The English Cross Country Association has received over the years many queries asking, with electronic entry and results why the closing date of the National Cross Country Championships is 7 weeks before the event. We are pleased to say that now with the introduction of an online entry system this has been reduced to 6 weeks.
The ECCA has looked at ways of reducing this time further. Firstly, the organisation is made up of volunteers, so if all Clubs left it late and missed the closing date then things would be impossible to manage. Secondly, the ECCA doesn’t operate a final closing date policy of miss the date and you’re out.
What happens once the entry is received?
1. Something like a week is needed sort out queries such as athletes in wrong age groups and names missed off original lists.
2. The Championship Secretary then forwards the entry lists to the Association’s Computer and Chip Contractor, note there was 9565 entries in 2018.
3. The inputting and formatting take another 10 to 14 days and then entries are sent back for scrutiny. This covers Foreign Athletes, 1st Claim clearance and Affiliations. Note, that despite it being stated on entry forms and acknowledgements that only Clubs and Athletes registered to England Athletics can run, a number Clubs fail to pay their affiliation and registration of athlete’s fees..
4. Two to three weeks before the event the Computer Chip Contractor allocates race numbers to athletes, the entry sheets then go to the Programme Editor for formatting ready for printing and are taken to the Printer 14 days before the event.
5. Meanwhile, the Contractor puts a number and a chip allocated to that No. in an envelope with instructions of how to use the chip for each athlete entered, for distribution on the day.
6. ECCA puts the entries on its web site so that Clubs can see whom they have entered as some regularly do not keep entry lists and forget whom they have entered.
7. Despite this Clubs are known to put athletes in races where they not entered substituting for a non-runner, disqualification can take place if they are found out as in 2008 when Luton Utd AC won the Under 17 Boys event but fielded a non-entry in the scoring 4.
So there is no slack in the system and the entry closing date is now 6 weeks before the date of the Championships.