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Greg Johnson, NCAA | November 5, 2020

Selection criteria for 2020 DI Cross Country Championships approved

Northern Arizona wins the 2018 DI men's cross country championship

The Division I Competition Oversight Committee on Wednesday approved team and individual selection criteria for the 2020 Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the championship was moved from the fall to the spring and will be held March 15 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Committee will use the following criteria to select teams:

  • Schools will have a declaration window from March 3 at midnight Eastern time until March 5 at 7:59 p.m. Eastern time to be considered for team selections.
  • Conference championship performance holds the most weight.
  • After the conference championship, a team will be evaluated on its body of work for all competitions, regardless of the time of year they occurred. (This includes teams that do not have a conference championship.)
  • Common opponents and head-to-head competition against Division I opponents only will be used when comparing teams.

Committee members will use the following criteria to select individuals for the championships.

  • Schools will have a declaration window from March 3 at midnight Eastern time until March 5 at 7:59 p.m. Eastern time to be considered for individual selections.
  • The top individual finisher at each conference championship who is not part of a qualifying team will advance to the NCAA championships (maximum of 32 individuals depending on how many conferences host a conference championship).
  • The remaining individual spots will be selected at large by the committee to fill the field to 38. This includes individuals that did not have the opportunity to compete in a conference championship.

The committee will eliminate the designation of A-teams and B-teams. Whoever a team runs on a given day is viewed as an A-team. In a single-day competition, however, only the varsity team would be considered for selection purposes.

The minimum number of competitions to be considered for selections will be one.


With the elimination of the 2020 NCAA regional championships, the committee created a new selection process for teams and individuals advancing directly to the national championships.

The committee reviewed feedback from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association when developing this revised selection criteria.

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