Rules to play Cross Country Running
Because of variations in conditions, international standardization of cross country courses is impossible, and not necessarily desirable. Part of cross country runnings appeal is the natural and distinct characteristics of each venues terrain and weather. Terrain can vary from open fields to forest hills and even across rivers.According to the IAAF, an ideal cross country course has a loop of 1,750 to 2,000 metres (1,910 to 2,190 yd) laid out on an open or wooded land. It should be covered by grass, as much as possible, and include rolling hills with smooth curves and short straights. While it is perfectly acceptable for local conditions to make dirt or snow the primary surface, courses should minimize running on roads or other macadamised paths. Parks and golf courses often provide good locations. While a course may include natural or artificial obstacles, cross country courses support continuous running, and generally do not require climbing over high barriers, through deep ditches, or fighting through underbrush.
A course at least 5 metres (5.5 yd) wide allows competitors to pass others during the race. Clear markings keep competitors from making wrong turns, and spectators from interfering with the competition. Markings may include tape or ribbon on both sides of the course, chalk or paint on the ground, or cones. Some courses use colored flags to indicate directions: red flags for left turns, yellow flags for right turns and blue flags can mean continue straight ahead or stay within ten feet (of the flag). Courses also commonly include distance markings, usually at each kilometer or each mile.The course should have 400 to 1,200 m (440 to 1,310 yd) of straight terrain before the first turn, to reduce contact and congestion at the start. However, many courses at smaller competitions have their first turn after a much shorter distance.