A Math Lesson About Meets This Fall

Yes, Mario Garcia was once younger (and perhaps crazier) than he is now, but he's still a hero today. He's hosting four high school meets this fall.

If you've been paying attention, you realize the Cherry Creek, Thornton, Glenwood Springs, Horizon, Columbine, and Heritage meets have already cancelled for this fall. More will be coming soon.

I don't know all the particulars in every case, but I'm presuming these meets need revenue from many schools in order to meet the costs of hosting at their chosen venues. Seven teams, with no JV, per meet isn't going to cut it for most pricey venues.

Like it or not, we're locked into the non-pricey venues this fall. Some of these venues are actually pretty nice. Some are not. But we are going to need all of them this fall.

Let me explain with some very simple mathematics.

Each school in the state is allowed to race athletes seven times this fall season. But, each meet is limited to two races of not more than 50 athletes each. Essentially, that's a varsity-only or JV-only meet of seven teams. 

Let's further imagine that your average team is going to require 10 meets this fall, something like five varsity meets and five JV meets, though the needs of particular schools will vary. Still, 10 meets seems like a conservative estimate. Keep in mind there are many, many schools around the state with team sizes of over 50 athletes, several even with team sizes over 100. 

But, if the average school needs 10 meets, and each meet can host seven teams... well, let's do the math. Ten divided by seven is 1.43.

Each team's share of meets this season figures to be around 1.43 meets.

That's to say each school around the state that runs cross country needs to figure their share is hosting 1.43 meets this fall. If you're trying to do way more than 10 meets this fall, your share is higher.

If you're a coach and not contemplating, right now, how you can host a meet sometime this fall, you are flirting with becoming part of the problem and not part of the solution. If you'll be hosting at least two meets, you're a bona fide part of the solution!

If you absolutely, positively can't host (and some won't be able to), you should be ringing up the coach from a nearby school and exploring how you can help them host a meet. Or two. Or three.

Local parks without much parking space. Open spaces with trails cutting through them. School campuses. Loops. Out-and-backs. It's all fair game. It's nice if it works out to 5K, but not every meet has to be a 5K. Especially not every JV meet. 

It's also okay to conscript coaches of teams coming to your meet onto meet staff. We all know meet staffing is going to be hard to come by this fall. If a coach coming to your meet balks at stepping up to help, perhaps you should consider uninviting that team. It probably won't be very hard to find a team to replace them.

One piece of good news is that the timing piece shouldn't be that hard. I do feel badly for the timing companies that won't have much work to do, but not many meets can afford a timing company for a varsity-only or JV-only event with just seven teams. But, with two waves of 25 for each race, it's very possible to hand time these things, then go home and score them that evening. Pro Tip: use a video camera as your backup system and have kids wear bibs for easy identification.

Let's get this done!

When you do get the meet(s) you're hosting pinned down, send me the details at versawa@msn.com. I'll get it on the calendar and know to look for the results. If you have a meet manager program to run the results through, great. If not, I've attached a simple template below that you can use to record results and send them to me for posting.

If you want us to do the team scoring, when MileSplit processes the results, they are automatically team scored according to NFHS scoring conventions (so long as you want to score five). In almost all cases, results will be posted the same day as received.

Spreadsheet Meet Scoring Template