Indie Club Program

For regions without an established NICA league.

NICA’s vision is to bring high school and middle school mountain biking coast to coast by 2020.  The NICA Indie Club program allows clubs to form in new regions where NICA leagues do not yet exist. These clubs can compete at existing regional mountain bike races and help spread the word about high school and middle school mountain biking, fostering the development of other scholastic clubs.

The Berkeley High School Mountain Bike Club was started in 1998 by Matt Fritzinger, when four students responded to a school bulletin.  Two years later, Matt formed the NorCal High School Cycling League to provide a better scholastic race season for the club.  The NorCal League has grown from 4 to over 40 teams since it formed in the year 2000.  The NICA Indie Club program is designed to foster the same development of cross country mountain bike clubs and leagues, providing access to more and more students across the USA!

What is a NICA Indie Club?

NICA Indie Clubs are scholastic competitive cross country mountain bike clubs, either school based, composite (regional based) or home-school, comprised of NICA member student-athletes and licensed NICA coaches. Teams hold activities within the basic parameters of NICA scholastic competition and conform to NICA’s season training limits.

Who Can Join

NICA Indie Clubs are open to all high school and middle school aged students, whether they attend a high school, middle school or are home schooled. Teams may be structured as school based teams, composite teams (based on region) or home-school teams (see Chapter 7: Team Rules in the NICA Rulebook).

Leaders’ Summit

First year Indie Clubs must have either the Team Director or Head Coach attend a Leaders’ Summit. Learn more

For information on upcoming Leaders’ Summits, please contact Michael Eastwood, Coach Licensing Senior Manager (michael@nationalmtb.org).

How to Start an Indie Club

The first step toward forming a NICA Indie Club is for the Team Director or Head Coach to attend a Leaders’ Summit. After attending a Leaders’ Summit, both the Head Coach and Team Director (can be the same person) should obtain a NICA Coaches License.

First year Indie Clubs are required to have a Team Director with a NICA Level 2 Coach License, and a Head Coach with a NICA Level 2 Coach License. The Team Directors and Head Coaches of second year clubs and beyond must have a NICA Level 3 Coach License. NICA has also put together a Team Starter Kit with some important steps and helpful tips that will give you some guidance as you start your team.

Requirements

NICA Indie Clubs are open to high school and middle school aged student-athletes participating in competitive cross country mountain biking. Indie Clubs must choose a Spring or Fall season and conform to the appropriate NICA Team Training Limits. Indie Clubs must have a Head Coach with a NICA Level 3 Coach License (for first year teams, the Head Coach needs a NICA Level 2 Coach License). All Additional coaches and adult volunteers must obtain a NICA Level 1 Coach License.

Benefits

NICA Indie Clubs enjoy the same benefits of teams in existing NICA leagues, including comprehensive liability insurance, registration services in the NICA Online Pit Zone and benefits generously provided by NICA sponsors. Learn More

If you have questions, please contact coachlicensing@nationalmtb.org