December 1, 2016 In This Edition ▪ League Director Welcome▪ Last call to vote for the 2017 Leader's Jersey▪ 2017 Season Overview▪ Current Registr

   

December 1, 2016

In This Edition

League Director Welcome
Last call to vote for the 2017 Leader's Jersey
2017 Season Overview
Current Registration Numbers
Registration Notes
Rulebook Updates
What to Expect Next?
Share the Ride

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League Director Welcome

Well, here we are again, ready to kick off another fantastic season of high school and middle school mountain bike racing in Alabama.

Who's excited?

I know I am!

So far, it's been an amazing ride and I'm so proud of what we have accomplished over our first two seasons in this league. I have no doubt that season #3 will continue to exceed my expectations with the amount of support we get from students, families, schools, league partners/sponsors, coaches, volunteers and the great communities across our state.
In exactly 94 days, I'll be in one of my favorite places...giving my pre-race announcements to start our first wave, of our first race at Munny Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa. Our race crew still has a lot of work to do to prepare for the season and I know teams will be putting in countless hours between now and then to get ready as well. But when we are all together again in March, the hard work will pay off in huge dividends as we see countless student-athletes reach personal goals of being on the podium, making the time cut-off, crossing the finish for the very first time, or perhaps just being part of team and coming to the race to support their friends. I encourage us all to celebrate those accomplishments right along with them regardless of any medals, trophies or leader's jersey they may or may not walk away with.

This past off-season I spent a lot of time talking with coaches, parents and students about what this program really means to me. I know we focus on the racing and competitive aspect our league, but it is my hope that through this we continue to put more high school and middle school students on bikes and that they see the joy of simply riding a bike so that it becomes their life-long sport. If they want to race for the podium, AWESOME, I want to see them get there. But I also want everyone to feel welcome in our league regardless of their desire to race and I know through the conversations with these coaches, parents and students that this desire is shared among a large part of our Alabama NICA family. So, reach out people you know and invite them to come be a part of our league and just simply jump on a bike and go for a ride. I promise we will find a place for them and they will walk...I mean ride away at the end of the season with a new appreciation for what a youth sports program should really be all about.
See y'all soon!
Eddie Freyer

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Last Call to Vote for the 2017 Leader's Jersey

This is the last call to vote for the 2017 Leader’s Jersey! Racers, this is the look you’ll be rocking for the 2017 season, so let your voices be heard! There’s still time to cast your vote before last call ends on 12/1/2016 at 2PM CST. Which of these 4 fierce contenders will be the 2017 Leader’s Jersey? Vote now:

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

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2017 Season Overview

Our 2017 season is shaping up to be another great spring of racing. Prior to the races though, starting today, 12/1/16 the season is officially open for team practices. Many of our teams across the state have already held some pre-season activities to jump start recruitment, bike checks, skills classes and fun rides. But I suspect if you are in one of the Alabama state parks this weekend you'll see teams ramping up their practice drills, skills and rides to get everyone ready for 3 months of practice leading into the race season.

Again in 2017 we will host 5 races across the state. Details are being finalized now, and over the next month you'll see updated race flyers, maps and other relevant information posted on the league website and social media outlets. So keep you eyes peeled for these details, but in the meantime mark your calendars because these 5 weekends you don't want to miss:

Race #1 (3/5/17): The T-Town Throwdown, Tuscaloosa
Race #2 (3/19/17): The Crank Down in Tiger Town, Auburn
Race #3 (4/9/17): The Space Race, Huntsville
Race #4 (4/30/17): The Rumble on the Ridge, Pelham
Race #5 (5/7/17): The Feud at the Furnace, McCalla

Look for preview videos for each venue starting in late January.

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Current Registration Numbers

Our Pit Zone registration system is filling up fast. We are well ahead of where we sat last year at this time. Currently we have a total of 302 student-athletes registered for the upcoming season. We are predicting well over 400 before the first race. Can we get to 500? We can with your help in recruiting and spreading the word about the pure awesomeness of NICA mountain biking. So get out there and help get #morekidsonbikes!

As of 12/1/16

Registered High School Student-Athletes (170)
Freshman Boys - 42
Freshman Girls - 11
Sophomore Boys - 32
Sophomore Girls - 6
JV Boys - 45
JV Girls - 11
Varsity Boys - 21
Varsity Girls - 2

Registered Middle School Student Athletes (132)
6th Grade Boys - 29
6th Grade Girls - 9
7th Grade Boys - 35
7th Grade Girls - 8
8th Grade Boys - 41
8th Grade Girls - 10

As we get closer to 250 registered high school racers, we will be making a decision on whether or not to split the team scoring into two divisions. Additional communications on this topic will be sent out as we start to see where the final registration numbers will end up.

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Registration Notes

Following are a few reminders and notes that might help answer some questions about registration:

• In order for a student-athlete to be covered by insurance during scheduled team practices the following needs to exist
1) The team needs to be registered and paid
2) The coaches need to be registered and paid
3) The student needs to be registered with season fees paid.
You will know your are set when they show up as "Race Ready" in the Pit Zone online.

NEW FOR 2017 - Under no cirscumstance may a student-athlete participate in a team practice without first being registered in the Pit Zone.

• When a high school (grades 9-12) student-athlete registers online they must register in the correct category. The default categories (absent an approved petition or placement based on last year's results) are 9th graders register Freshman, 10th graders register Sophomore, 11th & 12th graders register Junior Varsity. Category upgrade request will be accepted starting on February 1, 2017 and must be submitted by the team director only.

• The Placement chart for RETURNING 10th, 11th, and 12th graders can be found on the 2017 Races page by CLICKING HERE. If you have questions on rider placement or you don't believe the placement listed is correct please email eddie@alabamamtb.org. Racing in the correct category is the responsibility of the rider. Please make sure you have any questions answered BEFORE you race. If you accidentally registered in the wrong category please email julia@nationalmtb.org or eddie@alabamamtb.org to have your category changed.

• When a middle school (grades 6-8) student-athlete registers online they will select "middle school" as their category. They will then be placed in the category corresponding with their grade (6th, 7th or 8th). Please see the new 2017 rulebook for details on the Alabama League Middle School rules.

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2017 Updated Rulebook

The NICA rulebook has been updated for the 2017 season. Please review the rulebook as it is each racers responsibility to follow all rules during races as well as practices. Failure to comply with NICA rules could result in penalties. Alabama League specific exceptions/rules can be found starting on page 77.
CLICK HERE for a copy of the new rulebook.

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What to expect next?

Now that the season is started, you will start to see a lot more communications from the league and your coaches about practices, upcoming events and race details. Please be sure to review all information in newsletters, watch our soon-to-be released preview videos and monitor social media channels for updates about the league.

If you haven't linked up with a local team yet to get involved, check out our "Team Locator Map" by CLICKING HERE to see if there is a team in your neck of the woods. If you don't see a team, want to find out about starting one or would like to race as an independent racer, email eddie@alabamamtb.org for more information.

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Share the Ride Fundraiser

Do you want to help get #MoreKidsOnBikes in Alabama? The League is taking part in NICA's "Share the Ride" fundraising campaign. If you would like to help you can CLICK HERE to make a tax deductible donation and join our Alabama Donor Hall of Fame.
Thanks in advance.

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