Coaches Licensing and License Renewal

The League recognizes coaches as the most essential component of successful mountain bike teams and we have many resources that can help you organize your team. Please email with any questions.

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

The purpose of this program is to ensure that those working with NICA student-athletes are sufficiently knowledgeable to be a positive influence and uphold the NICA mission, vision, and values. NICA license certification also aids in protecting volunteers and riders with insurance, as well as protect our youth with background checks. Obtaining a NICA license includes benefits beyond the knowledge that comes with the training and the insurance program. Thanks to our generous NICA sponsors, licensed volunteers enjoy a number of discounts and other perks. These benefits vary by license level and also by League, click here for more information.

Coach License Levels and Requirements

 License Requirement

Level 1 

Level 2 

Level 3 

 Participation Agreement  Completed in the Pit Zone Required Annually Required Annually
 Coach License Membership Fee Completed in the Pit Zone  Required Annually  Required Annually
 Background check Initiated in the Pit Zone  Required  Required
NFHS: Concussion in SportsMore information here  Required Annually  Required Annually  Required Annually
 Risk Management 1 Completed in Litmos (accessed through the Pit Zone)  Required Annually  Not Required
 Risk Management 2 Completed in Litmos (accessed through the Pit Zone)  Required Annually  Not Required
 Risk Management 3 Completed in Litmos (accessed through the Pit Zone)  Not Required  Required Annually
 NICA Student-Athlete Coaching Philosophy  Required Annually Required Annually  Required Annually
 First Aid  Not Required  Requirement Based on Geography Requirement Based on Geography
 CPR Certification  Not Required In-person Class Required In-person Class Required
 Field Work  Not Required  20 hours required  80 hours required
 NICA On-the-Bike Skills Training (formerly MTB 101)  Not Required  Required  Required
 Level 3 Exam  Not Required  Not Required  Required
 NICA Leader Summit 1 Day Not Required  Not Required  Required
 Continuing Education Units (CEU)   Not Required  3 units required every 3 years  9 units required every 3 years

Team Roles

One Head Coach (HC)

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

One 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. Team Director and Head Coach roles may be filled by same person. Please refer to appendix C of rulebook for Team Director requirements.

NICA Rulebook

Information on NICA Coach License Requirements

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

Professional Development

NICA offers a variety of ways to earn the required Professional Development.  Leaders’ Summits (click here for more information) are the first place a coach should look to earn these credits.  The Risk Management and On the Bike Skills that are required for levels 2 and 3 are also offered during these summits.  Summits are held by the leagues annually (check with your local League Director for more details on scheduling).

Topics cover:

  • Leadership and Management of an Interscholastic Mountain Bike Team
  • Working Successfully with Teenagers
  • Managing Risk and Maximizing Safety
  • Creating Appropriate Training Programs

Saturday/Sunday Leaders’ Summits provides the entire training one needs to satisfy:

  • Seminar Series
  • Risk Management
  • NICA Student-Athlete Coaching Philosophy
  • NICA On-the-Bike Skills Training.

Additional opportunities to earn continuing educational units come from NICA’s Free Webinars, and other online courses with organizations NICA has partnered up with.

Learn more.

Continuing Education Units (CEU’s)

In order to maintain a current NICA Coach License, an individual must keep her/his advanced first aid and CPR certification current and engage in 9 hours of Continuing Education hours every three years.

NICA offers several options for Continuing Education outside of Leaders Summit with the following partnerships:

  • Positive Coaching Alliance  offers a discounted online “webinar” on PCA’s “Double-Goal Coaching” principals (1.5 Units).
  • IMBA and NICA have teamed up to provide NICA Coach License PDU”s (3 Units) for attending IMBA’s Trail Building School.
  • USADA and TrueSport provide coaching education that is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE).   (1 unit per module)

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

All adult volunteers are required to successfully complete a background screening through the NICA background screen provider. The background check is a one-time requirement, though a new background check is required if a volunteer changes teams.

Learn more

CDC Concussion Course (Required Annually)

As part of the NICA Coach License Program we now require new coaches complete the CDC’s Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports annually. This is a free, online course available to volunteers, parents, and others helping to keep athletes safe from concussion. Upload your Certificates of Completion (digital certification the CDC provides once the training has been completed) to your coach license in the NICA Pit Zone.

Take the course

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.

$25 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 $25 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 and we’ll help you get started!