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British Cycling announces regulation changes for youth competition programme in 2016

British Cycling announces regulation changes for youth competition programme in 2016

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The Board of British Cycling have today announced the full set of regulation changes for the youth competition programme in 2016, and the next steps for 2017 and beyond.

An initial phase of consultation with stakeholders including the board of British Cycling, regional boards, discipline-specific commissions, riders and parents, officials, organisers, coaches and team managers took place during 2014. 

The feedback was consolidated and common themes were identified. Proposals were then discussed within the discipline specific commissions to ensure the changes, while helping to achieve greater consistency across the sport, were relevant to each discipline. 

A further round of feedback, taken after the outline proposals were published in June 2015, has then shaped the final set of changes approved by British Cycling’s board.

The responses and feedback through the consultation period highlighted three key principles upon which the changes are based.

  • Youth cycling should be fun. For young riders, building a lifelong passion for cycling through the development of core skills should be the focus and primary outcome. Whilst competition is good - learning to win and lose is after all an essential life skill - the chasing of points to achieve a bigger result than the result of each individual event promotes undue pressure on young children.
  • Youth cycling should be accessible. From club coaching activities to competition opportunities to equipment, young people should have the opportunity to access the sport and cost should not be a barrier. Success and enjoyment of sport for young riders should not depend on their parents' ability to pay for equipment or travel.
  • Youth cycling should be simple and easy to understand. The rules, regulations and other information should be clear and easy to follow for all involved. There should be consistency across the sport in the approach taken to competition with a well-defined and logical pathway for rider development appropriate to the physical, technical and psychological demands of each discipline.

As previously announced, a phased approach has been taken with initial changes coming into effect as of 1st Jan 2016. These will then be reviewed and built on with further changes considered for implementation in 2017.

Changes common to all disciplines

For 2016, the following changes will apply:

  • Prizes for children aged 12 or under will be in the form of trophies, medals or similar, and be equal for both boys and girls competition.

For 2017, the Board will continue to review and develop the education provided for riders and parents to ensure there is a clear pathway through the sport across all disciplines.

Changes specific to road/circuit

For 2016, the following changes will apply to youth regulations:

  • The National Championships will only be for riders in the Youth B (U14) and older categories. There will be no National Championships for younger categories.
  • The National Series events will only be for riders in the Youth B (U14) and older categories. Organisers may also choose to hold events for riders in the Youth C (U12) and younger categories using the same format as for older categories. The only change is that they will carry no ranking points, removing any sense of obligation for riders or their parents to travel to multiple events in the series. It is important to emphasise however that anyone who wants to travel to and compete in multiple events, still can.
  • The National Rankings will only be for riders in the Youth B (U14) and older categories.

Rankings Points awarded to Youth A (U16) and B (U14) categories will be changed to:

  • Band 3 for National Championships (30 points for a win, with top 15 riders all scoring points)
  • Band 4 for National Series events (15 points for a win, with top 10 riders all scoring points) 
  • Band 5 for other events (10 points for a win, with top 10 riders all scoring points). 
  • For events where there are fewer than 10 entrants, 3 points will be awarded for a win, 2 for second and 1 for third.

Dispensation will be limited to those riders who score 50 or more points in the current season.  Points gained when riding with dispensation do not count towards a rider’s ranking, for example, a Youth A(U16) rider's ranking is determined solely by competing against other Youth A (U16) riders.

For Youth B (U14) and younger categories, new limits on wheels will apply to match those already applicable to Track racing. 

  • Wheels shall have a maximum rim depth of 35mm
  • Wheels shall have a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 40 spokes 
  • Spokes can be round, flattened or oval, but must not exceed 10mm in width 

For 2017, the Road Commission will be looking at further changes to the National Series. They will look at the types of events included, the process for qualification to compete in those events, and ways of strengthening Regional competition.

The table (below) details the changes for 2016 with links to the relevant rules.

Youth categories remain unchanged and are split into 2-year age bands:

  • Youth A - under 16 - from 1 January of the year in which 15th birthday falls to 31 December of year in which 16th birthday falls.
  • Youth B - under 14 - from 1 January of the year in which 13th birthday falls to 31 December of year in which 14th birthday falls
  • Youth C - under 12 - from 1 January of the year in which 11th birthday falls to 31 December of year in which 12th birthday falls
  • Youth D - under 10 - from 1 January of the year in which 9th birthday falls to 31 December of year in which 10th birthday falls
  • Youth E - under 8 - until 31 December of the year in which 8th birthday falls

Overview of road/circuit-specific changes

 

2015

2016

National Championships

A, B, C

A, B only

National Series

A, B, C, D, E

A, B only

National Rankings

A, B, C, D, E

A, B only

Points

A, B, C, D, E    Youth points

A, B        Band 5 points (see also rule 6.4.8)

C, D, E    No points allocated

Dispensation

A, B, C     15 points

A, B        50 points

D, E         Not applicable

C, D, E   Not applicable

Gear (Rollout) restrictions

As per 3.3.2

As per 3.3.2

Wheel restrictions

None

As per 3.2.6

Equipment/kit restrictions

None

None

Belgian Calendar Cards

A, B, C, D, E   Required   £12

A, B, C, D, E   Required   £12

British Cycling Membership / Licence

Free licence with Youth membership

Free licence with Youth membership

Results

Full results published

Full results published

Prizes

A, B, C, D, E     Any permitted

A, B          Any permitted

C, D, E     Medals, trophies or similar

3.2.6:     In all track and closed circuit events, Youth B and younger riders shall conform to the following requirements – wheels shall have a maximum rim depth of 35mm, have a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 40 spokes. Spokes can be round, flattened or oval but must not exceed 10mm in width

3.3.2      In all closed circuit events, Youth category riders shall be restricted to maximum gears as listed:

  • Youth A (U16)    6.93m
  • Youth B (U14)    6.45m
  • Youth C (U12)    6.05m
  • Youth D (U10)    5.40m
  • Youth E (U8)       5.10m

6.4.8      For road and closed circuit events with fewer than 10 entrants, the licence points awarded will be limited to 3 points for the winner, 2 points for 2nd place and 1 point for 3rd place.

Changes specific to track

For 2016, the following changes will apply:

  • National Records will be held for riders in the Youth B and older categories only.

  • The National Championships will be for riders in the Youth B and older categories only.

  • The National Series events will be for riders in the Youth B and older categories only.  Other than the National Championship Final, organisers may also choose to hold events for riders in the Youth C and younger categories using the same format as for older categories, the only change is that they will carry no ranking points removing any sense of obligation for riders or their parents to travel to multiple events in the series.  It is important to emphasise however that anyone who wants to travel to and compete in multiple events, still can.

  • The National Rankings will be for riders in the Youth B and older categories only.

For 2017, no further changes are expected.

Changes specific to BMX

The BMX Commission will be looking at changes to National competition for 2016 and International representation for 2017, including the development of an appropriate pathway from local to regional, regional to national, and national to international events, as discussed in the BMX Meeting held on 28 August 2015.  Further details of the changes for 2016 will be published later in the year.

Changes specific to cycle speedway

No changes for 2016.

During 2016 the Cycle Speedway Commission will consider the pathway with a view to making any necessary changes for 2017.  

Changes specific to mountain bike

No changes.

Changes specific to cyclo-cross

No changes.