Rule Changes for the 2020 Racing Season

Our community spoke, and we listened! The NJICL Rules and Petition Committee has compiled a New Jersey Addendum to the NICA Rulebook after months of offseason work. You can access the 2020 New Jersey Addendum here; as of this writing the document is marked ‘Draft’, as it is subject to final approval by the NICA’s National Rules Committee.

Some significant changes included in the addendum:

Ability Based High School Categories

Adopted and extremely well-received by many leagues across the country, we feel that this shift to ability based racing categories will provide equity and fun for all of our student athletes. We will see enhanced competition in the more advanced/experienced categories, while providing more fun and meaningful experiences for those students who put less emphasis on competition, regardless of grade level.

This year being our first foray into these categories, we will rely heavily upon Head Coach recommendations for category placement, particularly in the JV4 category. Look for a special correspondence regarding initial placements once the rules are officially adopted at the national level.

Freshman:

  • 9th graders;
  • 7th – 8th graders who successfully petition into the category.

JV3:

  • 10th – 12th grade riders who
    • are new to the league; or
    • raced JV3 in the prior year but did not qualify for JV4 or Varsity.

JV4:

  • 9th – 10th graders who
    • placed in the top 20% in any two Freshman races in the prior year; or
    • placed in the top 20% in any single Freshman race and placed in the top 20% in the overall Freshman season standings in the prior year; or
    • raced JV4 in the prior year but did not qualify to upgrade to Varsity; or
    • successfully petition into the category.
  • 11th – 12th graders who
    • placed in the top 30% in any two JV3 races in the prior year; or
    • placed in the top 35% in any single JV3 race and placed in the top 35% in the overall JV3 season standings in the prior year; or
    • raced JV4 in the prior year but did not qualify to upgrade to Varsity; or
    • successfully petition into the category.

Varsity:

  • 9th – 12th graders who placed in the top 25% in any two JV4 races in the prior year; or
    • placed in the top 30% in any single JV4 race and placed in the top 30% in the overall JV4 season standing in the prior year; or
    • raced Varsity in the previous year; or
    • successfully petition into the category.

Equal Lap Counts for Male and Female Student Athletes

All categories will now complete the same amount of laps regardless of gender. Bonus lap cutoff times will remain unchanged and reviewed often, particularly as we develop new venues.

  • Middle School: 2 laps
  • Frosh: 3 laps
  • JV3: 3 laps
  • JV4: 4 laps
  • Varsity: 5 laps

Middle School Team Awards

To continue adding value in our middle school program, and building upon the successful and well-received implementation of the “NJ Strong” jersey last year, we will be awarding a Middle School Team award at each race.

In keeping with our “fun first” mentality in middle school competition, we will not track season standings in the individual or team categories.