2020 Cross Country Guidelines - Policies and Procedures

For the 2020 Cross Country season we are introducing additional policies and procedures. In general:
  • We will manage a smaller roster of athletes
  • Initially, all registered athletes start on a temporary waiting list
  • Middle school aged athletes have priority
Keep in mind that the safety of the athletes is our most important concern.

We are communicating with high school coaches (who fall under GHSA regulations), monitoring USATF recommendationsState of Georgia guidelines, Fulton County school guidelines, CDC's Consideration for Youth Sports, and generally trying to follow best practices set by the medical community and others.

Club Mission Statement
To help kids get ready for competitive high school distance running while they still can, in middle school (or maybe just a little earlier)! High school distance running is challenging and takes a couple years of training. So, to hit the ground running, as it were, you need good preparation, and importantly, know-how about the sport & racing techniques! Our hope is Alpha Crush Running Club will serve this need for youth distance runners in Alpharetta, Roswell, and surrounding cities.

Policies and Procedures

We plan to manage a smaller roster of athletes
  • The roster count will likely be in the 50-60 athlete range
  • Note that over the last 5 years our cross country roster size has averaged 120+ athletes
  • Also, at this time, we will not be able to accept athletes unable to run the entire 1.46-mile time trial loop.
    • Additionally, we reserve the right to only accept athletes that can run the time trial loop in 15 minutes or less (approximately 10 minute/mile pace)
We will place all registrants in a temporary waiting list
  • Our online registration system manages the waiting list.
    • You will not receive an email confirmation from the registration system that your athlete is on the waiting list.
  • No fees are charged to be put on the waiting list
  • As registrants are taken off the waiting list, the account associated with the registration will receive an email notification to continue the registration process
  • Preference will be given to multi-season Alpha Crush athletes (grandfathered in)
We want to focus mainly on middle school aged athletes
  • While we have always had a mix of athletes by age and ability, we want to focus on our club's mission statement, to prepare middle school athletes for high school
  • For reasons of "control" ... often the younger athletes consider practice time "play time" and require additional supervision
  • Therefore, middle-school aged athletes are our priority, as we feel the training needs are the most pressing. Additionally, we intend to find ways for them to compete and hone their competitive edge as well
  • Younger siblings of middle school aged athletes are also taken into consideration, especially if multi-season Alpha Crush families.
Note: This does not necessarily preclude younger athletes from participating ... we will need to balance interest in the club with roster size and our focus on athlete age.

Once practice starts, based on roster size and participant ages...
  • We may have different start times and possibly different locations within the park for training groups to gather
  • We may need to split the team into training groups; we may have two groups, we may have more…to be determined based on the size of the registration pool
  • We may have some additional limits based on the availability of coaching and volunteer staff at each practice
Finally, all athletes will have to sign an agreement on practice behavior
  • This agreement will spell out social distancing and practice conduct expectations
  • We will require face masks in some scenarios
  • We will have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to adherence to the rules on practice behavior
Parents/guardians...
  • Are encouraged to take their child's temperature before each practice session
  • Must not bring a sick athlete (or sibling) to practice
  • Must wear face masks and maintain a social distance of at least six feet from one another during practice
  • Must remain in the area designated for parents/guardians throughout practice
Athletes...
  • Must always wear face masks (except during practice)
    • Come to practice wearing their face mask
    • Wear their face masks once practice is over
    • Athletes can leave their masks inside their bags during practice
  • Must maintain a social distance of at least six feet apart at all times -- before practice, during warm-up drills, during warm up runs, during workout, during workout cool downs, transitions between activities, and after practice -- this applies to the athlete as well as any personal belongings brought to practice
  • Must bring and drink from their own water bottles during practice
  • Are encouraged to use either their own hand sanitizer or hand sanitizer provided for the team during practice
Additional Notes
Based on questions we have received...
  • Yes, we know the 2020 Cross Country Guidelines are somewhat vague in that we do not go into much detail about team selection criteria other than what we've stated. This is done intentionally. With our inability to look into the future as to the number of athletes wanting to register this season, and because we are a volunteer organization with limited time to set hard and fast rules, we have to be flexible.
  • We may decide to close registration earlier than the published end date of 9/4.
  • Are we waiting to determine The Team until after registration closes? That was initially discussed internally but intentionally left out of the current information. We have already moved several athletes off of the waiting list (kids of parent volunteers, long term Alpha Crush members, Junior Olympic All Americans) and we may move more. But, yes, at some point we will make the final determinations.
  • Athlete counts can be found on our Registration Information page ... scroll down to view. It is updated several times a day.
  • Our goal is to not only provide a safe and fun environment for the athletes, but to do so in a matter that appears reasonable to a casual observer who happens to watch us as practice. A group of unmasked kids standing around too close to each other is going to raise eyebrows ... and perhaps even more. The athletes we choose must be able to follow the guidelines we've published. 
Still have questions?
Please email us at team@alphacrush.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

As a reminder, as a private club we must be careful to maintain what is best for the club and our athletes.

Go Crush!