I ran one at Bowling Green and maybe the St Joseph Relays at Forest Hills Park, my Sophmore year.
 

first

New member
Mr. Slippery, I had been thinking of that exact thing over the last couple of weeks. I too ran in one of those meets at Elder as a senior in 1980. We ran in different races rather than going out in different waves in the same race. It was very different, but a lot of fun for my entire team and our coaching staff enjoyed the personal attention they could give athletes during each race. I enjoyed the unique opportunity to cheer on my other teammates in their races. Maybe this would be a thought/possibility/solution for the early part of the season allowing for smaller numbers of athletes in a race. I have never been sure why the OHSAA eliminated these type of meets as a possibility during the regular season.
 

galesxc

Member
I recall the Elder Relays also. It was a lot of fun. We thought about adding a "relay" XC meet at Lancaster a few years ago but were told the format was not allowed by OHSAA. Maybe OHSAA would view this differently now...
 

tmk

Member
We ran in a relay-style meet held by Marion Franklin back in 1980. Their format was to have the number one and two runners in one race, the 3 and 4 runners in a second race, the 5-6-7 runners in a third race, and the JV runners together in a fourth race. The times for the top 5 athletes were added up to determine the team results. Each varsity race had maybe 20 athletes, so it was (outside of the JV's) very much like a small school dual meet. I remember some of the 3-4 and 5-6-7 guys talking about being pretty excited about the format, as they had a chance to "win" a race.

That same year, we ran in a very different kind of relay meet that Delaware Hayes put on. Teams were broken up into two man relays, with you and your partner each running 5x800 (we ran 4k back then). You would run one, then your partner would run one, and you alternated until you were done.

For the veterans in the bunch... this was held at the same Methodist Seminary that hosted the All-Ohio for so many years, except no golf course for us - just that last, rolling uphill/downhill combo along the tree line that used to be part of the finish.
 

yj_runfan

Well-known member
Wabash College used to host a cool cross country relay meet called a "hokum karem". A team consisted of three pairs of runners that alternated running a 1 mile loop. They scored it like a regular race with three places for each team. That way, only a third of the runners are on the course at any given time. My son's Depauw team started their season every year at that meet. Lots of fun.
 

CC Track Fan

Active member
Wabash College used to host a cool cross country relay meet called a "hokum karem". A team consisted of three pairs of runners that alternated running a 1 mile loop. They scored it like a regular race with three places for each team. That way, only a third of the runners are on the course at any given time. My son's Depauw team started their season every year at that meet. Lots of fun.
We ran in that meet to start all four of my college seasons. Fun way to start the season.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Mr. Slippery, I had been thinking of that exact thing over the last couple of weeks. I too ran in one of those meets at Elder as a senior in 1980. We ran in different races rather than going out in different waves in the same race. It was very different, but a lot of fun for my entire team and our coaching staff enjoyed the personal attention they could give athletes during each race. I enjoyed the unique opportunity to cheer on my other teammates in their races. Maybe this would be a thought/possibility/solution for the early part of the season allowing for smaller numbers of athletes in a race. I have never been sure why the OHSAA eliminated these type of meets as a possibility during the regular season.
I didn't explain it well enough. The "waves" to which I was referring were individual races as opposed to having the runners starting within a few minutes of each other and theoretically all racing on the course at the exact same time. Your description is what I was going for.

Did the OHSAA officially eliminate those types of races, or did the market dictate that this type of format disappear? What I mean by that is XC invites and the postseason are always scored by places, so it's possible that coaches simply saw no value in running meets that were decided by times and went elsewhere. I'd also suspect that the increase to 5k probably buried this type of format, although 5k happen until 1982. Longer races multiplied by X number of separate races makes for a longer day for everyone involved. However, you did have the number of girls teams increasing at the turn of the decade. When you add the girls races to the mix, your day as meet worker just got almost twice as long if you wanted to use that relay type of format. The format becomes less attractive to offer in that case. Look at today with chip timing and how many invitationals don't even run separate varsity and JV races because getting it all done in 1 race makes a shorter day for everyone.

To my knowledge, the OHSAA never eliminated dual meets, but who runs those anymore? The market went away from that type of racing format. I see the same from my school with regard to golf. Outside of the annual dual match against the archrival school, we're not playing dual golf matches unless it's against a top-level opponent. Everything else the team plays in is a tournament format since that's how the postseason competition is conducted in HS golf. As silly as it may seem, I don't think our golf coach (who is also the principal) ever wants the school to join a league if it means his golf team would have to play dual matches against all the other schools in the league.
 
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Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
We ran in a relay-style meet held by Marion Franklin back in 1980. Their format was to have the number one and two runners in one race, the 3 and 4 runners in a second race, the 5-6-7 runners in a third race, and the JV runners together in a fourth race. The times for the top 5 athletes were added up to determine the team results. Each varsity race had maybe 20 athletes, so it was (outside of the JV's) very much like a small school dual meet. I remember some of the 3-4 and 5-6-7 guys talking about being pretty excited about the format, as they had a chance to "win" a race.

That same year, we ran in a very different kind of relay meet that Delaware Hayes put on. Teams were broken up into two man relays, with you and your partner each running 5x800 (we ran 4k back then). You would run one, then your partner would run one, and you alternated until you were done.

For the veterans in the bunch... this was held at the same Methodist Seminary that hosted the All-Ohio for so many years, except no golf course for us - just that last, rolling uphill/downhill combo along the tree line that used to be part of the finish.
That's the format for the relay type race I was referring to. The one I found locally was hosted by Canton McKinley HS at Malone College. A large amount of the schools in the Greater Canton area ran their dual meets at Malone. Goodyear Park was the workhorse venue for schools in the Greater Akron area. Regardless of my personal feelings on either of those courses, it is sad to see them be pushed aside in recent years. For my money, Goodyear Park is home to more XC history than any other course in NE Ohio. Malone's course has long been the hub of XC in the greater Canton area.
 
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Altor

Well-known member
I have never been sure why the OHSAA eliminated these type of meets as a possibility during the regular season.
Did the OHSAA officially eliminate those types of races, or did the market dictate that this type of format disappear?
The OHSAA's opinion on this in the past was that a relay style XC meet is not a valid way of scoring under the NFHS rules. It would be akin to schools agreeing to determine the winner of the football game based on the number of yards gained instead of scoring points based on touchdowns, field goals, etc.
 

tmk

Member
The OHSAA's opinion on this in the past was that a relay style XC meet is not a valid way of scoring under the NFHS rules. It would be akin to schools agreeing to determine the winner of the football game based on the number of yards gained instead of scoring points based on touchdowns, field goals, etc.
True, but if 'social distancing' a cross country meet is a goal, a relay-style meet is one way to do it. Additionally, the vast majority of our result system programs automatically have a "total time" as part of the result, so there is at least a precedent there.

The real drawback to a relay style meet is it requires more time. An invitational with just a boy's and girl's division (2 races) now has 8 races - boys races for the 1-2, 3-4, 5-6-7, and JV, and the corresponding girls races.

It also places a greater value on a strong number 1 runner, who can really bring down a team's combined time enough to change the results, if the 5th runners are somewhat close.

(Here's an illustration of that: https://www.baumspage.com/cc/reg/young/2019/g1.htm The first and second teams would switch using total time)
 

panott

Member
Miamisburg hosted a relay type meet well into the 80's. They ran 5,6,7 in a race followed by # 4's, followed by # 3's, #2's and finally #1's. Each group only had 7-10 runners in it, depending on how many schools were at the meet. There could be a lot of intrigue in the last couple of races because total time determined the winning team. A team with a real stud could play a huge role if he/she went out and really hammered instead of just running for the win. Also, when I was in high school in the 60's we always went to one at Hilliard early in the season.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
The OHSAA's opinion on this in the past was that a relay style XC meet is not a valid way of scoring under the NFHS rules. It would be akin to schools agreeing to determine the winner of the football game based on the number of yards gained instead of scoring points based on touchdowns, field goals, etc.
Invalid doesn't necessarily mean it's illegal to hold a meet of that type of format, correct? I ask in search of clarification as to whether or not this type of format is still allowed. Normal circumstances would not lend themselves to there being a strong demand for this type of meet. However, current circumstances are abnormal.

Could there be liability issues if holding a meet that is not scored in concert with what the NFHS rules prescribe?
 
Would a relay style meet be more interesting by adding together finish places for a team's top 5, 6 or 7 would also work, from each of their races? I always like finish place over time if possible.
 

Altor

Well-known member
Invalid doesn't necessarily mean it's illegal to hold a meet of that type of format, correct? I ask in search of clarification as to whether or not this type of format is still allowed. Normal circumstances would not lend themselves to there being a strong demand for this type of meet. However, current circumstances are abnormal.

Could there be liability issues if holding a meet that is not scored in concert with what the NFHS rules prescribe?
To be clear, I am simply an official: I have no direct voice in the OHSAA office and do not speak for them.

If I was asked by a school to officiate a meet with this format, I would refuse on the grounds that is not a valid way of scoring the meet in Rule 8. I suspect if I were to allow such an egregious violation of the rules and it got back to Columbus, the best possibility is that I lose any postseason contracts and the worst would be that they suspend my permit. I wouldn't have a clue what they would do to the schools involved.

Is 2020 an extraordinary circumstance where they may be willing to entertain this type of meet? Perhaps. But, without an e-mail from Dale Gabor stating such, it's not happening where I'm officiating.
 

panott

Member
To be clear, I am simply an official: I have no direct voice in the OHSAA office and do not speak for them.

If I was asked by a school to officiate a meet with this format, I would refuse on the grounds that is not a valid way of scoring the meet in Rule 8. I suspect if I were to allow such an egregious violation of the rules and it got back to Columbus, the best possibility is that I lose any postseason contracts and the worst would be that they suspend my permit. I wouldn't have a clue what they would do to the schools involved.

Is 2020 an extraordinary circumstance where they may be willing to entertain this type of meet? Perhaps. But, without an e-mail from Dale Gabor stating such, it's not happening where I'm officiating.
As Altor stated it is against the rules right now but that doesn't mean that , under the current circumstances, it couldn't be changed with a ruling from the OHSAA. If someone is interested in a meet like this they should contact Dale Gabor.
 

Altor

Well-known member
And I should have included this when I first mentioned it:
OHSAA Cross Country Manual - Page 2, Item #3.
Cross Country competition must follow the National Federation Cross Country Rule 8 relative to determining team rankings based on order of finish of individuals. Rankings based on time are not approved. Relay type races are not sanctioned.
This has been in this document at least since I have been an official - over 20 years.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
To be clear, I am simply an official: I have no direct voice in the OHSAA office and do not speak for them.

If I was asked by a school to officiate a meet with this format, I would refuse on the grounds that is not a valid way of scoring the meet in Rule 8. I suspect if I were to allow such an egregious violation of the rules and it got back to Columbus, the best possibility is that I lose any postseason contracts and the worst would be that they suspend my permit. I wouldn't have a clue what they would do to the schools involved.

Is 2020 an extraordinary circumstance where they may be willing to entertain this type of meet? Perhaps. But, without an e-mail from Dale Gabor stating such, it's not happening where I'm officiating.
Thank you for the answer.
 
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