Rules and Regulations: Athletics – Cross Country (Open)

Last updated: November 2, 2022

Download a PDF here – LYG_Cross Country_2022_Info_Rules

XCO 1 The London Youth Games Cross Country will be run in accordance with UKA rules.

XCO 1.1 Should any rules listed below contradict those outlined by UKA, these rules will supersede those.

XCO 1.2 It will be at the sole discretion of the event referee as to the application of these rules, and any subsequent decision made as a result will be final.

XCO 2 Age Groups The following age groups and respective minimum/maximum date of births will apply to the London Youth Games Cross Country;

Age Category Oldest DOB Youngest DOB
U11 01/09/2011 31/08/2013
U13 01/09/2009 31/08/2011
U15 01/09/2007 31/08/2009
U17 01/09/2005 31/08/2007


XCO 2.1 Competitors are not permitted to race in an age category for which they are ineligible. No exceptions will be made.

XCO 2.2 It is the responsibility of competitors/parents/team managers/local authority staff to ensure all competitors details are entered correctly at the time of submission, and that they are eligible to compete for their borough under the London Youth Games Games Rules, and in accordance with the age groups outlined for each race.

XCO 2.2.1 Details should be checked by nominated individuals at the time of registration. If a registered competitor has incorrect details e.g. age category, LYG will endeavour to accommodate this correction at registration.

XCO Once the published time of registration closing has passed, any competitors who race in the incorrect age category may be subject to XCO 2.2.2.

XCO 2.2.2 In the instance a competitor is found to be ineligible, they will be disqualified from the competition entirely, and the borough may receive a points penalty as per the Games Rules if that competitor has competed.

XCO 3 Squad Size Boroughs are permitted to enter a maximum of 12 competitors per age category and gender e.g. 12 competitors in U11 Girls, a further 12 in U15 Boys etc.

XCO 3.1 Boroughs are permitted to bring all 12 competitors entered in each age category and gender to the event on the day.

XCO 4 Distances The following distances will apply for each respective age category and gender;

Age Category Girls Boys
U11 1500m 1500m
U13 2000m 2000m
U15 2000m 3000m
U17 3000m 4500m


XCO 5 Clothing and footwear Competitors should wear appropriate attire and footwear, suitable for the terrain and conditions the competition will be run on/in. The terrain is largely grassland, with areas of uneven ground and potentially slippery conditions, and therefore spikes are advised, but not compulsory. All competitors should be aware that other competitors may be wearing spikes.

XCO 6 Timing and Numbers All competitors will be provided with a timing chip, and race number/bib.

XCO 6.1 Race numbers/bibs must be secured to the front of a competitors clothing, below the chest and above the waist area. This must be secured on all four corners – any competitors without fully secured numbers/bibs may be prevented from competing.

XCO 6.2 Timing chips must be securely fastened to a competitor’s ankle, ensuring the strap passes through the slot provided. Timing chips worn elsewhere on a competitor’s body may result in a void/incomplete result.

XCO 6.2.1 In the instance a competitor completes the race, but a time is not registered due to an incorrectly worn timing chip, it will be at the discretion of LYG whether a result can be recorded.

XCO 6.2.2 In the instance a competitor’s timing chip is lost during the competition, LYG and its timing supplier will use video footage of the finish to estimate a time for that competitor. No external evidence will be considered.

XCO 6.3 Where a competitor competes with the incorrect timing chip and race number/bib, they may be subject to disqualification under the Games Rules.

XCO 6.4 Timing chips must be returned before departing the finishing area. Any individuals who fail to return their timing chip may risk a £5.00 fine. Competitors may keep their race number/bib.

XCO 6 Start Line and Route The route for each age category and gender will be provided in advance of the day. It is the responsibility of competitors/parents/team managers/local authority staff to familiarise themselves with this route.

XCO 6.1 Runners must assemble in the starting area 10 minutes prior to the advertised time of their race. There will not be any seeding, and competitors must listen to start line marshals in terms of their positioning in this area/start line.

XCO 6.1.1 Competitors should remain in warm clothing until a minimum of 5 minutes prior to their race.

XCO 6.2 Runners must follow the directions of course marshals and course signage. Any runners who are deemed by the event referee to not have completed the course will be disqualified.

XCO 7 Scoring Overall borough results will be split by gender. All races are eligible to contribute to a borough’s overall score for the event in each gender, but only the best three will be combined out of the four eligible races in each gender.

XCO 7.1 The positions of a borough’s first three finishers in each race are combined to create a score e.g. 3rd, 7th & 11th would provide a score of 21 (3 + 7 + 11). The lowest scores will be ranked first, and the largest scores ranked last.

XCO 7.1.1 In the instance a borough does not have three competitors in a certain race, the positions of the competitor/s will be added to the equivalent of the position that comes after the final competitor in that race. Examples below;

  • A race has 56 competitors take part on the day, and a borough has two runners.
  • These runners place 5th & 34th
  • The borough score would be calculated as follows: 5 + 34 + 57 = 96
  • If this borough only had one competitor who placed 5th it would be calculated as follows: 5 + 57 + 57 = 119.

XCO 7.1.2 In the instance two or more boroughs accumulate a score that is equal, their next best finisher will determine their ranking e.g. if two boroughs are both on 21 points, and the next best runners placed 23rd & 28th respectively, the borough with the 23rd placed finisher will be awarded the higher ranking.

XCO 7.2 The scores for each race will be awarded points based on their ranking in line with LYG Jubilee Points e.g. 1st = 50 points, 2nd = 46 points etc.

XCO 7.3 The highest number of points accumulated across the borough’s three best races will be deemed the winners for that gender.

XCO 7.4 In the event two or more boroughs are tied on points for 1st, 2nd or 3rd overall borough positions, the borough with the higher points for the fourth race will determine the result.

XCO 7.4.1 If the boroughs are still tied, the total score of the 4th best position across the original three races shall be used, and so on until a result is determined.

XCO 7.4.2 If there is a tie for any positions from 4th position downward, there will be no separation and both boroughs will be awarded the respective Jubilee points.

XCO 8 Medals & Trophies Medals and trophies will be awarded as follows;

XCO 8.1 Individuals who place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in their respective race will be awarded medals

XCO 8.2 As per XCO 7.1, the three (or less) individuals who contribute to a boroughs race result will also receive a medal if their borough ranks 1st, 2nd or 3rd in that race.

XCO 8.3 As per XCO 7.3, a trophy will be awarded to the borough who accumulates the highest number of points across their best three races in each gender. Medals will be awarded to all competitors who represented their borough.