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CROSS COUNTRY GUIDELINES

  1. THE COURSE – Cross-country courses are in parks on grass or dirt. The distance will be approximately one mile for all grades. Courses should be established so that they are between 7/8ths of a mile and 1-1/8th miles. Courses should be easy to learn, loop courses that runners can easily follow. Some hills and grades should be included, but not so long and steep that average runners would want to walk. Meet directors should mark the courses well, using cones and flour. Courses should be as simply as possible to avoid confusion; runners can be walked through prior to the race.
    Multiple starting lines may be used. Three runners (or fewer at the discretion of the meet director) from each team will be allowed on the first line with all other runners on the second. A fourth starting line will be used at Joaquin Miller Park for very young runners. Kindergarten and 1st grade runners must use the fourth line.
  2. GRADE DIVISIONS – Each meet will consist of four races: two for boys and two for girls by age divisions. The races will be run according to the following divisions: 3rd - 5th grade girls; 3rd - 5th grade boys; 6th -8th grade girls; 6th - 8th grade boys. (Children younger than third grade may run in the lower divisions.) Runners may compete in a grade division higher than they are enrolled but they may only run one race per day.
    • Color Groups – In preliminary meets, one race for each division will be held for all parishes but teams will be competing in groups on a round-robin schedule against a few other assigned schools. Each week, parishes will be assigned a group color on the schedule. Runners who do not have enough other runners in their grade division from their parish may participate individually; combination parish teams are not allowed.
    • Relay meet – combination parish teams will be allowed to make a relay team in the relay meet ONLY if there are insufficient runners from a parish/school to form a relay team. A separate division will be run for combination relay teams.
  3. SCORING – Team scoring will be based on a minimum of three runners scoring per division. A team is complete if there are three runners fielded in that division. All additional runners will act as "pushers." Pushers are members of a team who do not score themselves but who will affect the score by finishing ahead of one or more of the first three runners of an opposing team. Hence, because CYO encourages participation, it is an advantage to field a large team. Scoring will be based on the first place runner receiving one point, the second place runner receiving two points, etc. The score of the first three runners from each team will be totaled with the lowest score the winner. Ties will not be broken in preliminary meets.
    In the Diocesan Meet, the four division races will be run. Complete teams will compete against all others (no color groups). To be eligible to run in the Diocesan Meet, a runner must have competed in at least one preliminary, competitive CYO cross-country meet this season. The relay meet and the fun runs will not count as meet participation for the purpose of this rule. Ties will be broken with the place of each teams fourth runner. If either team has no fourth runner, the tie will stand.
  4. AWARDS – In Preliminary Meets: Individual ribbons are awarded for 1st through 10th place in each division with a participation ribbon for all others. In the Diocesan Meet: a banner for each championship and runner up team in each division; individual medals for 1st through 30th place; individual team ribbons for 1st through 5th place teams members; a participation ribbon for each participants.
  5. PARENTAL PERMISSION FORMS/ROSTERS – Each participant and her/his parent(s) must complete a “CYO Parental Participation, Health Authorization & Release Form” prior to practicing and competing. Coaches or a designated person must have them available at all meets and practices. Rosters shall be submitted by the second meet.
  6. NAMETAGS – Each child must wear a nametag with his/her first AND last name, parish/school team and grade division clearly indicated. Teams must use designated codes for parish/school names. Nametags must be color coded with the color group to indicate the parish/school teams competed against in the round robin. Teams should bring their own tags but some will be available at each meet. Nametags should be 1-1/4 “ or less in height.
  7. FITNESS AND WARM UP – Coaches should be certain that their teams are properly warmed up before competition and that each child is fit to run. Teams must arrive at the meet site to allow adequate warm-up. Be certain that all runners drink sufficient fluids and are adequately hydrated.
  8. FEES – Parishes/schools will be charged $3.00 per runner per meet. Fees should be paid to CYO prior to each meet or following the season.
  9. PRACTICE – Practice may begin on August 15.
  10. MEET SITES – A schedule of dates and sites will be published. Sites have picnic areas and many of our teams have arranged picnics with team members and parents following the meets - a fun activity! All meets will begin with a prayer with all the participants.
  11. SUPERVISION – Coaches will enlist adults/parents to supervise participants and younger children at all times. As per CYO rules, there must be two adults present at all activities. An adult of the same gender as participants must be present with teams including females.
  12. MEET OFFICIALS – Host parishes and the meet director should arrange for and supervise meet officials. Each parish/school should provide at least two responsible adults or high school youth (other than coaches) as meet officials for each meet.
FOR MORE INFORMATION – Check the CYO Website (www.oaklandcyo.org), Or call CYO at 510-893-5154, or email CYO at ghouse@oakdiocese.org