Cross Country Scoring can be confusing to the beginner but can be very easy to learn.

The main thing to remember is that the lowest score wins

Here is a sample of how it works:
Lets say these are the results from a meet that we competed in:

1st -Capital
2nd -Capital
3rd -Opponent
4th -Capital
5th -Opponent
6th -Opponent
7th -Opponent
8th -Capital
9th -Capital

Only the top 5 runners from each school counts, the 6th and 7th runners do not count for the team but they can "displace" the runners from the other team and add points to their team score

The first place runner gets 1 point, 2nd place gets 2 points, 3rd gets 3, and so on.
So the totals would look like this

Capital Opponent
1 3
2 5
4 6
8 7
9 12
24 Totals 33

Capital would win this meet by a score 24-33.

In a bigger meet like an Invitational the scoring works the same, the only difference is that the scores tend to be higher because there are more runners in the meet. Low score still wins

In the case of a tie score the team with the highest placing 6th runner wins the tie. You will see this in the bigger invitationals quite often, but rarely in a smaller meet.