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Utah High School Cycling League Input Your High School Team Parents Meeting. What is NICA & The Utah High School Cycling League. How it all started. 1998 Matt Fritzinger, a math teacher at Berkeley High School at the time, started a mountain biking club with just 4 student-athletes. 2000

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Utah High School Cycling League

Input Your High School Team

Parents Meeting

how it all started
How it all started...


Matt Fritzinger, a math teacher at Berkeley High School at the time, started a mountain biking club with just 4 student-athletes.


Matt was organizing and producing a race series with teams from 4 local high schools competing – The NorCal League was born.


The movement spread from NorCal to SoCal with the creation of the SoCal League.


NICA was formed to take High School Mountain Biking coast to coast by 2020.


Four leagues (NorCal, SoCal, Colorado and Washington) were racing with over 1,000 Student athletes and 109 High School Teams. Utah submits bid to NICA and is announced a Project League on September 13, 2011


With the addition of Texas, Minnesota and Utah, Seven NICA leagues will be racing with 2,000 student-athletes competing. Utah makes history in becoming the largest first-year league with 328 registered student athletes and 230-240 racers.


Arizona, Tennessee, and New York become Leagues. Minnesota pilots 7th & 8th grade program. Utah doubles in sizewith 42 teams and 635 student athletes.


Georgia and Alabama become NICA leagues. Utah pilots 7th & 8th grade program.

NICA Founder, Matt Fritzinger

“This isn’t just another racing program. This is in our schools. It’s a cultural shift, cycling in the mainstream.”

-NICA Founder, Matt Fritzinger


utah league vision mission
Utah League Vision & Mission

Vision: Enable every Utah teen to strengthen their body, mind and character through mountain biking

Mission: Establish an enduring, fun and relevant high school mountain bike program to improve Utah communities and the lives

of Utah teens.

Focus: Life-long health.

JV Boys D1 Start at Soldier Hollow 2013


five core principles
Five Core Principles

NICA’s Five Core Principles are fully integrated into the programs, resources and staff support for leagues, coaches and student athletes.

Inclusive: All student athletes are encouraged to participate. No one is “benched.” 83% of NICA student-athletes surveyed reported that their coach did a “great job” creating a positive, safe and inclusive team environment.

Equal: All student-athletes are treated equally. Team scores are a combination of male and female points. Nearly 1/4 of NICA student athletes in 2011 were girls.

Strong Body: Improving fitness and wellness are at the center of NICA training and education. 95% of NICA student athletes reported that their health and physical fitness improved when they joined a NICA League.

Strong Mind: NICA student-athletes are students first. More than half of NICA’s Student-Athletes have a 3.5 GPA or higher, 85% will go to a 4-year college or university, and 1/3 reported academic improvement when they joined the NICA League.

Strong Character: NICA programs and leadership teaches student-athletes to work hard, respect others and give back to their teams, communities and the environment. 73% of student athletes reported an increased awareness and respect for the environment.



More Than Just a Governing Body

League Events

  • Races
  • Camps
  • Special Events/Fundraisers

Coaches Education & Licensing

  • Background checks
  • Wilderness First Aid & CPR certification
  • Risk Management
  • Positive Coaching
  • Skills & Drills Training
  • Annual Leaders Summit

NICA League Racing, Camps and Special Events


utah league responsibility
Utah League Responsibility

To establish and maintain safe, quality high school mountain bike programs. The League is responsible for establishing a climate that will:

  • Provide students who have the desire to mountain bike with the coaching and camaraderie that will help them achieve both competitive and non-competitive cross-country mountain biking goals in a safe and enjoyable manner;
  • Develop an awareness of what it is to be an amateur athlete that is both gracious and respectful to their community;
  • Create an environment in which they may discover new friendships and find role models;
  • Guide students towards learning new skills and disciplines, and spread the foundations of mountain bike racing across the U.S.;
  • Promote the value of cycling to our community as a mode of transportation and as a life long sport;
  • Foster a responsible attitude toward the use of trails and wilderness.


utah league teams
Utah League: Teams

Utah 2013 Teams

JV Girls Start at Round Valley Round Up

  • 2013: 150 Coaches
  • 42 Teams
  • 638 Registered Student Athletes
      • 485 Athletes Racing
  • 2014: ~200 Coaches
  • 50-60 Teams
  • 750-850 Student Athletes


utah league student athletes
Utah League: Student-Athletes
  • League Student-Athletes
  • Student-Athletes are at the core of all NICA programs. NICA provides student-athletes with comprehensive programs and resources to foster the development of young riders and transform them into lifetime cyclists.
  • 2012
  • 300 Registered Student-Athletes
  • 235 Average Student Athletes at Races
  • 2013
  • 641 Registered Student Athletes
  • 431- 486 Student Athletes at Races
  • 2014
  • ~750 Registered Student Athletes
  • ~550 Student Athletes at Races
  • 240 Hours Of Team Activities/Student-Athlete Participation Per Season
  • ~180,000 Expected Hours Of Student-Athlete Participation in 2014

99.5% of student athletes reported that they expect to ride the rest of their lives.

97% Of non graduating student athletes will race again next year.

Nearly ¼ of student athletes are female.

Source: NICA 2011 League Participation Study

More than half of NICA’s Student-Athletes have a 3.5 GPA or higher, 85% will go to a 4-year college or university, and 1/3 reported academic improvement when they joined the NICA League.



Throughout The Year - 2014

Clubs are formed throughout the year, depending upon school regulations


January 28- Wilderness First Aid

March14 -Cyclefest Awards & Fundraiser


April 5-6 - Family Skills Camp

April 26-27 Leaders Summit

Registration of Coaches &Teams

6 Fun rides

Additional 1-day Leaders Summits TBD


Rider Multi-day Camps – Utah & NICA leagues

Rider 1-day Skills Clinics

July 1 Fall practice begins

Wilderness First Aid

Fall – Back-To-School

Races Sept 6, 20, Oct 4, 18, 25

Sophomore Boys D2 at Moab, 2013


practice skills
Practice & Skills
  • Practice schedule is determined by coaches
    • Once or twice during the week after school
    • Longer ride on the weekend
  • Skills development
    • Riders of all levels are welcome and encouraged
    • Focus on safe bike handling skills
    • Fitness training


types of teams
Types of Teams

School Teams





  • Riders with no school team or composite team
  • Riders from a region or school district combine to form a team
  • Includes home school students
  • Head Coach is required
  • All students are from the same school
  • Can be “official” or “unofficial”
  • Head Coach is required

There are 3 types of formations to bring students to race day:


utah league races
Utah League Races

High School Only 9th – 12th Grades

  • Pre-ride: Course open for riders and coaches 1 week prior to race
  • Saturday race day: Spectator friendly lap courses. Bring your family and cowbells!
  • Safety & Proven Risk Management including:
    • Well marked course
    • EMT’s on site
    • 10-12 Fixed Course Marshals
    • Sweep & Roving Marshals
  • Individual podiums every race
  • Team podiums every race
  • NICA Real-time Timing System
    • WiFi hotspot –spectators link in

Ethan Durbano Freshman Boys D2 State Champs


racing categories scoring
Racing Categories & Scoring
  • Team Scoring
    • - Division 1 Teams (≥ 12 riders)
    • - Division 2 Teams (< 12 riders)
    • Combination of boys and girls results are used.
  • Individual Scoring
    • - Freshman
    • - Sophomore
    • - Junior Varsity
    • - Varsity


how much does it cost
How Much Does It Cost?
  • Students
    • $50 to register a student/rider
    • $40 per race
    • Scholarships are available for all students in need
  • Adults (Coach, Asst. Coach, Ride Leader, Volunteer)
    • $25 + required background check
  • Other Items
    • Team Registration Fee
      • Compliant D2 $125 D1 $250Noncompliant D2$250 D1 $375
    • Clothing
    • Other support costs depending on desire of team including team equipment, tents, etc.

Any of these costs can be offset by sponsorship and fundraising by the team.


insurance overview
Insurance Overview
  • Insurance provided to all registered teams, licensed coaches and registered student athletes
  • General Liability for Clubs (Schools can be added as additionally insured)
    • $1,000,000 Each Occurrence
    • $2,000,000 Aggregate/Club
    • $500,000 Each Claim – Sexual Abuse and Molestation
    • $500,000 Aggregate Limit
  • Accident Medical
    • $25,000 Each Person – Excess Accident Medical
    • Deductible: None
    • Accidental Death: $10,000
    • Volunteer Coverage: Yes
  • Events
    • $1,000,000 Each Occurrence
    • $2,000,000 Aggregate per Event
    • No annual aggregate
    • Accident Medical:
    • $25,000 Each Person – Excess Accident Medical
    • Deductible: None
    • Accidental Death: $10,000
  • McKay Insurance provides this policy for the League. Dan McKay (president) has been working with IMBA since 1995 to
  • protect mountain bike clubs from liability concerns. Since that time, he has become an expert on all matters of bicycle
  • liability and is recognized as a supporter of trail advocacy efforts nationwide.
  • Underwriters for the policy are Lexington Insurance Company and National Union Fire Insurance Company – Member Chartis Companies. Lexington is an A+(Superior) rated carrier by A. M. Best Company, National Union Fire Insurance Company is also rated A+(Superior)

“Sweep Marshal” follows freshman Amber Ellis


risk management
Risk Management
  • The League promotes a systematic approach to proactively managing risk associated with our sport and programs
  • WHY?
    • To do our absolute best to protect out student-athletes from harm;
    • To mitigate the potential for injury and loss;
    • To protect ourselves and our programs from litigation;
    • To ensure we are in alignment with the best practices in the field;
    • To run quality programs that attract and retain participants
  • Legal Issues covered by League risk management education
    • Duty of Care
    • Negligence (basic/simple, gross/reckless)
    • Breach of Care
    • Waivers/Releases
    • Inherent Risk
    • Assumption of Risk


risk management continued
Risk Management Continued


The League’s Risk Management education puts strong emphasis on effective program planning and preparation.

  • Risks associated with Cross-Country Mountain Biking
  • Planning and Preparation includes:
    • Relationship Building
    • Accurate Marketing of the sport to new participants
    • Honest information exchange
    • Background Checks for staff/adult volunteers
    • Release & Assumption of Risk Forms
    • Proper Reporting
    • Medical Conditions Knowledge


risk management continued1
Risk Management Continued

Prevention with Riders and Staff

  • Adequate Conditioning
  • Skills instruction & Skills Checks
  • Rules & Enforcement
  • Terrain & Ride Selection
  • Equipment (Bikes & Helmets)
  • Appropriate Dress
  • Hydration, Food and Medications
  • Coaching Ratios (6:1 or 8:2)
  • Safe Ride Formation

Preparedness Education

  • First Aid Training
  • Emergency Action Plan
  • Knowing what number to call in an emergency (often not 911)
  • Know your route, including shortcuts home
  • Educate Riders, Staff and Parents


get involved1
Get Involved

Join the High School Mountain Biking Revolution

No Experience Necessary


Volunteer with Team:

Coaches, Assistants, Ride Leaders, Mechanics, Fundraising, Administrative, Communications

Volunteer with League:

Race Set Up, Race Day Production, Fundraising, League Development


thank you
Thank You!

Lori Harward

Executive 502-8516

Coaches Name

Contact Info

All photos courtesy of Christopher See and Steve C. Wilson