Start A Team
Anyone can start a team - parents, teachers, cycling enthusiasts. No experience is necessary, we provide the training and education needed. Plus, we will connect you with a coach mentor who can support you every step of the way. Starting a team is incredibly rewarding and we want to make it as straightforward as possible. Visit our Coach Toolkit for additional resources.
NICA COACH License
NICA requires that all adults riding with a High School Mountain Bike team be certified and insured. This certification ensures that our student athletes will be safe and have qualified adults present during team rides and races.
purchase & Read NICA's Coaches Manual
ORGANIZE YOUR TEAM
Team organization varies from team to team and will evolve over time. However, all teams start with the basics. Here’s what you need to know:
UNDERSTANDING TEAM STRUCTURES
School Based: A team comprised of full-time students from the same school. Can be an “official” team that is recognized as an official club by the school or "unofficial" and not a club at the school.
Composite: A team comprised of full-time students from more than one school within the same district or proximity. Home-school students may also join composite teams.
Home-School: A team comprised of home-school students within the same county or proximity
WHAT TO EXPECT: TIMELINE & COSTS
RESOURCES OFFERED BY THE LEAGUE
Scholarships: Scholarships are available for students in need to help cover the costs for races and camps.
League Loaner Bikes: The league has an inventory of loaner bikes available to first-time riders or students without bikes.
WRITE YOUR TEAM RULES
CREATE A PRO-FORMA TEAM BUDGET
Team Budget Example: Note that this is an extensive example and you may not need every category.
BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR SCHOOL
Forming a relationship with your school(s) administrators is a critical part of a team’s formation, particularly for School-based and Composite teams. Without their support you won’t be able to use the school’s name, recruit riders, or become an “official” team, therefore we encourage you to keep the administrators informed and involved. Here’s how:
MEET WITH THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION
Present NICA, League, & Team information and include the following:
Utah League School Administration Presentation
NICA/Utah Safe Kids Policy
Utah League Insurance Overview
Show the Utah League Promo Video
Any information you have prepared from steps 1 and 2, plus a list of interested riders
UNDERSTAND "OFFICIAL CLUB STATUS" IN UTAH
The State of Utah has strict rules regarding Official School clubs. The Utah League understands this and DOES NOT require that our teams be Official School Clubs. If you are interested in becoming an official club, please work with the school administration to do so."
STAY INVOLVED WITH THE SCHOOL
We suggest sending the administration an end-of-season card thanking them for their support. Include a photo of the team, rider accomplishments, and perhaps a few inspirational stories.
RECRUIT RIDERS and Parents
Get the word out to riders
Distribute Team Flyers: Here's an Editable Team Flyer
Create a Facebook Page
Put an Ad in the School Paper or on the Community Board
Don't forget to talk to the Middle School Kids
Once you have a roster of riders, host a parent meeting before the start of the season. This will help get everyone on the same page and help you recruit parent volunteer and rider leader help.
Distribute a Parent Info Flyer with team information
Host a Team meeting
Introduce the Team and Coaches
Show the Team Meeting Presentation and League Promo Video
Create a Contact List & introduce the PitZone Registration
Recruit parent volunteers. Here’s a list of positions you might need→ Parent Volunteers Doc
See Coaches Toolkit above for example team rules, schedule, team sign up form, parent volunteer tasks, etc.
START THE SEASON!
Once you have your riders, the approval of the school, and support from parents you are now ready to start the season.
REGISTER YOUR ATHLETES & COACHES
Registration starts April 1. Know that teams who meet compliancy with coach licensing will save in registration fees.
Head Coach or Team Director registers team and invites coaches & students into Online Registration - Pitzone Manual
START TRAINING & TEACHING
BE RACE READY
Make sure your riders are Registered in the Pit Zone
Assign parents duties to help at races
Pre-Race Checklist for Riders
Share Race Flyers
HOLD PRE & POST RACE CHECK-INS:
These short meetings with your racers will help you understand how you can help them during and after the races.