Cross Country 101: How a meet is scored

Sep 11

I know I went over this at practice, but in case the gnats were flying away with  you, or my horrible chalk display was putting you to sleep, I am putting this mock meet up so you can get the picture of how a meet is scored. I want you all to truly understand the sport – scoring and displacing is a very important piece of he puzzle.

How to Score a Cross Country Meet


The first five runners from each team to cross the finish line receive the points that correspond to their place. The first place runner receives one point, the second place runner two, and so on. The team receiving the lowest score wins.

The sixth and seventh runners on a team, although they don’t receive a score, can also be important, in that they can “displace” scoring runners from the other team. For example, consider the following race:

Sample Meet    Secaucus   Hasbrouck Heights
    3rd   1st
    4th   2nd
    6th   5th
    7th   11th
    8th   12th
Final Score:   28   31


In this meet situation, Secaucus wins 28-31.

As you can see, even though our sixth and seventh place runners’ scores were not added into the total, they were enough to displace the Has Heights fourth and fifth place runners’ scores, and give the win to us. I can’t emphasize again the important role of the #6 and #7 runners!

A score of 27 or less always wins a meet, as does having the first, second and third place winners, with at least five runners finishing. This final instance is called a “sweep”. This only pertains to dual meets.


Invitational or Championship

Your team gets the points for the actual place that you earn when crossing the finsh line. For example if we went  11,18,21,23,34 (36, 40) – our score would be the first five runners = 107

If a school enters less than 5 runners or starts a team and does not finish with 5 runners, their places are displaced. Meaning if a team ahead of our first runner (in the case 11th) was 10th, that 10 points would be awarded to us and the ENTIRE field of runners bump up into new scoring positions.



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