Ability Based Racing for 2018

The current classification system for athletes is very simple. All athletes ride in their respective grade-based classifications of 6th, 7th, 8th, freshman, sophomore, JV (typically 11th graders) and Varsity (typically seniors) unless they petition to a higher classification. While the petitioning process works, it takes time. The petition process is primarily geared to petitioning “up” the higher performing athletes to compete with like performers.

An “ability based” system is designed to accommodate ALL athlete skill levels while matching them to the appropriate classification level. This new system is designed to be more inclusive and equal, allowing upper classmen/women (11th/12th grade) who are new to the sport to compete at a classification level equal to their skill and performance level. In short, allowing a senior for example to compete at a JV level vs requiring them to compete at Varsity against more experienced athletes.

Objective of Ability Based Racing

Ability Based Racing is a “skill based” placement system that will improve upon the fairness and safety of our athletes. It will reduce the “ability differential” within current high school categories of sophomore, JV and Varsity.

  • Get student-athletes racing with athletes of similar ability
  • Give upperclassmen a category fitting for student-athletes new to racing
  • Focus on physical literacy for younger athletes

2018 Season Placement

This is how athletes will be placed into the CPT for this upcoming season. The transition from traditional to Ability Based racing takes two full seasons. The first season is a move from existing categories to Ability Based categories. The second season is the first season where riders move within the now established Ability Based categories. REMEMBER…you can PETITION if you feel one of your athletes would be more successful in a different category.

2018 Season Placement (Boys/Girls)

6th, 7th, 8th

  • placed by grade


  • placed by grade


  • 2017 Freshman and Sophomore
  • New Sophomore, Junior, and Senior


  • Top 15% of 2017 Freshman
  • Top 50% of 2017 Sophomores
  • Returning 2017 JV


  • Top 30% of 2017 JV
  • Returning 2017 Varsity

2019 Season Placement (Boys/Girls)

Freshmen 9th grade student athletes

     8th student athlete who

  1. Petitions into the category
JV2 Sophomore, Junior and Senior student athletes
JV3 Freshmen student athletes who:

  1. Placed into top 10% in any one race, or
  2. Placed in the top 15% in any two races, or
  3. Petitions into the category

JV2 student athlete who:

  1. Placed in the top 25% in any one race, or
  2. Placed in the top 30% in any two races, or
  3. Raced in JV3 the previous year but did not upgrade to varsity, or
  4. Petitions into the category
Varsity Freshman student athletes who:

  1. Petitions into the category

JV2 student athlete who:

  1. Petitions into the category

JV3 student athlete who:

  1. Placed in the top 25% in any one race, or
  2. Placed in the top 30% in any two races, or
  3. Petitions into the category

Key Changes

Creation of the JV2 category. This is now the starting point for all student-athletes in 10-12 grade. Students will only be moved out of JV2 once they have reached a high performance level or petition.
Male and female student-athletes will now compete with the same athletic windows.
How student-athletes are placed into a category.

Race Duration

Riders in a field will cover the entire spectrum of race durations. No one should be out there longer than the max and all should expect to be out on course for the minimum time. This is for Both Girls and Boys events.


Category Duration
6th Grade 45 minutes or less
7th Grade 45 minutes or less
8th Grade 45 minutes or less
Freshmen 45 to 70 minutes
JV2 45 to 70 minutes
JV3 55 to 80 minutes
Varsity 75 to 100 minutes +


Point structures for each category will be as follows:

Category Points
6th Grade 450 down
7th Grade 450 down
8th Grade 450 down
Freshmen 500 down
JV2 500 down
JV3 540 down
Varsity 575 down


  • Fields over 50 will be broken into “waves” separated by 60 seconds (unless the start chute and course does not require a split)
  • Clock time (from the start gun of the wave) will be used to score the field
  • Staging Order will be 100%, new riders will be filter into the rear
  • Staging Order will be released prior to race day with the field “break-point”.

We are creating a wave structure within a category. Staging Order will continue to be all student-athletes where a racer without any points starting the rear of the field.

Waves will be limited to 50 student-athletes and separated by 1 minute (unless the start chute and course does not require a split). The chip time based of the gun start of the wave will determine the finish placement, not the person who crosses the line first.

Additional Updates

  • Petitions are being accepted Go Here to start the process
  • Race registration closes the Wednesday night before race day
  • Posting Staging Order release/posted Friday am
  • YOU MUST Pre Reg to have start order
  • Start Call-Ups will remain the same, per NICA rules
  • At the first race, we will need each athlete to pick up their own race plate.  We ‘Encourage’ Coaches to collect all of the athletes race plates after each event, and keep the plates so as to avoid the $10 non refundable replacement race plate fee!
  • Student athletes must check in ONCE (and only once) at registration for any race / adventure weekend.