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Anyone — students, parents, teachers, bike shops, trail clubs, community members, school administrators — can start a team in their local school district or in their community! It takes a small, dedicated group who wants to bring this opportunity to life and find the path to success. This is not a traditional or typical youth sport.
To learn more about types of teams, team registration, and important season dates, visit Start A Team.
There are lots of ways for new and existing teams to recruit athletes and coaches!
Hosting a table at Club Rush (or whatever your school club recruitment day is called) is a great way to garner initial interest. Meeting with the Athletic Director, Administrators, and/or teachers in order to educate them about your team is another idea. Put an article in the school newspaper, get parents to talk to other parents, send an email to your school’s Booster Club and PTA, or connect with your local bike shops and cycling groups to spread the word.
We’ve even found that hosting a Try-It event, which gives potential athletes and coaches a chance to give it a try, is a great way to recruit students and adults alike.
For more recruitment resources, such as sample posters and flyers, check out Coach Resources
Yes, teams are not permitted to practice without adequate insurance coverage. The National Interscholastic Cycling League (NICA) provides comprehensive liability insurance to all teams, coaches, and athletes who officially register with the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League (NCICL).
No. Mountain biking experience is not required, although it is helpful if the student or adult knows how to ride a bicycle without assistance. Throughout the season, new riders are taught the basics of mountain biking, such as shifting and braking, as well as more advanced trail riding skills as the athlete progresses.
Yes. Many local teams offer Try-It events for prospective athletes – these often happen during the pre-season (October 15 – November 30) or early in the practice season (which begins December 1). Also, at the local team’s discretion, athletes may also be able to participate in one actual team practice. Either option requires a parent or guardian to sign a waiver. Due to the requirements of our national insurance plan, this waiver can only be used on one occasion. To continue after that, the athlete must be fully registered in Pit Zone.
Yes. Athletes must be fully registered in Pit Zone in order to participate in any NICA or NCICL activities. The NICA registration fees are included in NCICL’s Season Registration costs. Your NCICL Season Registration also includes annual insurance costs.
To learn more about NCICL’s Season Registration and all that is included, please visit Register To Ride.
No, team fees are separate from NCICL’s Season Registration and are set at the discretion of your local team. Team fees typically cover administrative costs for the team, team gear, team kit (uniform), etc. Your team will communicate its costs to you directly.
September: TEAM & COACH REGISTRATION.
Coaches should begin working through basic coach requirements at this time.
October: RIDER REGISTRATION.
Beginning in October, returning NC riders can log into Pit Zone to register. New NC riders will need to be invited to Pit Zone by their team’s Head Coach or Team Director.
October 15 – Nov 30: PRE-SEASON.
Teams may offer up to 6 pre-season activities during this time to introduce participants to the team and mountain biking. Activities can include bike checks, fun rides, mechanical workshops, and skills sessions.
Early Dec – early June: REGULAR SEASON.
Team rides and training activities may commence on Dec 1 or thereafter. All team rides and other training activities must end two weeks after the final NCICL season event.
The answer varies. Each team sets their own schedule of practices and rides, and riders should inquire with their team leadership for these details. A typical team might offer multiple practices and rides to accommodate varying schedules or, if coach resources are limited, practices and rides may only be scheduled once or twice a week.
Athletes should confirm minimum participation requirements with their Head Coach. Participation requirements may vary from team to team and exist to ensure the safety of all participants. Coaches need enough consistent observation of a rider’s ability level to best support their individual progress and ensure safe participation in team and league level events.
If you’re considering getting involved as a coach, even if you can’t commit to every practice or ride, you can still help make magic happen on the team in your community. Your contribution may make the difference between whether or not practices and rides happen for the student-athletes. Plus, spending time with the student-athletes is sure to put a smile on your face – they are simply amazing to be around! Check out Become A Coach to find out more.
NCICL racing is an inclusive format for youth, offering participants of all skill levels the opportunity to experience and learn discipline, perseverance, sportsmanship and accomplishment.
Racing in the team environment helps student-athletes learn empathy, humility, flexibility, and resiliency. Student-athletes learn that it takes a village to build a successful racer, as well as to put on a race.
Racing is one great way to build a strong mind, body, and character in student athletes. However…
Racing is only one aspect of NCICL and athletes are not required to race in order to participate. Other aspects of NCICL include Adventure Programming, Teen Trail Corps, Girls Riding Together (GRiT), and team events that provide all levels of experience and abilities a place to shine. All athletes are encouraged to take part in as much of NCICL as they’d like.
No. As a youth development organization, NCICL does not support independent racers. We believe all our student athletes should be supported by the structure that comes with being a part of one of our teams. Look here to Find A Team close to your location.
Mountain biking is perfectly complementary to other sports – and every participant is invited to engage as much as they’re comfortable and in line with their team rules.
Mountain biking is highly aerobic, zero-impact, develops balance and coordination, and requires limited range of motion….it’s the ideal cross training activity for literally every other aerobic sport! Plus, it’s a fantastic life-long sport that can be enjoyed years after other team sports are no longer an option.
Is financial support available?
Due to generous donations, dedicated sponsors, and robust fundraising efforts, NCICL is able to provide financial aid and scholarships to athletes and coaches who are in need.
Between equipment and funding, the league has directed over $20,000 back to teams this year. The league provided over $8000 in scholarships last season and ran a bike giveaway fundraiser where participating teams and the league split the total raised with the league.
Teams can secure loaner bikes through the league (process coming soon – Oct 2023). Some individuals and teams in the league will also qualify for the Trek Pathfinders bike program.
To learn more about these opportunities, visit the Ride Help page.
Yes, we do! Visit our TC Screen Printing online store for shirts, hats, jackets, and more. For the newest designs, be sure to visit the merchandise table at our events. All proceeds from the sale of these items are reinvested into our programming efforts!
The best way to “get a deal” is to first show what you and your team can do for your local bicycle retailer. Most retailers have discount programs available to them through our great NICA partners like Trek Bicycles, but no retailer is under any obligation to provide those discount programs to NICA teams — and some retailers may not know those programs exist.
Just riding a bike, even if you ride it fast, and putting out some nice FB/IG/Snap imagery doesn’t provide much value to your partners. The best advice we can offer is, don’t go looking for “a deal,” but rather become a friend of your local retailer and partner with them to improve cycling in your community for the benefit of everyone! Help introduce their store to more people where you live!
Get involved in Teen Trail Corps (TTC) efforts to give back to both your local community and the cycling community as a representative of your sponsors – everyone in NCICL can and should give at least 1 hour back to trails each month. Bring your friends, your parents, their friends, and more out on rides and show them how much fun this is! Be courteous on the trails, yield to other trail users, greet everyone with a smile and a welcoming “hello.” Embrace the opportunity to represent your partners, as well as your team, community, and league professionally at all times.
If you and your team are a great partner for your sponsor — and this goes for any sponsor, not just the local bike retailer — you’ll find that they are excited to offer you incentives that grow with your mutual success. Now, get out there and find some partners!
Can I get a refund?
Season registration refunds (less $40 NICA fee and $40 insurance/admin fee) can be issued until the close of regular season registration (22 Jan 23) if a student is injured pre-season, unable to start practices, or has decided to not participate. After 22 Jan 23 refunds will not be issued as the league has incurred expenses by that point to support the season.
The league will not refund event registration payments, even if the event is canceled. Event registration remains open until the Monday prior to the event so you can consider your schedule prior to signing up. In the event of a cancellation the league will use your event payment to cover costs already incurred to support the event or reinvest those funds into league programming.
Any refund request will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Email email@example.com to inquire.
Events are held on their scheduled dates unless the trails or race course on the day of the event are deemed un-rideable or dangerous, or if the inclement weather (e.g., lightning, heat index) poses a threat to athletes. If this is the case, the League may choose to do any of the following:
Communication concerning above decisions will be shared in the most efficient manner possible given the particular situation. Possible channels of communication may include:
The League will not refund registration fees for changes or cancellations made due to weather.
The League does not allow registration fee transfers to subsequent races or events for changes or cancellations made due to weather.
Note: NCICL Weather Policy is standard NICA League policy.