23 October 2016
Cross Country Information
What is a MOB MATCH?
Quite simply it is a Mob of us against a Mob of
Statistically the more competitors one team has the
better their chances of winning... The way it works is that you added up the
number of runners on each side then take three off of the smaller number.
For example, if SLH have 47 and B&B have 60 then we score the first 44 from
each side. Adds up to big numbers and the team with the lower score is the
winner. First place counts 1 point, 2nd 2 etc etc - if you finish in 98th
place you score 98 points.
So, the result is not normally known until the last
few runners finish. Regardless of your age or sex you can make a big
difference just by running. Think about it - even if all our scoring runners
are home and dry, and theirs are not, you still help by pushing the
opponents score higher by finishing in front of any of their scoring
runners. Great fun and it's been going on since the 18 hundreds.
Ranelagh Harriers, South London Harriers and Orion
Harriers are our oldest protagonists - they are the big three. Recently we
have started to compete against Beckenham Running Club.
Annual Mob Match against
Although the first inter-club race with
Ranelagh Harriers was in 1886, but it was not until 1907 that a
match was run on an "all to score" or "mob match" basis. The
fixture on the 12th January 1907 was from our headquarters in
West Wickham. Ranelagh started with 17 runners and Blackheath
30. The scoring was 17 a side. Two years later it was agreed
that the number to score would be that of the club with the
smaller numerical strength, less three. This became established
as the standard scoring method for all mob matches world wide.
In 1922 a trophy was presented by E. H.
Pelling of Ranelagh and E. J. Ratcliff of Blackheath to be held
by the winning club each year and to be known as the Pelling-Ratcliff
knows the date of the earliest inter-club run between Blackheath &
Bromley Harriers AC, or Peckham AAC as they were then known, and
South London Harriers.
With Blackheath tracing their roots to 1869, and SLH
forming a breakaway from them in December 1871, possibly as a result of
a dispute over handicapping, (a vital part of early athletics
competition), there is evidence suggesting these two clubs, then both
based in Peckham, encouraged members from the other club to their
weekend training runs as early as the autumn of 1872.
The Blackheath history reports the first official
run between the Clubs was December 1873, whilst the SLH later reported
it was on November 14th 1874. The latter event was from SLH
headquarters, then not in Coulsdon, and ‘the number of runners was the
largest that had ever turned out for a cross-country run’, so the home
side’s Gazette reported in 1912. Perhaps the first year, it was
training, and the following year it turned competitive….
Download the full copy
of the commemorative booklet celebrating the 100th match against SLH
run of the 2003/4 Cross-Country season took place 13 years ago! on 4 October
David Churchus, Nan Cross, Drew Grace, Pres John Robinson, Clare Lodwig,
Dave White, Nick Nuttall, Rob Brown, Mike Cronin, Andy Lawes, Brian Power
- where were you? 5-10-03