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The History of Cross-Country in FISU

Between 1968 and 1976, five World University Cross-Country Championships were organised in Europe. The first of them was held in Lausanne, Switzerland. There, FISU gave a boost to the expansion of this sport. Already at the second edition in Coleraine, Great Britain, 90 contestants from 8 countries were in the line-up; whereas in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1982, there were 139 athletes from 23 countries. The figures have kept increasing from one edition to the other, but more important was the continual improvement in performance. In 1998, the World University Championship was hosted by Luton. Seeing that the venue was on the British Isles, the organisation of the cross-country championship was of special significance for FISU, in respect that foot race has its origins there. As it is no secret that FISU often brings to light great champions of the sports world, the World University Cross-Country Championships have already brought to the front rank such athletes as Romanian Ionescu and Ghican, Spanish Vaquero and Serano, along with Australian Moneghetti and Kenyan Muturi. In 1998, 24 national university teams participated in the event.

FISU Regulations

The cross-country competitions shall be run in accordance with the most recent technical rules of the International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF), unless otherwise stated. In case of disagreement in the interpretation of the rules, the English text shall be regarded as authoritative.

The programme and duration of competitions are fixed by the Executive Committee in agreement with the Organising Committee and the CTI. The competitions shall last one (1) day and include the following events:

 - Individual races and team classification

men: a minimum of 9km, a maximum of 14km, approximately 12km

women: a minimum of 4km, a maximum of 8km, approximately 6km

Each country may enter a maximum of twenty (20) persons: fifteen (15) competitors and five (5) officials.

Each country may enter in the events:

Men’s individual event: a maximum of eight (8) competitors per country; no more than six (6) shall be allowed to start in the race.

Women’s individual event: a maximum of seven (7) competitors per country; no more than five (5) shall be allowed to start in the race.

The deadline for sending the individual entries of athletes shall be fixed between the OC and FISU.

Teams shall receive the final confirmation forms upon arrival and Team Leaders, or their representatives, shall confirm the names of those athletes that are already entered and will actually take part in the competition. The final confirmation of participation shall be made for all events during the accreditation process.

Men’s team classification: The first four (4) finishers shall participate in team classification.
Women’s team classification: The first three (3) finishers shall participate in team classification.

Before the first General Technical Meeting, the Head of Delegation or his/her representative shall confirm and sign the official list of competitors accredited by the CIC.



Individual Race


Minimum 9 km, Maximum 14 km


Approx / ± 12 km


Team Classification


Individual Race


Minimum 4 km, Maximum 8 km


Approx / ± 6 km


Team Classification


Minimum Requirements for Cross-Country

With the cross-country CT approval, the Organising Committee must provide, for exclusive use, outdoor sports facilities in all competition and training facilities for men's and women's cross-country events. The IAAF regulations must be followed.

Type of Venue

Number of Venues

Changing Room Competitors

Changing Room TOJR*

Spectators Seating

Press and Media Seating

Outdoor Facilities


Gender Segregated




*TOJR: Technical Officials, Juge and Referees

Next Event

2016 - 20th WUC Cross Country - Cassino (ITA)


International Federation



FISU Technical Delegates


Haci Ahmet PEKEL (TUR)





Past Events

2014 - 19th WUC Cross Country - Entebbe (UGA)

2012 - 18th WUC Cross Country - Lodz (POL)

2010 - 17th WUC Cross Country - Kingston (CAN)

2008 - 16th WUC Cross Country - Forges-les-Eaux (FRA)

2006 - 15th WUC Cross Country - Alger (ALG)

2004 - 14th WUC Cross Country - Collegno (ITA)

2002 - 13th WUC Cross Country - Santiago de Compostella (ESP)

2000 - 12th WUC Cross Country - Jena (GER)

1998 - 11th WUC Cross Country - Luton (GBR)

1996 - 10th WUC Cross Country - Açoteias (POR)

1994 - 9th WUC Cross Country - Limerick (IRL)

1992 - 8th WUC Cross Country - Dijon (FRA)

1990 - 7th WUC Cross Country - Poznan (POL)

1988 - 6th WUC Cross Country - Bologna (ITA)

1986 - 5th WUC Cross Country - Graz (AUT)

1984 - 4th WUC Cross Country - Antwerpen (BEL)

1982 - 3rd WUC Cross Country - Darmstadt (FRG)

1980 - 2nd WUC Cross Country - Coleraine (GBR)

1978 - 1st WUC Cross Country - Lausanne (SUI)



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