PARENTS

OK, here is information that parents and riders need to know to get the most out of BMX racing.  This information is a summary of the important rules that can be found in the ABA rule book.

Racing Classes:

Riders are classified based on their gender, age, and experience and bike type.

Gender: 

Male or Female.

Age:

 Age is determined by the racers age on the day of the race, not based on their birth year like many sports.

Experience: 

Novice, Intermediate and Expert for male racers and Novice and Girls for girl racers.  A new female racer has the option of starting their racing career as a Novice.  They will race Novice boys of the same age until they win 8 races or make the decision to move into the Girls class.

Bike Type:

 Class bikes which have a wheel diameter of 20” or less.  This is the most common bike used in BMX racing.  Cruisers are bikes with a wheel diameter of 24” or larger.  For cruiser racers there is no experience level class.  Cruiser racers are grouped according to age only.

Motos:

Racers are organized into groups or Motos.  The American Bicycle Association (ABA) has developed a computer program that separates the racers as fairly as possible by their Gender, Age, Experience and Bike Type.  Here are a few things that might make it easier to understand how the groups are formed.

There must be a minimum of 3 riders to form a legal class or group for local racing.

A girl who is signed up as a Girl, not a novice, can be moved up with other girls who are up to 3 years older than they are in order to form a legal class.  If there are not 3 girls within that 3 year age difference to form a legal class then the girl will move into the boys Intermediate class of the same age.  If the oldest girl rider(s) of the day can’t form a legal class they can move down into a younger group provided that group doesn’t have a rider who is more than 3 years younger.

For Boys, the following applies per the ABA Rule Book.

When necessary, classes will be combined according to the following process:


• The move-up procedure will always begin at the class of the youngest age and lowest skill level available. This rule applies even as the move-ups are underway. Once a class is formed, the process picks up the next available class (youngest age and lowest proficiency) and moves ahead from there.


• In an effort to facilitate Novice class formation, the Novice groups will have the ability to check ahead as many as 2 age groups above their own for the required number of riders before moving up into the Intermediate and Expert classes.  Ex: One 6 Novice will check into the 7 Novice class looking for at least 2 other riders to combine with.  If that minimum were not met, then the 6 Novice would check one more age group (the 8 Novice class) looking for the total of 3 riders. Important note: If there was a 7 Novice rider available, both the 6 & 7 Novice riders would move together, checking the 8 Novice class for at least a 3rd rider. If at this point no legal 3-rider class can be formed, the 6 Novice rider will move back to his respective class.


• A Novice’s following move will be to the next skill level of the same age. (Ex. The 6 Novice rider will move to the 6 Inter group searching for a legal class of 3 riders.) If no legal class is formed, that rider will remain with this Inter group for move up purposes.


• An Intermediate class (in this case with the Novice rider attached) will check the next age group of the same classification. (Ex. The 6 Inter group checks the 7 Inter group looking to make a legal class of 3 riders.) If no legal class is formed, the Inter group will return to its home group (6 Inter).


• An Intermediate class’ subsequent move is to the Expert group of the same age, looking to form a legal class of 3 riders. (Ex. The 6 Inter group will move to the 6 Expert group.) If no legal class is formed, the Inter group will remain with the expert group for move up purposes.


• An Expert class will check the next older age group of the same classification looking to form a legal class of 3 riders. (Ex. The 6 Ex group will move to the 7 Ex group.) If no legal class is formed, the Expert group will return to its home age group (6 Ex).


• At this point, the Expert group’s next move will be to the Intermediate group of the next age level and remain there for move up purposes. However, any Novice rider attached will move down to the Novice class with the corresponding age of that Inter class: (Ex. The 6 Ex group will move to the 7 Inter group, however the 6 Novice rider will move into and become a 7 Novice.)


• Now, the process begins again with the youngest age and lowest proficiency (the 7 Novice class).


• Once a class has been formed, the legally formed class should be labelled with the title of the group in which it was formed—even if there is no rider of that particular class involved.


If the oldest class of the day does not form a legal class, it may then move through the groups in reverse until a legal class is found, in the following order:


• The 28 & Over Novice rider(s) will have the ability to check one (1) Novice age group below their own looking for a legal class of 3 or more riders (Ex: One 28 & Over Novice will check into the 19-27 Novice class looking for a class to combine with.). If no legal class is available, the rider’s subsequent move is to the 28 & Over Inter group looking to form a legal class of 3 or more.


• If 28 & Over Inter does not form a legal class, the rider will check the 19-27 Inter group looking for a legal class of 3 or more riders. If no legal class is available, the rider’s subsequent move is to the 28 & Over Expert looking to for a legal class of 3 or more. If no legal class is available, the Inter group will remain with the Expert group for class building purposes.


• If 28 & Over Expert does not form a legal class, their first move will be to move down one age group in the same proficiency. If no legal class is available, they will return to the 28 & Over age group and then check the Intermediate group for a legal class of 3 or more riders. If no legal class is available, the rider will move to the 19-27 Expert group and this pattern will repeat itself until a legal class is found.

Cruiser motos are built based on age alone.

The intent is to make racing as fair and competitive as possible and to build the groups the same regardless of which ABA track a racer visits.  The big variable is who will show up to race on a given day.

Moving up in Experience:

Novice Girls:

When a girl wins her 8th race as a Novice she must race in the Girls class at her next race.  It is the responsibility of the racer and her parents to keep track of her wins and inform the registrar at each track she races at that she has moved into the Girls class.  This will not be done automatically.

Novice Boys:

When a boy wins his 8th race as a Novice he must race in the Intermediate class at his next race.  It is the responsibility of the racer and his parents to keep track of his wins and inform the registrar at each track he races at that he has moved into the Intermediate class.  This will not be done automatically.

Intermediate Boys:

When a boy wins his 25th race as an Intermediate he must race in the Expert class at his next race.  It is the responsibility of the racer and his parents to keep track of his wins and inform the registrar at each track he races at that he has moved into the Expert class.  This will not be done automatically.

Intermediate racing is a big step from Novice and this is why it requires so many wins to become an Expert.  There can also be a variety of skill levels among racers in the Intermediate class.  Some Intermediates have just moved into the class and haven’t developed the skill and speed of an Intermediate who is near getting enough wins to turn Expert.  It can be discouraging for some new Intermediates.  The point is to keep encouraging your rider to concentrate on keeping up with the faster riders and to ride their bike as much as they can. 

Expert Boys:

It should be the goal of every racer to earn the Expert rank.  It takes time and a lot of hard work to get to this level.  Once a racer has achieved Expert status they will find there can be a variety of skill level in this group as well.  Some riders have been experts for some time and have more experience than a new Expert.  Like with Intermediate, there will be a learning process that can take time.  If your racer wants to get better, the best thing for them is to seek out faster racers and race them.

Some things to remember:

It is up to the racer and their parents to keep track of their wins and inform each track they race at when they move up.  It won’t happen automatically.

Don’t rely on the information found on the ABA website regarding wins.  They have so many tracks to tabulate points for that they are usually behind by as much as a month.

The group that your child gets grouped in is based on the ABA rules and designed to make racing as fair and competitive as possible and to be consistent from one track to another.  It isn’t a perfect system as it can’t predict who will show up to race.  If your child is put into a group of more experienced riders, which can happen, treat it as a learning experience.

If you have any questions or concerns please let us know.  We are here to help.

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