In This Issue – 03.01.21

1. Director's Note
2. Pit Zone Now Open For Coaches
3. Updated Coach Licensing Courses
4. First Aid Training
5. Leaders' Summit 2021
6. COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols
7. Conference Re-Alignment and Racing Changes
8. Tentative 2021 Race Calendar
9. League Fees Unchanged
1. Director's Note
2. Pit Zone Now Open For Coaches
3. Updated Coach Licensing Courses
4. First Aid Training
5. Leaders' Summit 2021
6. COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols
7. Conference Re-Alignment and Racing Changes
8. Tentative 2021 Race Calendar
9. League Fees Unchanged
Growth 2013-2020 Page 4 copy

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Director's Note

Dear Coaches,

As we begin to spin up for another season, I think it's worth taking a moment to reflect on the circumstances that brought us to this point and celebrate success.

Disappointment seemed to be the coin of the realm in 2020, and our tribe was not spared. False starts and canceled races ruled the day. It would have been easy to fold your tents, but your spirit couldn't be broken. You adapted and because of your perseverance our kids – our communities – are stronger today.

The physical and psychological benefits of exercise are well documented. 2020 shined a bright light on it. You served our student-athletes when times were most difficult and when they needed you most. Chapeau!

2021 still looks too much like 2020, but we're getting there. Stay vigilant and with some good fortune the "new normal" will give way to a return to our "old normal."

Screen Shot 2020-03-14 at 8.12.45 AM

Mike Perry
President & Executive Director


Pit Zone Now Open For Coaches

Team directors for existing teams can register their teams for the 2021 season in the Pit Zone now, and returning coaches may register, too (the Pit Zone will open for student-athletes on April 1). If you've forgotten your password, please choose 'Forgot Password' at the bottom of the login box. Team and individual profiles remain as they were at the end of the 2020 season. Simply verify the information is still accurate (update as needed) and complete the applicable waivers and fees. Once team registration is complete, team directors can invite new coaches. There is also a 'Re-invite' function that team directors can utilize to prompt last year's coaches to register for the new season.

If you have returning coaches or riders who are changing team rosters in 2021, please email us and we will transfer their profiles in the Pit Zone. There is no need to send a new Pit Zone invitation from the new team. In fact, we want to avoid doing that. When an individual is transferred within the Pit Zone their history follows them (personal information, coach certifications, race category, etc.); when a new invitation is sent the system views the person as an entirely new individual and the slate is blank.

If you're organizing a new team and have not received an email invitation from the Pit Zone ( or you have any questions concerning this process, please contact us. Pit Zone FAQs are also available online to assist you.


Updated Coach Licensing Courses

Over the past year, the NICA coach licensing team undertook a project to significantly enhance the substance and quality of the educational content contained in the Coach Licensing Program. There are new interactive e-learning courses for each license level that replace less engaging videos.

The way that you access the courses will not change and new requirements have not been added. The content is more relevant to your work as coaches at all levels. The learning is stickier so you will only need to take the Coach Licensing Level associated with your license every 2 years instead of annually.

Change can be intimidating and a little unnerving. We want to make this change as seamless as possible. Please review this FAQs about the update and let us know if you have any remaining questions.


First Aid Training

Mountain biking is a sport of inherent risks and injuries can happen far away from emergency medical services. Adequate first aid and CPR training is a requirement for Level 2 and Level 3 coaches. Coaches may take training from any licensed organization. Following are some upcoming WFA courses offered through Front Range CPR LLC:

Original Certification

▪ March 13-14, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
▪ March 13, 2021 (blended online and in person) – Phoenix
▪ March 14, 2021 (blended online and in person) – Phoenix
▪ March 19-20, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
▪ March 21, 2021 (blended online and in person) – Flagstaff
March 13-14, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
March 13, 2021 (blended online and in person) – Phoenix
March 14, 2021 (blended online and in person) – Phoenix
March 19-20, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
March 21, 2021 (blended online and in person) – Flagstaff


▪ March 13, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
▪ March 20, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
▪ March 21, 2021 (in person) – Flagstaff
March 13, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
March 20, 2021 (in person) – Phoenix
March 21, 2021 (in person) – Flagstaff

Leaders' Summit 2021

Save the date! We are planning to host an in-person event May 29-30 at Emmanuel Pines in Prescott. The conference brings together head coaches, team directors, team coaches (of all levels) and parent volunteers to develop skills and knowledge, share strategies, and build community. It also provides the opportunity for participants to learn all about the league structure and processes, how to work with their schools, issues related to liability and the unique intricacies of working with teenage cyclists.

Registration will open soon; look for a separate email. We may need to limit registration as a consequence of ongoing COVID-19 precautions so if you're simply looking to check the box for your Level 3 license consider a virtual course offered by NICA. Our summit will fulfill the license requirement, plus also takes you on a deeper dive into the Arizona league.


COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols

As we edge our way closer to “normal” it's important that we remain committed to safety and health procedures. We will continue to follow guidelines issued by the Governor of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Health Services, and align with the Arizona Interscholastic Association when appropriate. As we near the preseason on April 1, and throughout the season, we will be sharing guidelines and protocols to follow during team activities once again this year.


Conference Re-Alignment and Racing Changes

The league is shifting from three conferences (North, Central, South) all racing together on the same day to two conferences (North and South) racing on separate days. Continued growth in student-athlete participation forces a split and making the change now also offers some crowd size mitigation as we emerge from COVID-19.

The North and South conferences boundary is straight forward. Notwithstanding zigzagging as it follows school district boundaries while traversing the Valley, it's a horizontal east-west line. A detailed view is available on the league map and the updated conference distribution of returning teams is posted on our website under Current Teams.

The final wave start times may be adjusted slightly, but directionally race days will be structured as follows:

▪ 8:00 – Boys Middle School
▪ 8:45 – Girls Middle School
▪ 10:00 – Boys Varsity, JV1
▪ 11:30 – Girls High School All Categories
▪ 1:00 – Boys JV2
▪ 2:00 – Boys Freshman
8:00 – Boys Middle School
8:45 – Girls Middle School
10:00 – Boys Varsity, JV1
11:30 – Girls High School All Categories
1:00 – Boys JV2
2:00 – Boys Freshman

Normally, category placement is based on riders’ results from the previous season, with returning top performers earning automatic upgrades to JV1 and Varsity. Because the 2020 race series was canceled due to COVID-19 we will apply 2020 category placement to 2021 (e.g., if a rider's results during 2019 while competing in the JV2 category earned the rider placement in JV1 in 2020, then the rider will be placed in JV1 in 2021).

This year in particular it will be very important for coaches to assess riders' racing capabilities over the course of the summer and complete a Category Placement Petition for riders who should be competing at a higher level. Between graduating seniors and the lack of racing to produce new upgrades, the JV1 and Varsity categories will be auto-populated very lightly and an overabundant number of returning riders will default to JV2.


Tentative 2021 Race Calendar

Venues are still being finalized, but we expect to follow our traditional calendar, beginning with the weekend following Labor Day and racing every other weekend thereafter until the series concludes.

▪ Race #1 – September 11-12, 2021 – High School and Middle School
▪ Race #2 – September 25-26, 2021 – High School and Middle School
▪ Race #3 – October 9-10, 2021 – High School and Middle School
▪ Race #4 – October 23-24, 2021 – High School and Middle School
▪ Race #5 – November 6-7, 2021 – High School State Championships
Race #1 – September 11-12, 2021 – High School and Middle School
Race #2 – September 25-26, 2021 – High School and Middle School
Race #3 – October 9-10, 2021 – High School and Middle School
Race #4 – October 23-24, 2021 – High School and Middle School
Race #5 – November 6-7, 2021 – High School State Championships

"Home" conference races on Saturdays.

The first four races are open to all registered student-athletes. The fifth race – the state championships race – will combine the North and South conferences, will be open to high school riders only and entrants must qualify based on the following criteria:

▪ All high school seniors
▪ All Varsity riders
▪ All JV1 riders
▪ Top 50 JV2 riders per conference
▪ Top 50 Freshman riders per conference
All high school seniors
All Varsity riders
All JV1 riders
Top 50 JV2 riders per conference
Top 50 Freshman riders per conference

League Fees Unchanged

League participation fees will remain the same this season.

▪ Coach License – $30
▪ Team Registration – $75
▪ Student-Athlete League Membership – $100
▪ Race Registration: High School: Race Package (registration for all races, including state championships) – $150, individual races – $60; Middle School: Race Package – $100, individual races – $40
Coach License – $30
Team Registration – $75
Student-Athlete League Membership – $100
Race Registration: High School: Race Package (registration for all races, including state championships) – $150, individual races – $60; Middle School: Race Package – $100, individual races – $40

The refund policy is also unchanged. The coach license, team registration and student-athlete league membership fees are not refundable once paid. No refunds are given for weather-related race cancelations. If the 2021 race series is interrupted or canceled due to COVID-19, race registration will be refunded on a prorated basis minus a $10 administrative fee.

This past year has been economically difficult for many. As aways financial assistance is available through the league.


Thank You to Our Arizona League Sponsors!

These companies provide the Arizona Interscholastic Cycling League with the support we need to help us get more kids on bikes. Please keep them in mind when considering your next purchase.

NICA National Sponsors

The following organizations back the national movement.

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