Most mountain bike teams start small and grow quickly; it’s a tremendous challenge but highly rewarding! The first step for many successful coaches is attending our spring coaches conference, a.k.a. the Leaders Summit.
Administrators, teachers, parents, students and/or community members can start a cycling club at their local high school. 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. 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.
An Arkansas League mountain bike team can be any size, as long as correct coach-to-student-athlete ratios are abided by. Teams are broken into Division 1 and Division 2 categories based on their team size (and not their school size). Please see the rulebook (PDF) for more info on Division specifics.
The Arkansas League includes the entire state. Neighboring states may participate if a League does not currently exist in that region. Click here to see where the latest Arkansas teams are located.
April – August: Registration for Arkansas League teams happens in April. At this time anyone who intends to coach a team should register with the League so that they are covered under our insurance. League teams are limited to the number of weeks they can have pre-season practice. In addition, teams are not insured outside of these limits.
May 1 – June 30: Pre-season activities can commence limited activities on April 1st. Allowable pre-season activities are bike checks, fun rides, mechanical workshops or skills clinics. Between May 1 – and June 30, teams are allowed to have up to 6 scheduled pre-season activities. These activities must be approved by the League director and comply with training limits.
July 1- October 31: Regular season training practice (3-4 times a week) can commence on July 1. 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).
NICA Coaches License Program
For more information about the NICA licensed coach program, please click here. Coaches on new teams need only obtain a NICA General Volunteer License, but the Team Director does need to take steps toward obtaining a NICA Head Coach License. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions.