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The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) is a non profit organization that develops cycling programs for youths and communities across the United States.

Experiences had through mountain biking can help a young person develop a sense of self worth and teamwork that will impact their life.


As a representative of the community, student-athletes and parents/caregivers agree to follow this code of conduct to maintain a culture of safety, responsibility and respect. 

Be Safe

  • Always wear a helmet when on a bike (no helmet, no ride)

  • Be prepared with additional safety gear: gloves, glasses, and extra clothes to match the weather

  • Be prepared with a working bike and perform an ABCDE bike check (Air, Brakes, Chain, Derailleur, Everything Else)

  • Ride within your limits

  • Ride with someone else in isolated areas

  • Never use any performance enhancing drug (including caffeine)

  • Plan ahead and let your family or caregivers know where you are going and when you plan to return

  • Avoid contact with wildlife 

  • Understand the dangers of the native plants and avoid poisonous plants, stay on the trail

Be Responsible

  • Be prepared with the water, food, and clothing that you need to complete the ride 

  • Come to practice with a clean and well-maintained bike

  • Be accountable for your actions and choices

  • Never consume alcohol or use any illegal drugs 

  • Ride only on designated and legal trails and routes

  • Follow additional rules that may be associated with team’s school or league affiliations 

Be Respectful

  • Respect coaches, teammates, competitors, trail users and other community members

  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect

  • Avoid language and actions that may be perceived as bullying or harassment.

  • Be inclusive and welcoming to new athletes, coaches, competitors, and other trail users

  • Use appropriate language

  • Move aside to allow others to pass you safely.

  • Announce you're passing, intention, and specify the passing side.

  • Do your best when racing or riding your bike.

  • Ride with courtesy at races, at practice, and in the community.

Student Athlete Eligibility


This portion of the NICA Handbook 2020 has been reproduced here for your convenience. Please refer to the official handbook for more detail. 


5.1.A Each league’s race series must be open to all students who attend public or private school, or who are homeschooled for high school (grades 9–12) and may be open to middle school (grades 6-8), within the league’s region. League Directors are not required to allow InterLeague Participation or Out-of-Region student participation, however if they elect to do so, the standards for such participation must be consistently and fairly applied to all athletes that seeking such participation.

5.1.B Proof of school attendance may be requested for a student-athlete at any time. This proof may be in the form of a school ID, a report card, or some other form of proof.

To be eligible to compete in either a spring or fall school-year season, a student-athlete must:


a. For leagues that include middle schools, be enrolled in middle school (grades 6-8), or the homeschool equivalent, and be no younger than 10 and no older than 15 years of age at any time during the entire school year;

b. Be in high school (grades 9-12), or the homeschool equivalent, and be no younger than 13 and no older than 19 years of age at any time during the entire school year; and

c. Not have a high school diploma, general education diploma (GED), or otherwise be graduated from high school.

Student-athletes who have skipped or been held back:


d. A single grade are placed into categories according to their grade levels; or

e. More than one grade must consult with the League director regarding placement into the appropriate categories.

Homeschooled student-athletes shall be placed in categories that correspond to the grade level they would otherwise be enrolled in for public middle school (where applicable) or public high school based on their ages. The League director must consider such age-based placement in the event homeschooled student-athletes seek alternative placement under the Category Placement Standards adopted by the League.

Student-athletes enrolled or otherwise taking classes in a college remain eligible to compete so long as they are enrolled or taking classes at the college as middle or high school students and not as college students.



5.2.A Student-athletes must register with the League.

Leagues must communicate the registration process and requirements to participants in advance of the start of the season. Student-athletes must sign and submit the following registration forms and complete the following requirements:

  1. Student Registration is conducted online through the NICA Pit Zone in order to ensure the student is covered by the League’s insurance.

  2. Registration Fee (except for scholarship eligible students)

  3. Signed Agreement to Participate/Release of Liability

  4. Signed Medical Form

  5. Signed Media Form

  6. Signed Code of Conduct Form

5.2.B Student-athletes must be registered for each race they enter. 

5.2.C Only student-athletes officially registered with the League may practice or compete on the designated race course.

5.2.D The Code of Conduct form, must be agreed to and signed by the student-athletes regardless of their age, along with their guardian if the student is a minor. All other forms must be signed by a legal guardian unless the student-athlete is at least eighteen (18) years old or older.

The forms will contain language indicating that parents or legal guardians who permit a minor to participate in League races or camps, acknowledge, understand and accept the rules and regulations covering the event and agree to the terms of the League’s Release form which shall be binding even when no proper entry form for a student has been signed and submitted.

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