This email is directed at Team Directors but is being sent to all coaches as there are coaches still contemplating starting new teams and it will answ

This email is directed at Team Directors but is being sent to all coaches as there are coaches still contemplating starting new teams and it will answer many questions ALL coaches have. This email is lengthy but please read through it in its entirety as it is sure to answer many of those questions.

The Pit Zone should be open for registration on October 10, 2014.

NICA and its leagues use the Pit Zone online registration system. This is a closed system meaning you must receive an email "invitation" to register as a team, a rider, or a coach. You cannot simply register. Team Directors of single school teams: please email me at and let me know your school name and which division you plan on competing in (more information on divisions below). Composite teams are temporary solutions to the growth of single school teams and there are specific rules governing them. All composite teams must be approved each year by the Director. If you are the Team Director of an existing or proposed composite team please contact me at and let me know the proposed geographic breakdown of your team. There are some coaches working on starting two or more single school clubs (as opposed to a composite club). If this describes you, please contact me so we can determine how to get all teams registered.

The 2014 NICA Rulebook will be published soon. However, there is nothing in it which will change how you register your team. For information on team makeup and rules governing teams please consult the 2013 NICA Rulebook.

SoCal teams compete in one of two divisions. Division 1 is for single school teams of 12 or more racers (in this case a "racer" is a student-athlete who plans to do at least one race). Division 2 is for smaller single school teams and all composite teams (composite teams with 12 or more racers will be broken down into smaller units for scoring purposes). If you are a single school team on the border of D1 and D2 (you have 10+ racers), please register as D1 as it's likely you will have 12 racers. All Team Directors, please contact me to help determine which division you should register in or to let me know which division you will be competing in. I have to hear from you before I can invite you in the Pit Zone. If things change before the racing season begins we can modify and work through it. The deadline to register a team and to determine which division your team will race in will be Friday February 7, 2014. A $50 late fee kicks in after February 1st.

There are two fee options for each team division. "Compliant" and "Non-compliant." Compliant teams pay a lower fee. For 2013/14, a compliant team is a returning team with a fully licensed Head Coach OR a first year team. Please contact Julia at NICA at to determine the status of your coaching license. This year, Compliant D1 teams pay $250 and Non-compliant D1 teams pay $350. Compliant D2 teams pay $150 and Non-compliant D2 teams pay $250. If you have any other questions regarding this topic please email me at If there are any hitches along the way we will work through them to ensure you pay the lower registration fee if you are eligible!

Once you (as Team Director) have completed team registration and complete your registration you can start re-inviting existing coaches and riders or inviting new coaches and riders to your team.

To invite returning coaches, click on "Re-Invite Coaches to the New Season" and select the coaches you want to re-invite. If a coach isn't working with you this season, don't select them. After you have re-invited the returning coaches who will be working with you please send me an email listing the coaches carried over from last season that you would like removed from your roster. PLEASE do not "delete" any coaches. Sometimes coaches change teams and we will move them to "inactive" status so we don't lose their licensing history.
To invite new coaches, click "invite new coaches" and follow the prompts . You will need the coach's email to invite them. Please note that an email can only be associated with one person (often a coach is also a parent and some riders register using their parents email, they will each need their own email).

Coaches will receive an email asking them to log into the Pit Zone, confirm their registration information and pay for the new season. Annual coach fee is $25 and is tied directly to each coach's coaching insurance. New coaches must take the online background check when they join a team.

All coaches and ride leaders must register online and mail in a signed Agreement to Participate. Any coach/volunteer that has not obtained at least a NICA General Volunteer License (online registration, background check, annual coach fee, and wavier mailed in) is not authorized to participate in team activities, on or off the bike, and is not covered by any insurance.

To invite returning riders, click on the riders you want to re-invite and re-invite them. You may delete any riders who have graduated or who you are sure are not returning. We recommend cc'ing the parents/guardians of riders.
To invite new riders, click "invite new riders" and follow the prompts . You will need the rider's email to invite them. Please note that an email can only be associated with one person (often a coach is also a parent and some riders register using their parents email, they will each need their own email). We recommend cc'ing the parents/guardians of riders.

Please note that this year ALL riders (regardless of if they are racing or not) must register in the Pit Zone and pay the $10 NICA annual fee. We want to keep better track of ALL of the riders participating in our programs, not only the racers! In return for this we have lowered the team registration fees.

Coaches and riders who have been invited to register via the Pit Zone will receive an email with a link to track back and log into the Pit Zone, confirm their registration information and pay for the new season. Coaches should pay the $25 annual fee, racing riders should pay the $10 NICA annual fee+$40 race registration fee, non-racing riders will pay the $10 NICA annual fee. Please note that a rider who decides to race later can simply log in and pay their race registration fee. Races will cost the same this year as last. Pre-registration will cost $45 per race. Riders may pay for any or all races when they initially log in and register but can also log in at any time and pay for races. After registering in the Pit Zone, riders will be emailed a registration packet. They must print it out and they and their parents/guardians must complete and sign in the appropriate places and must mail the completed packet back to NICA.

If you are planning pre-season activities (between October 15 and November 30), please refer to the NICA Team Training Limits document for additional details on the specifics of what is allowed in the SoCal pre-season. That is also where you will find the Pre-Season Activity Form. Please complete it and email it to me OR put all of the information into an email and send it to me. I will respond "approved" or will respond and ask further questions. Please remember that NO activities are authorized until the team has registered, paid, and received its insurance and NO riders or coaches may participate until the Team Director has a completed Agreement to Participate on file from each rider or coach participating. Yes, NICA/SoCal needs a completed release each season and you (Team Director) need a completed release each season.

Middle school pilot program

SoCal has a new middle school pilot program. More information will come out this week but the key points are as follows:

1) Middle school clubs can form and run under a NICA licensed coach. Everything above is the same for middle school teams except that the team registration fee is less.
2) Middle schoolers may join a high school club. High school teams are not required to take on middle schoolers. High school teams primary focus is high school student-athletes. If high school teams have the bandwidth to take on middle school riders they can. High school Team Directors, please email me and let me know if you plan on allowing high school riders to join your clubs or not. In the emails I have received from middle school parents, many of the parents are riders and may be an added coaching resource to your club.
3) Middle schoolers may join SoCal as independent riders.
4) The focus for middle schoolers is on fun, skills, and etiquette and light on competition. We will hold one middle school race this season. It is tentatively planned as a stand alone race at Vail Lake the weekend of May 3-4. That may change based on feedback I receive from coaches and middle school parents. If it were to move to a high school race weekend it would likely be at race #4 in Keyesville.
5) All middle schoolers must join NICA and pay the $10 season fee. They do not have to pay any other fees unless they decide to race in which case they will pay a $25 race fee.

If you have any questions, please let me know at
Thanks so much for all the hard work you are doing to get your teams up and running. 2014 is going to be another great year of high school racing, thanks in large part to the work you are doing.


Matt Gunnell
League Director


How does a new coach/volunteer get a background check?
Background checks must be done through NICA's provider, TC Logiq. Go to NICA Background Check for more information and to get started.

Do I need a background check each year?
NICA volunteers need to complete a background check only once in their tenure with a team. They need to complete an additional check if they change teams. Schools or school districts may require their own background checks in addition to the NICA background check.

When do we get our insurance certificate?
The team's insurance certificate will be emailed to the Team Director 3-5 business days after completion of registration and receipt of payment.

Do riders need to register to do team rides?
Riders do not need to register in the NICA Pit Zone before they start team riders. However, all riders must have their parent/guardian sign a waiver, available here for the Team Director to hold on to before they may start riding. All riders must register in the Pit Zone as soon as possible and, if racing, before they start racing. Riders will complete an additional waiver to be mailed to NICA.

What if we forgot login or password?
A user's login is their email address. If you forgot your password, go to "Forgot Password" (at the bottom of the login page) to reset it.

What if I need to change team divisions before the season starts?
Contact for assistance with changing your status. If you move from D2 to D1, you will need to pay the additional team registration fee. If you move from D1 to D2, you will be eligible for a refund.

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