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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 competition has its own FISU Regulations following the most recent rules of the International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF). The FISU Regulations are always set up on the recommendation of the FISU Technical Chair and the IAAF Technical Delegate in close cooperation with the Committee for Sports Regulations, and approved by the FISU Executive Committee. In principle, the programme shall last one (1) day and include the events below.
Each country may enter a maximum of nineteen (19) persons of whom fourteen (14) may be competitors and five (5) officials.
Each country may enter in the events:

  • Individual event Men: maximum six (6) competitors per country
  • Individual event Women: maximum five (5) competitors per country
  • Team Men classification: first four (4) finishers will participate in the team classification
  • Team Women classification: first three (3) finishers will participate in the team classification



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

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

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




FISU Technical Chair:






Past Events

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)

Official Timekeeper

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