Rankings Reimagined: A New Way to Analyze XC Team Rankings

Rankings Reimagined:

I think it is fair to say that ranking teams based on Season's Bests, though it may work well for Track and Field, does not for Cross County. While some teams have run on fast courses, others only race locally while others officially haven't raced at all. While eventually we'll know who the best team is in November, I took some time to create a different ranking system with multiple metrics rather than just one. It's not perfect but bear with me.

Metric 1: Best Runner

This is the only subjective metric used but is very valuable. In a large meet like the state championship, securing a single-digit score is crucial.

Metric 2: Runners 2 - 4 Split

I didn't want to use 1-5 split because if you have the best runner that is close to a 15 flat and your 5th runner is a 16:45, 1:45 is not an accurate depiction of the strength of your team score. Since the first metric accounts for the best runner already, this one will not skew a split by omitting their time.

Metric 3: Runners 4 - 6 Split

"But we only score 5 runners!" While true, this split is more of a vulnerability power ranking. If one of your prime runners has a bad race, this gives insight on which team is most equipped to make up for it.

Metric 4: Average Time 1 - 6

At some point, times matter but they can't be the sole contributor. This combines time and vulnerability.

I chose 5 teams of each sex to test this with and ranked each metric 1 to 5 and then added their metric scores together to get one score and as always with Cross Country, low score wins.