Boys Cross Country - Rules & Regulations

Rules and Regulations

4-3-1, 2 Penalty, 9-6-1 Penalty  For the wearing of an illegal uniform, when a violation is observed and noted by a meet official, the competitor shall be required to make the uniform legal before becoming eligible for further competition and shall be issued a warning that a subsequent violation shall result in a disqualification from the event. The referee shall be notified of the violation by the observing meet official and the referee shall notify, or cause to be notified, the head coach of the offending school of the competitor’s violation and warning.

Rationale: The adjustment of this penalty, to an individual warning and disqualification for a subsequent violation of the same rule, is more appropriate for the severity of the actual violation. The responsibility remains with the coach to have athletes in legal uniforms for competition. Preventative officiating will be significant to reduce potential violations and keep the meet progressing smoothly.

EDITORIAL

4-6-7 Removes reference to any other person as assistance (includes non-persons as well).


Printable Version - Click here to print a copy for placement in your rules book.

Rule 9-1-1  The maximum length of a course is 5000 meters for boys and 4000 meters for girls.

Note:  Schools hosting meets may experiment with the girls race at 5000.

Rule 9-3-3  The following starting mechanics and techniques (season and WIAA tournament series) must be used at all meets:

Starters should not give instructions nor answer questions after the three-minute countdown.  The information given over the public address system must be:

    15 minutes to the start of the race
    10 minutes to the start of the race
    5 minutes to the start of the race
    3 minutes to the start of the race – All runners must                 have reported  to the Clerk of Course
    2 minutes to the start of the race - Runners remove sweats,             coaches vacate area
    1 minute to the start of the race - All runners         
    must be positioned, and remain, behind the starting line
    30 seconds to the start of the race.
    15 seconds to the start of the race
    10 seconds countdown to 5 seconds

The starter will fire the gun when all runners are “Motionless and Set.”  
If a public address system is available, the entire countdown to 5 seconds is done by the announcer.  The starter will be responsible only for firing the gun when all runners are motionless and set.

Rule 9-6-1  Uniforms/Equipment:  (1) Headwear - Only knit caps which may be solid or multi-colored.  School name, school nickname, or school mascots are legal along with a single manufacturer’s logo/trademark no more than  2 1/4 square inches with no dimension more than 2 1/4 inches is permissible.  (2) Headbands worn as earwarmers are allowed and subject to same rules as knit caps. Bandannas folded as a headband are not allowed.     (3) Visible Apparel - School name, school nickname, or school mascot are legal on the collar of a turtleneck shirt.  (4) The identical uniform rule applies to all varsity and nonvarsity teams.

Rule 9-5-3   Spikes, if allowed, may NOT be longer than 1/2 inch.

Rule 9-7-3   (1) The use of measuring wheels on visiting courses must be used for coaching purposes only.  If used to question or challenge the length of the course the coach shall be charged with “Unsportsmanlike Conduct.”
(2) Any runner, coach, or team personnel who is observed tampering with a flag on the course anytime during pre-meet warm-ups, competition, or post-meet activities shall be charged with “Unsportsmanlike Conduct.”  
(3) Any runner who has not reported to the Clerk of Course prior to the three minute race countdown shall be charged with “Unacceptable Conduct.”

OFFICIALS UNIFORM/EQUIPMENT
The required officials uniform/equipment is:
(1) Shirt - Black and white striped.    
(2) Slacks/shorts - Black.           
(3) Shoes/laces/socks/belt - Black or white.
(4)  A .32 caliber starting gun and shells.    
(5)  Ear plugs and whistle on a lanyard.
(6)  A bright colored sleeve to wear on the forearm used to shoot the gun.

NIKE TEAM NATIONALS AND OTHER POST-SEASON TEAM COMPETITIONS

NXN is a post-season competition that involves a regional qualifying round. The WIAA does not allow high school teams to participate in these meets but, does allow “club teams” to participate.

CLARIFICATION:

*No contact with the high school cross country coach is allowed after the date of the State Cross Country Meet. *The team must be a club team. No high school uniforms, warm-ups, transportation, or funding is allowed. The team should not be identified as the high school team. For example; “Central High School” is not acceptable but “Cheetahs Running Team” would be.

*Teams may not be chosen or invited based upon their performance at the WIAA State Cross Country Meet. They must run a qualifying meet which is open to all.

*Amateur status rules must be followed. From the Rules At A Glance: C. AMATEUR STATUS A student may not accept, receive and/or direct to another, any cash or merchandise awards for achievement in athletics. This means athletes may not accept items such as shoes, jackets, gift certificates, etc., for athletic accomplishments, such as being on a winning team, being selected for the school varsity team, or being a place winner in an individual tournament, etc. They may receive an award which is symbolic in nature, such as trophies, medals, ribbons, event T-shirts, event hats, game balls or other items of no intrinsic value. Rules further prevent athletes from receiving compensation or benefit, directly or indirectly, for the use of name, picture and/or personal appearance as an athlete. This includes receiving free and/or reduced rates on equipment, apparel, camps/clinics/instruction and competitive opportunities that are not identical for all other participants. A student may not be identified as an athlete, provide endorsement as an athlete, or appear as an athlete in the promotion of a commercial/advertisement and/or profit-making event, item, plan or service. Also, an athlete violates this rule if he/she plays in any contest (school or nonschool) under a name other than his/her own. (RE – Art. IV).

Individual competitions such as the Foot Locker, Border Battle, USATF qualifier, etc. would be allowed with the same stipulations as those indicated above. Individual athletes may not be identified with their high school team but may use their hometown.

2013 Cross Country Q & A’s

Vol. 1 – 10/8/13

QUESTION 1:       My athletes would like to wear a) face paint, b) temporary tattoos, c) their time goals marked on their hand with permanent marker.  Which of these would be legal?

ANSWER:             Cross Country Coaches Advisory has determined that face paint is prohibited as it detracts from the integrity of the event.  Temporary tattoos (school nickname, mascot, etc.) are allowed as is a discreet marking on the body.  Coaches are reminded that the athletes are representing their school and that as representatives they should uphold the high standards of their school and team.

QUESTION 2:            Recently, we've had officials tell us that the very small headbands my girls wear for hair control are illegal because of the manufacturer's logos.  Please clarify the rule.

ANSWER:               Regarding hair control devices, Wisconsin is following the NFHS Rule 4-3-3d which does not address this issue.  The ruling would be that logos on hair control headbands are legal.  Headbands (knitted, wide ear warmers worn during cold weather) are governed by the State Association Regulations which also applies to knitted caps.  These items are subject to the single manufacturer's logo restriction.

QUESTION 3:            We recently had an athlete compete with a guide.  Is this allowed?

ANSWER:                   Yes, but officials must ask the coach to show the WIAA issued waiver which gives the athlete permission to run with a guide.  Coaches are encouraged to show the waiver to the meet referee during the pre-meet coaches meeting.



Vol. 3  10/15/12

Question 1    I recently read the notice about the prohibition of face and body paint.  There is a team in our area that always has candy striped legs for sectionals.  Is this considered body paint?
Answer    I’m familiar with this practice.  They use self-tanning lotion.  At this time this would not be considered a violation.

Question 2    At a meet I officiated one of the teams was wearing very nice knit caps with “US Air Force” woven into the caps.  I don’t think these are legal to wear.  Please clarify.
Answer    Please refer to the WIAA Tournament Procedures:
Headwear
a.    The only allowed head coverings are knit caps which may be solid or multi-colored.  School names, nicknames, and mascots are allowed, along with a manufacturer’s logo.  Items covering the entire head such as scarves, bandannas, do-rags, baseball caps, etc., may not be worn during competition.  Waivers for other head coverings may be issued for religious or medical situations by the WIAA staff.

Question 3    Are socks considered part of the uniform?  Subject to color or logo restrictions?
Answer    No.  Neither the NFHS nor the WIAA address regulations for socks.

Question 4    The NFHS Rule Book (9-6-1a3) allows competitors to wear 1 inch spikes but the WIAA Adaptations have a limit of ½ inch.  Which is correct?
Answer    Please refer to page 5 of the WIAA Fall Season Regulations.  NATIONAL FEDERATION ALLOWED ADAPTATIONS   b.  “Spikes, if allowed may NOT be longer than ½ inch.”  Reports have been received that clerks/officials are not checking spike lengths, but that is not a reason to exceed the allowed length.  The penalty for spikes beyond ½ inch is disqualification.

Question 5    Please explain the logo rule in regards to the undergarment.
Answer    “A single manufacturer’s logo/trademark no more than 2 ¼ square inches with no dimension more than 2 ¼ inches is permissible on all apparel, including clothing worn under the uniform.”

Question 6    My team has long tights that they wear under their uniform shorts.  The tights have a 1inch wide silver reflective tape that extends up the shin.  If the tights are black does the reflective tape make them illegal?
Answer    Yes, if worn as an undergarment they must be a solid color (Rule 9-6-1b7).  “Any visible garment(s) worn…underneath the uniform top and/or bottom shall be unadorned and of the same single, solid color….”

Question 7    If one of our runners is unable to run in the sectional meet and the team qualified for state, can he replace someone who originally ran at sectionals for state?

Answer    Allowed.  “A school may change its squad make-up from one level of tournament competition to the next.”

 

Vol. 2 – 9/18/12

QUESTION 1    I remember hearing a few years ago that the “fun runs” often conducted following a cross country meet were “off limits” to members of the team.  Is this still true?
ANSWER    Yes.  The interpretation is that participating in this event would count as an additional race or another meet.  Running two races in one day is prohibited by the Season Regulations (page 4, Individual Participation Limitations).  Running an additional meet may result in competing in more than the maximum allowed number of meets (11).

QUESITON 2    In a recent invitational meet, I noticed athletes in a part of the course that was heavily wooded, cutting the course flags.  If this happens during the regular season what will happen during the sectional meets?
ANSWER    It is the responsibility of the coach to relay the rules of the sport of cross country and also the ethical implications when an athlete decides to cheat by cutting a course.  When hosting a cross country meet, hosts should make every attempt to station umpires at flags indicating a turn on the course.  This will continue to be a point of emphasis throughout the season.

QUESTION 3    At the cross country meet in XXX on Thursday Sept. 30, the referee told me it is against the rules for a coach to read the time of the race off of the coach's stopwatch because it is considered "aiding a runner". Can you clarify whether this is correct?
When I got home from the meet, I researched the 2012 NFHS Track and Field Rules.  I began with Rule 9 and could only assume the official was referring to Section 7, Article 4 (Disqualification for a competitor who "receives any assistance from any other person"). That Article cross-references to Rule 4, Section 6, Article 7, which defines "assistance". The only possible alleged violations that I can think of would be pacing or coaching from a restricted area. I'm not sure where the restricted areas of a cross country course are, other than the path of runners, the start line, and the finish chute.  As for "pacing", Rule 4.6.7 Situation C of the Casebook indicates that a coach can call out times and splits.
ANSWER    Prior to the start of the meet, preferably at the pre-meet coaches meeting, it should be determined where the restricted areas of the course are and where you would be allowed to call splits to your athletes.   Ask the meet referee this question directly so that all coaches hear the same answer to avoid issues once the race has begun.

QUESTION 4    I was told by a referee that I need to present a form signed by a doctor stating that my runner needs an inhaler for his asthma.  Can you tell me where I can get this form?
ANSWER    Rule 4-6-7 NOTE:  “...is not considered an illegal aid as long as a physician’s statement documenting the need of the athlete to use the prescription is present to the meet director/referee....”  Your athlete should contact their doctor and request a written statement of the need for the inhaler.  You’ll need a copy to show to the officials.

QUESTION 5    We have been competing in a junior varsity meet the week of sectionals for many years and have had our Varsity athletes competing in sectionals come with the junior varsity team and do their workout on the course prior to the jv race. This year that course is the site of our sectional race.  Can we still have our Varsity athletes come and get their run in for that day on the course?
ANSWER    Thanks for checking on this.  Your varsity would not be allowed to practice at the sectional course.  Please refer to the information posted on the WIAA Cross Country webpage:
9. PROHIBITION OF PRACTICE AT TOURNAMENT SITE: Schools are prohibited during the regular season and the WIAA tournament series from practicing for sectional and State Tournament preparation at sites and facilities hosting WIAA tournaments.  
Points of clarification:
*“Schools” include teams and their individual athletes.  Even if an individual acts independently.
*There is no distinction between a meet held on school property, a golf course, or public park.  All would be considered tournament sites.
*The host school may continue to practice on the meet site if they have an established history of practicing there.
*If another school has a history of practicing at a public park that is now a site for a sectional meet, they may continue to practice there.  For example, Team A runs a hill workout at XYZ Park on Wednesdays or Team B runs repeat halves at XYZ Park on Mondays.  This does not mean that Team A or B may now run the race course just because they have a history of using the park for particular workouts.
*Coaches, teams, and/or individuals are allowed to attend meets held at sectional courses as spectators.  Spectating does not include running or walking the entire course.  What do spectators usually do?  They watch the start, go to the mile and two mile marks, watch the finish or go to an interesting feature of the course; a steep hill.
*Teams are allowed to compete in meets held prior to the sectional meet at the sectional meet course.  A conference meet held at the sectional meet course would not be considered a violation of the rule.
*Coaches may videotape the course and show the tape to their athletes.
What you need to do:  Be certain that your athletes AND parents know and understand the rule.
Keep the “spirit” of the rule in mind. If it looks like practice it probably is!
This is the current interpretation of the language and it applies to almost all of the sports (except golf) sponsored by the WIAA.
The current language has been discussed by the Cross Country Coaches Advisory Committee and has been presented at the WCCCA Clinic by WIAA staff. Previous committees have not chosen to change the current language as it applies to cross country.
I’ve bolded the segment discussion what your varsity runners could do if they chose to attend the JV meet.

QUESTION 6    In your CC presentation you include a segment on GPS watches and mention that if discovered during the competition the athlete will be disqualified.  Is this a disqualification or is it a warning under the new uniform warning/disqualification rules?  
ANSWER    Its a disqualification since its considered an “aid”.  (RULE 9-7-4)


Vol. 1 – 8/16/12

QUESTION 1        Are the shoes with the individual toes legal?

 

ANSWER        Legal, provided the criteria of Rule 9-6-1a is met.

 
QUESTION 2    If we are running and scoring 8 athletes in our meet do we need a waiver?
ANSWER    Yes, the host school administrator should contact the WIAA and request a waiver which would allow 8 athletes to run and score in the meet.

QUESTION 3    I have a coach of a club cross country team asking to be part of an invite that we are hosting.  They consist of 9 high school boys and girls and are called Holy Family.  Can we allow them in?  I also have another group of homeschooled students called the Homeschool Eagles.  They don't call themselves a club team.  Can we allow them in?
ANSWER    WIAA rules would not prohibit you from including these clubs in your meet.  It is up to the host school to decide whether they want to allow them or not.  Some schools are very open to the idea and some absolutely do not want to include non-WIAA member groups.  Be certain though, that if they have middle level students they do not enter them or have them compete against senior high students.  WIAA rules would prohibit this.

QUESITON 4    I was informed by our head coach that we will need a wavier for the Rule 9-5-1 Uniform/Equipment #4:  As our Varsity and JV will not have identical uniforms.
ANSWER    There appears to be some confusion on this requirement.  Only if you expect your JV runners to at some time run varsity would you need a waiver.  For example, if there is a varsity race that allows 12 entries and your coach moves 2 JV runners up to the varsity, they would be required to have identical uniforms for the varsity race unless they have a waiver from the WIAA.
If there are separate varsity and JV races, those two teams are not required to have identical uniforms.  Only the uniforms within the two teams must match.

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