Scoring a Cross Country meet:

You can compare team scoring in cross-country to the game of golf:  low score wins. 

Each individual finishing a race is issued a card in the shoot with the finish place written on it. ( For example, the first runner gets #1, the sixth runner gets #6, etc.)  The places of the first 5 runners finishing the race from each team are added to compute the team score.

A perfect score in cross country is 15 points.
There are seven runners on a complete team. While not actually figuring in the team score, the 6th and 7th runners may serve to "displace" opposing runners by finishing ahead of them. This would increase the opponent's team score. In the example below Fairless wins by the score of their top 5 runners being lower than team B's top 5.

Fairless                   Team B
       1                           2
       4                           3
       6                           5
       8                           7
       9                           12
       28                         29
       10                         13
       11                         14

In dual meets all runners on the team will compete in one race. In the Invitational meets only the top seven will compete in the varsity race - all others will compete in the J.V. or open race. 

In the next example, both teams tie in points with their first five runners. At this point it is the sixth runner who will determine the win. 
Fairless                     Team B
       1                              2
       4                              3
       6                              5
       8                              7
       9                              11
       28                            28
       10                            12
       13                            14
Fairless wins with the 6th runner (9) placing ahead of Team B's 6th runner (11).

Invitational Meets 
It is possible that anywhere from 6 to 30+ teams may compete in an Invitational. Running in a “pack” is important for a team in order to keep the team score as low as possible.  For example, if 5 teammates finish first, second, third, fourth, and 80, given a total score of 90 points -  another team “packing" all five runners closer together ( 12, 13, 16, 17, 30, for a total score of 88) will beat them. This also includes League, County Championship, District, Regional and State Meets.

Race results take time to compile. Officials receive place cards and with them calculate team scores and individual scores. These results are made available as soon as possible after each race.

Results can also be found after the meet at

Generally, at dual meets there are no awards given. At invitational meets awards usually are given for individual and team performance. These awards are an added "plus" for a cross country runner. Team awards are generally trophies or plaques. Individual awards may be given in the finish chute, after each race is complete, or at the end of the meet and generally consist of medals, ribbons, plaques, or small trophies.