Start a Club/Team

What is the structure of a NICA team?

NICA has two types of teams:

  • Composite Team: Consists of student athletes from a variety of schools within a geographic area. If a composite team has more than 5 students from the same high school, they are broken out and scored as a school team.
  • Single School-Based Team: Consists of student athletes who all attend the same school.

Who can start a MICL team?

Administrators, teachers, parents, students and/or community members can start a NICA cycling club or team at their local high school or in their community.

Extensive cycling experience is not necessary!

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.

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.

How many people do I need to form a team?

All you need is one coach and one student to get started!

A Missouri League mountain bike team can be any size, as long as correct coach-to-student-athlete ratios are abided by. Most mountain bike teams start small and grow quickly; it’s a tremendous challenge but highly rewarding! Teams are broken into Division 1 and Division 2 categories based on their team size (and not their school size). Please see the NICA handbook (PDF) for more info on Division specifics.

Where can I start a team?

The Missouri League includes the entire state. Communities from neighboring states may participate if a league does not currently exist in that state.

Border states with NICA leagues: Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee

Border states without a NICA league: Iowa, Illinois, Oklahoma

When do I get started?

Team Registration begins on March 1st of each calendar year.

Teams should be fully registered before hosting any events in order to be fully insured.

What are the team registration fees?

There is a registration fee of $150 paid by each team to the Missouri Interscholastic Cycling League.

This fee covers the insurance for the entire season of practices and team events. The fee also helps offset the cost of ongoing team development and support, team trophies/awards, leaders and spirit jerseys, coach on-the-bike skills clinics and resources, the Coach and Leadership Summit, and helps support league-level scholarships. In addition to liability and supplemental health insurance for all registered coaches, volunteers and student athletes, NICA teams enjoy a number of great benefits, including discounted products from NICA and MICL sponsors. This fee is managed by the Head Coach or Team Director in the Pit Zone.

Individual teams of the Missouri Interscholastic Cycling League may also charge their student-athletes a team fee. These fees are paid directly to the team and set by the Head Coach and Team Director. These fees vary and depend on the expenses covered by the team (equipment, supplies, jerseys, food, lodging, coach fees/training, team-level scholarships, etc).

How do I recruit athletes and create a successful team?

Visit NICA’s Team Starter Kit for guides and education resources.  These guides and resources will give you a step by step approach to starting your new team.  Additionally, contact information for advice and mentoring is contained within these guides.

Key steps to start a new team:

  • Define your vision
  • Get support from your community
  • Get the word out
  • Host new parent and rider meetings
  • Raise money
  • Ride with the team

When do I schedule practices and events?

The Missouri Interscholastic Cycling League operates a Fall sport based race series schedule:

April 1 – June 30 (Pre-season): Teams may host a maximum of 6 activities.

Allowable pre-season activities are meetings, social activities, bike checks, fun rides, mechanical workshops or skills clinics. These activities must be approved by the League directors and comply with NICA training limits. The approval form and more information can be found HERE.

July 1- October 31 (Regular season):  Teams may practice 2-4 times a week.

All team rides or other training activities must end within two weeks of the final League race. A more detailed description can be found in the rulebook (PDF).