Get the latest news from Bishop Fenwick Athletics at
Follow Bishop Fenwick Athletics on twitter @FenwickSports

Cross Country - What Is It All About?

Cross Country, the sport involving the running of long distances over open terrain, is considered the foundation of successful distance running programs. This activity has enjoyed great popularity for many years in Europe. It did not gain much prominence in the U.S. until the late 30’s. It continues to gain momentum and even “jogging” has helped it gain popularity among the masses.

A great majority of runners like the hill-and-dale sport because the greater distances are not run over repetitious oval tracks. A lot of races are run over golf course and school grounds, and in some cases incorporate obstacles such as streams, logs, etc. The distance of each course will vary according to its terrain, which combines both hills and flat grounds. This makes it more interesting for the spectator and runner. But that makes it much more difficult also – both to run and see. It also allows for special strategy – both individually and from a team standpoint.

SCORING: Cross Country is scored similarly to the game of golf. This means that the team with the low score wins. A team in championship meets is composed of seven individuals – five scorers and two so-called pushers. In less formal meets, more runners can be used to determine the final score made by the team, with 15 points being a perfect low score. The sixth and seventh runners, though they do not affect their own team’s score, can influence the score made by the opponents if both finish in front of any of the other team’s first five runners. This possibility is a definite inducement for every runner to turn in his/her top performance.