AVR Club League Rules Explanation

by Tim Burrell

Which leagues can AVR members participate in?

Every year the Wiltshire Athletic Association (of which AVR is a member) select a number of races for inclusion in their two race leagues (see below)

Club members, provided they register for any of the included races as an AVR runner will automatically have their scores calculated and added to the respective leagues – it is not something that the runner has to actively join.  

Because the races included in the Wiltshire Road Race Leagues are also used for the AVR Race league, when you run in one of these races, you effectively get to participate in both leagues.  

The races are: 

1.    Wiltshire Road Race League (WRRL) / AVR Road Race League [Spring and Summer races]

2.    Wiltshire Off Road Race League (WORL) / AVR Off Road Race League [Autumn and Winter races]

What are the leagues?

The AVR league is essentially a competition between your fellow club members with your results ranking both against all participating members, and against those in your same sex and age bracket.

The WRRL/WORL pits clubs and their individual members against other participating clubs in Wiltshire.  It has the identical individual competition element as does the AVR League (just that you’re competing against members of other clubs as well as your own), but it is also a club v club competition.  Thus it’s really two competitions in one.

AVR has a proud tradition of success in the WRRL in particular.  It has often won the league overall, but equally impressively its ‘B team’ also does well in the top division. While we all know some of the amazing runners we have in the club, and they do have a big bearing on the results of the leagues, the reality is that one of the major reasons why AVR has done so well is that a high participation rate can be more important than the speed of the runners. Historically AVR have won leagues because of this, and it’s probably the case that many of our participants simply running for fun probably didn’t even realise that without their involvement the league might not have been won.

So, how does it work?

As an individual

There are usually 8 races in a series, and the best 6 scores count to your individual overall total. 

Runners can take part in as few or as many of the races in the series as they wish.  Scores are given for each race depending on your finishing position within your sex – first female place scores 100 points, second female place 99, and so on.  Once you start a league race you will be given a score for each race, including those you don’t race in for which your score will be a score equivalent to one place behind the last place finisher.  At the end of the series, the highest score wins, both overall, and for each sex/age sub-category. 

From the above, you can see that those participating in 6 (or more) races will almost certainly score higher than runners participating in fewer races, irrespective of how quick they are.

As a team

Like the individual scoring, the team scores count the best 6 team scores from the 8 races. In this case, the first team scores 20 points, the second 19, and so on. Club results don’t take into account the age categories, just scores male and female teams, and once the scores for these teams are calculated they are aggregated to give an overall club position.

Your score as an individual will also be counted for the club results.  Here, the first 5 runners count towards the ‘A’ Team, and the next 5 fastest towards the ‘B’ Team. Note that there are no A and B team ‘runners’, as those counted in the teams are the quickest at that particular race, and therefore if for example, there are 5 AVR female runners in a race, you are guaranteed to be counted in the A team (even if you walk!).

You’ll realise, therefore, that everyone in the club can and does have an impact on the club results even if they don’t consider themselves as a competitive runner.

So why should you participate?

Races included in the race leagues are nothing scary!  They include local races, often club organised, or organised by local race organisers, so they are actually just like the races many of us would run anyway without the leagues.  This means that the perception that many people have, that the standard will be too high for an ‘average’ runner couldn’t be farther from the truth – there will be the usual mix of a few very fast runners, some run/walking, and the vast majority of us somewhere in the middle (often involving a bit of chat!). 

Running in one (or both) of the race leagues is a very rewarding experience, and it’s open to all.  From those looking to test themselves to those simply doing it for the social aspect in a friendly and supportive environment, the leagues have something for everyone.

Here are a few reasons why you will enjoy participating in the leagues:

•    Supporting your club, with the sense of achievement in contributing to the club’s success

•    The social aspect of running with your club; the friendships you make with both club members and other those from other clubs (while there’s a sense of rivalry, it’s also very friendly)

•    A series to focus on through the year

•    Personal challenge

•    Testing yourself against other age category runners in AVR and Wiltshire 

•    … and maybe a surprise trophy at the end of the year!