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Cross Country

Last Revised on June 20, 2018

1. For the Sake of God’s Children - It is the responsibility of all coaches to ensure that For the Sake of God’s Children policies for the Diocese of Wilmington are being followed at practices and meets. This includes coaches wearing CYM IDs at all practices and meets.

a. Practices must meet CYM’s adult to player ratio. In the event a group of runners must be split into two groups, a minimum of two cleared adults must be with each group.

b. There must be at least 2 age-appropriate spotters at each relevant location along a course, and at least 2 age-appropriate sweepers following the last runner of a race.

2. Practice Schedule/Scrimmages/Meets

a. Practices, scrimmages or meets are not to be held on Sundays before noon.

b. Three practices and/or scrimmages are permitted per week. Practices may be up to 2 hours long, including warmups, stretching, water breaks and cooldown.

c. Practices prior to Labor Day – teams may practice up to 3 days a week. There can not be more than 3 consecutive practice days, even if “split” between two weeks. (e.g. – can not practice Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday even though the week “resets”)

i. Coaches are to monitor players for heat related symptoms and provide water breaks every fifteen (15) minutes.

ii. When the temperature is above 95°, regardless of humidity, only stretches, walk-through and blackboard sessions are permitted.

iii. When the sum of the temperature and relative humidity equals or exceeds 170 (For example 85° 85% relative humidity), only stretches, walk-through and blackboard sessions are permitted.

d. It is strongly recommended that cross country teams have at least one individual certified in CPR and one individual certified in first aid present at all practices and games. The individual may be a parent, coach or parish volunteer and the certification should be current and should have been completed by an accredited institution (i.e., Red Cross, American Heart Association). A person that is certified in both CPR and First Aid is acceptable.

3. Rosters

a. Cross Country Coaches must complete separate online rosters for JV Boys, JV Girls, Varsity Boys and Varsity Girls teams and 6th graders must be listed on one or the other, but not both.

b. If a 6th grader is listed on a varsity roster when the roster is submitted, that individual must stay on the varsity roster throughout the season.

c. A 3rd grader may participate in JV Cross Country at the discretion of the parish and if the head coach is confident that the player is able to safely complete a JV race.

i. It is the responsibility of the host meet director to ensure that any 3rd graders at a starting line are far enough away from 6th graders to allow for separation and avoid their running alongside each other.  It is recommended that all 3rd graders be placed at one end of the starting line and all 6th graders at the other.

4. Meet rules – If a rule is not specifically addressed herein, NFHS (“Federation”) rules apply.  In the event of a conflict between sets of rules, these rules control.

a. CYM contests will permit “Phantom” runners to allow team competition for teams with less than agreed minimum runners. The rules for “Phantom” runners are as follows:

i. The first phantom will count as the last runner completing the race +1; the second phantom will count as the last runner +2, and so on.

ii. Each team requiring a phantom will be given the same number(s).

iii. In the case of a tie between a team with no phantom and a team with a phantom, the tiebreaker goes to the team with no phantom.

iv. In the case of a tie between two teams with unequal number(s) of phantoms, the tiebreaker goes to team with fewer phantoms.

v. In the case of a tie between two teams with the same number of phantoms, the tiebreaker goes to the team with the best scoring runner.

b. The top 5 runners for each team will determine team scoring for the CYM Championships. Runners from each team after the 7th position for that team will not affect team scoring.

c. The meet director will investigate complaints of rule violations during a race and after reviewing facts will have the authority to leave results as-is, adjust finish order, or disqualify a runner.

d. It is recommended that meet directors provide details of their meet to other CYM coaches no later than 2 weeks prior to the meet.

e. Non-CYM teams participating in a meet sponsored by a CYM parish/school:

i. Non-CYM teams are limited to 2 CYM parish/school-sponsored meets per season.

ii. Invitation of non-CYM teams is at the discretion of the parish/school.

iii. The schedule for the season will be reviewed at the pre-season coaches meeting at which time a decision will be made as to the meets in which non-CYM teams may participate.

iv. If an individual is a member of a non-CYM team and a CYM team, the individual must run for the CYM team in any meet sponsored by a CYM program.

v. Any non-CYM team participating in a CYM meet sponsored by a CYM parish/school must provide proof of liability insurance for the non-CYM team to the host meet director prior to the date of the meet.

vi. Non-CYM teams are not eligible to participate in the CYM Cross Country Championships.

f. Race distances – It is recommended that JV races are between 1.0 mile and 1.4 miles while varsity races are between 2.0 miles and 2.25 miles.  Time of year and location needs to be considered when deciding on distances of races.  For example, shorter distances should be held at the beginning of the season with longer races toward the end of the season.  Meet directors also need to take into consideration the challenges of the course, such as number and steepness of hills.

5. CYM Championships

a. Required Races – an individual must run in a minimum of 3 races listed on the regular season schedule, verified by host meet directors, to be eligible for CYM Cross Country Championships.

i. If a runner begins a race and cannot finish due to illness or injury, the race will count toward the required 3.  If the runner does not finish because he or she leaves early or otherwise stops, the race will not count toward the required 3.

ii. The CYM Office has the authority to approve any other exceptions to the minimum number of races required.

b. Varsity teams will be divided into 2 divisions for championships, based on the number of individuals on the team roster.

i. Division 1 will consist of teams with the most individuals on their roster.

ii. Division 2 will consist of the remaining teams.

iii. Once rosters are locked, divisions will be set. If there is an even number of teams, the split will be half less one for Division 1.

iv. If a team is assigned to Division 2, that team can move up to Division 1 by giving notice to CYM no later than one week from the time divisions are announced.

v. If there are two or more teams with the same number of individuals on their rosters, which are tied for the last spot in Division 1, all of those teams will be assigned to Division 1.

6. Weather – meet directors are responsible for making decisions on reporting and running a race, and head coaches are responsible for the same at practice.

a. If a director/coach hear thunder or observe lightning, all activities must be suspended. Players and families must be moved off of the practice/meet area(s) and encouraged to return to cars or inside a building.

b. The team(s) must wait a minimum of 30 minutes after the last thunder heard or lightning observed before activities may resume.

Related Policies:

All coaches (head and assistant) in the CYM program must become thoroughly familiar with the sport specific rules for the sports he/she coaches. It is CYM policy that all sport specific rules be followed for any CYM practice and/or game. 8266