Girls 5k to be back on the ballot - OCR complaint
11/06/2014 1:18:39 PM
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[b]From an email sent to all Kansas high school cross country coaches today:[/b] The 5K for girls will be on the survey again this year. All cross country coaches should be aware the KSHSAA has had an OCR (Office of Civil Rights) complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of sex. The complaint alleges the KSHSAA discriminates against female students on the basis of sex by denying them the opportunity to compete in the KSHSAA regulated girls’ cross country competition at the same running distance of 5000 meters provided to boys. The KSHSAA has responded to the OCR complaint and is awaiting a report back. As cross country coaches if you have thoughts one way or another on this issue you are invited to send your thoughts for and against the potential change to Fran Martin, KSHSAA Cross Country administrator (fmartin@kshsaa.org). Information from coaches will be collected to share with the Executive Board, who has the authority to determine race distances for post-season events.
From an email sent to all Kansas high school cross country coaches today:

The 5K for girls will be on the survey again this year.

All cross country coaches should be aware the KSHSAA has had an OCR (Office of Civil Rights) complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of sex. The complaint alleges the KSHSAA discriminates against female students on the basis of sex by denying them the opportunity to compete in the KSHSAA regulated girls' cross country competition at the same running distance of 5000 meters provided to boys. The KSHSAA has responded to the OCR complaint and is awaiting a report back. As cross country coaches if you have thoughts one way or another on this issue you are invited to send your thoughts for and against the potential change to Fran Martin, KSHSAA Cross Country administrator (fmartin@kshsaa.org). Information from coaches will be collected to share with the Executive Board, who has the authority to determine race distances for post-season events.
11/06/2014 2:29:53 PM
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@Wrigs77 Thanks for the information... I wondered what was going on. Earlier this week the 5k question was being discussed by some AD's and my opinion was sought. We've also discussed the issue at some length through this forum, so we are fairly aware of thoughts and concerns on both sides. Since I'm old enough to remember our change as a state from the 2-mile to the 4K and I've had daughters who were runners, they probably felt I might have some thoughts... imagine that! Here were my comments: Many coaches have female athletes that want to run collegiately and those scouts and coaches want to know how those girls would perform on a 5K course. We do them a disservice by not giving them that opportunity. the coaches that resist the idea do so because they are afraid they will lose numbers. Many had the same concern when we moved from the 2-mile. We are surrounded by states that have gone to 5K. Last time I checked, Kansas was only one of eight still running 4K... I think. I didn't do a real exhaustive search. We need to fix the situation. Either go over completely to 5K or consider an "interim" solution. Since every course is set for 4K and 5K and logistics won't be an issue, to satisfy both sides, why not consider having the varsity girls run a 5K and the JV run a 4K. If there are truly kids out there who would be afraid to come out for cross country because they would have to run an extra 1K, this would help take care of that concern. Change is inevitable with this issue and many of us are willing to pursue out of state opportunities for our female athletes who need 5K times and experience. Rim Rock proved that need this year when you look at the number of teams in the Platinum division. ~dhwj
@Wrigs77 Thanks for the information... I wondered what was going on. Earlier this week the 5k question was being discussed by some AD's and my opinion was sought. We've also discussed the issue at some length through this forum, so we are fairly aware of thoughts and concerns on both sides. Since I'm old enough to remember our change as a state from the 2-mile to the 4K and I've had daughters who were runners, they probably felt I might have some thoughts... imagine that!

Here were my comments: Many coaches have female athletes that want to run collegiately and those scouts and coaches want to know how those girls would perform on a 5K course. We do them a disservice by not giving them that opportunity. the coaches that resist the idea do so because they are afraid they will lose numbers. Many had the same concern when we moved from the 2-mile. We are surrounded by states that have gone to 5K. Last time I checked, Kansas was only one of eight still running 4K... I think. I didn't do a real exhaustive search. We need to fix the situation. Either go over completely to 5K or consider an "interim" solution. Since every course is set for 4K and 5K and logistics won't be an issue, to satisfy both sides, why not consider having the varsity girls run a 5K and the JV run a 4K. If there are truly kids out there who would be afraid to come out for cross country because they would have to run an extra 1K, this would help take care of that concern.

Change is inevitable with this issue and many of us are willing to pursue out of state opportunities for our female athletes who need 5K times and experience. Rim Rock proved that need this year when you look at the number of teams in the Platinum division. ~dhwj
12/02/2014 6:41:30 PM
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Here's a link to the story detailing the change from 4k to 5k in Wisconsin. It also involved and OCR complaint. http://host.madison.com/sports/high-school/cross-country/girls-cross-country-wiaa-board-of-control-votes-to-lengthen/article_8e9e7b32-dd21-11e3-92c3-001a4bcf887a.html
Here's a link to the story detailing the change from 4k to 5k in Wisconsin. It also involved and OCR complaint.

http://host.madison.com/sports/high-school/cross-country/girls-cross-country-wiaa-board-of-control-votes-to-lengthen/article_8e9e7b32-dd21-11e3-92c3-001a4bcf887a.html
12/02/2014 10:35:25 PM
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I did notice that Wisconsin's initial 2010 vote was in favor of the change, and nothing was done. That might be why the OCR was looking into it. As far as I know, the coaches in Kansas have never collectively voted to increase the distance. I don't know if that will play a factor, legally, in what's going on with kshsaa. While I think the girls should be running a 5k, I understand that there are reasonable justifications not to change what we currently have. For the most part a boys 5k time is very similar to a girls 4k time. Altering input factors because of differing abilities between men and women (on average) to get out similar output results happen in a lot sports. Examples: shot put, disc, javelin, starting heights in pole vault & high jump, WNBA quarter length, basketball size, # of sets in tennis, tee box location in golf, volleyball nets, softball vs baseball. (All things that are different for men and women at some level)
I did notice that Wisconsin's initial 2010 vote was in favor of the change, and nothing was done. That might be why the OCR was looking into it. As far as I know, the coaches in Kansas have never collectively voted to increase the distance. I don't know if that will play a factor, legally, in what's going on with kshsaa.

While I think the girls should be running a 5k, I understand that there are reasonable justifications not to change what we currently have. For the most part a boys 5k time is very similar to a girls 4k time. Altering input factors because of differing abilities between men and women (on average) to get out similar output results happen in a lot sports. Examples: shot put, disc, javelin, starting heights in pole vault & high jump, WNBA quarter length, basketball size, # of sets in tennis, tee box location in golf, volleyball nets, softball vs baseball. (All things that are different for men and women at some level)
12/03/2014 10:21:15 AM
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Be that as it may, this is high school cross country and in America 46 out of 50 states now run 5k. Our girls can do it. Our girls should do it. Let's just hope we're not the last state to go kicking and screaming.
Be that as it may, this is high school cross country and in America 46 out of 50 states now run 5k. Our girls can do it. Our girls should do it. Let's just hope we're not the last state to go kicking and screaming.
12/03/2014 10:35:59 AM
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Wrigs - in your initial post you said that there would be a coaches' survey or poll on the issue. Has that occurred yet? And if so, what were the results? Thanks.
Wrigs - in your initial post you said that there would be a coaches' survey or poll on the issue. Has that occurred yet? And if so, what were the results? Thanks.
12/03/2014 10:55:07 AM
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The survey has been sent out with 6 issues and we are awaiting the results. I'll be sure to update when I get them. Other questions included: Lengthening the season by 1 week "Super Regionals" in 5A/6A (two 16 team regionals qualifying 6 teams each) Splitting 4A into two divisions Moving regional races to the AM How many kids took the ACT on regional date
The survey has been sent out with 6 issues and we are awaiting the results. I'll be sure to update when I get them.

Other questions included:
Lengthening the season by 1 week
"Super Regionals" in 5A/6A (two 16 team regionals qualifying 6 teams each)
Splitting 4A into two divisions
Moving regional races to the AM
How many kids took the ACT on regional date
12/03/2014 10:52:27 PM
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@CoachBallew Coach- I have heard the comparison to other male/female differences several times and have wrestled with it because, on the surface, it seems simple and to make perfect sense. However, I think the major flaw in that comparison, sticking with the examples you gave, is that those gender modifications are done across all ages- from youth to professional. The girls 4K in Kansas is not consistent with what is done across all ages, youth to professional. Girls of all ages run 5Ks, girls run the same race distances in track at all levels, etc. The comparison to hurdles or the shot put or WNBA is not an accurate comparison at all. It is a very flawed and ignorant justification. I do think it is interesting that the one running sport that jumps out as different is cross country. I am genuinely interested in knowing the justification for that. Elite women run marathons and ultra marathons, but elite women's cross country races are not the same distance as men's cross country races. I can't imagine that running/training for a cross country race is harder on a woman's body than running/training for the 10K on the track or a marathon. I know one of the main justifications against the increase is injuries. However, that is hard to understand when the race distances on the track, roads, and trails are the same. I would assume that the difference has more to do with tradition rather than injuries, etc. I also wonder if the difference has something to do with cross country being a team sport, at almost every level, and trying to find enough females that are true cross country runners. The reduced race distance gives a female 800/miler a better chance to participate and to be successful. Not sure if I am explaining that thought well........ I am in full support of the girls 5K in Kansas. I feel a bit hypocritical because, despite what Wrigs would argue, I am not actually female. The 5K has been implemented in nearly every state and has been successful across the nation. We have programs in our elementary schools that, as a way of building girl's self esteem and to get them active, trains girls to run a 5K ([url=http://www.girlsontherun.org/What-We-Do/3rd-5th-Grade-Program]Girls on the Run[/url]). Yet, when they reach high school we won't allow females to run a 5K. I know a common argument is to prepare the girls for the college level- and, I understand that not many girls go on to run in college. But, I think more importantly, I think that we are all instilling a life long love of running, competing, health, and participation in our great sport. I hope that the kids I coach continue to participate and to run in road races beyond their competitive scholastic career. I believe running the 5K at the high school level helps kids continue on that path.
@CoachBallew

Coach- I have heard the comparison to other male/female differences several times and have wrestled with it because, on the surface, it seems simple and to make perfect sense. However, I think the major flaw in that comparison, sticking with the examples you gave, is that those gender modifications are done across all ages- from youth to professional. The girls 4K in Kansas is not consistent with what is done across all ages, youth to professional. Girls of all ages run 5Ks, girls run the same race distances in track at all levels, etc. The comparison to hurdles or the shot put or WNBA is not an accurate comparison at all. It is a very flawed and ignorant justification.

I do think it is interesting that the one running sport that jumps out as different is cross country. I am genuinely interested in knowing the justification for that. Elite women run marathons and ultra marathons, but elite women's cross country races are not the same distance as men's cross country races. I can't imagine that running/training for a cross country race is harder on a woman's body than running/training for the 10K on the track or a marathon. I know one of the main justifications against the increase is injuries. However, that is hard to understand when the race distances on the track, roads, and trails are the same. I would assume that the difference has more to do with tradition rather than injuries, etc. I also wonder if the difference has something to do with cross country being a team sport, at almost every level, and trying to find enough females that are true cross country runners. The reduced race distance gives a female 800/miler a better chance to participate and to be successful. Not sure if I am explaining that thought well........

I am in full support of the girls 5K in Kansas. I feel a bit hypocritical because, despite what Wrigs would argue, I am not actually female. The 5K has been implemented in nearly every state and has been successful across the nation. We have programs in our elementary schools that, as a way of building girl's self esteem and to get them active, trains girls to run a 5K (Girls on the Run). Yet, when they reach high school we won't allow females to run a 5K. I know a common argument is to prepare the girls for the college level- and, I understand that not many girls go on to run in college. But, I think more importantly, I think that we are all instilling a life long love of running, competing, health, and participation in our great sport. I hope that the kids I coach continue to participate and to run in road races beyond their competitive scholastic career. I believe running the 5K at the high school level helps kids continue on that path.
12/04/2014 3:05:45 PM
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2014 Kansas Cross Country Coaches Survey RESULTS NUMBER OF RESPONDENTS, BY CLASSIFICATION 1A - 32 2A - 23 3A - 23 4A - 42 5A - 25 6A - 26 Total - 171 1A Schools responding: Frankfort,Tribune-Greeley,Stockton,Jetmore-Hodgeman,Ingalls, Otis-Bison, Victoria,Deerfield,Hartford,Pretty Prairie,Axtell,Centralia,Wheatland-Grinnell,Quinter,Central Christian, Wallace County,Glasco,Natoma,Brewster,Dighton,Central-Burden,Pleasanton,Tescott,Cunningham, Macksville,Skyline,Burrton,Pike Valley, St. Paul,Lakeside,Goessel,Almena-Nrthn Valley, 2A Schools responding: Salina-Sacred Heart,Stanton,Maranatha,Oakley,Lincoln,Belleville, Washington Cty,Olpe,Wabansee,Ellis,Ellinwood,Kiowa County,Ness City,Jackson Heights,Bennington, Meade,KC Christian,Elkhart,Berean Academy,Mission Valley,West Elk,Plainville,Oberlin-Decatur, 3A Schools responding: Atchison County,Lakin,Fedonia,Central Heights,Remington,Douglass, Pleasant Ridge,Minneapolis,Silver Lake,Lyons,Halstead,Council Grove,Scott City,Humboldt,Sterling, SE Saline,Riley County,Beloit, Burlington, Osage City,Nemaha Central,Norton Comm,Riverside 4A Schools responding: Concordia,Wichita-Trinity,DeSoto,Chanute,Tonganoxie,Clay Center,Clearwater, Jeff West,Hugoton,Bishop Ward,Larned,Holcomb,Paola,Louisburg,Goodland,Wamego,Basehor-Linwood, Spring Hill,El Dorado,Prairie View,Santa Fe Trail,Royal Valley,Bonner Springs,Girard,Colby,Abilene, Baldwin,Perry-Lecompton,Baxter Springs,Anderson County,Augusta,Rose Hill,Atchison,Wellington, Labette County,Towanda-Circle,Hays, Mulvane,Winfield,Holton,Chapman,Eudora 5A Schools responding: Wichita Heights,Salina South,BVSW,Bishop Carroll,Arkansas City,Turner, Shawnee Heights,Topeka West,Goddard,Seaman,Salina Central,Aquinas,Maize South,Newton, Valley Center,Mill Valley,Emporia,Liberal,Lansing,Leavenworth,Great Bend,Andover,St.James Highland Park, 6A Schools responding: Garden City,Lawrence,BVNW,Gardner,Dodge City,Wichita West,SMWest, WichitaSouth,Haysville,ONW,SMNW,Olathe South,BVN,SM South, Free State,Olathe East,Wichita North, Washburn Rural,Wichita NW,Olathe North,Blue Valley,SM North, SM East,Maize,Manhattan, Junction City [b]Question #1: Would you be in favor of extending the cross country season by one week with the state meet falling on the Saturday of calendar week #18 in the KSHSAA calendar? [/b] Class--YES----NO----Percent for 1A --- 19 --- 13 --- 59% 2A --- 10 --- 13 --- 43% 3A --- 9 --- 14 --- 39% 4A --- 15 --- 27 --- 36% 5A --- 15 --- 10 --- 60% 6A --- 19 --- 7 --- 73% Total 87 --- 84 --- 51% [b]Question #2: Would you be in favor of starting regional meets in the morning?[/b] Class--YES----NO----Percent for 1A --- 25 ---- 7 --- 78% 2A --- 16 ---- 7 --- 70% 3A --- 15 ---- 8 --- 65% 4A --- 31 ----11 --- 74% 5A --- 23 ---- 2 --- 92% 6A --- 24 ---- 2 --- 92% Total--134---- 37 -- 78% [b]Question #3: How many athletes took the ACT and ran in the regional meet?[/b] 68 athletes from 171 schools took the ACT test and then ran in the regional meet. 134 schools had no one do both ACT and run at the regional meet. [b]Question #4: Would you be in favor of increasing the girls race distance to 5000 meters?[/b] CLASS--YES---NO----Percent for 1A --- 8 -- 24 --- 25% 2A --- 5 -- 18 --- 22% 3A --- 8 -- 15 --- 35% 4A --- 20 -- 22 --- 48% 5A --- 10 -- 15 --- 40% 6A --- 16 -- 10 --- 62% Total--67 -- 104 -- 39% [b]Question #5: (4A only) Would you like to see 4A Cross Country split into two division, as football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and softball have done?[/b] YES --- NO --- Percent for 28 ---- 14 --- 67% [b]Question #6: (5A and 6A only) Would you like to see 5A and 6A have 2 regional meets with 16 teams each and qualify the top 6 teams and the top 20 individuals or top 10 not on a qualifying team?[/b] CLASS--YES--NO----Percent for 5A --- 9 -- 16 --- 36% 6A ---12 -- 14 --- 46% Total-21 -- 30 --- 41%
2014 Kansas Cross Country Coaches Survey
RESULTS
NUMBER OF RESPONDENTS, BY CLASSIFICATION
1A - 32
2A - 23
3A - 23
4A - 42
5A - 25
6A - 26
Total - 171

1A Schools responding: Frankfort,Tribune-Greeley,Stockton,Jetmore-Hodgeman,Ingalls, Otis-Bison,
Victoria,Deerfield,Hartford,Pretty Prairie,Axtell,Centralia,Wheatland-Grinnell,Quinter,Central Christian,
Wallace County,Glasco,Natoma,Brewster,Dighton,Central-Burden,Pleasanton,Tescott,Cunningham,
Macksville,Skyline,Burrton,Pike Valley, St. Paul,Lakeside,Goessel,Almena-Nrthn Valley,

2A Schools responding: Salina-Sacred Heart,Stanton,Maranatha,Oakley,Lincoln,Belleville,
Washington Cty,Olpe,Wabansee,Ellis,Ellinwood,Kiowa County,Ness City,Jackson Heights,Bennington,
Meade,KC Christian,Elkhart,Berean Academy,Mission Valley,West Elk,Plainville,Oberlin-Decatur,

3A Schools responding: Atchison County,Lakin,Fedonia,Central Heights,Remington,Douglass,
Pleasant Ridge,Minneapolis,Silver Lake,Lyons,Halstead,Council Grove,Scott City,Humboldt,Sterling,
SE Saline,Riley County,Beloit, Burlington, Osage City,Nemaha Central,Norton Comm,Riverside

4A Schools responding: Concordia,Wichita-Trinity,DeSoto,Chanute,Tonganoxie,Clay Center,Clearwater,
Jeff West,Hugoton,Bishop Ward,Larned,Holcomb,Paola,Louisburg,Goodland,Wamego,Basehor-Linwood,
Spring Hill,El Dorado,Prairie View,Santa Fe Trail,Royal Valley,Bonner Springs,Girard,Colby,Abilene,
Baldwin,Perry-Lecompton,Baxter Springs,Anderson County,Augusta,Rose Hill,Atchison,Wellington,
Labette County,Towanda-Circle,Hays, Mulvane,Winfield,Holton,Chapman,Eudora

5A Schools responding: Wichita Heights,Salina South,BVSW,Bishop Carroll,Arkansas City,Turner,
Shawnee Heights,Topeka West,Goddard,Seaman,Salina Central,Aquinas,Maize South,Newton,
Valley Center,Mill Valley,Emporia,Liberal,Lansing,Leavenworth,Great Bend,Andover,St.James
Highland Park,

6A Schools responding: Garden City,Lawrence,BVNW,Gardner,Dodge City,Wichita West,SMWest,
WichitaSouth,Haysville,ONW,SMNW,Olathe South,BVN,SM South, Free State,Olathe East,Wichita North,
Washburn Rural,Wichita NW,Olathe North,Blue Valley,SM North, SM East,Maize,Manhattan, Junction City

Question #1: Would you be in favor of extending the cross country season by one week with the state meet
falling on the Saturday of calendar week #18 in the KSHSAA calendar?

Class--YES----NO----Percent for
1A --- 19 --- 13 --- 59%
2A --- 10 --- 13 --- 43%
3A --- 9 --- 14 --- 39%
4A --- 15 --- 27 --- 36%
5A --- 15 --- 10 --- 60%
6A --- 19 --- 7 --- 73%
Total 87 --- 84 --- 51%

Question #2: Would you be in favor of starting regional meets in the morning?
Class--YES----NO----Percent for
1A --- 25 ---- 7 --- 78%
2A --- 16 ---- 7 --- 70%
3A --- 15 ---- 8 --- 65%
4A --- 31 ----11 --- 74%
5A --- 23 ---- 2 --- 92%
6A --- 24 ---- 2 --- 92%
Total--134---- 37 -- 78%

Question #3: How many athletes took the ACT and ran in the regional meet?
68 athletes from 171 schools took the ACT test and then ran in the regional meet.
134 schools had no one do both ACT and run at the regional meet.

Question #4: Would you be in favor of increasing the girls race distance to 5000 meters?
CLASS--YES---NO----Percent for
1A --- 8 -- 24 --- 25%
2A --- 5 -- 18 --- 22%
3A --- 8 -- 15 --- 35%
4A --- 20 -- 22 --- 48%
5A --- 10 -- 15 --- 40%
6A --- 16 -- 10 --- 62%
Total--67 -- 104 -- 39%

Question #5: (4A only) Would you like to see 4A Cross Country split into two division, as football, basketball,
volleyball, baseball, and softball have done?

YES --- NO --- Percent for
28 ---- 14 --- 67%

Question #6: (5A and 6A only) Would you like to see 5A and 6A have 2 regional meets with 16 teams each
and qualify the top 6 teams and the top 20 individuals or top 10 not on a qualifying team?

CLASS--YES--NO----Percent for
5A --- 9 -- 16 --- 36%
6A ---12 -- 14 --- 46%
Total-21 -- 30 --- 41%
12/04/2014 4:42:09 PM
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I wonder why so many coaches are against girls running a 5k in Kansas. I think the claim that it will decrease numbers is silly. And this is coming from someone who attended a KS high school which never had large numbers and has very rarely had enough numbers to field a girls team in the past 10 years. If that is the main reason that no one but 6A voted in favor of a girls 5k, then many of our coaches are silly, too. I suppose it's possible that initially, numbers will go down, but I would be surprised if numbers went down more than a small fraction. I imagine in a few years, when all the states have a 5k for girls, there aren't truly going to be any girls out there who think, hmmm, if I were in high school 5 years ago in Kansas, I would have run cross country because the race was only 2.5 miles, but now, since the race is a whole .6 miles longer, I'm not gonna do it! Our coaches need to keep the future in mind, and to also think more about what their fellow female classmates around the rest of the nation are doing (and doing just fine, I might add). I personally don't think there's a problem in itself with having girls run 4k while guys run 5k, but the fact that (nearly) every other state runs 5k for girls should be a good enough reason in itself to run 5k - that way, girls who are interested can see how they stack up against national competition. Plus, 4k is a weird distance. Haha. Less weird now that we've been doing it since 2006, but I remember first making the switch from 2-mile to 4k and had no idea at all what a good time would be. Whatever complaints people may have about switching to 5k, at least it is a universally-known distance. I'd be interested in seeing some numbers analysis done in Wisconsin on the negative effects, if any, of switching to 5k this year.
I wonder why so many coaches are against girls running a 5k in Kansas. I think the claim that it will decrease numbers is silly. And this is coming from someone who attended a KS high school which never had large numbers and has very rarely had enough numbers to field a girls team in the past 10 years. If that is the main reason that no one but 6A voted in favor of a girls 5k, then many of our coaches are silly, too. I suppose it's possible that initially, numbers will go down, but I would be surprised if numbers went down more than a small fraction. I imagine in a few years, when all the states have a 5k for girls, there aren't truly going to be any girls out there who think, hmmm, if I were in high school 5 years ago in Kansas, I would have run cross country because the race was only 2.5 miles, but now, since the race is a whole .6 miles longer, I'm not gonna do it!

Our coaches need to keep the future in mind, and to also think more about what their fellow female classmates around the rest of the nation are doing (and doing just fine, I might add).

I personally don't think there's a problem in itself with having girls run 4k while guys run 5k, but the fact that (nearly) every other state runs 5k for girls should be a good enough reason in itself to run 5k - that way, girls who are interested can see how they stack up against national competition.

Plus, 4k is a weird distance. Haha. Less weird now that we've been doing it since 2006, but I remember first making the switch from 2-mile to 4k and had no idea at all what a good time would be. Whatever complaints people may have about switching to 5k, at least it is a universally-known distance.

I'd be interested in seeing some numbers analysis done in Wisconsin on the negative effects, if any, of switching to 5k this year.
12/04/2014 6:55:56 PM
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I agree with everything CSercer just said and I'd also like to just throw out there that when Kansas introduced girls cross country in 1977 they ran the same distance as the boys (2 miles). But somewhere along the way we got lost and decided that the boys could/should run longer and the girls could/should not. Meanwhile, the rest of the country has figured out that 5k is indeed the standard distance for high school cross country and we continue to look like stubborn idiots. I am well beyond the point of worrying about calling out those that oppose the 5k. Time will prove how foolish you are. I refuse to be associated with those that choose to make our state an embarrassment. I don't understand how people in the profession of helping kids can vote to hold them back. How can it be that the majority of Kansas XC coaches think they know better than the rest of the nation on what the appropriate race distance should be? Is Kansas outperforming the rest of the nation in girls cross country? Last I checked, it was not.
I agree with everything CSercer just said and I'd also like to just throw out there that when Kansas introduced girls cross country in 1977 they ran the same distance as the boys (2 miles). But somewhere along the way we got lost and decided that the boys could/should run longer and the girls could/should not. Meanwhile, the rest of the country has figured out that 5k is indeed the standard distance for high school cross country and we continue to look like stubborn idiots. I am well beyond the point of worrying about calling out those that oppose the 5k. Time will prove how foolish you are. I refuse to be associated with those that choose to make our state an embarrassment. I don't understand how people in the profession of helping kids can vote to hold them back.
How can it be that the majority of Kansas XC coaches think they know better than the rest of the nation on what the appropriate race distance should be? Is Kansas outperforming the rest of the nation in girls cross country? Last I checked, it was not.
12/04/2014 9:41:10 PM
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The January/February edition of Running Times has an article on page 13 about the different distances run at the college and international level. It is an interesting read. The basic premise it offers is that the difference in distance is more about tradition and less about physiology. It also has some interesting points about the discrepancies impact on how women runners view themselves. I had always assumed, and maybe this is because I came to the sport late, that the different distance existed because for most girls the shortened distance resulted in their race lasting about as long as the boys. However, in listening to people's opposition I have come to believe that the reason so many people are voting against it is because they believe that girls can't handle the distance physiologically. That is simply not the case, however. As biology has taught us the female body enters puberty and develops physically earlier than the male body does. In many ways the 14 year old female is more prepared to handle the distance than her 14 year old male counter part. I find the most compelling reason for the unification of the distance in cross, at all levels, to be that the marathon is the same distance for everyone. Like cross country marathons are run on courses of different types and difficulty, some are hilly and some are flat, but all of them are raced by males and females alike. For that matter so if the half-marathon.
The January/February edition of Running Times has an article on page 13 about the different distances run at the college and international level. It is an interesting read. The basic premise it offers is that the difference in distance is more about tradition and less about physiology. It also has some interesting points about the discrepancies impact on how women runners view themselves.

I had always assumed, and maybe this is because I came to the sport late, that the different distance existed because for most girls the shortened distance resulted in their race lasting about as long as the boys. However, in listening to people's opposition I have come to believe that the reason so many people are voting against it is because they believe that girls can't handle the distance physiologically. That is simply not the case, however. As biology has taught us the female body enters puberty and develops physically earlier than the male body does. In many ways the 14 year old female is more prepared to handle the distance than her 14 year old male counter part.

I find the most compelling reason for the unification of the distance in cross, at all levels, to be that the marathon is the same distance for everyone. Like cross country marathons are run on courses of different types and difficulty, some are hilly and some are flat, but all of them are raced by males and females alike. For that matter so if the half-marathon.
12/04/2014 11:28:22 PM
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While I agree with CSercer & Wriggs77, I can’t match your passion. If we were (like in 1977) creating this sport from scratch with no prior knowledge I have no doubts we would establish a 5k distance for girls. It is more a fear of change then an actual fear of the 5k distance. The coaches that voted for the 5k, I'm willing to bet, are fairly passionate about a girls 5k distance and would advocate for it. We hear a few of them on this site quite often. In contrast, I'm willing to bet, over half the no votes come from people who are indifferent to either distance. When people are asked to vote on ANYTHING, they default to keep the status quo. That's why it is so hard to vote out an incumbent even if the other candidate is better. I think the deeper underlying problem is some coaches immediate refusal to be open to change. We have an established distance and everyone is being asked to replace with that something different. With this mindset we aren't going to be able to make ANY positive changes. The only vote that appears to be consistently passed is the 4A split (aka the one that creates more state titles, more trophies and more medals). We are a small state, and yet we keep spreading ourselves thinner and thinner.
While I agree with CSercer & Wriggs77, I can't match your passion. If we were (like in 1977) creating this sport from scratch with no prior knowledge I have no doubts we would establish a 5k distance for girls. It is more a fear of change then an actual fear of the 5k distance. The coaches that voted for the 5k, I'm willing to bet, are fairly passionate about a girls 5k distance and would advocate for it. We hear a few of them on this site quite often. In contrast, I'm willing to bet, over half the no votes come from people who are indifferent to either distance. When people are asked to vote on ANYTHING, they default to keep the status quo. That's why it is so hard to vote out an incumbent even if the other candidate is better. I think the deeper underlying problem is some coaches immediate refusal to be open to change. We have an established distance and everyone is being asked to replace with that something different. With this mindset we aren't going to be able to make ANY positive changes. The only vote that appears to be consistently passed is the 4A split (aka the one that creates more state titles, more trophies and more medals). We are a small state, and yet we keep spreading ourselves thinner and thinner.
12/05/2014 10:32:00 AM
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Wrigs - So where does this coaches' poll on the girls' distance issue leave things? Will the KSHSAA's Executive Board simply go along with the poll?
Wrigs - So where does this coaches' poll on the girls' distance issue leave things? Will the KSHSAA's Executive Board simply go along with the poll?
12/05/2014 12:52:40 PM
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[quote=fsxcdad]Wrigs - So where does this coaches' poll on the girls' distance issue leave things? Will the KSHSAA's Executive Board simply go along with the poll?[/quote] @fsxcdad In 2003 there was enough support to move the 6A girls up to 4k from 3200m so that is what they did. I was not a head coach then so I don't know the numbers but it was significant enough to move that one classification. In 2006 they moved all the classes up to 4k. 2006 was also my first year as a head coach so the decision was made prior to my participation in the coaches polls so I don't know the exact details. It seems to me that there is enough support now to move 6A up to 5k and maybe they will. My hope is that despite the results of the coaches' poll in classes 1A-5A the executive board will step in and move all classes up to 5k and all of Kansas can join the civilized world of girls cross country.
fsxcdad wrote:
Wrigs - So where does this coaches' poll on the girls' distance issue leave things? Will the KSHSAA's Executive Board simply go along with the poll?


@fsxcdad In 2003 there was enough support to move the 6A girls up to 4k from 3200m so that is what they did. I was not a head coach then so I don't know the numbers but it was significant enough to move that one classification. In 2006 they moved all the classes up to 4k. 2006 was also my first year as a head coach so the decision was made prior to my participation in the coaches polls so I don't know the exact details.

It seems to me that there is enough support now to move 6A up to 5k and maybe they will. My hope is that despite the results of the coaches' poll in classes 1A-5A the executive board will step in and move all classes up to 5k and all of Kansas can join the civilized world of girls cross country.
12/05/2014 5:43:00 PM
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I suppose this is really another topic, but especially as a former 4A runner, I think possibly the dumbest vote on the ballot is to split 4A cross country into 2 divisions. I don't know why in the world, especially for cross country, we would want to split up ANY of the classes. Shoot, let's split into 100 classes for XC so that people are only competing against schools who have almost EXACTLY the same number. Good grief.
I suppose this is really another topic, but especially as a former 4A runner, I think possibly the dumbest vote on the ballot is to split 4A cross country into 2 divisions. I don't know why in the world, especially for cross country, we would want to split up ANY of the classes. Shoot, let's split into 100 classes for XC so that people are only competing against schools who have almost EXACTLY the same number. Good grief.
12/05/2014 8:14:24 PM
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@Wrigs77 It's awesome that there are coaches, parents, fans and administrators who care enough about the sport of girls cross country to continue discussing this issue. For a different perspective on high school cross-country just go to the discussion page on Nebraska mile split. The last XC comment was in April 2014.
@Wrigs77
It's awesome that there are coaches, parents, fans and administrators who care enough about the sport of girls cross country to continue discussing this issue. For a different perspective on high school cross-country just go to the discussion page on Nebraska mile split. The last XC comment was in April 2014.
12/05/2014 8:21:35 PM
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Continued http://ne.milesplit.com/discussion/local. Reasons for change to 5K 1. 46 out of 50 states run 5K, kS girls should too. 2. Equality (OCR complaint) 3. Race day logistics – one course. 4. The boys race 5k, so can the girls. 5. Kansas looks like idiots. 6. Justin Wrigley (and many other 5A-6A coaches are for it.) The man is tireless and passionate about KS XC. A great ambassador for the sport. Against change to 5K 1. 61% of coaches responding in the 2014 poll are against it. 2. College coaches look at track times because they are more uniform than cross country times so it does not matter what distance girls run. 3. May decrease the number of high school girls who are willing to race and train for a longer distance. 4. May increase injuries because runners need more time to recover from a higher volume of training and a longer race. (From personal observation I believe many high school athletes do not eat enough protein or get enough sleep to properly recover during distance training. In reality many high school runners are just novice runners who have not learned, do not have the time for, or simply don't want to do the core exercises needed to build and maintain a strong running body. http://www.therapeuticassociates.com/sports-medicine/stability-routine/ 5. More middle-distance track athletes can compete to win a 4K race as opposed to a 5K race. 6. Tradition. What's missing? A female perspective and specifically what do the majority of high school girl runners want? The perspective of a medical professional, doctor, physiologist who ideally would be a former female Kansas XC runner. NXN is tomorrow. Good luck to McNutt.
Continued

http://ne.milesplit.com/discussion/local.

Reasons for change to 5K
1. 46 out of 50 states run 5K, kS girls should too.
2. Equality (OCR complaint)
3. Race day logistics -- one course.
4. The boys race 5k, so can the girls.
5. Kansas looks like idiots.
6. Justin Wrigley (and many other 5A-6A coaches are for it.)
The man is tireless and passionate about KS XC. A great ambassador for the sport.

Against change to 5K

1. 61% of coaches responding in the 2014 poll are against it.

2. College coaches look at track times because they are more uniform than cross country times so it does not matter what distance girls run.

3. May decrease the number of high school girls who are willing to race and train for a longer distance.

4. May increase injuries because runners need more time to recover from a higher volume of training and a longer race. (From personal observation I believe many high school athletes do not eat enough protein or get enough sleep to properly recover during distance training. In reality many high school runners are just novice runners who have not learned, do not have the time for, or simply don't want to do the core exercises needed to build and maintain a strong running body.
http://www.therapeuticassociates.com/sports-medicine/stability-routine/

5. More middle-distance track athletes can compete to win a 4K race as opposed to a 5K race.

6. Tradition.

What's missing? A female perspective and specifically what do the majority of high school girl runners want? The perspective of a medical professional, doctor, physiologist who ideally would be a former female Kansas XC runner.

NXN is tomorrow. Good luck to McNutt.
01/08/2015 5:40:20 PM
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Iowa just officially changed from 4K to 5K for girl's races in the 2015 CC season.
Iowa just officially changed from 4K to 5K for girl's races in the 2015 CC season.

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