Coach Licensing

NICA Coaching Levels

You will be able to access most Coach Licensing resources through the NICA website.

NICA has three levels of coaching licenses that will prepare you to assume different roles within your team. All NICA coaches start with NICA License Level 1 and take it one step at a time throughout the year as opportunities arise to complete additional requirements. The minimum requirement to ride with and coach students is NICA License Level 1 as per NICA’s “Safe Kids Policy”.

NICA has strict requirements for the ratio of athletes to coaches on trail rides at team practices. The maximum allowed ratio is 6 students to 1 coach (must be level 2 or higher) and the preferred ratio is 8 students : 2 coaches (1 coach must be level 2 or higher). These coaching ratios do not apply to team practices that do not utilize trail riding such as practicing on-the-bike skills or playing games in a field.

Maximum Student to Coach Ratios for NICA Trail Rides
6 Students to 1 Level 2/3 Coach
8 Students to 1 Level 2/3 Coach AND 1 Level 1 Coach

Most of the coach licensing requirements will be fulfilled by logging into Pit Zone and selecting the “Access Coach Courses” button.

All coaching levels require the 1) Participation Agreement, 2) Coaching Fee, and 3) Background Check to be completed annually in Pit Zone.

Level 1 Coach

Level 1 coaches may ride with the team in a supporting role (float or sweep) and assist with off the bike team tasks. They are not required to have the first aid training necessary to be a ride leader.

Level 2 Coach

A level 2 coach is equipped to serve as a ride leader and skills coach at team practices. They are required to have additional First Aid and CPR and ride guide training in order to lead a team ride.

Level 3 Coach

Level 3 coaches receive additional training in wilderness first aid and team management that equips them to plan and lead team practices.

Level 1 Coaching Requirements

  • Participation agreement completed in Pit Zone
  • Background check – Sterling Volunteers – instructions in Pit Zone ($36 new coaches, $11 returning coaches)
  • Coach licensing fee – $25 in Pit Zone
  • Concussion Training completed in Pit Zone
  • NICA Athlete Abuse and NICA Philosophy and Risk Management courses completed in Pit Zone
  • NICA Coach License Level 1 course completed in Pitzone

Level 2 Coaching Requirements

  • All of the Level 1 Requirements except the NICA License Level 1 course (optional)
  • NICA Coach License Level 2 Course completed in Pit Zone
  • OTB101 online class completed in Pit Zone
  • OTB101 in person class – see league schedule HERE
  • CPR/AED/First Aid training – the course must have an in person component to count! Start here to find a course: Red Cross American Heart Association
  • 20 hours of fieldwork working with student athletes – this is self-reported in Pit Zone
  • 3 CEU’s every 3 years are needed to maintain this license level

Level 3 Coaching Requirements

  • All Level 2 Requirements except the NICA License Level 2 course (optional)
  • NICA Coach License Level 3 course completed in Pit Zone
  • NICA 8 Hour First Aid Course or 16 Hour Wilderness First Aid Course (NOLS)
  • 80 hours of fieldwork with student athletes – this is self-reported in Pit Zone
  • Leaders Summit – Online (Register HERE) or in person
  • 9 CEU’s every 3 years