Rules to play Cross Country Running
Cross country running is a sport in which teams and individuals run a race on open-air courses over
1. Course design
Because of variations in conditions, international standardization of cross country courses is impossible, and not necessarily desirable. Part of cross country runnings appeal is the natural and distinct characteristics of each venues terrain and weather. Terrain can vary from open fields to forest hills and even across rivers.According to the IAAF, an ideal cross country course has a loop of 1,750 to 2,000 metres (1,910 to 2,190 yd) laid out on an open or wooded land. It should be covered by grass, as much as possible, and include rolling hills with smooth curves and short straights. While it is perfectly acceptable for local conditions to make dirt or snow the primary surface, courses should minimize running on roads or other macadamised paths. Parks and golf courses often provide good locations. While a course may include natural or artificial obstacles, cross country courses support continuous running, and generally do not require climbing over high barriers, through deep ditches, or fighting through underbrush.
A course at least 5 metres (5.5 yd) wide allows competitors to pass others during the race. Clear markings keep competitors from making wrong turns, and spectators from interfering with the competition. Markings may include tape or ribbon on both sides of the course, chalk or paint on the ground, or cones. Some courses use colored flags to indicate directions: red flags for left turns, yellow flags for right turns and blue flags can mean continue straight ahead or stay within ten feet (of the flag). Courses also commonly include distance markings, usually at each kilometer or each mile.The course should have 400 to 1,200 m (440 to 1,310 yd) of straight terrain before the first turn, to reduce contact and congestion at the start. However, many courses at smaller competitions have their first turn after a much shorter distance.
Courses for international competitions consist of a loop between 1750 and 2000 meters. Athletes complete three to six loops, depending on the race. Senior men compete on a 12 kilometre course. Senior women and junior men compete on an 8 kilometre course. Junior women compete on a 6 kilometre course.In the United States, college men typically compete on 8 km (5.0 mi) or 10 km (6.2 mi) courses, while college women race for 5 km (3.1 mi) or 6 km (3.7 mi). High school courses may be as short as 2.5 km (1.6 mi), but the most common distances are 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) for male runners and also 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) female runners. Junior high races are typically 1.3 miles.
All runners start at the same time, from a starting arc (or line) marked with lanes or boxes for each team or individual. An official, 50 meters or more in front of the starting line, fires a pistol to indicate the start. If runners collide and fall within the first 100 meters, officials can call the runners back and restart the race. They usually only restart once. Crossing the line or starting before the starting pistol is fired most often results in disqualification of the runner.
The course ends at a finish line located at the beginning of a funnel or chute (a long walkway marked with flags) that keeps athletes single file in order of finish and facilitates accurate scoring.Depending on the timing and scoring system, finish officials may collect a small slip from each runners bib, to keep track of finishing positions. An alternative method (common in the UK) is to have four officials in two pairs. In the first pair, one official reads out numbers of finishers and the other records them. In the second pair, one official reads out times for the other to record. At the end of the race the two lists are joined along with information from the entry information. The major disadvantage of this system is that distractions can easily upset the results, particularly when large numbers of runners finish close together.
Chip timing has grown in popularity to increase accuracy and decrease the number of officials required at the finish line. Each runner attaches a transponder with RFID to his or her shoe. When the runner crosses the finish line an electronic pad records the chip number and matches the runner to a database. Chip timing allows officials to use checkpoint mats throughout the race to calculate split times, and to ensure runners cover the entire course. This is by far the most efficient method, although it is also the most expensive. The drawback to chip timing is its inability to properly separate a close finish. Chips times the feet, when the rule books say it is the torso that counts. It is technically possible for an athlete to fall across the finish line, legally crossing the finish line, but with their feet too far away from the sensor to have their finish recorded.
Contemporary races have now started to use fully automatic timing systems for photo finish accuracy to their results. This has dramatically improved the timing mechanisms of Cross Country over the last few years
cores are determined by summing the top four or five individual finishing places on each team. In international competition, a team typically consists of six runners, with the top four scoring. In the United States, the most common scoring system is seven runners, with the top five scoring. Points are awarded to the individual runners of eligible teams, equal to the position in which they cross the finish line (first place gets 1 point, second place gets 2 points, etc.). The points for these runners are summed, and the low score wins. Individual athletes, and athletes from incomplete teams are excluded from scoring. Ties are usually broken by the position of each teams sixth runner.
The lowest possible score in a five to score match is 15 (1+2+3+4+5), achieved by a teams runners finishing in each of the top five positions. If there is a single opposing team then they would have a score of 40 (6+7+8+9+10), which can be considered a sweep for the winning team. In some competitions a teams sixth and seventh runner are scored in the overall field and are known as pushers or displacers as their place can count ahead of other runners. In the above match, if there are two non scoring runners and they came 6th and 7th overall, the opponents score would be 50 (8+9+10+11+12). Accordingly, the official score of a forfeited dual meet is 15 50.
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