Cross Country Guidelines and Rules

Head Coach Assistant Coach
Steve Gardiner Vince Long
655-0369 656-0990
steve@readandrun.com longv@billings.k12.mt.us

Program Rules

Attendance--All participants are expected to attend all practices and meets. Three unexcused absences will result in suspension from the team. Excused absences include legitimate sickness, doctors’ appointments, family emergencies and required academic tasks. If you have a job, you need to arrange your work schedule for after 6:00 pm on weekdays. If you cannot, you need to give the coaches a schedule in advance. Any runner who misses two or more practices in a week will not be eligible to race that week. If you are late and the team has already left for the run, that will count as an absence. Be on time and be ready to workout.

Trips--All participants will be expected to dress and act appropriately on trips. Each person needs to be in a seat on the bus (not the floor) and refrain from excessive noise. School district policy prohibits boys and girls from sitting together on bus trips. I encourage you to bring homework or reading materials on the bus as well as a Walkman, if you choose. Inappropriate behavior on a trip will result in suspended travel privileges.

Meals--Coaches will provide advance information about the number of meals you will need for each trip. Some meals will be provided from our activity fund.

Equipment--Each runner is responsible for the uniforms, sweatsuits, etc. that are checked out to you. You will be charged for any lost or damaged equipment. At the end of the season, equipment must be handed directly to one of the coaches, not left on a desk or in a locker room.

Locker Room--We expect appropriate behavior. Violations may result in suspended meet privileges or in suspension from the team.

Academics--We have traditionally had one of the highest grade point averages of any school activity and your school work is the reason you are here. Give it a high priority in your life and do your best work. Each participant must meet all MHSA eligibility standards.

District Chemical Use Policy--Each participant must fully comply with this policy. You will receive a copy of this policy and a discussion of it from the Deans

Hazing - School District 2 has a policy which prohibits any form of hazing for any students. No form of initiation will be allowed for the cross country team, including throwing people into the creek in Pioneer Park.

Appearance - You are representing yourself, your family, your team and your school when you compete. No runners will be allowed to compete with any decorations other than the school uniform. This includes face or body paint, hair dye, etc. When we are ready to take a course walkthrough, you must be in school uniform with running shoes on. Dress and act like you have come to run a race.

Varsity Team Selection

1. The top seven boys and top seven girls are the varsity team. The first team will be selected at the Bronc Trot with succeeding teams based on each week’s results. Teams can and frequently will change from week to week. The varsity team for State will be the top seven boys and girls (plus one alternate of each gender) based on overall performance throughout the season. The coaches will make the final judgment on this. Anyone who does not make the varsity team will run on the junior varsity team (no limit on numbers) for each meet except the State meet. For runners not going to State, the season will end after the City meet.

Letter Requirements

1. By time--run faster than these specified times--Girls--21:00 for a 3-mile course--Boys--17:00 for a 3-mile course--and complete the season in good standing
2. Run in five varsity meets. Running at State will count as two meets and alternate at State will count as one
3. Complete three cross country seasons on the Senior High School Team in good standing.
4. Coaches will reserve the right to grant letters in special conditions (injury, personal emergency, etc.)

Captain Policy

Each team will elect two co-captains. Candidates will be all juniors and seniors who have completed at least one full season in good standing with the Senior High team. One captains' table representative, who will represent both teams, will be selected by the coaches. The individual selected may or may not be one of the elected captains.

Safety and injuries--This is our highest concern

1. Because of our location, we are forced to take many of our runs on city streets. Please use traffic lights and stop signs to help you get through busy intersections. Remember that none of our practice runs are so important that you should hurry through an intersection or across a street. Run with a partner and help each other watch for traffic and other hazards. Avoid running several abreast down the middle of the street and wear white clothing to the early morning practices when it is dark. On days when we run distance workouts, you must return to Room 206 and sign in with a coach/manager after practice so we know everyone has returned safely.

2. We usually enjoy exceptionally nice weather during cross country season, but this is Montana and weather can change rapidly. Please pack a hat or stocking cap, a jacket or sweat shirt, tights and gloves in your bag and bring them throughout the season. It might be beautiful in the morning when you leave for school and snowing hard by practice time. We will not have you run outdoors in extreme weather conditions, but we do need to train for both heat and cold as part of anticipating meet conditions.

3. Especially during the first few weeks of the season, drink several glasses of water each day. Bring a water bottle with you to school and drink throughout the day and have a water bottle in your car or locker for after the workout. You need to be well hydrated to perform your best and to stay healthy.

4. If you have any doubt about the condition of your shoes, please buy a new pair for cross country season. We will be running several hundred miles and a bad pair of shoes is a sure ticket to sore feet, aching knees and hips, back pains and many other problems that will hinder your enjoyment or end your season. Every runner has a different foot so no one style of shoe will suit all, but any good running store can help you find a good match. Time Out Sports will give discounts to Senior High runners. If you need help with shoes, talk to one of the coaches for recommendations.

5. One of the most important things for you to learn this year is the difference in the two kinds of pain running can produce. The first is the good kind, the kind that lets you know you are pushing yourself to improve and do your best. The second is the bad kind and indicates an injury. If you suspect you have an injury or are developing a problem area, talk to a coach immediately. We have an excellent staff of trainers who can help you avoid and overcome injuries so take advantage of their knowledge. In the event of an injury, the coaches, with advice from medical personnel and trainers, will determine when a runner is ready to resume competition. If an injury prevents you from completing a practice, you probably will not be able to race that week.

6. If you are injured or see someone else injured during a practice or meet, please notify a coach, race official, parent or other person who can help you immediately.

7. The school district has a small insurance policy on all activities participants. This will help on costs, but will not cover any major expenses. An additional insurance policy may be purchased through the school office if desired.

Expectations of Student Participants--These are common sense ideas, but can lead to problems which could result in suspension from practices, meets, or the program.

1. Adherence to All School District Policies- Students at all times must follow all school and district rules, regulations and policies regarding student behavior. This includes all expectations regarding language, sportsmanship, attendance rules, chemical use, behavior and academics.

2. Pre-Season Responsibilities-All students participating in activities are expected to take care of all pre-season responsibilities by the required deadlines. This includes physicals, payment of fees, and all other paperwork necessary for participation.

3. Sportsmanship--Participants should demonstrate sportsmanlike behavior and language at all times. Use your energies to cheer on your teammates with positive comments. Don’t waste time and energy on negative comments or behaviors.

4. Respect for others--Our runs take us out into the community and even when you are off school grounds, you are still representing Senior High and the Cross Country team. Treat community members, course officials, parents, coaches, teammates, and members of other teams with respect at all times. Be especially respectful of drivers who give you the right of way or create extra room for you to run. Do not retaliate with gestures or words if others do not give you the respect you want. Step aside to let others pass on sidewalks or trails.

5. Respect for Property and Equipment-As we run through the streets, remember that cars, bicycles, toys, trees, etc belong to other people. Keep your hands off. Do not run across lawns or cut through shrubs. Our purpose is to get in a training run and disturbing the property of others is not part of that effort.

6. Completion of assigned workouts--Our workouts will be designed to allow you to build strength, endurance and fitness as we progress through the season. They are not random runs, but have a plan behind them. All team members must participate in stretching, warming up, cooling down, and the full distance of the run unless assigned a special workout by one of the coaches. Don’t change a workout distance or assigned route without a coach’s permission in advance and do not accept a ride from anyone except in an emergency. Such an emergency must be reported to a coach immediately.