2014 Rulebook Updates

Each year, the NICA Rules Committee meets to discuss issues that came up during the course of a season and brainstorm updates to the rulebook that benefit all leagues.  After the conclusion of the meetings, the committee votes on the rules to be modified and published in the upcoming season’s rulebook.  Meetings begin after the commencement of Spring leagues from July through August.

As you peruse the 2014 Rulebook, you will note several changes from last year’s publication.  Below is a summary of the rules that have been modified and will now take effect in the 2014 season.

If you have questions about the rule changes, please contact us at rulebook@nationalmtb.org, or get in touch with your league representative.

Request a Rule Change

To request a rule change to the NICA Rules Committee, please fill out this form and submit it to us for review.

Voting Members

Voting members of the rule committee are part of NICA Chapter Leagues, the NICA Board and NICA staff.  During the rules committee process, votes are cast by these members and rules are modified based on the results.

Representative Name Affiliation Position Team
John Taylor NorCal Head Coach Contra Costa Composite
Pete Kirkham SoCal Head Coach Hemet High School
Dave Wiens Colorado CO Board N/a
Lori Harward Utah UT League Director N/a
Trevor Thorpe NICA Board NICA N/a
Sara Ecclesine NICA Board NICA N/a
Jorge Montoya NICA Staff NICA N/a
Lauren Haughey NICA Staff NICA Oakland Composite MTB Team



Members of the rules committee are composed of the various NICA Project Leagues, whose input and feedback is essential to driving rule modifications.  During the voting process, members provide their statement of position on various rule change proposals.

Representative Name Affiliation Position Team
Vance McMurry Texas League Director N/a
Mark McCubbin Minnesota N/a N/a
Mike Perry Arizona League Director N/a
Jason Cairo New York League Director N/a
Trent Boysen Tennessee General Volunteer University School of Nashville
TBD in 2014 Georgia TBD N/a


2014 Rulebook

Rulebook Updates

Rule 2.14: Risk Acceptance

Premise: Create a policy about what is required of student-athletes before they can return to practice/race when they sustain concussions or head-injuries

Previous Rule: N/a

New Rule: If a student-athlete suffered a concussion, he or she may not participate in team training or league competition before providing written clearance to return to such activities from a licensed health care provider.

Reason for change: Ensuring safety of student-athletes, while managing risk.


Rule 3.7B: Category Placement Rules

Premise: One race result in a qualifying percentile is not an accurate determination of a student’s demonstrated abilities to be able to compete in an elevated category placement.

Old Rule: Students could move up in category by placing in the top percentile in their current category in one race and/or overall.

New Rule: Update the category placement language to clarify that student athletes can move up in categories if they place in the top percentile in their current category, in any two races, or the top percentile in one race AND overall standings.

Reasoning for change: To ensure student athletes moving up in category had performed consistently over a race series. Manage category sizes by increasing the qualifying percentile from one to two races to compete in elevated category placement.


Rule 6.14: First Race Callups

Premise: Clarification needed for rule 6.14, first race call-ups

Old Rule: Call-ups are conducted in groups of ten based on plate numbers, rather than by individual names (for example “plate numbers 1 to 10”).

New Rule: This rule was revised to omit the sentence calling for groups of ten based on plate numbers.

Reason for change: Group consensus was to delete the second sentence of this rule to make the statement less confusing.


Rule 8.3: Point System

Premise: Upperclassmen are underrepresented in team points.

Old Rule: 25 bonus points awarded to JV riders; 50 to Varsity riders.

New Rule: Update the bonus points awarded to upperclassmen (50 points bonus for JV; 100 point bonus for Varsity).

Reason for change: Provide more incentive for JV and Varsity riders.


Rule 8.4 B: California State Championship Qualification Rules

Premise: Student-athletes must participate in 50% of series races to qualify for state champs

Old Rule: State champs were open to qualified student-athletes only.

New Rule: Adopt requirement that in order to qualify for state championships, riders must have competed in 50% of the series races that season.

Reason for change: Encourage student-athletes to participate in more races in order to qualify for state championships.


Rule 8.4 B: California State Championship Qualification Rules

Premise: State champs qualification rate established at 80%, but should be interpretable by the League director.

Old Rule: State champs qualification rate of 80%.

New Rule:  Each league director to determine and establish appropriate percentage for qualifying riders to state championships.

Reason for change: This rule update would make the field size less enormous during state champs. The consensus was to let each League Director address as appropriate for their particular league, according to total number of riders, venue capacity, and safe field sizes.


Rule 8.5: Point Bonus for Completing All Races

Premise: It is not clear that student-athletes that do not complete a race do not receive bonus points.

Old Rule: The language did not make it clear that students that did not complete a race were not awarded bonus points.

New Rule: Language has been updated to indicate student-athletes must complete each and every race in a season to be awarded the additional 25 Season Bonus Points.

Reason for change: Ensure the language is clear that student riders must

complete every race to earn bonus points.


Appendix A:

Premise: Create a new universal scoring matrix applicable to both small and large fields.

Old Rule: Previous scoring matrix contained point structures for both small and large fields

New Rule: New scoring scale that applies to small and large fields:

  • Frosh/Soph 1st place = 500 points

  • JV 1st place = 550 points

  • Varsity 1st place = 600 points

Reason for change: Providing upperclass student-athletes with greater incentive to compete at JV and Varsity levels, and opportunity to have contributions make a greater impact in team championships.


League Specific Updates

Team Training Limits

Premise: Update Team Training Limits document to include a footnote calling out Tennessee League Summer Dead Period as defined in the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Handbook.

Reason for change: To be in line with the summer dead periods followed by other High School sports, as defined in the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association.

Premise: Due to fluctuating weather conditions, the Colorado league wanted an opportunity to schedule an additional two scheduled (8 total) preseason activities.  Additionally, the official season would begin August 1 versus July 1 to accommodate student’s who are usually involved in other programs in July or on vacation with their family.

Reason for change: This recognizes the unpredictable weather conditions in the mountains and high desert areas of CO, as well as allow for more student participation.

Appendix: Chapter 7

Premise: Rules 7.2A and 7.2B are in conflict with Colorado Revised Statues § 22-32-116.5 regarding extracurricular and interscholastic activities.

Reason for change: The Colorado statute permits students, to participate as members of another school’s team for a sport not offered at the student’s school of attendance or nonpublic home-based educational program


Proposed Rule Updates, 2015

  • Consider removing the embedded CA-specific rules (e.g., 7.1B – NorCal League Division Rules, 7.23 – NorCal League Team Size Rule, 8.4B  CA State Championship Qualification Rules) and have them be league-specific in an addendum, to be in line with each state’s interscholastic governing body.
  • Clarify Team Training Limits start date for Fall Leagues (April vs. May).
  • Safety of helmet mounted cameras.
  • Minnesota League proposal to allow middle schoolers to petition up to high school level.
  • New proposition for 2015 originating from SoCal: SoCal moves to modify the individual scoring matrix from the 2014 matrix of 600/550/500 to something closer to 575/540/500.
  • Holdover proposition from 2014: SoCal moves to keep the D1 team scoring ratio on a sliding scale requiring 2 opposite gender riders (6:2-2:6) as opposed to moving the scale to 5:3-3:5.
  • Holdover proposition from 2014: SoCal moves to pass the rule that gives leagues the option to have composite teams scored separately from single school D2 teams.