USATF Pacific

XC Rules

Cross Country Rules

Updated 12/21/2018

    • The annual Pacific Association Cross Country Grand Prix combines 8 to 10 Northern California/Northwest Nevada dirt and grass races into a series. The Pacific Association Cross Country Subcommittee (under the wing of the association’s LDR Committee) organizes the series and administers the Grand Prix aspect. A series program is published each year by the subcommittee to announce the series schedule. Programs are available through the Pacific Association office in late summer.
    • The Cross Country Grand Prix is designed to encourage the development of post-collegiate athletes and to provide competitive cross country opportunities for older athletes as well. All scoring individuals must be current Pacific Association/USATF (PA/USATF) members. Click here to sign up for ore renew an individual Membership. Click here to sign up your club or renew its membership. Click here to view Membership Eligibility Guidelines
    • The divisions for the Cross Country Grand Prix are as follows:OPEN (Men 16 & older, Women 14 & older)
      MASTER (40 & older)
      SENIOR (50 & older)
      SUPER SENIOR (60 & older)
      VETERAN (70 & older)These divisions apply to both individual and team scoring.
    • Additional guidelines and rules that apply to road, XC and ultra running Grand Prix events may be found in the USATF Pacific’s LDR Guidelines.
    • The basic individual scoring for each Grand Prix event will be as follows:


Place Open Men/Women, Masters Men/Women Senior Men Senior Women, Super-Senior Men Super-Senior Women, Veteran Men/Women
1 100 50 12
2 90 42 9
3 81 35 8
4 73 32 7
5 69 29 6
6 66 26 5
7 63 23 4
8 60 21 3
9 57 19 2
10 54 17 1
11 51 15
12 48 14
13 45 13
14 43 12
15 41 11
16 39 10
17 37 9
18 35 8
19 33 7
20 31 6
21 30 5
22 29 4
23 28 3
24 27 2
25 26 1
26 25
27 24
28 23
29 22
30 21
31 20
32 19
33 18
34 17
35 16
36 15
37 14
38 13
39 12
40 11
41 10
42 9
43 8
44 7
45 6
46 5
47 4
48 3
49 2
50 1
      The basic team scoring for each Grand Prix event will be as follows:
      1st place – 10 points
      2nd – 9
      3rd – 8
      4th – 7
      5th – 6
      6th – 5
      7th – 4
      8th – 3
      9th – 2
      10th – 1.A traditional cross country scoring system, which uses place instead of time as is done in Roads, will be used to score teams:A. Points will be assigned based on an individual’s finishing place in their division, e.g. 1st place = 1 point, 2nd place = 2 points, etc.B. Only runners with current PA/USATF memberships, competing for a PA team, will be scored. Runners on “incomplete” teams (see sections 5.C and 5.D), unattached runners, runners not on PA teams, and runners without valid PA/USATF memberships WILL NOT be included in scoring.

      C. In Men’s Open and Masters and Women’s Open divisions, only the team’s top 5 runners will score, with the 6th and 7th runners acting as displacers. Runners finishing 8th and above for a team WILL NOT be included in scoring(except for B teams; see section 5.G). If one of these teams fails to finish 5 runners, they are considered “incomplete” and WILL NOT be included in scoring.

      D. In Women’s Masters and Senior, and Men’s and Women’s Super Senior, and Veterans divisions, the team’s top 3 runners will score, with the 4th and 5th runners acting as displacers. In Men’s Seniors the top 4 runners will score with the 5th and 6th runners displacing. For Men’s Seniors 3 runner teams (with 2 displacers) will be scored after all 4-runner teams have been scored. Runners finishing 7th and above for a team WILL NOT be included in scoring (except for B teams; see section 5.G). If one of these teams fails to finish 3 runners, they are considered “incomplete” and WILL NOT be included in scoring.

      E. The sum total of the top 5 or top 4 or top 3 runners’ points (depending on division) will constitute the team score, with the low score winning. In the case of a tie, the team with the lower placed fifth (or third or fourth) runner wins.

      F. (Reserved)

      G. B teams. Runners placing 8th – 12th for 5-person teams (men’s and women’s open and men’s masters) or 6th – 10th for 3-person teams and 7th – 11th for 4-person teams, may displace other teams but will not earn team points for their team.

      H. Runners may earn individual points even if they fail to score for their team.

      I. Teams DO NOT need to declare their runners prior to competition.

      J. Runners dropping down in age divisions for team scoring purposes must run in the appropriate age division race. (Individual points will only be awarded for the age division race in which the runner competed in. If there are separate Open and Masters races, and a Master runner competes in the Open race for team scoring purposes, that runner may earn individual points in the Open division, but no points will be awarded in the Masters individual division.)

    • Each individual and team will score season-end points in a “best-of” fashion. The Pacific USATF Championship race is not required, but will serve as one of the “best of” races, so an individual or team that does not score points in the championships will in effect be able to count scores in one fewer race. For instance, the best five races plus the championship (in respect of points earned) of ten will be scored. Thus, a maximum of six events would be scored for any individual or team and a maximum of five events will be scored for any individual or team not scoring points in the championships. There is no minimum number of events required to accumulate season-end points. The number of Grand Prix races and “best-of” ratio may vary from year to year. See the Cross Country Series Program for the “best-of” ratio for the current season.
    • Grand Prix events that offer more than $1000 in prize funds to PA/USATF individuals/teams will receive higher point value (for both individuals and teams) in the Grand Prix scoring, up to a maximum of $1500/ 1.5 points. The Pacific USATF Championship race will offer a minimum of $1500 in prize funds and receive a 1.5 point value. See the Cross Country Series Program for event value points.
    • All grand prix award winners must be PA/USATF members.
    • Season-End Prize Distribution: Season-end prize money, and possibly merchandise, will be awarded to top individuals and/or teams in the Grand Prix. The prize money breakdown is based on an $8000 year-end grand prix purse (teams and individuals). If the purse is a different amount, the awards in these table will be prorated accordingly:

A. Individuals. In distribution of season-end prize money to individual athletes, it is possible for an older runner to place and collect a cash award in more than one division. As an example, the winner of the master’s division ($175) might also place 6th in the open competition ($50). In this situation, the athlete would receive $225.

Place Open Master Senior
1st $625 $175 $75
2nd $375 $100 $25
3rd $200 $75
4th $150 $50
5th $100
6th $50

B. Teams:

Place Open Master Senior
1st $600 $250 $125
2nd $400 $125
3rd $300
4th $200


  • Complimentary Entries: For Open divisions only, the top five individuals in the season-end grand prix standings will receive complimentary entries to all grand prix events in the following season. All other individual season-end divisional winners will receive the same complimentary entries. In order to receive a complimentary entry to a race, an athlete who has earned complimentary entries must pre-register with the race.
  • Since the PA/USATF Cross Country Championship may also be part of the PA/USATF LDR Road Grand Prix, it has a separate Association/LDR prize structure which includes open men and women, masters, seniors, and team competition. The season-end Cross Country Grand Prix prize purse (listed in section 8 above) is in addition to the LDR Road Grand Prix Championship purse
  • Pacific Association men’s and women’s “All-Star” open teams will be selected for purposes of competing in the USATF Western Regional Cross Country Championships, which includes inter-association competition. Teams will be selected as follows: Top 5 in the standings going into the Western Regional plus an additional top 3 from a designated qualifying meet that are not already in the top 5. A “B” team will be picked based on the next 8 in the standings. All selected athletes may score for their club teams as well.
  • In addition, “All-Pacific Association” Cross Country teams will be selected at season end, according to the following.
    Open and Masters Men and Women: Top 5 at PA/USATF Championship, plus top 3 season-end point earners not in the Championship top 5 (8 total).
    All other divisions: Top 3 in the Championships, plus top 2 season-end point earners not in the Championship top 3 (5 total).
  • Club/team results for each Grand Prix race should be submitted according to Section 18 of the LDR Guide
  • In order for an event to be considered for inclusion in the Grand Prix, it must meet the following requirements:A. USATF-sanctioned event.
    B. Safety to athletes.
    C. Ability to handle a medical emergency.
    D. Well-marked course.
    E. Accurate timing.
    F. Well-measured course.
    G. Timely results, received by the Grand Prix scorer or the PA/USATF office within 3 days via floppy disk or email including name, age, and time in text format, using commas or tabs as separators, or spreadsheet format.
    H. Indication of each competitor’s age (open, 40-49, 50-59, 60-plus) on entry forms/results (in order to score age division competition).
    I. Adequate refreshments and restroom facilities at the start/finish line.
    J. Share in promotion of other XC Grand Prix events.
    K. Assist with promotion of sponsors.
    L. Grand Prix events in the same age division may not be held the same weekend as another.
    M. Provides at least $1000 in prize money. The LDR committee may make exceptions to this last requirement for certain events which predate this requirement.
    N. If runners go off course due to event management negligence as determined by the LDR Committee, agrees to pay a penalty of up to $500.
  • All selections of Grand Prix events, rules decisions, and protests will be considered by the PA/USATF Long Distance Running Committee. Rules and policies will be in keeping with those of USA Track & Field.
  • Grand Prix event bids close on March 15th. All events will have an opportunity to bid. The cross country subcommittee will review the bids for recommendation purposes, however the final selection will be done by the regular LDR committee. All bids must be submitted in writing. The Pacific Association/USATF office has created a bid form for this purpose. Contact the office for more information.