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I was asked by the Records Keeper(Buck Jones) from Alabama and Tennessess that we explore a new way to code our Certificates when a course is not record eligible. His idea is simple as we could indicate on the Certificate the following code -> AZ08101GAN-NE

I feel this is a good thing and need to hear your input.
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I'm not sure about this. It's one more task for certifiers, but more to the point, it changes the neat 2 letter-5 digit-2/3 letter system already in place. Isn't it possible for the record keeping folks to download a complete course list, do a sort on the Drop and Separation columns, and cull out those that don't make the Record Eligible cut?

I also worry that having "NE" appended to a course listing might become a Scarlet Letter(s) to runners who might feel "this course isn't fast" when they see that.
I don't like the idea that some courses would become second-class. I agree with Jim that the information is already in place to determine which courses are record-quality and which are not. I don't see why most events would care whether their course is record-quality or not. It's generally handier to have start and finish close together, but records don't loom very big in the thinking of most race directors.

The record-keepers are smart enough to figure out whether a course is record-quality or not, and those who are likely to set records are so few that it seems overkill to complicate our numbering system.

Certification deals with course length. We do record extra data (drop and separation) but it has always been up to the record-keepers to sort things out regarding "record quality."

USA record quality is less than 1 m/km drop. 30 percent separation. IAAF record quality is less than 1 m/km drop, 50 percent separation. Would this require yet another number adjustment on the part of certifiers?

Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill. Leave the numbering system alone.
I think you should leave the numbering system alone for a different reason. The number is the course identifier, not a list of the attributes. There are other attributes that you could include, like the length in meters etc.

If you want to show course attributes in an easy to understand format then have something like the food information guide that appears on the side of food packets.

A standard set of showing the critical information in a little box.
Course code AA999999
Record Eligible Y/N
Length in meters 9999999
Year expires mm/yy
Altitude in m 99999
Total alt gain +/-99999
Highest gradient xxxxx

It is just real bad data theory to start embedding different sorts of information into one number. Each data field in a database should should be separate.

So if you want more information on a race app, come up with a STANDARD format for displaying the useful course info.
Some stats relative to record-eligibility and state records

From 17 states have state record keepers.

From the current course list there are 10691 active courses. Of these courses, 702 have a drop greater than 1 m/km.

Of the remaining courses, 323 have a separation of greater than 30 percent.

Thus, of the presently active courses, 90.4 percent are record-quality. This is consistent with past experience.

The above are presented without comment, for the use of those who may be curious.

All of us who use the statistics should expect to do some looking at the course list. This list contains our history, and most of the relevant data relating to certified courses. It does not seem burdensome to expect a state record-keeper to have a list of record-quality courses on file and to update it as courses are added to the list.

I have noticed that it is not uncommon for a race to be using an out-of-date certification ID, or an erroneous one. Taking the race’s statement at face value can lead to error.

As for the runners, those who may be serious about setting a record need to do their own investigating. This would begin with an inquiry to the race organization. This should be followed by a look at the USATF search engine, which will reveal whether the race organization really has it right.

As for changing the course ID, it would be possible to make the course ID identical to the data-entry line on the course list, which contains almost all that is known of the course’s qualities. This would solve every curious person’s problems. Of course, the ID might be thought by some to be a bit cumbersome, and would be ridiculous. The course ID leads to further information – it’s not intended to be anything except a simple and unique identifier of a certified course.

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