Four Districts for Cross Country
08/03/2021 6:12:43 PM
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I completely understand why this was done as far as "the best teams and runners at the state meet" goes. I just think it's a little weird that cross country will only have four district championship teams per class, when track has eight, basketball has 16, etc. Just a big difference. I'm not an everybody gets a trophy guy, but I feel like there should be some consistency between sports. A cross country district title is now the hardest district trophy to win in Missouri.
I completely understand why this was done as far as "the best teams and runners at the state meet" goes.

I just think it's a little weird that cross country will only have four district championship teams per class, when track has eight, basketball has 16, etc.

Just a big difference. I'm not an everybody gets a trophy guy, but I feel like there should be some consistency between sports. A cross country district title is now the hardest district trophy to win in Missouri.
08/03/2021 6:30:32 PM
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I believe wrestling has used the four district, straight to state, format for years. They changed last year to an 8 district-4 sectional format due to COVID, but I believe they will revert back to the old format this year.
I believe wrestling has used the four district, straight to state, format for years. They changed last year to an 8 district-4 sectional format due to COVID, but I believe they will revert back to the old format this year.
08/04/2021 8:36:52 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if a similar change is made in track & field as well. I could be wrong, but I feel that decisions are being made not to try to make events more competitive, but due to how difficult it has been to find championship series meet hosts. Less/More competitive district meets is definitely a good thing for Missouri sports.
I wouldn't be surprised if a similar change is made in track & field as well. I could be wrong, but I feel that decisions are being made not to try to make events more competitive, but due to how difficult it has been to find championship series meet hosts.

Less/More competitive district meets is definitely a good thing for Missouri sports.
08/07/2021 11:15:26 AM
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The increased travel will be a problem for some remote school districts. Cross country is still expanding into the bootheel where just a few schools have added in the last 2-3 years. Last year, district 1 for classes 1-3 was at Arcadia Valley which is already over 2.5 hours from some bootheel schools. How far will they have to travel now that district size is doubling? Will bootheel schools continue to add CC? I think increased travel costs and the potential of having to get hotel accommodations just to compete at districts is less than inviting those schools to say the least. There are other things not to like about this change as well. It was an attempt to solve a minor problem that is likely to cause more and larger issues.
The increased travel will be a problem for some remote school districts. Cross country is still expanding into the bootheel where just a few schools have added in the last 2-3 years. Last year, district 1 for classes 1-3 was at Arcadia Valley which is already over 2.5 hours from some bootheel schools. How far will they have to travel now that district size is doubling? Will bootheel schools continue to add CC? I think increased travel costs and the potential of having to get hotel accommodations just to compete at districts is less than inviting those schools to say the least.

There are other things not to like about this change as well. It was an attempt to solve a minor problem that is likely to cause more and larger issues.
08/07/2021 1:45:08 PM
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I’m not necessarily looking for an argument, but there are definitely some positives to this like less racing/wear and tear on the kid’s bodies. Many would argue that high school kids/coaches race too much already, so this eliminates one of those races and it’s a “Championship Caliber” race being eliminated at that which means most kids would benefit from this (there are some exceptions of kids being good enough to not have to expend much energy but most kids do have to go all out for all those weeks). As far as this being a “small problem” being fixed, if you come on here after the Districts are released in XC or Track, it at least looks like a “big” problem with the number of complaints about such and such getting an easier road, etc., so I would say that the powers at be probably have heard enough complaints about this to view it as a real issue. How many times have people seen Districts that could have been won or contested by schools that were in a different District and they didn’t make it out of their own respective District? The top Class Boys had this issue in KC just last year with the northern District being the dominate one. Finally, the extended travel is going to exist no matter the format. One could argue that this is better because those schools now only have to travel 2 weekends (Districts and State) rather than 3 weekends in the old format. I coached at a very small school in SW Missouri for several years and we had to travel almost 3 hours for a District Track Meet one year and chose to stay the night in a hotel the night before Districts because of it (and we were on a tight budget but lucky enough for our district to buy in and let us do it). Basically our Track District was very spread out and no one had a Track, so we took turns each year hosting it in areas closer to a different set of schools, so maybe that can happen for the folks in far Southeast Missouri? I know Ray-Pec in our area has had to go to Waynesville (3 hours away) for Track Districts in recent memory, as well, so several examples out there. Any change isn’t going to loves or accepted by everyone (and I definitely see the points being made above), but there are definitely positives mixed into this as well.
I'm not necessarily looking for an argument, but there are definitely some positives to this like less racing/wear and tear on the kid's bodies. Many would argue that high school kids/coaches race too much already, so this eliminates one of those races and it's a "Championship Caliber" race being eliminated at that which means most kids would benefit from this (there are some exceptions of kids being good enough to not have to expend much energy but most kids do have to go all out for all those weeks).

As far as this being a "small problem" being fixed, if you come on here after the Districts are released in XC or Track, it at least looks like a "big" problem with the number of complaints about such and such getting an easier road, etc., so I would say that the powers at be probably have heard enough complaints about this to view it as a real issue. How many times have people seen Districts that could have been won or contested by schools that were in a different District and they didn't make it out of their own respective District? The top Class Boys had this issue in KC just last year with the northern District being the dominate one.

Finally, the extended travel is going to exist no matter the format. One could argue that this is better because those schools now only have to travel 2 weekends (Districts and State) rather than 3 weekends in the old format. I coached at a very small school in SW Missouri for several years and we had to travel almost 3 hours for a District Track Meet one year and chose to stay the night in a hotel the night before Districts because of it (and we were on a tight budget but lucky enough for our district to buy in and let us do it). Basically our Track District was very spread out and no one had a Track, so we took turns each year hosting it in areas closer to a different set of schools, so maybe that can happen for the folks in far Southeast Missouri? I know Ray-Pec in our area has had to go to Waynesville (3 hours away) for Track Districts in recent memory, as well, so several examples out there.

Any change isn't going to loves or accepted by everyone (and I definitely see the points being made above), but there are definitely positives mixed into this as well.
08/08/2021 2:10:25 PM
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@R-Taylor I'm for sure not an everybody gets a trophy guy either, but there certainly was/is value in winning a District title and even qualifying for the Sectional as a team or an individual for emerging teams and athletes. We always talked about how everyone EARNED their spot in the Sectional and there was a strategy and drama to knowing teams vs individuals who would be separated out of the final score. Now it's just a one shot big race. I agree that over racing can be an issue, but coaches can control their schedule and when their athletes race. Many teams do. Also with the # of weeks remaining the same, the schedule could be adjusted to make the qualifier on week 11 in this format and State Week 13 if people are worried about the tough racing back to back. on another note, There is no way track should go to a one week qualifier without qualifying standards. 9:26 in the 3200 Didn't even get out of our District this year. With one huge qualifier and the same teams the tenth best time in our qualifier would have been 9:33 which was slightly faster than the 10th best time at state. That's just one event. There are many other examples of this across the state.
@R-Taylor

I'm for sure not an everybody gets a trophy guy either, but there certainly was/is value in winning a District title and even qualifying for the Sectional as a team or an individual for emerging teams and athletes.

We always talked about how everyone EARNED their spot in the Sectional and there was a strategy and drama to knowing teams vs individuals who would be separated out of the final score.

Now it's just a one shot big race.

I agree that over racing can be an issue, but coaches can control their schedule and when their athletes race. Many teams do.

Also with the # of weeks remaining the same, the schedule could be adjusted to make the qualifier on week 11 in this format and State Week 13 if people are worried about the tough racing back to back.

on another note, There is no way track should go to a one week qualifier without qualifying standards.

9:26 in the 3200 Didn't even get out of our District this year.

With one huge qualifier and the same teams the tenth best time in our qualifier would have been 9:33 which was slightly faster than the 10th best time at state.

That's just one event. There are many other examples of this across the state.
08/09/2021 6:50:59 PM
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Another thought. Should the Championship factor for Districts be doubled since there are only 4 districts?
Another thought. Should the Championship factor for Districts be doubled since there are only 4 districts?
08/09/2021 7:29:42 PM
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@GVEaglesXC I agree that there are some positives. I think the bad outweighs the good, but it is good that the odds of the top 4 teams and top 25 individuals being able to compete at the state meet have improved.
@GVEaglesXC
I agree that there are some positives. I think the bad outweighs the good, but it is good that the odds of the top 4 teams and top 25 individuals being able to compete at the state meet have improved.
08/10/2021 12:50:04 PM
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I think there are arguments for both sides - MSHSAA still going to do whatever it wants to do. I think it would be nice to suggest an improvement to the system for future years. Still do top 4 teams qualify for state, but I think the individual qualification should not be from qualifying teams. So the top 15 individuals, that are not attached to a qualifying team (I just made up 15, it can be whatever). If you have four stacked teams in a district, good luck to any individual outside of those 4 teams even making it to State. Should allow the best teams and individuals to State, as well as give an opportunity to growing programs to get an individual or two to State for something to build on.
I think there are arguments for both sides - MSHSAA still going to do whatever it wants to do.

I think it would be nice to suggest an improvement to the system for future years. Still do top 4 teams qualify for state, but I think the individual qualification should not be from qualifying teams. So the top 15 individuals, that are not attached to a qualifying team (I just made up 15, it can be whatever). If you have four stacked teams in a district, good luck to any individual outside of those 4 teams even making it to State.

Should allow the best teams and individuals to State, as well as give an opportunity to growing programs to get an individual or two to State for something to build on.
08/10/2021 2:30:11 PM
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@Genohall I like that idea of separating out the team from individuals. 10, 15, etc... whatever not on a team.
@Genohall

I like that idea of separating out the team from individuals.

10, 15, etc... whatever not on a team.
08/16/2021 9:12:20 PM
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I like the changes. I’ve always advocated for qualifying four teams to either a sectional or super districts the way it is now set up. This guarantees that potential podium teams don’t get left at home because they got third in a stacked district. It never made sense to have the sectional round only for the highest class and not the other classes either, so I’m glad to see all classes treated the same now.
I like the changes. I've always advocated for qualifying four teams to either a sectional or super districts the way it is now set up. This guarantees that potential podium teams don't get left at home because they got third in a stacked district. It never made sense to have the sectional round only for the highest class and not the other classes either, so I'm glad to see all classes treated the same now.
08/17/2021 12:50:58 PM
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A couple of thoughts: 1. I like the change simply so teams are less likely to get left off that are legit teams. I alluded to this in an earlier post, but (for those who are unaware) in Class 5 Boys last year the teams that finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th at STATE last year were all from the same District. The team that finished 3rd at State was the team that would not have qualified had their 5th guy not finished 13th in the District to put 5 in the top 15. This new format should stop fluke things like that from happening in the future (and potentially leaving out top teams) which is why I like it. As RyanLayton stated, though, I agree it isn't perfect but I am not sure there is a perfect solution necessarily. 2. @GenoHall- In principle I like that idea and the NCAA (at least in D-2) used to do that for both qualifying from Regionals and I believe that all NCAA (at least D-1 and D-2) used to do that for All-American status. For Regionals (at D-2) it was the top 5 finishers Overall no matter what and then the top 2 on "non-qualifying teams" (which they could have been in the top 5 and made it a moot point) qualified to Nationals. For All-American it was the top so many Americans and non-Americans (which isn't necessarily something we should probably be guessing at). However, even as I typed that it got confusing to me, so imagine trying to factor all of that in your head when you are yelling at your kids to whether or not they are in position to qualify or not. I think that's why most entities have gone to a "top-X number of kids overall qualify" because that's a whole lot easier to tell a kid and keep track of mid race. I remember when my roommate in college qualified to Nationals in Cross Country it felt like we were doing a Trig problem to figure out who was on a qualifying team and who wasn't to communicate that to him mid-race (and we had 10k to figure it all out). He finished 7th in the Region and made it because those were the days Abilene Christian was D-2 and had some elite talent on it that took up much of the Top-5 spots. Again, I like that idea in principle, but yelling "You're 29th, no one gets by you!!" is a whole lot easier to count and communicate as a coach.
A couple of thoughts:

1. I like the change simply so teams are less likely to get left off that are legit teams. I alluded to this in an earlier post, but (for those who are unaware) in Class 5 Boys last year the teams that finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th at STATE last year were all from the same District. The team that finished 3rd at State was the team that would not have qualified had their 5th guy not finished 13th in the District to put 5 in the top 15. This new format should stop fluke things like that from happening in the future (and potentially leaving out top teams) which is why I like it. As RyanLayton stated, though, I agree it isn't perfect but I am not sure there is a perfect solution necessarily.

2. @GenoHall- In principle I like that idea and the NCAA (at least in D-2) used to do that for both qualifying from Regionals and I believe that all NCAA (at least D-1 and D-2) used to do that for All-American status. For Regionals (at D-2) it was the top 5 finishers Overall no matter what and then the top 2 on "non-qualifying teams" (which they could have been in the top 5 and made it a moot point) qualified to Nationals. For All-American it was the top so many Americans and non-Americans (which isn't necessarily something we should probably be guessing at).

However, even as I typed that it got confusing to me, so imagine trying to factor all of that in your head when you are yelling at your kids to whether or not they are in position to qualify or not. I think that's why most entities have gone to a "top-X number of kids overall qualify" because that's a whole lot easier to tell a kid and keep track of mid race. I remember when my roommate in college qualified to Nationals in Cross Country it felt like we were doing a Trig problem to figure out who was on a qualifying team and who wasn't to communicate that to him mid-race (and we had 10k to figure it all out). He finished 7th in the Region and made it because those were the days Abilene Christian was D-2 and had some elite talent on it that took up much of the Top-5 spots.

Again, I like that idea in principle, but yelling "You're 29th, no one gets by you!!" is a whole lot easier to count and communicate as a coach.

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