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In the interest of safety...
Joined: Oct 2010
Perhaps all teams should wittle down to 14 runners per gender for the remainder of the season after fall break. Would this not to some degree make us safer?
Joined: Mar 2020
@8MileGoat Goes against the nature of our sport, IMO. I think all runners should get a chance at finishing the season out. We have plenty of seniors that I wouldn't want to rob of their final races. Even a "slow" runner that has put in the work all season deserves a chance to show what they could do. But that's just my take. But I also get that teams are trying to limit the number of runners in contact to stay as competitive as possible. We do ultimately compete for a State Championship at the end of this. Probably depends on your team philosophy, size, and culture to decide what's best for your runners. There definitely could be a team out there that would benefit from limiting their size to focus and mitigate risk. But what about the 15th runner? Maybe they could do more than expected and make it into the top 7. Even if they don't, I believe they deserve a chance. Obviously, this is a unique situation, and it should be left up to the coaches to decide. Still, I doubt many coaches with large teams would go for it. You could always split practices to get the same effect without having to tell kids they can't run.
Joined: May 2006
We would never do something like that. Of course, we only have 13 of each gender so with the stated plan we would not have any to leave behind. Also, we don't have a fall break until Thanksgiving week so most would be done by then anyway. But, even if I had 100 or more, I would never drop kids before their season is over. It goes against everything we do for our kids. COVID will never change that.
Joined: Dec 2004
Sounds like something a team of 20-30 might do, but we have too many kids to just let go at this point. ALL of our kids (128) have worked too hard since June to just let them go now. We have good safe protocols & environment at practice and meets to keep everyone safe. Would never do that to my kids.
Joined: Oct 2013
@hoyarelay agree! Too many kids who have worked too hard, especially in the given circumstances to cut their season short. Like many, we are also following strict protocols at practice. We are even stricter than the GHSA/District guidelines just to keep everyone safe. With most sports, a program tends to be evaluated based on the performance of the Varsity team. For me, the kids who are not in the top 14 are just as important to the team for many reasons. Building a strong culture starts with every kid knowing they are valued and are an important part of the team. We are about development because one day those kids who are not 1-14 will be your 1-14. I also feel that, as a coach, if I have athletes who do what they are asked to do, they deserve the full season. It does not matter if you are 1 or 51, I am going to coach you the same and hold you to the same standard. I will also add that the logic of whittling our teams down to make it safer would only make sense if XC practices/races are contact traced back to being events that are spreading the virus more than normal.
Joined: Jul 2009
So I definitely tend to agree with the mindset of "I would never do that to the kids" in any other year. But this is not a normal year and thinking through it logically, goat has a point. 1. To directly answer goat's question, fewer people out there absolutely means that it's safer. That fact really can't be argued, the question is whether or not we should do it. 2. But in terms of doing a disservice to a kid, what is the bigger disservice? Telling kid #82 on your team that their season is cut short by one week to make sure kid #2 doesn't get Covid from them at practice? Or kid #2 not getting to run state because they came in contact with kid #82 and either now have Covid or have to quarantine for 14 days when it's only 10 days out from state. It's ok to have either opinion, but I generally tend to think it's ok for kid #82, who still got a mostly regular season, to miss only one meet of their season so that kid #2 has the best chance possible at racing the big meet they care about. It's been my experience that kid #2 generally works much harder than kid #82, though there are occasional exceptions to the rule, and if one of those exceptions is a senior I think it's worth it to try to make things happen for them at least if you aren't for the whole team. I don't know what you all have in place at your schools, but at Pius if one kid on the team tests positive, the entire team has to quarantine for 14 days. I can get kids released from quarantine though if I can provide definitive proof that they did not come into contact with the kid who tested positive. So with coach wood being 3 weeks out from state, I am strongly considering that being the last race of the season for a large chunk of our team. I'll probably have a second practice for kids who want to keep training though and I'll keep writing training for them through USATF and footlocker if that's what they want to do. I just think it's smarter to keep them away from the Varsity in the couple of weeks leading up to the state meet.
Joined: Aug 2016
It is interesting to read this thread because the first team I worked with cut the team down a few weeks before Region and then of course cut down at region to State. Then, when I started my own program, this was just natural to do the same thing. It is a nice honor for those that make it on into "Championship" season and gives them a goal to strive for. This year, just seems to validate it even more. Good luck to all.
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