How does scoring in cross country running work?

Cross Country is an odd sport but makes sense the more you are around it. Scoring is determined by adding up the places of the top 5 finishers from each team. 1st place = 1 point, 2nd place = 2...etc.  The team with the lower score wins. It is a little more complicated than that in our league meets, but that would be much easier to explain in person. It involves essentially ignoring the finishers from non-competing teams.

There are 10 teams in our league. There is 1 race day per week in which the league is split between two locations. 4-6 teams compete in each race, but based on the division assignments each school scores against only 1-3 teams. The league director makes the schedule and our master schedule tells us which teams we are scoring against. I can update our meet schedule to show this and email that out to the team.

Concerning race distance, we train for 5k races. Our county championship and our Western Mass and State meets are 5k distance (3.1 miles). Within the county, schools do the best they can with the land available to them. Different schools' courses vary from 2.1 (Lee) to a 5k at Reid (Pittsfield's home course). We don't always know the course length until we arrive and get a map from the opposing team's coaches. 

What we stress is knowing the competition and understanding that ultimately this is an individual sport, and we do our best to teach them to run at different paces so they can push their limits without over-extending when it comes time to run.