I'm already aware that there's a growing awareness over the omission of athletes racing as 'unattached'... and to date, there seems to be no consistent remedy (if any) available for coaches to effectively get their athletes performances accurately represented in the local/regional/national rankings. Some are listed while others are not... it is very inconsistent and produces an inaccurate set of rankings.  

In our particular situation, we live in a rural area, and access to a quality club with the desire and experience to support athletes with regional and national desires is essentially out of the question... for now, racing unattached is clearly our best option. 

Setting aside the inaccuracy of the rankings, other potential issues with the omission of unattached athletes arises with registering for races that use seed times based on results posted on Athletic.net to set heats and start positions. There is a manual entry available, but no way to confirm the accuracy of those times without screen-shots and complicated email streams (which no race director wants to deal with). 

This concern has been highlighted (according to the forums) for a few years at least, and why it continues to go unresolved is a mystery... this is the only response I've received to date (see below).  

"There's no "reasoning" behind it, as it's not a decision to exclude anyone, it's just the way the system works as athletes appear in rankings based on the alignment of their teams. No team, no alignment. We're not intentionally disregarding any athletes, the system was originally architected around teams, and unattached are a late addition."

David Johnson
Athletic.net Support

I am hopeful that this post can serve as a means to initiate a dialogue, and hopefully a means to resolve this issue... Young athletes that register with the national governing body (USATF etc), put in the work, and successfully competed their way into the top of the rankings have earned the right to be recognized for their efforts regardless of their respective affiliation with a club or not. I'm sure we can all agree on that, so lets find a way to a solution.