Starting an interscholastic cross-country mountain bike program takes work but is highly rewarding! The first step for successful coaches is emailing League Director Matt Gunnell at email@example.com to establish a connection and also beginning your coach training toward earning a NICA Level 3 license.
Administrators, teaches, parents, students and/or community members can start a cycling club at their local middle or high school. While it is not necessary that the person who initiates the club to 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.
A SoCal League mountain bike team can be any size. 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 SoCal League functions as a spring sport. Registration for SoCal League teams, coaches, and student-athletes begins mid-October. 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. Registered teams can commence limited pre-season activities on October 15th. Allowable pre-season activities are bike checks, fun rides, mechanical workshops or skills clinics. Between October 15 and November 31st, teams are allowed to have up to 6 scheduled pre-season activities. Regular training practice (3-4 times a week) for registered teams can commence on December 1st. All team rides or other training activities must end within two weeks of the final League race (essentially the end of May). A more detailed description can be found in the rulebook (PDF).
The SoCal League currently covers everything south of the north borders of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernadino Counties. Click here to see where SoCal teams are located.
NICA Coaches License Program
For more information about the NICA licensed coach program, please click here. New teams do not need fully licensed coaches, but the head coach does need to take steps towards obtaining one. Please contact your league director if you have more questions.