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Winning Team

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Nine cross country runners compete in a team competition in which there are three matches.

In the first match team X races against team Y, in the second it is team Y against team Z and in the third it is team Z against team X.

The runners are A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and I and in all the matches, when they run, they finish in this order.

The teams are team X with runners A, F and H; team Y with runners B, D and I; and team Z with runners C, E and G.

In each match all the runners finish the course and 21 points are awarded, 6 points to the first, 5 to the second, 4 to the third and so on.

The judges work out the results of each of the three matches and try to decide on the winning team for the competition overall.

If you were a judge what would you decide and what is peculiar about the mathematics involved in this?