Improvements to the State Meet
11/10/2019 3:35:55 PM
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Now that we are a week out of state, what do you think could help improve the state meet? We have such a large state race due to 16 races over 2 days, and I think Carrollton does a great job with this huge task. Watching Twitter and Instagram I've seen other state meets and it got me thinking. Oregon had time mats at the mile markers! Super cool! Illinois had bleacher/stands near the finish for fans! Some of these things may not be doable based on the start crossing the finish stretch, but what could be added to an already giant meet? I think the timing mats at the mile markers would be cool. I know that mats for road crossings have been talked about before. I think we do a good job recognizing the top 10 runners and top 4 teams. There was discussion at one point about alternating the races so teams wouldn't have to go back to back, and coaches could work with both boys and girls equally. (4a boys, 6a boys, 4a girls, 5a boys, 6a girls, 5a girls) or something like that. Would it be possible to have the time of a boys race be changed to a 30min window instead of a 45min window? The only issue I saw was in 1a public, which could stay at 45. Or move all boys windows to 35min? Again, hats off to Carrollton for a well run meet this year!
Now that we are a week out of state, what do you think could help improve the state meet?

We have such a large state race due to 16 races over 2 days, and I think Carrollton does a great job with this huge task. Watching Twitter and Instagram I've seen other state meets and it got me thinking. Oregon had time mats at the mile markers! Super cool! Illinois had bleacher/stands near the finish for fans! Some of these things may not be doable based on the start crossing the finish stretch, but what could be added to an already giant meet?

I think the timing mats at the mile markers would be cool. I know that mats for road crossings have been talked about before. I think we do a good job recognizing the top 10 runners and top 4 teams.

There was discussion at one point about alternating the races so teams wouldn't have to go back to back, and coaches could work with both boys and girls equally. (4a boys, 6a boys, 4a girls, 5a boys, 6a girls, 5a girls) or something like that.

Would it be possible to have the time of a boys race be changed to a 30min window instead of a 45min window? The only issue I saw was in 1a public, which could stay at 45. Or move all boys windows to 35min?

Again, hats off to Carrollton for a well run meet this year!
11/10/2019 7:43:09 PM
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My thoughts and observations by watching multiple state meets over this weekend: Maryland alternates their classes/gender so schools in the same class with both teams at the meet do not run back-to-back races, good for coaching staff and fans and team members supporting each others squad. Bad thing with Maryland is spectators are TOO FAR AWAY from the runners so looks like no one is at the meet (one of the best parts of Carrollton is you are right next to the action & athletes!). Virginia uses two sites in the state to host but on the same day (not a fan unless on separate days of the same weekend or different weekends). One day meet/Less classes in GA (that's not happening anytime soon). Larger/instant results boards at Carrollton. Florida/Maryland/Virginia all use it. Good for fans and coaches and keeps everyone engaged with team races (goes along with timing mats on the course). Ask teams to chip-in $20 each to cover the costs. With HALF the teams in the state at the state meet that should be more than enough to cover those additional costs.
My thoughts and observations by watching multiple state meets over this weekend:

Maryland alternates their classes/gender so schools in the same class with both teams at the meet do not run back-to-back races, good for coaching staff and fans and team members supporting each others squad. Bad thing with Maryland is spectators are TOO FAR AWAY from the runners so looks like no one is at the meet (one of the best parts of Carrollton is you are right next to the action & athletes!).

Virginia uses two sites in the state to host but on the same day (not a fan unless on separate days of the same weekend or different weekends).

One day meet/Less classes in GA (that's not happening anytime soon).

Larger/instant results boards at Carrollton. Florida/Maryland/Virginia all use it. Good for fans and coaches and keeps everyone engaged with team races (goes along with timing mats on the course). Ask teams to chip-in $20 each to cover the costs. With HALF the teams in the state at the state meet that should be more than enough to cover those additional costs.
11/10/2019 8:31:57 PM
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We need to have fewer state meet classifications. Why does cross country structure have to mirror the region structure and set up necessary to facilitate competition in ball sports. Cross country is not like football, basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, etc. Why should Carrollton schools have to close down operations on a Friday to accommodate a 2 day meet that the sport in Georgia doesn't need? Florida? State population twice as large as Georgia? 4 divisions. Ohio? Pennsylvania? Illinois? Much larger population. 3 state divisions. North Carolina? Same population as Georgia. 4 Why do we have 8 different state meets? It makes no sense. None. And don't give me the argument that it is because GHSA makes more money off of cross country if the meet is bigger. I looked at their financial statements. I think they make $4900 off the state meet gate. GHSA doesn't need cross country state meet money to be viable. I'd been personally happy to stroke them a check for $2450 to get them to cut our state meet in half. Sounds perhaps excessive, but I'd add a rule that walking and making no attempt to run in the state meet would be grounds for immediate disqualification and removal from the course. I personally witnessed 2 entire teams of girls, 8 tenths of a mile into their state race, sauntering along. Chatting with one another like a group of neighbors out for a leisurely morning stroll. Totally disrespectful to the sport. A great example of why 8 divisions and 3,000 people in our state meet is absurd. There should never be teams and athletes who don't try and don't care participating in a state championship event.
We need to have fewer state meet classifications. Why does cross country structure have to mirror the region structure and set up necessary to facilitate competition in ball sports. Cross country is not like football, basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, etc. Why should Carrollton schools have to close down operations on a Friday to accommodate a 2 day meet that the sport in Georgia doesn't need?

Florida? State population twice as large as Georgia? 4 divisions.
Ohio? Pennsylvania? Illinois? Much larger population. 3 state divisions.
North Carolina? Same population as Georgia. 4

Why do we have 8 different state meets? It makes no sense. None. And don't give me the argument that it is because GHSA makes more money off of cross country if the meet is bigger. I looked at their financial statements. I think they make $4900 off the state meet gate. GHSA doesn't need cross country state meet money to be viable. I'd been personally happy to stroke them a check for $2450 to get them to cut our state meet in half.

Sounds perhaps excessive, but I'd add a rule that walking and making no attempt to run in the state meet would be grounds for immediate disqualification and removal from the course. I personally witnessed 2 entire teams of girls, 8 tenths of a mile into their state race, sauntering along. Chatting with one another like a group of neighbors out for a leisurely morning stroll. Totally disrespectful to the sport. A great example of why 8 divisions and 3,000 people in our state meet is absurd. There should never be teams and athletes who don't try and don't care participating in a state championship event.
11/10/2019 10:42:41 PM
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As an official that works the starting line, I suggest a "protected zone" of 40 meters out from the starting line for the entire width of the starting line. This area should be roped off after the start to allow athletes in the next race to warm up without having to worry about spectators getting in the way. Too often excited fans race through the starting area, along with parents on cell phones (with baby strollers and dogs on leash) and those oblivious to where they are walking wandering through the starting area. To further reduce congestion, I would also suggest that parents and spectators only be allowed behind the starting line boxes. Pictures can be taken with the course in the background. Coaches and athletes should be allowed in the starting line boxes and starting line area, along with race officials. This is paramount if we do go back to 30 minutes for a given race, and the fact we start athlete check-in 30 minutes before each race.
As an official that works the starting line, I suggest a "protected zone" of 40 meters out from the starting line for the entire width of the starting line. This area should be roped off after the start to allow athletes in the next race to warm up without having to worry about spectators getting in the way. Too often excited fans race through the starting area, along with parents on cell phones (with baby strollers and dogs on leash) and those oblivious to where they are walking wandering through the starting area.

To further reduce congestion, I would also suggest that parents and spectators only be allowed behind the starting line boxes. Pictures can be taken with the course in the background.

Coaches and athletes should be allowed in the starting line boxes and starting line area, along with race officials.

This is paramount if we do go back to 30 minutes for a given race, and the fact we start athlete check-in 30 minutes before each race.
11/11/2019 6:13:38 AM
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I thought Carrollton did a fantastic job this year! My only issue is no mats over the roads. Someone has stated it has been brought up before so why hasn't it been done?
I thought Carrollton did a fantastic job this year! My only issue is no mats over the roads. Someone has stated it has been brought up before so why hasn't it been done?
11/11/2019 12:48:22 PM
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I think we are getting very close to having mats over the road crossings. Why it has not been done has been for a lot of reasons but hopefully they have ironed themselves out. One thing I would like to see is if the infield behind the awards could be opened up again to at least coaches and state athletes 8 - 12 (since it seems only 7 are on the award stand now). I believe it became restricted that one very wet year to protect the field but it seems in years such as this with decent conditions that would not be a concern. It would also make it much easier to get the kids to the award stands if they were already inside the area as there is so much commotion in that tiny area outside the entrance. Either that or set up the awards at the track so more people can get to see them more easily.
I think we are getting very close to having mats over the road crossings. Why it has not been done has been for a lot of reasons but hopefully they have ironed themselves out.

One thing I would like to see is if the infield behind the awards could be opened up again to at least coaches and state athletes 8 - 12 (since it seems only 7 are on the award stand now). I believe it became restricted that one very wet year to protect the field but it seems in years such as this with decent conditions that would not be a concern. It would also make it much easier to get the kids to the award stands if they were already inside the area as there is so much commotion in that tiny area outside the entrance. Either that or set up the awards at the track so more people can get to see them more easily.
11/11/2019 3:13:34 PM
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[quote=Sgriff2861]We need to have fewer state meet classifications. Why does cross country structure have to mirror the region structure and set up necessary to facilitate competition in ball sports. Cross country is not like football, basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, etc. Why should Carrollton schools have to close down operations on a Friday to accommodate a 2 day meet that the sport in Georgia doesn't need? Florida? State population twice as large as Georgia? 4 divisions. Ohio? Pennsylvania? Illinois? Much larger population. 3 state divisions. North Carolina? Same population as Georgia. 4 Why do we have 8 different state meets? It makes no sense. None. And don't give me the argument that it is because GHSA makes more money off of cross country if the meet is bigger. I looked at their financial statements. I think they make $4900 off the state meet gate. GHSA doesn't need cross country state meet money to be viable. I'd been personally happy to stroke them a check for $2450 to get them to cut our state meet in half. Sounds perhaps excessive, but I'd add a rule that walking and making no attempt to run in the state meet would be grounds for immediate disqualification and removal from the course. I personally witnessed 2 entire teams of girls, 8 tenths of a mile into their state race, sauntering along. Chatting with one another like a group of neighbors out for a leisurely morning stroll. Totally disrespectful to the sport. A great example of why 8 divisions and 3,000 people in our state meet is absurd. There should never be teams and athletes who don't try and don't care participating in a state championship event. [/quote] ^^^^^^ YES! THIS!!! ^^^^^^ You also make a great point about those other states. Back in the dark ages when I was in school in one of those states there were only TWO divisions in cross country. Not only were there only two divisions, but the districts were made up of 30-40 schools with only three (at that time) making it through to the state meet. Your team had to be damn good to make it through--it meant something to qualify. There were no "show up and qualify" teams like we have here in Georgia. It made for great competition at the district and state level. There were and are more classes for sports like football and basketball, but some sports, like golf for example, have only two classes today. I would like to see Georgia implement a similar system.
Sgriff2861 wrote:
We need to have fewer state meet classifications. Why does cross country structure have to mirror the region structure and set up necessary to facilitate competition in ball sports. Cross country is not like football, basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, etc. Why should Carrollton schools have to close down operations on a Friday to accommodate a 2 day meet that the sport in Georgia doesn't need?

Florida? State population twice as large as Georgia? 4 divisions.
Ohio? Pennsylvania? Illinois? Much larger population. 3 state divisions.
North Carolina? Same population as Georgia. 4

Why do we have 8 different state meets? It makes no sense. None. And don't give me the argument that it is because GHSA makes more money off of cross country if the meet is bigger. I looked at their financial statements. I think they make $4900 off the state meet gate. GHSA doesn't need cross country state meet money to be viable. I'd been personally happy to stroke them a check for $2450 to get them to cut our state meet in half.

Sounds perhaps excessive, but I'd add a rule that walking and making no attempt to run in the state meet would be grounds for immediate disqualification and removal from the course. I personally witnessed 2 entire teams of girls, 8 tenths of a mile into their state race, sauntering along. Chatting with one another like a group of neighbors out for a leisurely morning stroll. Totally disrespectful to the sport. A great example of why 8 divisions and 3,000 people in our state meet is absurd. There should never be teams and athletes who don't try and don't care participating in a state championship event.



^^^^^^ YES! THIS!!! ^^^^^^
You also make a great point about those other states. Back in the dark ages when I was in school in one of those states there were only TWO divisions in cross country. Not only were there only two divisions, but the districts were made up of 30-40 schools with only three (at that time) making it through to the state meet. Your team had to be damn good to make it through--it meant something to qualify. There were no "show up and qualify" teams like we have here in Georgia. It made for great competition at the district and state level. There were and are more classes for sports like football and basketball, but some sports, like golf for example, have only two classes today. I would like to see Georgia implement a similar system.

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