Coaches FAQs

What is the time commitment for being a coach?

Each coach will determine the amount of time they allocate to practice each week. At a minimum, plan on at least 6 hours a week. As an example, if you think about the time length for a practice, each maybe 1.5 hours long and you would have two per week. Coaches can set the start time for each practice and the days of the week. One team may practice 4 days a week at 4pm for 1 hour and another 2 days at 5pm for 2 hours, depending on the coach’s availability.

How long is the season?

The season will start the beginning of March (weather permitting) with practice each week. Races start the end of April and continue to the end of May. We plan on running up to 8 races in 2017. This will extend the season into June.

What if an athlete doesn't want to compete in all the races?

Athletes are responsible for signing up for each race individually on BikeReg. The cost per race, per individual is $20. As a coach you will want to make sure you have at least 5 athletes at each race for scoring.

What if I don't have 5 kids that can compete at a certain race? Can the rest of the team still race?

Without 5 racers, your team will not be part of the team competition points for that race. However, the remaining team members should still race, as they will racing for individual positions within each category.

What is the minimum number of athletes needed for a team?

The minimum number is 5 athletes.

What is the maximum size a team can be?

No limit has been set on the maximum size. If a team gets too large you may consider splitting it into two teams. This maybe the case when you have a composite team made up on multiple towns. If one town has 10+ members on the team and you have enough coaches, you can consider splitting the team to make coaching more manageable.

How do athletes sign up for the races?

Each athlete will signup on BikeReg.com for each race. A $20 fee will be associated with each race.

Can I see who on my team has registered for each race?

Yes. BikeReg will show you everyone registered for each race, sorted by category.

How many assistant coaches and volunteers do I need per team?

The number of assistant coaches and volunteers will depend on the size of the team and the age range of athletes on the team. At a very minimum you need one coach and one assistant coach or volunteer at each practice. A team with a wide range of athletes may need more coaches since the athletes will be at several different skill levels. We suggest three assistant coaches per team.

Will I have any support?

Yes we have a coaches Facebook group where coaches can ask question to each other and the league directors.

What does it cost to become a coach?

All coaches must have CPR, First Aid and a background check ($24) done.

How to I form a team?

Sign up as a coach on BikeReg.  Once you are registered as a coach, you will be contacted and we will figure out the best area for you to coach in. This will always be around your hometown, unless you request otherwise.

How is a team related to the high school?

It's not. Not at all. Think of a traveling soccer team that is affiliated with the town. In reality, the team uses the town name, but a private group that organizes the team and is part of a larger league that runs it. The same is true for a NEHSCA team.

What is the best way to inform the community about a new team?

It's really up the coach on they form a team and what area the team will encompass. We suggest that you setup an info session at your local library, YMCA or bike shop. To get the word out about the info session we suggest you reach out to the following people in the communities you are targeting: teacher(s) in each high school that are cyclists, local bike shop, Boy Scout troop, town recreation department, town blog, town Facebook or town twitter.

What are my general responsibilities as a coach?

As a coach you are responsible for all aspects of the team. This includes promoting the team to get athletes registered, scheduling and running practices, attending races, attending the NEHSCA coaches training, recruiting assistant coaches, ride leaders and volunteers as needed.

What are the categories athletes will race in?

5,6,7 grade, 8,9/10 grade, JV, Varsity. Each category will also have a male/female division.

How many days a week will the team practice?

The number of days and the time of day that a team practices is set by the coach.

How do Assistant Coaches, Ride Leaders and Volunteers work?

The requirements for all three are listed on the coaches page of the website. They are really designed to be the coaches’ helpers at practice and races.

What are the fees associated for each racer?

Each athlete pays a League Fee of $115. Additionally each athlete will pay $20 to enter each race. If a athlete decides not to race, they do not pay the race fee. The race fee is only charged when an athlete registers for a race. So if a athlete races only 1 race, they pay $20 once. If they race two races they pay $20 twice and so on.

How did you determine the fees?

The board of directors looked at the overall costs to run the league, races and what it will take to support each team. Some of these costs are insurance, timing, porta-potty rental, PA's and all the other costs of running events. We also looked at the fee structure of other mountain bike leagues in different states. Our end goal was to provide the league with enough money to put on races and host other events like awards and clinics. As a nonprofit, the league is not designed to make money and all of the people involved from the board of directors down, are volunteers and not paid. The overall cost is the cheapest of any high school bike league we looked at. Additionally the cost is less expensive then many high school sports teams like baseball, basketball and hockey.

Where do the team fees go?

Some of the fees will go right back to the teams. That's right as a coach you will not have to chase parents down for fees or funds. These are all paid upfront when the athlete registers on BikeReg. We will then redistribute these fees back to the teams to cover expenses.  The amount is determined each year once team registration closes. It's up to the coach to determine what the fees should be used for. Some may use it to pay for team kits; other may use it for food, transportation, a team tent, really any cost associated with running and organizing the team. You may also use it to buy extra jersey incase of a late addition to the team. Of course you need to submit all receipts for expenses.

Does each racer pay a team fee?

Yes each racer pays a team fee at the time of registration.

Are teams coed?

Yes teams are coed. In fact it will work to your advantage in the team points competition to have athletes of both genders.

What is the age range for a team?

Teams can have athletes that are currently enrolled in 5-12th grade. As a coach you can determine the age range of your team. If you have limited assistant coach and volunteer resources, it may not be possible for you to coach a team of athletes from 5-12 grade. The disparately between the athletes ability maybe to large to manage. Its up to you to figure out what works best for your situation. You may decide that you can only handle high school athletes in your first year.

How do the races work?

Races will be held on a Saturday in a area that is easily accessible. Geographically we are trying to split the races up evenly across the three states (MA, RI, NH). Over the course of the day we will hold multiple races. Only one group will be on the course at a time. So when the 5-6 grade category are on the course, they will not be riding/racing with anyone else. Each category will race a specific number of laps on the course. The 5-6 grade category may race 1 lap while a JV or Varsity may race 4.

How are the course designed?

Courses are designed to be none technical race loops. An average lap will be between 3.5 and 4.5 miles. Someone will easily ride the course on a hard-tail bike, so a full suspension bike will not be an advantage.

What if an Athlete needs a bike?

The league has developed a team-purchasing program with Trek and Specialized to make the purchase of bikes at all NEHSCA sponsoring local bike shops quick and easy. All registered races and coaches are eligible for the program, which provides a purchasing discount.

I have someone that wants to race but cannot afford the fees or to purchase a bike. What can I do?

Our goal is to get as many athletes racing as possible. We understand that in some circumstances it is not financially feasible for everyone. If you have someone that fits these criteria please send an email to info@NEHSCA.com and explain the situation. The board will discuss the waiving of all fees and in some cases try to find a donated bike the athlete can use.

Can we get local sponsors to help defray cost?

Yes! Each team can have local sponsors and we have left space on the back pockets of all the jerseys for local sponsor logos.

How do we handle team jerseys?

NEHSCA has developed a team jersey-purchasing program with Starlight. Each team will be able to pick one of 26 templates and then customize it with a team logo on the front and sponsor logos on the back pockets. Orders will be handles online and each team will have a separate store on the Starlight website. Each athlete will purchase his or her jersey online and then they will be shipped directly to the athlete.