Selection of Scottish West District Cross Country Teams
This document aims to ensure the selection process is clear and transparent to all athletes and coaches.
The selection team comprises John Rodger and Anne-Marie Hughes, with Clare Barr acting as adjudicator in case of selection disagreements.
There are two occasions when teams are selected to represent the West District in cross country competitions:
- Inter-Districts (early January at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh).
U13/15/17 and Senior teams compete against Scottish East and North Districts. The BUPA/NOVA-sponsored meeting also includes a 4k race and an international race for senior and U20 athletes. These races can impact the West District team as eligible athletes may be selected to compete for GB or Scotland or a University team, or may elect to run the short course race instead.
- Inter-Counties (late February or early March, Birmingham).
U15/17/20 and Senior teams compete against County/District teams from across the United Kingdom.
Results from the following races are the primary source of information used in selection decisions. They are collated onto a spreadsheet so they can be examined objectively.
- West District CC Relays
- National CC Relays
- National Short Course Championships
- Liverpool Cross Challenge
- West District CC Championships
If there is difficulty in making a decision, the selectors look at other races for head-to-head comparisons, along with Power of Ten information and current form.
There are 15 places available in each of the U13, U15, U17 and senior teams.
The first 12 finishers in the West District CC Championships are automatically selected, with the additional three at the sole discretion of the selectors.
These discretionary places allow consideration of athletes who may have had an unexpectedly poor race at the West District CC Championships (or were unavailable to compete) due to illness, injury or other commitments. Clubs, coaches and athletes are actively encouraged to keep the selectors informed of any extenuating circumstances regarding the performance of athletes.
The U20s and seniors compete in separate races of different distances at the West District Championships, so head-to-head comparisons between these age groups are difficult. Therefore, the selectors must make a judgement as to which U20s should be selected for the senior team. This is further complicated by the fact that Scottish Universities have the first pick of eligible athletes to run for their teams rather than the West.
Selection for this race is rather more involved.
The Inter-Counties race is the final event of five in the British Athletics Cross Challenge series. Athletes who rank in the Series top 20 are automatically entered and it is expected that West district athletes who feature in the top 20 will be selected for the district team.
Entries must be submitted very early (by the end of January); there are no late entries or substitutions allowed after the closing date.
The selectors refer to results from previous races, including the Inter-Districts, to enter the maximum number of athletes allowed in each age group. To cover situations involving injuries, illness, etc, 12 athletes are entered in the initial list, although only a maximum of eight can be selected for the final team. (In the case of seniors, 15 are entered in the initial list, with a maximum of nine for the final team). IMPORTANT: an athlete being on the entry list (online misleadingly called the “Start List”) does not guarantee that they will be ultimately selected for a final team place.
For final team selection, results from the National CC Championships are used, along with all other previous results.
It should be noted that, for reasons of costs and logistics, total team places are limited to approximately 30-35, with preference given to age groups that have the best chance of medalling, so considerably fewer athletes are ultimately selected than appear on the initial entry list.
A further complication is that the Inter-Counties often clashes with the Scottish Schools Cross Country Championships, creating a tough choice for selected school-age athletes. This is not the case in 2015.
If an athlete has been entered but not selected for a final team place, they are eligible to race if they choose to do so, but must make their own independent travel and accommodation arrangements. In addition, the West District does not select an U13 team for this event, therefore U13 athletes in the series top 20 who wish to compete must travel independently.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that, on occasion, the Inter-Counties includes a Home Countries International. Athletes selected to run for Scotland can also be included in the West team i.e. they can score for both country and district.