Changing the 2020 XC season amid COVID-19
04/19/2020 7:48:51 AM
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It’s more likely than not Texas high school xc meets are going to be different this fall given the social distancing guidance timelines and the govt's phased approach to return to normal. It’s prudent to consider what UIL officials and meet organizers need to do to ensure a fall xc season happens in a safe way. Here are a few ideas to create a framework for getting us there: [b]Meet Caps:[/b] Place a cap at 5 schools, 4 divisions, and 7 entries per school in each division. Max 140 athletes on race day. Allow schools to participate at multiple meets. [b]Staggered Start:[/b] Race divisions at the top of each hour. Have a transition process where parents and their athletes who have finished their race have time to vacate the field. Think UIL state meet but at a smaller scale. [b]District & Regionals:[/b] Varsity only post-season. Reduce advancing teams and individuals. Each conference holds a separate regional meet, 1A – 6A. [b]State:[/b] Held over two days and staggered to AM, mid-afternoon, and PM races. I can’t imagine meets with 20+ schools and unlimited entries being feasible this season. I’m sure we’ll get there again, but not anytime soon. If there are changes that need to be made, I hope coaches and AD’s are making those plans now because the worst outcome for xc in Texas is no season at all.
It's more likely than not Texas high school xc meets are going to be different this fall given the social distancing guidance timelines and the govt's phased approach to return to normal. It's prudent to consider what UIL officials and meet organizers need to do to ensure a fall xc season happens in a safe way. Here are a few ideas to create a framework for getting us there:

Meet Caps: Place a cap at 5 schools, 4 divisions, and 7 entries per school in each division. Max 140 athletes on race day. Allow schools to participate at multiple meets.
Staggered Start: Race divisions at the top of each hour. Have a transition process where parents and their athletes who have finished their race have time to vacate the field. Think UIL state meet but at a smaller scale.
District & Regionals: Varsity only post-season. Reduce advancing teams and individuals. Each conference holds a separate regional meet, 1A -- 6A.
State: Held over two days and staggered to AM, mid-afternoon, and PM races.

I can't imagine meets with 20+ schools and unlimited entries being feasible this season. I'm sure we'll get there again, but not anytime soon. If there are changes that need to be made, I hope coaches and AD's are making those plans now because the worst outcome for xc in Texas is no season at all.
04/19/2020 6:04:06 PM
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Thats a good start, but I’m sure Athletic Directors have more in mind than just Cross Country. I’m talking about Football and Volleyball seasons. Hopefully they are starting a plan soon that keeps each sport equal and not in favor of only one sport which is Football. I’m sure there will be plenty of unhappy people once they decide how the cross country season will be planned out. Some of the other things to discuss is how to keep everyone safe while having a meet. I’m talking about maintaining RR and hand washing soap. Basic cleaning supplies are hard to come by these days. I just hope they can replenish stock before the new school year begins. It will be very interesting this next season. I really hope we can have one. I see there being a cross country meet shortage because school districts might not allow them due to safety concerns.
Thats a good start, but I'm sure Athletic Directors have more in mind than just Cross Country. I'm talking about Football and Volleyball seasons. Hopefully they are starting a plan soon that keeps each sport equal and not in favor of only one sport which is Football. I'm sure there will be plenty of unhappy people once they decide how the cross country season will be planned out.

Some of the other things to discuss is how to keep everyone safe while having a meet. I'm talking about maintaining RR and hand washing soap. Basic cleaning supplies are hard to come by these days. I just hope they can replenish stock before the new school year begins.

It will be very interesting this next season. I really hope we can have one. I see there being a cross country meet shortage because school districts might not allow them due to safety concerns.
04/20/2020 12:34:17 PM
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@NIKEPRE I thought about a meet/person cap as well. That would put such a significant strain on schools/parks to find and support meets. I could also see a delay in the start of the season - may be no meets at all other than district/regionals/state?
@NIKEPRE

I thought about a meet/person cap as well. That would put such a significant strain on schools/parks to find and support meets. I could also see a delay in the start of the season - may be no meets at all other than district/regionals/state?
04/21/2020 7:54:09 AM
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@Runner1325 I feel for all UIL fall athletics. The potential loss in ticket revenue from football alone would also have detrimental impacts across the board, including xc budgets.
@Runner1325 I feel for all UIL fall athletics. The potential loss in ticket revenue from football alone would also have detrimental impacts across the board, including xc budgets.
04/21/2020 7:55:27 AM
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@stickstickstick There are always dual meets. You could do round robin against every school in your district. The logistics of hosting a meet are drastically reduced while also limiting the number of athletes and spectators.
@stickstickstick There are always dual meets. You could do round robin against every school in your district. The logistics of hosting a meet are drastically reduced while also limiting the number of athletes and spectators.
04/22/2020 8:06:03 AM
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So there are over 300 schools in Texas with 2,000 students that will be on busses, in cafeterias, in gyms, in crowded hallways all inside, but you think we should only attend small XC meets? If we are having school I can’t imagine there being that many significant changes to XC meets. One of the XC meets I host in October has between 1250-1500 register yearly on average and the meet last approximately 5 hours from the moment the first bus arrives to the last bus leaves. Mainly the only fans that attend are close family members, boyfriends, and girlfriends. Are these athletes really coming into contact with more people at this outdoor cc meet, then they are at their own school? On the other hand maybe the 10 biggest XC meets hosted around Texas might not be a good idea. I don’t know I am obviously not a doctor, but I think the average xc meet isn’t different then most schools student population. Also high football ticket sales affect budgets? Maybe I don’t know what I am talking about, but I can’t imagine my 4A school’s budget being affected by our approximately 5 home football games. College football with revenue from tv contracts is a different story. Like I told my track athletes if we don’t go to school, then most likely track will be canceled. If we do go to school, most likely we will have track season.
So there are over 300 schools in Texas with 2,000 students that will be on busses, in cafeterias, in gyms, in crowded hallways all inside, but you think we should only attend small XC meets? If we are having school I can't imagine there being that many significant changes to XC meets.

One of the XC meets I host in October has between 1250-1500 register yearly on average and the meet last approximately 5 hours from the moment the first bus arrives to the last bus leaves. Mainly the only fans that attend are close family members, boyfriends, and girlfriends. Are these athletes really coming into contact with more people at this outdoor cc meet, then they are at their own school?

On the other hand maybe the 10 biggest XC meets hosted around Texas might not be a good idea. I don't know I am obviously not a doctor, but I think the average xc meet isn't different then most schools student population.

Also high football ticket sales affect budgets? Maybe I don't know what I am talking about, but I can't imagine my 4A school's budget being affected by our approximately 5 home football games. College football with revenue from tv contracts is a different story.

Like I told my track athletes if we don't go to school, then most likely track will be canceled. If we do go to school, most likely we will have track season.
04/23/2020 3:07:26 PM
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[quote=DontLIE]Like I told my track athletes if we don’t go to school, then most likely track will be canceled. If we do go to school, most likely we will have track season. [/quote] Agreed.
DontLIE wrote:
ike I told my track athletes if we don't go to school, then most likely track will be canceled. If we do go to school, most likely we will have track season.


Agreed.
05/09/2020 5:25:21 PM
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Some of these changes wouldn't be that bad. Others would make the race almost pointless. If there's no challenge to the race and big meets are out, then there's almost no point in having a xc season.
Some of these changes wouldn't be that bad. Others would make the race almost pointless. If there's no challenge to the race and big meets are out, then there's almost no point in having a xc season.
05/14/2020 9:45:01 PM
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There could be some hope with gyms opening up and club volleyball returning [url=https://www.dallasnews.com/high-school-sports/volleyball/2020/05/14/club-volleyball-is-about-to-return-as-usa-volleyball-will-resume-sanctioning-activities-friday/?utm_source=pushly]https://www.dallasnews.com/high-school-sports/volleyball/2020/05/14/club-volleyball-is-about-to-return-as-usa-volleyball-will-resume-sanctioning-activities-friday/?utm_source=pushly[/url]
05/16/2020 4:16:59 PM
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We're going to have a season and I'll bet that we can begin practicing sometime between 6/15 and 7/1.
We're going to have a season and I'll bet that we can begin practicing sometime between 6/15 and 7/1.
06/28/2020 6:49:26 AM
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If the pausing of strength & conditioning programs across the state are any indication, it's looking pretty bleak for fall sports. I can't imagine some kind of interruption happening at this point whether through an intentional modified season or just stopping altogether. There are already notifications coming from schools about the consideration of a hybrid approach with half online and half in-person. I'd love to see that kind of action come from the UIL. So what to do with the athletes? My kiddo began summer training after Memorial Day weekend and is putting a lot of work to compete during the championship season. I've talked to her about taking proactive measures, like getting permission from her coach to attend half the meets, but she's not really digging that. It would be much easier to digest changes if they came from the top down. Then I don't have to be the bad guy.
If the pausing of strength & conditioning programs across the state are any indication, it's looking pretty bleak for fall sports. I can't imagine some kind of interruption happening at this point whether through an intentional modified season or just stopping altogether. There are already notifications coming from schools about the consideration of a hybrid approach with half online and half in-person. I'd love to see that kind of action come from the UIL.

So what to do with the athletes? My kiddo began summer training after Memorial Day weekend and is putting a lot of work to compete during the championship season. I've talked to her about taking proactive measures, like getting permission from her coach to attend half the meets, but she's not really digging that. It would be much easier to digest changes if they came from the top down. Then I don't have to be the bad guy.
07/03/2020 10:39:46 AM
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@NIKEPRE I am registering my kids for races outside of the school. If we have a fall season and races then they'll run with the school. If not, then we will attend our own races. Summer foundation work is not all that fun (especially without a team) and the kids really need some races to look forward to. I won't let the system force them to spend ANOTHER season running with no reward. Losing spring track was a but let down for them.
@NIKEPRE I am registering my kids for races outside of the school. If we have a fall season and races then they'll run with the school. If not, then we will attend our own races. Summer foundation work is not all that fun (especially without a team) and the kids really need some races to look forward to. I won't let the system force them to spend ANOTHER season running with no reward. Losing spring track was a but let down for them.
07/07/2020 8:56:02 AM
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@Riggers30 What do you think about the proposals out there to switch Fall and Spring sports? Track in the fall and cross country in the spring...I like the idea of cooler temps for distance runners during track championship season. Plus the kids get to finish what they started in 2020. Now that the Ivies are all but assured to combine their fall sports with the spring, we're likely going to see more schools at the collegiate level do the same. I would put this in the realm of possibility.
@Riggers30 What do you think about the proposals out there to switch Fall and Spring sports? Track in the fall and cross country in the spring...I like the idea of cooler temps for distance runners during track championship season. Plus the kids get to finish what they started in 2020.

Now that the Ivies are all but assured to combine their fall sports with the spring, we're likely going to see more schools at the collegiate level do the same. I would put this in the realm of possibility.
07/10/2020 9:55:01 AM
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@NIKEPRE I don't even know anymore. I just don't know how that would look because I've never seen it, ya know? My senior can't get her track season back and it looks like she'll lose her freshman college xc season. My kids want races. That's all I can say. They've been begging for races and are tired of mileage. It's been 8 months now. We keep registering for things and right before they happen they get canceled. At this point it is starting to look like we will be a homeschooling family. Without UIL and sports there isn't much reason to be in the public school system. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of reasons not to be.
@NIKEPRE I don't even know anymore. I just don't know how that would look because I've never seen it, ya know? My senior can't get her track season back and it looks like she'll lose her freshman college xc season.

My kids want races. That's all I can say. They've been begging for races and are tired of mileage. It's been 8 months now. We keep registering for things and right before they happen they get canceled. At this point it is starting to look like we will be a homeschooling family. Without UIL and sports there isn't much reason to be in the public school system. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of reasons not to be.
07/12/2020 2:52:33 PM
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Another issue is that for small schools, lots of students play every sport. Some of these schools are outright moving football but doing nothing about the overlap of basketball because their kids don't do both.
Another issue is that for small schools, lots of students play every sport. Some of these schools are outright moving football but doing nothing about the overlap of basketball because their kids don't do both.
07/12/2020 7:10:07 PM
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@Riggers30 Flip flopping fall and spring will hurt XC. Also...Can't flip football without flipping track because that is where a majority of coaches come from. Totally sucks. I do think we can do this with duals, tris, quads up until near district. Maybe have a major invitational or so right before then. Or maybe we just skip those this year and go for it at the big UIL meets. I'm still of the opinion that we should have sports if we're physically present in schools. It doesn't make sense not to.
@Riggers30 Flip flopping fall and spring will hurt XC.

Also...Can't flip football without flipping track because that is where a majority of coaches come from. Totally sucks.

I do think we can do this with duals, tris, quads up until near district. Maybe have a major invitational or so right before then. Or maybe we just skip those this year and go for it at the big UIL meets.

I'm still of the opinion that we should have sports if we're physically present in schools. It doesn't make sense not to.
07/13/2020 7:59:30 PM
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@Aggietom I agree. I'm trying to find and figure out what races to register for/go to if my school can't have any practice meets. I'm worried about how many schools are starting and immediately stopping summer workouts. If every time we have anyone in contact with anyone else who tests positive force us to shut everything down then UIL season meets are going to be wild. I can't even imagine. My sister's son's school had workouts today and 1 hour later sent out a message saying someone had been notified they had been in contact with someone else that came back positive so now workouts are shut down until the 27th. I could MAYBE understand that one kid staying home until the 27th but the whole high school boys are down for 2 weeks.
@Aggietom I agree. I'm trying to find and figure out what races to register for/go to if my school can't have any practice meets. I'm worried about how many schools are starting and immediately stopping summer workouts. If every time we have anyone in contact with anyone else who tests positive force us to shut everything down then UIL season meets are going to be wild.

I can't even imagine.

My sister's son's school had workouts today and 1 hour later sent out a message saying someone had been notified they had been in contact with someone else that came back positive so now workouts are shut down until the 27th. I could MAYBE understand that one kid staying home until the 27th but the whole high school boys are down for 2 weeks.
07/13/2020 8:15:50 PM
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@Riggers30 Yeah, we can't operate by shutting down. Either do it or don't. Isolate the sick person like you would for the flu and be done with it. Immunocompromised need to stay home. Limit spectators at meets early on. I'm totally ok with broadcasting on a youtube channel if needed. I'm really interested to see what UIL says on all of this. Eagerly awaiting the next couple of weeks.
@Riggers30 Yeah, we can't operate by shutting down. Either do it or don't.

Isolate the sick person like you would for the flu and be done with it. Immunocompromised need to stay home. Limit spectators at meets early on. I'm totally ok with broadcasting on a youtube channel if needed.

I'm really interested to see what UIL says on all of this. Eagerly awaiting the next couple of weeks.
07/15/2020 5:40:37 PM
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@Aggietom Well if the Houston ISD and Travis County announcements provide any indication, we're not going to be starting any sports until September/October. And to your point about physical presence, it seems if a district decides to go virtual, there are no extra curricular activities. Now, at the very least cross country seasons get cut by 1/3 to 1/2 for large parts of Texas. It may be better to just delay the start of all sports until Oct/Nov and run them all through early summer. With so many districts executing the start of school differently, I can't see there being any other way.
@Aggietom Well if the Houston ISD and Travis County announcements provide any indication, we're not going to be starting any sports until September/October. And to your point about physical presence, it seems if a district decides to go virtual, there are no extra curricular activities.

Now, at the very least cross country seasons get cut by 1/3 to 1/2 for large parts of Texas. It may be better to just delay the start of all sports until Oct/Nov and run them all through early summer. With so many districts executing the start of school differently, I can't see there being any other way.
07/15/2020 9:09:09 PM
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@NIKEPRE yeah those districts had political leanings and wanted to get out ahead of TEA and UIL to put pressure on them. Get as many dominoes to fall as possible in advance of announcements. I'd be annoyed if I lived in those areas.
@NIKEPRE yeah those districts had political leanings and wanted to get out ahead of TEA and UIL to put pressure on them. Get as many dominoes to fall as possible in advance of announcements.

I'd be annoyed if I lived in those areas.

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