Coach License FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

    1. There has been ongoing confusion in using the same naming conventions (Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Ride Leader and General volunteer) for both team roles and licensure levels. For example, with the past method, your team might have 8 coaches with “Head Coach” license levels, but only one person filling that role. With the new method, the same team would have 7 Level 3 coaches and one “Head Coach.”
    2. NICA is looking to provide more opportunities for NICA Coaches. You will see new training requirements for Levels 1 – 3, and in the future, new opportunities to gain higher levels of licensure.


On November 15th NICA’s registration system, the Pit Zone will show the new names and requirements:

Part A:

  • General Volunteer will be replaced with Level 1
  • Ride Leaders will be replaced with Level 2
  • Assistant Coach will be replace with Level 2
  • Head Coach will be replaced with Level 3

Part B:

  • The new requirements under each level will appear in the Pit Zone, however, since the grace period will be commencing, the Pit Zone will not move you if you have not yet achieved the new requirements in your respective levels.
NICA is looking to simplify licensing levels to provide ease of entry for coaches as well as provide more advanced opportunities in the future.
On February 15th, 2017 the new requirements will go into effect, and NICA Pit Zone will calculate compliance, and coach license levels will change automatically if requirements are not met.
NICA Risk Management 1, 2 & 3 as well as the NICA Student-Athlete and Coach Philosophy will be available online. You will take a simple test that confirms attendance. NICA On-the-Bike Skills will be available at the league level, look for announcement from your League Director.
No – the following timeline allows for a new team to progress over 3 years.

    Head Coach Level requirement for new teams:

  • Year 1 Level 1
  • Year 2 Level 2
  • Year 3 Level 3
This will count towards your Level 1 and 2 requirements and you will have fulfilled the appropriate risk management training. However, if you are wishing to attain Level 3, you will need to take risk management Level #3.
Interscholastic Mountain Biking is an emergent sport, and as such, to date WFA has been the only course that covered all necessary First Aid for responding to injuries in a manner consistent with other outdoor education. However, WFA also covers areas that coaches do not need to use when not in a wilderness setting as most practices and injuries are within 1 hour of EMT services.

NICA is currently working with accredited First Aid and WFA organizations to provide a condensed NICA Approved First Aid that is specific to the needs of the NICA teams practicing within 1 hour of EMT. We anticipate more regional organizations will be coming to to the table to become approved and this option will be available in more leagues. If it is not available in your league, you need to take traditional WFA.

If you are practicing in a venue that has areas beyond 1 hour from EMS response,let your League Director know, and take traditional WFA.

NICA has developed a custom coach training program that emphasizes risk management and proper methods for working with youth and we believe it is very important for those interested in working with NICA student-athletes to attain a NICA coach license. With this said, any courses that qualify for continuing education credit towards a USAC license are also valid towards the continuing education needs necessary for maintaining a NICA license.
CEU’s are Continuing Education Units that may be fulfilled in two ways:

  • Attend Leaders’ Summit again as repeating this will quaify for CEU’s
  • Refer to our list of CEU options here
The new webinars will be available on November 15th. If you attended Risk Management this Fall prior to November 15th, you do not have to take the course again until next year.
The NICA rulebook will be updated to reflect the new naming conventions. No new rules will be needed for this transition.
Self-report hours to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone