Coach License Program

The purpose of the NICA Coach License Program is to deliver comprehensive training to NICA coaches that provides the knowledge, skills and abilities to provide quality programming to NICA student-athletes. Quality coach education is the cornerstone to developing great youth coaches who can support the mission and vision of NICA.

NICA license certification also protects volunteers and riders with insurance, as well as protects our youth with background checks and other legally required training. Thanks to our generous NICA sponsors, licensed coaches and volunteers enjoy a number of discounts and other perks. These benefits vary by license level and also by League, click here for more information.

Here you will find all the information you need about the different License Levels, information/links on the requirements and Frequently Asked Questions.

New Licensing Requirements starting March 1st, 2021

For more information on the updated Coach Licensing Courses and Requirements, check out the FAQ.

License Requirement Where completed Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Participation Agreement PitZone Required Annually
Coach Licensing Membership Fee (if applicable) PitZone Required Annually
Background Check PitZone (linked to outside provider) Required Annually
Concussion Training
More information here.
Athlete Abuse Awareness Training NICA Learning Management System Required every two years
NICA Philosophy, Safety and Risk Management (replaces NICA Student- Athlete Coaching Philosophy) NICA Learning Management System Required Annually
Coach License Level 1 NICA Learning Management System Required every 2 years    
Coach License Level 2 NICA Learning Management System   Required every 2 years  
Coach License Level 3 NICA Learning Management System     Required every 2 years
First Aid Outside provider or league scheduled   Requirements vary based on Geography and Specific League needs
CPR Outside provider or league scheduled   In-person Class Required
OTB 101 Online Course NICA Learning Management System   Required  
OTB 101 In-Person Clinic Scheduled by your League   Required  
Field Work On your own. Confirm hours in NICA Learning Management System.   20 Hours 80 Hours
NICA Leader Summit Core Courses Online or in-person scheduled by your league     Required
Continuing Education On your own   3 Units every 3 years 9 Units every 3 years

*Upload required in NICA Pit Zone. See below (Continuing Education Units) for complete CEU information.

Team Roles

Team Director and/or Head Coach Requirements (Level 3 Licensing): All teams must have a Team Director and/or Head Coach that complies with Level 3 requirements. Team Director and Head Coach roles may be filled by same person. Team Directors and Head Coaches are encouraged to discuss their professional development plan with the League director.

Head Coach (HC)

Lead coach of team – must have approval from League Director to be Head Coach and achieve NICA License level 3.

Team Director (TD)

Coach on the team and is responsible to pay annual team fees to League, and manage emergency contact and rider roster downloads. Please refer to appendix C of rulebook for Team Director requirements.

Reference: NICA Handbook

Information on NICA Coach License Requirements

Acceptable Requirement Uploads

Requirement: Acceptable upload
CDC Certificate of completion
Leaders Summit attendance Certificate of completion
WFA/First Aid Certification Card with expiration date
CPR Certification Card with expiration date
Field Work No document upload required. Follow prompts to self report hours
NICA On The Bike Certificate of completion
CEU Certificate of completion

First Aid Requirements

Mountain biking is a sport of inherent risks and injuries can happen away from rapid emergency response. Our license program has high standards for first aid training to ensure NICA student-athletes (and fellow volunteers) receive well trained care and response when emergencies occur. Various amounts of first aid training are required for level 2 and 3 licenses.

Learn more

Continuing Education Units (CEU's)

A coach must complete Continuing Education Units every 3 years to maintain a level 2 or level 3 NICA Coach License. CEUs are required to maintain, not attain, a Level 2 or 3 license. The level 2 coach must complete 3 CEUs every 3 years. The level 3 coach must complete 9 CEUs every 3 years. Generally, 1 hour of course work equals one CEU.

To become a Level 2 or 3 coach, the coach must complete all the required NICA training for that level. (See the Coach Licensing matrix for requirements.) Many of those requirements must be repeated annually. Once a coach has been a Level 2 Coach for 3 years, she/he must also complete 3 CEUs to maintain that license going into the 4th year and again going into the 7th year. Once a coach has been a Level 3 Coach for 3 years, she/he must also complete 9 CEUs to maintain that license going into the 4th year and again going into the 7th year.

A coach does not have to be a Level 2 before becoming a Level 3. A coach may become a Level 3 as soon as all requirements are met.

NICA offers a variety of ways to complete the Continuing Education Requirements (CEUs). The best way to complete CEUs is at a NICA league Leaders' Summit. These trainings are held annually in individual leagues. Check your league website for Leaders' Summit dates and locations.

Leaders' Summits seminars typically cover:

  • Leadership, management of and/or starting an interscholastic mountain bike team
  • Working successfully with adolescents
  • Risk management and safety
  • NICA On-the-Bike Skills training
  • Fundraising/sponsorship, managing volunteers
  • Race-day rules and logistics
  • Advanced topics for experienced coaches

Attending a Leaders' Summit is a level 3 licensing requirement. The first time a coach attends a Leader Summit, credit is applied to the licensing requirement. Any time a coach attends a subsequent leader summit, that attendance will be applied to CEUs.

Additional CEU Credit Opportunities

NICA offers several options for Continuing Education outside of Leaders Summit with partner organizations. Please see the NICA Coach Education page under "online and non-NICA course CEUs" for a list of qualifying courses and ways to complete CEUs.

The NICA coach must present (upload to Pit Zone) an official certificate of completion to be granted CEU credit from any outside organization. The certificate must include the number of course hours, a signature/official approval from the organization or instructor and the date of completion.

NICA coaches may submit trainings from other organizations for consideration for CEUs. Please note, course hours must be specific and relevant to coaching adolescents, to mountain biking and cycling skills. CEUs are valid for 3 years from the time of completion, not submission.

CEUs questions should be directed to Coach Licensing Manager Mike McGarry at

Learn more

Field Work

Actual hours spent in contact with NICA student-athletes while engaged in an interscholastic mountain bike program. Various hours of NICA approved field work are required for Level 2 and 3 licenses.

Learn more

Background Check

NICA Coach must submit to an annual criminal background check by Verified Volunteers.

NICA National staff, state League employees, Core Race Staff and Management positions must submit to a criminal background check by Verified Volunteers. Any employee, staff or manager also in the role of coach must meet annual coach requirements.

Learn more

CDC Concussion Course (Required Annually)

As part of the NICA Coach License Program we require new coaches complete one of the following annually:

NFHS: Concussion in Sports

These are free, online course available to volunteers, parents, and others helping to keep athletes safe from concussion. Upload your Certificates of Completion to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone.

Agreement to Participate Waiver (Required Annually)

All adult volunteers are required to sign and send in an Agreement to Participate waiver each year in order to be covered under the NICA insurance program. When you register in the Pit Zone you will be directed to sign a waiver electronically.

License Membership Fee

When a volunteer is invited to the Pit Zone they will be prompted to go through a registration process, which includes a License Membership Fee. The fee is used to help pay for the insurance and administration cost of managing the program. When you are a returning volunteer you will be prompted to update and confirm your registration information. The fee covers one season.

To get started email your team’s head coach/director. No team? Please email your league's director and we’ll help you get started!