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MIAA Cross Country Fall Restrictions Summary

Competitions should be dual meets only until further guidelines are given. Staggered start times mean clusters of runners take off together, usually spaced 3-5 minutes apart with a possibility of 8-10 athletes at a time and runners spaced 6 feet apart individually.
     Adding to the uncertainty for high school runners is another MIAA rule: teams can no longer walk a course before a meet. Course previews would be provided virtually via maps, pictures or video before the day of the meet and provided by the coaches from the host school.
     Emphasis should be placed on a wider course that allows for social distancing and spacing throughout the meet. Designated warm up areas should be provided for each team to ensure social distancing before the meet.
     Masks/Face Coverings – Athletes can remove face coverings during the race when socially distanced but must wear it at the start of the race. Athletes should prepare to use a face covering at the conclusion of a race as soon as possible given social distancing needs as well as considering exhaustion/breathing at the conclusion of a race.
     Athletes should be grouped, with social distancing and face coverings, as a team at the start line and teams should be a minimum of 14 feet apart upon start.
     Finish Line: Schools must develop a non-transmittal way of scoring the meet. Popsicle sticks, cards, labels, etc..... may not be given out as athletes cross the finish line. Possible consideration to help at the finish line could be FAT Timing, videoing,
or multicolored bibs to score later. Consideration should be given to providing additional volunteers near the finish line to help disperse athletes who have just completed their race. Finish lines should be open with a minimum 28 feet to cross. Teams should be directed to finish on separate sides. Lanes should be created over the last 100 yards.
     For Post Workout/Post Contest, warm-down areas should be designated and provided for each team to ensure social dis- tancing after the meet.
     Consideration should be given to providing additional volunteers to help compile race results in multiple, smaller gatherings and possibly providing race results virtually. At the end of Practice/End of Race, athletes/ teams should immediately disperse upon the conclusion of practice and meets. ED note: Information from MIAA site.
     “The format is similar to how we run in our pod but we start 10 in each wave with 5 from each team,” shared Groton- Dunstable cross country coach Chris Volante.
     “Winners and placement are figured by finishing times so anybody in other tiers could factor into the scoring,” continued Volante.
     “The kids did ok with the format on our race on Thursday but it does create gaps in the race and two of our girls went off course (no course walk-throughs prior to the race but maps are provided). Unfortunately they lost 45 seconds. Otherwise the girls would have easily won. Happy to be racing for sure...we’ll deal with it,” added Volante.
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