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Lack of Participation at Region Meets
10/29/2021 8:54:41 AM
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Curious on others thoughts about the lack of Regions that have full participation at Region meets. I am seeing a number of Regions with only 4 scoring teams. Some with as little as 2. I feel like there is a better way that is more cost effective and better for our sport. This is not an attack on any individual Region or coaches but more so an assessment on where our sport is at. I think it is wrong that there are Regions where you just show up and have 5 runners finish and you are going to State. This is not just in the smaller classifications either. I will always support the Area model of qualification. Makes a lot more sense on so many levels.
Curious on others thoughts about the lack of Regions that have full participation at Region meets. I am seeing a number of Regions with only 4 scoring teams. Some with as little as 2. I feel like there is a better way that is more cost effective and better for our sport.

This is not an attack on any individual Region or coaches but more so an assessment on where our sport is at. I think it is wrong that there are Regions where you just show up and have 5 runners finish and you are going to State. This is not just in the smaller classifications either.

I will always support the Area model of qualification. Makes a lot more sense on so many levels.
10/29/2021 9:18:09 AM
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On the opposite side, you have other Regions with 5 teams in the Top 10 in the State. Our region has a legitimate Top 10 team that won't be able to run at state, which is a shame because there will likely be teams averaging >20:00 next Saturday while a deserving team sits at home.
On the opposite side, you have other Regions with 5 teams in the Top 10 in the State. Our region has a legitimate Top 10 team that won't be able to run at state, which is a shame because there will likely be teams averaging >20:00 next Saturday while a deserving team sits at home.
10/29/2021 9:22:13 AM
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[quote=TFCoach16]On the opposite side, you have other Regions with 5 teams in the Top 10 in the State. Our region has a legitimate Top 10 team that won't be able to run at state, which is a shame because there will likely be teams averaging >20:00 next Saturday while a deserving team sits at home. [/quote] Agreed! With Areas, that team would have probably made it!
TFCoach16 wrote:
On the opposite side, you have other Regions with 5 teams in the Top 10 in the State. Our region has a legitimate Top 10 team that won't be able to run at state, which is a shame because there will likely be teams averaging >20:00 next Saturday while a deserving team sits at home.


Agreed! With Areas, that team would have probably made it!
10/29/2021 9:23:03 AM
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@TFCoach16 I know this affects the smaller classifications more than the larger ones. In 4A, 5 of the 8 boys regions only had 4 teams. Two potential top 10 teams not going to state, with one region only taking 2 teams. In girls, 2 regions don't field 4 teams and only 2 regions have more than 4. It would be great if they went to an area model or looked at 5th place teams when regions do not send 4 teams.
@TFCoach16

I know this affects the smaller classifications more than the larger ones. In 4A, 5 of the 8 boys regions only had 4 teams. Two potential top 10 teams not going to state, with one region only taking 2 teams.

In girls, 2 regions don't field 4 teams and only 2 regions have more than 4.

It would be great if they went to an area model or looked at 5th place teams when regions do not send 4 teams.
10/29/2021 9:26:13 AM
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@runtad This is not just a problem in cross country. With more classifications, more regions with four and five teams have emerged. Almost by default, certain teams make it to state and get clobbered in the first round, and/or finish last in the state meet. Sectionals absolutely help! However, they had their problems with some regions getting assigned together that were super strong in cross country, track, wrestling, etc.. Personally, I think state qualification should be top three from region and eight wild cards. You get the best competition and the best representation from the strongest regions. No one is really getting left out except those teams or individuals who get knocked out on the early rounds any way. Of course the simple solutions is reducing the classifications in the state. Jesse Howard EPHS
@runtad
This is not just a problem in cross country. With more classifications, more regions with four and five teams have emerged. Almost by default, certain teams make it to state and get clobbered in the first round, and/or finish last in the state meet.
Sectionals absolutely help! However, they had their problems with some regions getting assigned together that were super strong in cross country, track, wrestling, etc..
Personally, I think state qualification should be top three from region and eight wild cards. You get the best competition and the best representation from the strongest regions. No one is really getting left out except those teams or individuals who get knocked out on the early rounds any way.

Of course the simple solutions is reducing the classifications in the state.

Jesse Howard
EPHS
10/29/2021 9:29:56 AM
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This is just a work in progress, but looking at all the regions and results, you tend to see a trend of teams missing or getting left out. This brings all team finishes into place, although still missing results. [url=https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xV2Zp0GFOfajZYOyWJPVFtf0XEOjfVr2-fbpaObzTFc/edit?usp=sharing]https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xV2Zp0GFOfajZYOyWJPVFtf0XEOjfVr2-fbpaObzTFc/edit?usp=sharing[/url]
This is just a work in progress, but looking at all the regions and results, you tend to see a trend of teams missing or getting left out.

This brings all team finishes into place, although still missing results.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xV2Zp0GFOfajZYOyWJPVFtf0XEOjfVr2-fbpaObzTFc/edit?usp=sharing
10/29/2021 10:10:36 AM
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@Coach_Sparks91 Your Region 3-7A boys is missing Hillgrove as a qualifier
@Coach_Sparks91 Your Region 3-7A boys is missing Hillgrove as a qualifier
10/29/2021 10:29:21 AM
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Average time is tough to look at with different courses as we all know. I like the idea that college uses, with the wins against teams that qualified. Just not sure how to make that work in high school. My team is in a very tough region. Yes, we could do better in other regions, but that isn't in our control. We race who we are supposed to and if we don't make it we do better next year.
Average time is tough to look at with different courses as we all know. I like the idea that college uses, with the wins against teams that qualified. Just not sure how to make that work in high school.

My team is in a very tough region. Yes, we could do better in other regions, but that isn't in our control. We race who we are supposed to and if we don't make it we do better next year.
10/29/2021 10:39:07 AM
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@xcnewbee Putting average times there just as a comparison. Obviously this is tough when times are close, but not expecting teams that run over 25 on boys or over 30 on girls to drop to running 18s or 22s.
@xcnewbee

Putting average times there just as a comparison. Obviously this is tough when times are close, but not expecting teams that run over 25 on boys or over 30 on girls to drop to running 18s or 22s.
10/29/2021 10:55:51 AM
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The fact of the matter is Georgia approaches the state meet in XC as a complete outlier versus the rest of the country. These are the facts I researched using 2019 year data: Georgia had 2,863 people run in the state meet. The most in the USA. California, with 4 times the total population, 4X the high school aged population and 4X the # of students who participate in XC only had 2002. The national average is 1,122. Nationally, 11% of all XC athletes run at state. In Georgia, 19.7% of all people who run on an XC team run at state. Nearly twice the national average. Georgia had 413 team participate at state (boys+girls) #1 in the USA. #2 Florida had 263. The national average is 135. Nationally, 22% of the schools are represented in the state championship. In Georgia, 49%...more than double the national average. Georgia has 8 classification races at state. #1 in the USA. The national average is 4. While Georgia has the 8th largest population of states in the USA, this doesn't explain our 8 class system. In ranking order by most population, here are the # of state classes for XC championship racing: CA-5, TX-6, FL-4, NY-4, PA-3, IL-3, OH-3, GA-8, NC-4, MI-4 In XC, unlike most ball sports, EVERY SINGLE TEAM IN THE STATE makes our playoff system. Our sport is as inclusive as it is possible to be. Why GHSA insists or trying to force our sport to include so many teams in the championship event is beyond me and it certainly is not supported by the facts based upon how every other state in America approaches sports in general and XC specifically. We can assume that other states have similar ranges of diversity in school enrollment size, yet they have not decided to create an everyone needs to win a state championship to be fair system. Georgia should have 4 classes for XC. No more. With 4 classes, many teams won't make it to state and their athletes and coaches will have to improve to achieve something of merit versus getting a free ride to state if they have 5 people who can fog a mirror and cover 5K of movement. If anyone is interested in the data, I'm happy to share. Final fun facts: > The average XC team in the USA has a total of 31 athletes including both genders participate in XC. > XC athletes make up 6.2% of the total high school athlete population. GA XC at 7.4% is a little better than the national average. The highest XC % is Utah at 9.1%. Couple that with altitude training and no wonder UT xc runners are so good these days. Least is Mississippi at 3.0% which helps to explain why you don't see many national team or individual XC powerhouse coming out of the Magnolia State.
The fact of the matter is Georgia approaches the state meet in XC as a complete outlier versus the rest of the country.

These are the facts I researched using 2019 year data:

Georgia had 2,863 people run in the state meet. The most in the USA.
California, with 4 times the total population, 4X the high school aged population and 4X the # of students who participate in XC only had 2002.

The national average is 1,122. Nationally, 11% of all XC athletes run at state. In Georgia, 19.7% of all people who run on an XC team run at state. Nearly twice the national average.

Georgia had 413 team participate at state (boys+girls) #1 in the USA.
#2 Florida had 263. The national average is 135. Nationally, 22% of the schools are represented in the state championship. In Georgia, 49%...more than double the national average.

Georgia has 8 classification races at state. #1 in the USA.
The national average is 4.
While Georgia has the 8th largest population of states in the USA, this doesn't explain our 8 class system. In ranking order by most population, here are the # of state classes for XC championship racing:

CA-5, TX-6, FL-4, NY-4, PA-3, IL-3, OH-3, GA-8, NC-4, MI-4

In XC, unlike most ball sports, EVERY SINGLE TEAM IN THE STATE makes our playoff system. Our sport is as inclusive as it is possible to be. Why GHSA insists or trying to force our sport to include so many teams in the championship event is beyond me and it certainly is not supported by the facts based upon how every other state in America approaches sports in general and XC specifically.

We can assume that other states have similar ranges of diversity in school enrollment size, yet they have not decided to create an everyone needs to win a state championship to be fair system. Georgia should have 4 classes for XC. No more. With 4 classes, many teams won't make it to state and their athletes and coaches will have to improve to achieve something of merit versus getting a free ride to state if they have 5 people who can fog a mirror and cover 5K of movement.

If anyone is interested in the data, I'm happy to share.

Final fun facts:
> The average XC team in the USA has a total of 31 athletes including both genders participate in XC.
> XC athletes make up 6.2% of the total high school athlete population. GA XC at 7.4% is a little better than the national average. The highest XC % is Utah at 9.1%. Couple that with altitude training and no wonder UT xc runners are so good these days. Least is Mississippi at 3.0% which helps to explain why you don't see many national team or individual XC powerhouse coming out of the Magnolia State.
10/29/2021 12:50:12 PM
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I've posted about this before but will take another crack at it. When I was a member of the Coaches Association board, I (with the help of many others) worked on the Area proposal that ultimately passed for 7A in 2016 (and was then eliminated in 2020), we compiled some of this same data or data very similar to it. Ultimately what I found was that an alarming amount of Georgia XC coaches are fine with the amount of teams that qualify each year. They don't want the process to be harder. So it was refreshing when I had one coach say they were embarrassed that their team made State, and wished they had not, because she felt like they had not worked hard enough for it. When I went to the GHSA meeting last year to fight to keep Areas, it was quickly apparent that the decision had basically been made and the vote seemed like a formality. Keeping things uniform for all sports seemed to take precedence over what might make more sense for a particular sport, what might make Georgia more competitive and what might make qualifying for State more of an accomplishment. There wasn't any perceived interest in hearing from XC coaches on this issue. I was flustered to say the least, and might not have presented the best counter argument as a result, but I did the best I could. I don't think it really mattered in the end. I'm hoping someone younger/more energized might take up the fight. I've been happier not inserting myself in the political side of our sport!
I've posted about this before but will take another crack at it. When I was a member of the Coaches Association board, I (with the help of many others) worked on the Area proposal that ultimately passed for 7A in 2016 (and was then eliminated in 2020), we compiled some of this same data or data very similar to it. Ultimately what I found was that an alarming amount of Georgia XC coaches are fine with the amount of teams that qualify each year. They don't want the process to be harder. So it was refreshing when I had one coach say they were embarrassed that their team made State, and wished they had not, because she felt like they had not worked hard enough for it.

When I went to the GHSA meeting last year to fight to keep Areas, it was quickly apparent that the decision had basically been made and the vote seemed like a formality. Keeping things uniform for all sports seemed to take precedence over what might make more sense for a particular sport, what might make Georgia more competitive and what might make qualifying for State more of an accomplishment. There wasn't any perceived interest in hearing from XC coaches on this issue. I was flustered to say the least, and might not have presented the best counter argument as a result, but I did the best I could. I don't think it really mattered in the end.

I'm hoping someone younger/more energized might take up the fight. I've been happier not inserting myself in the political side of our sport!
10/29/2021 1:44:05 PM
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@coachac I will echo what Andy has said as I took over for him as the XC rep for the GATFXCCA. When I collected data again in 2019, a majority of the coaches in GA voted for the Region proposal. The data showed that 7A was the only classification where a majority of coaches voted in favor of the Area qualification for State. I am not sure as to the exact reasons 7A was the only classification who voted in favor of Areas but when I collected the data in 2019, 7A was the only classification who had gone through the Area proposal that Andy spearheaded. I have no problem with GHSA doing what a majority of the coaches in the State want (even though I do not think that is why we went back to Regions for all). My problem is I disagree with the Region format for XC and instead support the Area format. I also am curious as to why GHSA wants to go in the direction of NFHS and the rest of the country in some areas (ex. track meet schedule, adding 4x800, 4x200 etc.) but then go away from it in other areas (XC state meet qualification and participation).
@coachac

I will echo what Andy has said as I took over for him as the XC rep for the GATFXCCA. When I collected data again in 2019, a majority of the coaches in GA voted for the Region proposal. The data showed that 7A was the only classification where a majority of coaches voted in favor of the Area qualification for State. I am not sure as to the exact reasons 7A was the only classification who voted in favor of Areas but when I collected the data in 2019, 7A was the only classification who had gone through the Area proposal that Andy spearheaded.

I have no problem with GHSA doing what a majority of the coaches in the State want (even though I do not think that is why we went back to Regions for all). My problem is I disagree with the Region format for XC and instead support the Area format. I also am curious as to why GHSA wants to go in the direction of NFHS and the rest of the country in some areas (ex. track meet schedule, adding 4x800, 4x200 etc.) but then go away from it in other areas (XC state meet qualification and participation).
10/31/2021 12:03:39 PM
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Kudos to Andy and yourself for spearheading the Area XC format as IT WORKS and makes THE MOST SENSE!
Kudos to Andy and yourself for spearheading the Area XC format as IT WORKS and makes THE MOST SENSE!

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