IT ONLY TAKES ONE ADULT, AND ONE STUDENT-ATHLETE
*EXTENSIVE CYCLING EXPERIENCE IS NOT NECESSARY
Individuals can compete in the Virginia League, but it's even more fun to train and race with a team. Whether you are a student or coach, the League wants to do everything we can to help you form a team at your local high school or middle school.
The Virginia League helps:
Athletes find coaches
Coaches form teams
Teams become recognized by their schools
Teams find additional volunteers
Administrators, teachers, parents, students and/or community members can start a cycling club at their local middle or high school. While it is not necessary that the person who initiates the club be a school “insider” (teacher or administrator), this can be very useful. A teacher, administrator or school volunteer within the school possesses certain advantages, such as knowledge of the school community, bureaucratic systems and channels, and how to access potential teen cyclists. One should simply have the desire to introduce kids to the sport of mountain biking. Once you have decided to create a team, the League can help educate you and provide you with all the tools necessary to be an excellent coach.
A Virginia League mountain bike team can be any size, as long as correct coach-to-student-athlete ratios are abided by. Teams are broken into Division 1 and Division 2 categories based on their team size (and not their school size). Please see the rulebook (PDF) for more info on Division specifics.
The Virginia League includes the entire state. Neighboring states may participate if a League does not currently exist in that region.
Virginia teams organize in the Winter and early Spring. the "pre-season" starts on April 1, and the season kicks off July 1. Teams practice and ride together all season long, working towards adventure rides and a Fall race series. The season wraps up in the second week of November.
Ready to start a team?
There are two types of teams:
School-Based Teams: Comprised of full-time students grade 6-12 from the same middle or high-school, public or private.
School-based teams can be “official” or “unofficial”.
Composite Teams: Comprised of students from more than one high-school within the same district or other geographic proximity.
Composite Team Limitations: Composite Teams are intended to be temporary solutions toward building school-based teams. In addition, if a composite team has 5 or more students from the same school, those students will be scored separately for their school.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I start an interscholastic mountain bike team?
Administrators, teachers, students, community members, anyone can potentially begin a cycling club at their local high school or middle school. Every district works a little differently, but most schools athletic programs depend on the support of community members. Visit your school and ask questions about their current sports programs and clubs. Whether considered a club, or an athletic program, it is important to find support from the school. Discuss your plans and ideas with your school administration, and your ready to get started. Next, you'll need to meet a few NICA coaching requirements to get started.
How do I recruit kids for a team?
Various teams have had success with many different recruiting techniques. Hosting a Bike Club table at Club Rush (or whatever your high school or middle school Club recruitment day is called) is a great way to garner initial interest. Meeting with the Athletic Director in order to educate he/she about your new club is another idea. Email the Virginia League at email@example.com and ask if there are current teams or clubs that you can connect with in your area. Put an article in the school newspaper, get parents to talk to other parents, send an email to your school's Boosters Club. There are lots of ways to get kids interested in cycling!
Do I have to have insurance for a club or team?
Yes. Do not run a program without adequate insurance coverage! NICA provides comprehensive liability insurance to all teams and coaches who officially register with the Virginia League.
Team Registration Questions
How much does it cost to register a team?
How do I register a team?
The League Director sends an email invite to the head coach (or Team Director). The head coach (or Team Director) must complete registration and payment before the application for insurance can be processed (this process is automatic once registration and payment are received). When a certificate of insurance has been issued, the team is clear to begin team practice.
How do I come up with a Team Name, and why is this important?
It is important that team names follow the team name guidelines: Use your official school name completely written out (do not abbreviate), for example write out “Albemarle High School.” Do not use words such as “Club, Team, MTB, or Racing.” Composite teams should use their local name plus the word “Composite,” for example “NOVA Composite.” These names show up in team result pages. You can make changes to your team name under team properties when you login to the Pit Zone as a Team Director.
How do I know if a team should be division I or division II?
According to the NICA Rule Book, Division I teams are teams of 16 or more riders. Division II teams are teams with 15 or less riders. Email your League Director if you are uncertain about which division a team should be in.