Just a quick reply for now (heading out to measure a 5k). I am opposed to dropping names on course certs. 2 reasons why:
1. Sometimes there are several versions of the same course (NYC/NYRR events are famous for this). If I see "Central Park 8 km - 2010" I know this is the current version.
2. If I'm looking for a particular course, there might be several (maybe many) courses of the same distance in a town, particularly if it's a large city (Houston would be a good example). Without a name, I would have no clue which one I'm looking for, and would have to open each map until I found the right one.
I don't see a problem with using course names, exc. for the very rare issue like the one stated here, but can see several possible negatives by dropping them. Seems like the cure is worse than the disease.
Several versions of the same name is one of the stronger reasons for dropping the name, I think. If Race for the Cure has several courses on record (didn't replace the old one, but had another certified for more choices), if you look up the course, and there isn't a year on every one, or the 2009 is being used in 2012, there is no clarity unless they state (Website, brochure) they are using Race for the Cure 2009 course. It is now 2012, and many folks may think that is a typo. But, if they said they were using NY09015JG, there would be no question.
The only way this will work is if the USATF site is modified, and we (they) add a table in the Website that matches a race name with a course number. It would be a change in the way things are done (moderate change), in that the race name (including the year) is paired with a course number. When one searches for Race for the Cure in NY, they would get all the pairings for the NY Race for the Cure. If they searched for Race for the Cure 2012, they would get one result.
I do understand it will be a change in process, and it may be more effort than anyone wants to give, and that is understandable. I can see flaws in both methods. I am a database person, so it makes sense to me. I have to take off my data hat, and status quo may prevail, but I will continue to think about it.
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