Race Category

Race category is a group of racers with similar race experience.  The Minnesota League uses the Ability Based Racing model, a category and upgrade method that was first implemented for the MN League in 2017.  This category system is based on rider ability and not solely their age.

The race category is reflected in the Race Plate, which is attached to a racer’s bike during a race, and displays a unique racer number. The number is part of a dedicated number range that identifies a racer’s race category.

Individual Awards are given for each race category.

Category Placement (CPT)

Riders from the Prior Season are placed in a race category according to age/grade, race experience, and race results from the prior race season.  All past high school riders are subject to seasonal upgrades per the rules.  Riders from last year may advance in category according to the Rule Book Criteria.

The CPT is the basis for the CALLUP order for the first race(s) – taking into account their team’s bye-weeks.

New Riders are placed in a category based on their age/grade and will fall at the back of the CALLUPS for their race category until their race results give them a callup placement.

Once every rider has raced, the initial season CPT is no longer relevant, and the current season’s rider’s performance dictates their CALLUP order for a given race/category.

Upgrade Petition

  • The coach may petition a student athlete into a more advanced race category at the beginning of the season
  • Student athletes may petition up or down.
  • Student athletes will only be moved out of JV2 once they have reached a high performance level or petition.
  • A student athlete ‘upgrade’ in category includes no more than a 1-lap increase
  • All petitions are subject to approval by the league.

If a rider changes categories mid-season, the racing points they earn in their prior category do not follow them into the new category for callup’s, but will be counted for overall position at the end of the season.

How to Petition:

  1. Download this document : NICA Petition Form.
  2. Review the Category Qualification Rules below
  3. Fill in details for the rider.
  4. Submit by email to Joshua Kleve League Director.

Contact info@minnesotamtb.org with any questions regarding CPT.

Category Structure

Male and female student-athletes compete with the same athletic windows.


Qualification for Category

Applied based on prior year results and the possibility of petitioning

Race Duration*

*Current coaching standards dictate all races are under 90 minutes

Point Structures**

  • **Categories are awarded 500 points for completing 2 laps.
  • Completing 3 and 4 laps includes “bonus points”.
  • The top rider is awarded the highest point value.
Middle School
  • Middle School brackets are designed for riders who have just entered Middle School and have limited or no racing experience.
  • Middle school racing is focused on physical literacy, not performance
  • For more information about Middle School Racing, click here.
7th Grade 7th grade student-athletes only

20 to 45 minutes

(1 lap)

500 and descending
8th Grade  8th grade student-athletes only

20 to 45 minutes

(1 lap)

500 and descending
High School
  • Freshman: Student athletes who have just entered high school and have limited or no racing experience
  • JV2: Starting Point for Student Athletes in their sophomore through senior year, but have limited or no racing experience. 
  • JV3: Student Athletes wishing to race in a more challenging, competitive and higher workload race environment.
  • Varsity: Student athletes are the most skilled, experienced and able riders; the focus is on refining their racing and self management abilities.

 9th grade student-athletes


middle school athletes who petition into the category

40 to 60 minutes

(2 laps)

500 and descending
JV 2  Sophomore, Junior and Senior student athletes

40 to 60 minutes

(2 laps)

 500 and descending
JV 3

 Freshman student-athletes who:

— A.    Placed in the top 10% in any two races, or–
— B.    Placed in the top 15% of the overall season standings, or
— C.    Petition into the category.

JV 2 student-athletes who:
— A.    Placed in the top 25% in any two races, or
— B.    Placed in the top 30% of the overall season standings, or
— C.    Raced in JV3 the previous year but did not upgrade to varsity, or
— D.    Petition into the category.

60 to 90 minutes

(3 laps)

 545 descending

Freshman student-athletes who:
— A.     Petitioned into the category.JV 2 student-athletes who:
— A.     Petitioned into the category.

JV 3 student-athletes who:
— A.     Placed in the top 25% in any two races, or
— B.     Placed in the top 30% of the overall season standings, or
— C.     Petition into the category.

Under 90 minutes

(4 laps) 

 570 descending