Covid Issues
09/01/2020 11:45:40 AM
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Let me lead off by saying, there are no easy answers and this is not a post with any desire/intent to debate Covid related issues. Sadly, the epidemic of race cancellations has only exacerbated the problem. Instead of having more races so that teams can spread out allowing us to run in a manner that is beneficial to maximum safety. Instead, we are being funneled into the fewer races (that are still trying to operate) which strains those meet directors to operate safely. Races that used to have 10-15 teams instead have double or even triple that number. I commend those meet directors who are doing their best to run multiple heats, distance at the starting line, widen their courses, and limit the number of spectators. Please continue to do your best to keep our runners, our coaches, and our community as safe as possible. That being said, anyone run a middle school program in the north Atlanta metro area want to do an old fashion dual meet at a local park? If interested, send me an email. Michael Sinco Head Coach Jr. Cougars XC (Taylor Rd MS) sincom@fultonschools.org
Let me lead off by saying, there are no easy answers and this is not a post with any desire/intent to debate Covid related issues. Sadly, the epidemic of race cancellations has only exacerbated the problem. Instead of having more races so that teams can spread out allowing us to run in a manner that is beneficial to maximum safety. Instead, we are being funneled into the fewer races (that are still trying to operate) which strains those meet directors to operate safely. Races that used to have 10-15 teams instead have double or even triple that number. I commend those meet directors who are doing their best to run multiple heats, distance at the starting line, widen their courses, and limit the number of spectators. Please continue to do your best to keep our runners, our coaches, and our community as safe as possible.

That being said, anyone run a middle school program in the north Atlanta metro area want to do an old fashion dual meet at a local park? If interested, send me an email.

Michael Sinco
Head Coach
Jr. Cougars XC (Taylor Rd MS)
sincom@fultonschools.org
09/01/2020 1:35:33 PM
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@sinco agreed. So few schools host and the ones that do are already hosting 2-3 meets a year. Maybe GHSA brings about some type of change in the future with scheduling to help alleviate the problem with so few meets. Maybe requiring a tri or quad meet once a year. And just imagine the further south you go in the state the fewer the meets that there are. My program is stuck going to the same few meets every year here where I'm at in Southeast Georgia. Almost every meet we travel to is a hour/half to 2 hour bus trip.
@sinco agreed. So few schools host and the ones that do are already hosting 2-3 meets a year.

Maybe GHSA brings about some type of change in the future with scheduling to help alleviate the problem with so few meets. Maybe requiring a tri or quad meet once a year.

And just imagine the further south you go in the state the fewer the meets that there are. My program is stuck going to the same few meets every year here where I'm at in Southeast Georgia. Almost every meet we travel to is a hour/half to 2 hour bus trip.
09/01/2020 2:28:17 PM
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I think an issue for some is paying for a timer. They aren't cheap. So, if races are hand timed, what is the best way to do that?
I think an issue for some is paying for a timer. They aren't cheap. So, if races are hand timed, what is the best way to do that?
09/01/2020 7:38:55 PM
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I would also add that finding courses to host meets is not always easy. I know for us in Cobb we have one main course that can host a decent size meet. I know Gwinnett County struggles with the same thing. We would love to host a meet during the year but Allatoona Creek Park gets used so many times that its hard to find a weekend to schedule a meet there and no one wants to run a lot of meets in the same location.
I would also add that finding courses to host meets is not always easy. I know for us in Cobb we have one main course that can host a decent size meet. I know Gwinnett County struggles with the same thing. We would love to host a meet during the year but Allatoona Creek Park gets used so many times that its hard to find a weekend to schedule a meet there and no one wants to run a lot of meets in the same location.
09/01/2020 8:44:55 PM
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I grew up in a state in the northeast where distances between schools are not as bad as in some areas of Georgia. Space was not an issue as well. The High Schools would have a "League season",this worked like a Region season. Each school would face each other two times a year. In theory, that meant a race at each schools home races. You actually had a win-loss record. These meets could be dual/tri/or quad meets. There was not a paid timer, times were either kept by hand or simply a clock with numbers given out at the finish line and handed in at the end of the chute. I think each school was able to run in 4 Invitationals or big weekend meets a season. Professional timing companies are expensive. With so many programs needing to raise money for their programs, a large meet is the easiest way to do this. So from those hosting, it is a cost analysis. I would love to see some more dual meets. Running for placing and not time is what Championship racing is about.
I grew up in a state in the northeast where distances between schools are not as bad as in some areas of Georgia. Space was not an issue as well. The High Schools would have a "League season",this worked like a Region season. Each school would face each other two times a year. In theory, that meant a race at each schools home races. You actually had a win-loss record. These meets could be dual/tri/or quad meets. There was not a paid timer, times were either kept by hand or simply a clock with numbers given out at the finish line and handed in at the end of the chute. I think each school was able to run in 4 Invitationals or big weekend meets a season.

Professional timing companies are expensive. With so many programs needing to raise money for their programs, a large meet is the easiest way to do this. So from those hosting, it is a cost analysis.

I would love to see some more dual meets. Running for placing and not time is what Championship racing is about.
09/02/2020 9:14:05 AM
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@RobtheAggie Agreed, I have offered to do a non timed old fashion race to several coaches and no one is interested. Today's world seems to be all about times. I think it would be a great race. I have the course to do it on also. If anyone is serious about doing one or two of these I would love to hear from you.
@RobtheAggie
Agreed,
I have offered to do a non timed old fashion race to several coaches and no one is interested. Today's world seems to be all about times. I think it would be a great race. I have the course to do it on also. If anyone is serious about doing one or two of these I would love to hear from you.
09/02/2020 10:26:05 AM
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We do several small meets throughout the year where we only score the meet and coaches are responsible for collecting their athletes times if the are interested in them. It has been harder to get teams to come these past few years, but we have a group of local teams that are regulars. There is a Google Sheet add-on called "Cross Country Scorer" that is very helpful with these kind of meets. You provide the placing along with a letter representative of each team and it will score the meet, including correctly handling the displacers. Makes it very easy to run off a simple meet.
We do several small meets throughout the year where we only score the meet and coaches are responsible for collecting their athletes times if the are interested in them. It has been harder to get teams to come these past few years, but we have a group of local teams that are regulars. There is a Google Sheet add-on called "Cross Country Scorer" that is very helpful with these kind of meets. You provide the placing along with a letter representative of each team and it will score the meet, including correctly handling the displacers. Makes it very easy to run off a simple meet.
09/02/2020 12:32:00 PM
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I had a friend tell me: "We really don't need to change anything. The truth is 94% of all deaths are people who have two other comorbidities. I'm also willing to bet out of the remaining 6%, they had a missed comorbidity or were older in age. Why don't we allow free people to make their own decisions about what they are a part of and whether or not they risk being exposed, this way the healthy people help us achieve heard immunity quickly instead of a constant slow flow of new cases. Case number is not important, deaths are important. We are obsessed with cases on a disease that kills people with underlying conditions, why are we changing everything for people who can make the choice to stay sheltered? As long as we can give every person involved in things a choice between exposure and sheltering why are we forcing people to do one over the other, aren't we a free society?" Personally, I tend to agree with this line of thinking, would it not be alot easier to just have everyone sign a waiver that they are ok with getting Covid this year, and if they are not, they take the year off and see if a vaccine becomes available? I don't mean to stir the pot but let's have an open discussion.
I had a friend tell me:

"We really don't need to change anything. The truth is 94% of all deaths are people who have two other comorbidities. I'm also willing to bet out of the remaining 6%, they had a missed comorbidity or were older in age. Why don't we allow free people to make their own decisions about what they are a part of and whether or not they risk being exposed, this way the healthy people help us achieve heard immunity quickly instead of a constant slow flow of new cases. Case number is not important, deaths are important. We are obsessed with cases on a disease that kills people with underlying conditions, why are we changing everything for people who can make the choice to stay sheltered? As long as we can give every person involved in things a choice between exposure and sheltering why are we forcing people to do one over the other, aren't we a free society?"

Personally, I tend to agree with this line of thinking, would it not be alot easier to just have everyone sign a waiver that they are ok with getting Covid this year, and if they are not, they take the year off and see if a vaccine becomes available? I don't mean to stir the pot but let's have an open discussion.
09/02/2020 1:29:29 PM
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@8MileGoat Can we please keep this stuff off of a track/XC message board? A message board for high school sports is not the place to have an open discussion on global health and a pandemic. This should be left to experts (which we are not). The 6% thing is not correct. This is not as simple as any of us would like it to be. [url=https://www.factcheck.org/2020/09/cdc-did-not-admit-only-6-of-recorded-deaths-from-covid-19/][url=https://www.factcheck.org/2020/09/cdc-did-not-admit-only-6-of-recorded-deaths-from-covid-19/]https://www.factcheck.org/2020/09/cdc-did-not-admit-only-6-of-recorded-deaths-from-covid-19/[/url][/url] Message Board moderators: feel free to delete my post, if you like (you know, to keep this stuff off the message boards).
@8MileGoat Can we please keep this stuff off of a track/XC message board? A message board for high school sports is not the place to have an open discussion on global health and a pandemic. This should be left to experts (which we are not). The 6% thing is not correct. This is not as simple as any of us would like it to be.

Message Board moderators: feel free to delete my post, if you like (you know, to keep this stuff off the message boards).
09/02/2020 1:54:23 PM
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@GACARTER I am not sure I agree with you that things like this need to be deleted. I certainly see your point and I absolutely agree with you that this is not as simple as any of us would like it to be. But does that mean an opinion should be silenced? It is still related to the topic at hand which is about our season. He was not hostile towards anybody in his post and didn't use any inappropriate language. Irrelevant and inappropriate posts should always be deleted. But I'm not sure this is one of them.
@GACARTER

I am not sure I agree with you that things like this need to be deleted. I certainly see your point and I absolutely agree with you that this is not as simple as any of us would like it to be. But does that mean an opinion should be silenced? It is still related to the topic at hand which is about our season. He was not hostile towards anybody in his post and didn't use any inappropriate language. Irrelevant and inappropriate posts should always be deleted. But I'm not sure this is one of them.
09/02/2020 2:19:04 PM
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@GACARTER I concur as I wonder if there if are any epidemiologists' discussion forums where they debate fartleks, tempos, hill repeats, etc. My hope is that our athletes stay fast and more importantly healthy!
@GACARTER

I concur as I wonder if there if are any epidemiologists' discussion forums where they debate fartleks, tempos, hill repeats, etc. My hope is that our athletes stay fast and more importantly healthy!
09/02/2020 3:32:22 PM
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@shilohhsxc @GACARTER You're probably right, but epidemiologists don't have to make their decisions based on what's happening with GA XC. But I also agree that we're on the same team of helping our athletes be fast and healthy. We have to be honest that this whole situation with COVID and people's personal opinions on it impact our sport. If a thread dives into some toxic political and personal attacks, that's not helpful. But neither is shutting down discussion just because something is an emotionally or politically-charged topic for some people. As the GA XC/TF community, we should keep the conversation open to figure out the best path forward. [b]So @8milegoat's question was:[/b] If 94% of cases involve pre-existing, would it be better to have people sign a waiver that they are fine getting COVID and can participate freely? Those who are at-risk or have family members at-risk don't have to participate. I think that's kind of already the situation. The kids whose parents aren't comfortable on our team won't let them run.
@shilohhsxc @GACARTER

You're probably right, but epidemiologists don't have to make their decisions based on what's happening with GA XC. But I also agree that we're on the same team of helping our athletes be fast and healthy.

We have to be honest that this whole situation with COVID and people's personal opinions on it impact our sport.

If a thread dives into some toxic political and personal attacks, that's not helpful. But neither is shutting down discussion just because something is an emotionally or politically-charged topic for some people.

As the GA XC/TF community, we should keep the conversation open to figure out the best path forward.

So @8milegoat's question was: If 94% of cases involve pre-existing, would it be better to have people sign a waiver that they are fine getting COVID and can participate freely? Those who are at-risk or have family members at-risk don't have to participate.

I think that's kind of already the situation. The kids whose parents aren't comfortable on our team won't let them run.
09/02/2020 3:35:04 PM
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But I think the original question was what to do about hosting meets, because there are so few available and it's too expensive to host smaller ones with timers. Peachtree Ridge would be down to run a dual/tri/quad sometime in September, timed or not. Let me know if someone is interested also: coachvaupel@gmail.com
But I think the original question was what to do about hosting meets, because there are so few available and it's too expensive to host smaller ones with timers.

Peachtree Ridge would be down to run a dual/tri/quad sometime in September, timed or not.

Let me know if someone is interested also: coachvaupel@gmail.com
09/02/2020 3:37:04 PM
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@shilohhsxc So to be fair, we don't really debate fartleks, tempos, or hill repeats on here either. It's usually just course length. (haha, couldn't help myself, gotta have a sense of humor about some things) Anyway. I agree with RidgeXC
@shilohhsxc

So to be fair, we don't really debate fartleks, tempos, or hill repeats on here either. It's usually just course length. (haha, couldn't help myself, gotta have a sense of humor about some things)

Anyway. I agree with RidgeXC
09/02/2020 5:11:34 PM
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@WSWFC & @RobtheAggie That's what we do as well and when we host on the 12th it is a straight dual meet but with some imposed restrictions (total number in one single race, etc)from our county. We are going to run 6 races (big meet feel) and do awards for all races (Varsity/JV/Open). We will combine scores from all races to determine an overall meet winner, a true TEAM effort. Both schools have many runners of which many are young/new to the sport so this is a great way to introduce them to what cross country in high school is. You win the state meet on who you beat, not the time you run (places are scored and that determines a winner and places after that). Even at NCAA's, if it's a tie you go head-to-head with your top-5 finishers from each school, again not by time, but by place. We will hand time everyone, put info into a excel sheet and send it in to Milesplit for posting. Our course is not about times anyway (very proud of that btw), no one ever argues our course is short (and even if it was, would you know it?) Point is, set up a course, line up your kids and let's race over the course to determine a winner, the basic-ness of our sport is why we were drawn to it in the first place. I've always said, is 15-flat great if you are 50th place or you winning a race in 19-flat? What do you think means more to the team or even the individual runner? Remember, our sport is a team sport....If you come run our course its all about the battle and the survival on the course on that day. Ask Sam Bowers, I bet he is more proud of his 16:19 course record versus his 14:51 2nd place at Wingfoot....Learn to time a meet coaches (not just your runners), re-learn about pull-tags, spindles, swing ropes/finish chutes, stand-ins, getting volunteers and manually scoring and teaching our runners the raw end of our sport.
@WSWFC & @RobtheAggie
That's what we do as well and when we host on the 12th it is a straight dual meet but with some imposed restrictions (total number in one single race, etc)from our county. We are going to run 6 races (big meet feel) and do awards for all races (Varsity/JV/Open). We will combine scores from all races to determine an overall meet winner, a true TEAM effort. Both schools have many runners of which many are young/new to the sport so this is a great way to introduce them to what cross country in high school is. You win the state meet on who you beat, not the time you run (places are scored and that determines a winner and places after that). Even at NCAA's, if it's a tie you go head-to-head with your top-5 finishers from each school, again not by time, but by place. We will hand time everyone, put info into a excel sheet and send it in to Milesplit for posting. Our course is not about times anyway (very proud of that btw), no one ever argues our course is short (and even if it was, would you know it?) Point is, set up a course, line up your kids and let's race over the course to determine a winner, the basic-ness of our sport is why we were drawn to it in the first place. I've always said, is 15-flat great if you are 50th place or you winning a race in 19-flat? What do you think means more to the team or even the individual runner? Remember, our sport is a team sport....If you come run our course its all about the battle and the survival on the course on that day. Ask Sam Bowers, I bet he is more proud of his 16:19 course record versus his 14:51 2nd place at Wingfoot....Learn to time a meet coaches (not just your runners), re-learn about pull-tags, spindles, swing ropes/finish chutes, stand-ins, getting volunteers and manually scoring and teaching our runners the raw end of our sport.
09/03/2020 6:56:31 AM
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@spxcoachrm I'm all for debating whether we should have meets or the safest way to do so. But, we should stick to that and not add opinions as to whether or not covid is a big deal. That is a line we should not cross (at least not on a track/XC message board - save that stuff for Twitter & Facebook). Expressing opinions about meets or course length is one thing. Expressing opinions about something that shut down earth for a few months is another, especially when those opinions are potentially harmful. Also, I messed up the link in my previous post showing that 94%/6% is incorrect. For those interested, here it is - [url=https://www.factcheck.org/2020/09/cdc-did-not-admit-only-6-of-recorded-deaths-from-covid-19/]Factcheck - CDC did not say that only 6% died from Covid[/url]
@spxcoachrm I'm all for debating whether we should have meets or the safest way to do so. But, we should stick to that and not add opinions as to whether or not covid is a big deal. That is a line we should not cross (at least not on a track/XC message board - save that stuff for Twitter & Facebook). Expressing opinions about meets or course length is one thing. Expressing opinions about something that shut down earth for a few months is another, especially when those opinions are potentially harmful.

Also, I messed up the link in my previous post showing that 94%/6% is incorrect. For those interested, here it is - Factcheck - CDC did not say that only 6% died from Covid
09/03/2020 9:28:03 AM
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@sinco To the original matter of getting into more meets for middle school aged kids. Have you looked into running any of the USATF meets? As of now, these are planned to go on. We are working on the details of how they will be handled but are certainly taking notes from the high schools meets that have been put on. USATF Georgia Association Cross Country Developmental Series Sep 26 (Tentative) - Alpha Crush Running Club XC Meet, Milton High School Oct 3 - Etowah Youth Track Club XC Meet, Boling Park, Canton, GA Oct 24 - Trojan Elite XC Meet, Carrollton Elementary School Oct 31 - Peachtree City Flash XC Meet, Heritage Christian Church, Fayetteville, GA USATF Junior Olympics Series Nov 14 USATF Georgia Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, Heritage Christian Church, Fayetteville, GA Nov 21 USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, Heritage Christian Church, Fayetteville, GA Dec 12 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, Lexington, KY
@sinco To the original matter of getting into more meets for middle school aged kids. Have you looked into running any of the USATF meets? As of now, these are planned to go on. We are working on the details of how they will be handled but are certainly taking notes from the high schools meets that have been put on.

USATF Georgia Association Cross Country Developmental Series
Sep 26 (Tentative) - Alpha Crush Running Club XC Meet, Milton High School
Oct 3 - Etowah Youth Track Club XC Meet, Boling Park, Canton, GA
Oct 24 - Trojan Elite XC Meet, Carrollton Elementary School
Oct 31 - Peachtree City Flash XC Meet, Heritage Christian Church, Fayetteville, GA

USATF Junior Olympics Series
Nov 14 USATF Georgia Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, Heritage Christian Church, Fayetteville, GA
Nov 21 USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, Heritage Christian Church, Fayetteville, GA
Dec 12 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, Lexington, KY
09/03/2020 9:39:38 AM
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@scalbert Yeah, USATF is cumbersome and expensive. Having every member of your team join USATF, verifying birthdays, using an new system to enter your team. I tried this my first year and got frustrated when I finally got it all done to continue the MS season after state. I entered my team in the Region 4 championships weeks before it started with no knowledge that it was a race that you had to qualify for. Needless to say, the week of the race came and I was told that my team couldn't enter was very frustrating. There was nothing on the website or meet instructions that had told me. It is just one of those things that you had to know, which at the time, I didn't know because I had never interacted with USATF. So, that just soured me on the whole USATF process. All of that said....it may be time to get over it and try again.
@scalbert Yeah, USATF is cumbersome and expensive. Having every member of your team join USATF, verifying birthdays, using an new system to enter your team. I tried this my first year and got frustrated when I finally got it all done to continue the MS season after state. I entered my team in the Region 4 championships weeks before it started with no knowledge that it was a race that you had to qualify for. Needless to say, the week of the race came and I was told that my team couldn't enter was very frustrating. There was nothing on the website or meet instructions that had told me. It is just one of those things that you had to know, which at the time, I didn't know because I had never interacted with USATF. So, that just soured me on the whole USATF process. All of that said....it may be time to get over it and try again.
09/03/2020 9:46:26 AM
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@sinco I understand. There has been a period of transition and further development to the interface systems. Just FYI, a USATF membership is not required for the Developmental series meets. Once you get to the JO's, it is. Let me know if I can be of any assistance. We (USATF youth board, committee and coaches) are having weekly Wednesday night calls to continue to formalize the season and to discuss what is coming down from the National USATF office.
@sinco I understand. There has been a period of transition and further development to the interface systems. Just FYI, a USATF membership is not required for the Developmental series meets. Once you get to the JO's, it is.

Let me know if I can be of any assistance. We (USATF youth board, committee and coaches) are having weekly Wednesday night calls to continue to formalize the season and to discuss what is coming down from the National USATF office.
09/03/2020 9:56:02 AM
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@sinco Also, not sure if you saw the MS meet Olympia is putting on next Friday evening at Etowah River Park? [url=https://ga.milesplit.com/meets/393060-etowah-river-rumble/info#.X1D1lXlKiUk]https://ga.milesplit.com/meets/393060-etowah-river-rumble/info#.X1D1lXlKiUk[/url] It should be fast as there is literally no elevation change.
@sinco Also, not sure if you saw the MS meet Olympia is putting on next Friday evening at Etowah River Park?

https://ga.milesplit.com/meets/393060-etowah-river-rumble/info#.X1D1lXlKiUk

It should be fast as there is literally no elevation change.

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