“There is not a publicly available source of cross country result data.”
Short version: tfrrs.org will send you terrifying letters if you try to analyze cross country data, and the USTFCCCA is ok with this.
What you can do: Communicate with people like they are humans. Especially if they share an interest in something you’re passionate about. Also, email me if you know of publicly available cross country results!
Long version: The USTFCCCA (“U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association”, who lost their ampersand-related nerve halfway through the naming process) has some sort of relationship with tfrrs.org ( “Track & Field Results Reporting System”), providing them with cross country results. tfrrs.org does a fantastic job putting all these results into one place, and mostly in a consistent format. It is hard to find a popular organization that does not encourage people doing interesting things with their data: just in sports, the NHL, NBA, MLB, NCAA football, and NCAA basketball have public apis encouraging non-commercial uses. The running app Strava also provides a great looking api for public use. I used the tfrrs.org results to make predictions about upcoming races, and they were as or more accurate than those published by more dedicated publishers of running news.
The project was open source, had a small static website to display some of the analysis, and I was getting an average of 1 visitor per day, who I can only assume was lost. I made no money off the project for any number of reasons:
- No one but me was interested in it.
- I already have a day job.
- They weren’t my results.
- I was using a very cool library from Microsoft that prohibits commercial use.
In any case, the CEO of TFRRS sent me a cease and desist letter, which you can read at the bottom. The deleted tweet was a link to my site, and the text “Cross country analytics! \o/“. I complied with all of his demands because I have other things to worry about, but made this page because I think this is a disgusting reaction to a fan.
As a followup, I emailed Tom Lewis, the Director of Media, Broadcasting and Analytics at the USTFCCCA asking if there is any public access to results.
Subject: Re: Access to results?
No, there is not a publicly available source of cross country result data.
*Tom Lewis*Director of Media, Broadcasting, and Analytics
Email from David Stelnik:
Subject: DirectAthletics/TFRRS IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
We insist that you immediately take the following actions:
Cease and desist from scraping our servers without our express, written permission
Cease and desist from soliciting and/or distributing our data, including but not limited to any meet results, performances, performance lists, rosters, teams or venues
Remove the following projects from GitHub, as well as any other publicly-available projects containing tools designed to scrape our sites without our permission.
Tell us the names and contact information of any persons or companies to which you distributed our data
Delete all tweets HERE
Your prompt attention to this matter is of the utmost importance. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please reply to this email or call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Thank you very much,