Community members, parents, and/or students can start a Florida League youth mountain biking club or team in their local community. Extensive cycling experience is not necessary – one should simply have the desire to introduce teens to the sport of mountain biking. Once you have decided to create a team, the Florida League can help educate you and provide you with all the tools necessary to be an excellent coach.
Types of teams
There are two types of teams:
- School-Based Teams: Comprised of full-time students from the same middle or high school, public or private. 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. School-based teams can be “official” or “unofficial”.
- Composite Teams: Comprised of full-time students from more than one middle or high school within the same district or other geographic proximity. Composite Team Limitations: Composite Teams are intended to be temporary solutions toward building school-based teams. If a composite team has 5 or more students from the same school, those students will be scored separately from the rest of the composite team unless a petition to do otherwise is approved.
Don’t have a team to race with? That’s ok! Students can compete as an independent rider with the Florida League. Independent riders are unaffiliated with a specific school or team.
Home-schooled and online students who are enrolled in a Florida online virtual school or is home schooled are welcome! To understand the rules about which team to join, please refer to the League Rule Book (PDF) (Section 7: “Team Rules”; pp. 21-25).
Please see the Rulebook (PDF) for more info. If you’d like to register for the Florida League, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most mountain bike teams start small and grow quickly; it’s a tremendous challenge but highly rewarding! A Florida 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 Florida League includes the entire state. Neighboring states may participate if a league does not currently exist in that region.
The Florida Interscholastic Cycling League operates a Spring sport based race series schedule:
October – December: Registration for Florida League teams happens in 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 to practice as a NICA Team or are insured outside of these limits.
October 15 – November 30: Pre-season activities can commence limited activities on October 15th. Allowable pre-season activities are bike checks, fun rides, mechanical workshops or skills clinics. Between October 15 and November 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 NICA training limits.
December 1- May 15: Regular season training practice (2-4 times a week) can commence on December 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).
Visit NICA’s Team Starter Kit for guides and education resources. These guides and resources will give you a step by step approach to starting your new team. Additionally, contact information for advice and mentoring is contained within these guides.