The Indiana High School Athletic Association Executive Committee voted to change the Boys and Girls Cross Country State Tournaments from a four-week format to a three-week format.
The decision Thursday was one of three rules proposals acted upon after being formally presented last month by the Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (IATCCC).
By an 11-6 vote, next fall’s state tournament will be contested on three consecutive Saturdays and begin one week later than previously scheduled. Sectional races will be on Oct. 14, regionals on Oct. 21 and the state finals on Oct. 28.
Since 2014, the cross country tournaments had been run on four consecutive Saturdays with sectionals, regionals, semistates and state finals.
The new format calls for 25 sectionals and five regionals feeding into the state finals while eliminating the semistate round. The top five teams and top 15 individuals not on a qualifying team will advance from each round to the next.
Host sites and sectional assignments will be announced this summer.
“Today was the culmination of several years of discussion around issues within the cross country tournaments,” said IHSAA Commissioner Paul Neidig in a media release. “The three-week tournament will provide more balance at the sectional level, resulting in a more competitive state tournament. The new format will advance 42 additional runners in each race at the state finals. We greatly appreciate the partnership with the state coaches association in developing this new format.”
Two other proposals from the coaches association were unanimously approved including awarding medals to the top 25 finishers in both state meets and creating a common track entry platform that all meets must use throughout the season.