UCI Clears Way For Belt Drive in 2018

November 15, 2017 by · Comments Off 

UCI BMX Rule Change for 2018 Allows Belt Drive

The UCI BMX rulebook can be a confusing place to spend your time. It contains mysterious passages, and ill-defined provisions that can cause a rank-and-file BMXer to rub dirt in his eyes for a clearer view.

We all nitpicked the pants rule to death in the run-up up to the Rock Hill Worlds this year. Read more

2018 USA BMX Rule Changes

November 7, 2017 by · Comments Off 

2018 USA BMX Rule Changes

As the calendar gets thinner and thinner, the particulars of the new season are coming into sharper focus. We already have the full national schedule and, on Monday, we now have the USA BMX rule changes for 2018. Per usual, adjustments to the most mature BMX racing ruleset on the planet are greeted with both love and hate but, by-and-large, make sense for the purpose under which they were created.

2018 USA BMX Rule Change Highlights

  • Upper-age 20” classes have been remodeled to 17-20, 21-25, 26-35, 36-40, 41-45, 46-50, 51 & Over.
  • Moto building in the “race manager” program will be re-worked to behave similarly to pre-2017 logic.
  • NAG/NAT will now count your best EIGHT scores (instead of seven), plus the Grands. A MINIMUM of four national scores will be required to earn a NAG plate.
  • Canadian NAT/NAG riders will be required to run a maple leaf sticker on their plate
  • Striders will run on Friday and Saturday of each weekend.
  • As of July 2018, all riders at USA BMX Nationals will be required to run “side plates,” ala UCI
  • Trophy slips must be exchanged for a trophy or stamps at the event in which they are earned.
  • If you pull out before the cutoff, you will be issued a refund, instead of a credit.
  • No more 7-day membership.


2018 USA BMX Rule Changes – Official Release

New Classes
The 2018 Rules Meeting brought forth a few changes in the available classes for Novice, Intermediate and Expert riders. Starting at age 17, the new structure will look like this: 17-20, 21-25, 26-35, 36-40, 41-45, 46-50, 51 & Over.

The restructuring of the classes between 17 & 35 years of age should make for some exciting classes and accounts for the transitional phases in life that riders go through. The 17-20 Expert division will be amazing to watch and certainly have title implications.

And the 51 & Over classes should help bring more older riders into the sport, while keeping some of the existing “old guys” racing 20” a while longer.

Moto Building
With the moto building changes, the name of the game was rolling back the clock to a simpler time. Novice and Girl riders will continue to check up 3 years to find a legal class of 3 (or more) riders.

For Intermediate and Expert riders, we will go back to checking up 1 year and Novice riders can (once again) theoretically move up to the Expert level.

Girls will first move to Intermediate if they cannot find a legal Girls class, which is where they checked in 2016 and previous years. Expert riders will check up in age, then drop into the Intermediate class of that age (giving the class Expert points).

After checking up with Experts, Girls will reset to the Girls level – Novices reset to the Novice level. Again, this basically takes us back to the moto building process of a few years ago, which should produce more desirable results (for the most part) than the 2017 process.

USA BMX National Series
For 2018, the best eight (8) scores will be counted for NAG/NAT points, plus the Grands. Riders must have a minimum of four (4) national scores to earn a NAG plate.

To better assist the announcers and scorers, CNAG and CNAT riders will be required to run a maple leaf on their number plate if they are using a non-issued plate (the trailer will provide them, if needed).

Balance Bike classes will be offered on Friday and Saturday of each weekend, with the classes run at the beginning of the event.

Finally, we will be requiring the use of side plates at national events beginning in July 2018.

Many riders who attended the UCI Worlds this year in Rock Hill, South Carolina might have seen “side plates” for the first time in their BMX career, but they make the job of the stagers, starter and scorers MUCH easier.

The July deadline will give number plate manufacturers time to stock up on side plates in advance of this requirement going into effect.

In terms of policy changes, trophy slips will need to be exchanged for the award (trophy or Saver Stamps) prior to the conclusion of that event. While riders have always picked up their trophy or plaque at each event, many would keep their trophy slips to redeem for Saver Stamps at another national event. Now, that trophy slip will need to be redeemed for either a trophy or Saver Stamps at the event it was earned.

Another policy change will affect riders that pull out of an event prior to the close of sign ups. Beginning in 2018, refunds will be issued rather than a credit. Refunds will be issued based on your method of payment for that event.


There will be no 7 Day Membership available in 2018 and beyond. The original intent of the 7 Day was to generate online profiles, and (unfortunately) too many 7 Days came in where no online profile had been created. Even worse, in some cases, tracks were telling people to call the Membership Department and they will create the online profile for you, which simply was never the case. At any rate, the 7 Day will no longer be an option.

Scanning teh Interwebs, the side plate rule is probably the one drawing the most ire, while the rejiggering of age classes is popular in certain circles, and not-so-much in others. The general consensus is that 26-35 should have been broken in half (no opinion on that here at the BMX News Global Command Center).

So-called "Side Plates" at the UCI BMX World Championships

Speaking of the side plates: we asked USA BMX if they can be any-old side plates (think Uni and Seca side plates from the 80s). They confirmed to us that the side plates they are talking about are the UCI-style plates, behind the head tube (above). No word on whether a sticker would suffice. Box Components currently manufactures the “Phase Two Side Plate,” which is available on their website for $9.99. But you have until July to get that done.

No evidence that this is some kind of BMX Illuminati, New World Order push to bring USA BMX closer to the UCI’s brand of BMX racing. Be sure to wear the right socks though, just in case.

News also asked USA BMX if this was the full-extent of the rule changes. For example, are there still-to-come changes to team-related rules for 2018. USA BMX said: “There will be some team changes that will be outlined after the Grands. No other changes will be in the new rulebook.”

Thanks guys!

—Mike Carruth

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

2018 USA BMX Rule Changes

2017 USA BMX Rule Changes

December 27, 2016 by · Comments Off 

2017 USA BMX Rule Changes

The USA BMX rulebook is the most mature set of BMX Racing rules in the world. The United States and Canada runs the most BMX events each year, with participation by the world’s largest rider base (some of whom have some very definite opinions on things, and share them openly and reliably). Read more

2015 USA BMX Rule Changes

January 7, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015 USA BMX Rule Book

It’s that time again…time for the annual release of the USA BMX / BMX Canada rulebook. This is always a hotly-anticipated event for all BMXers in the USA BMX/BMX Canada universe, because it’s the moment we learn how BMX Racing will be done in North America in the new year.

New rules make their way from your emails and those of track operators across the system, to the “Rules Committee,” who, in the words posted on the USA BMX website “meets to review current programs and rules, and considers all of the new-rule proposals that are put forth by track operators and members.”

The new additions/changes to the rulebook for 2015 are below, and a PDF download of the full rulebook is at the end of this article.

New Rules for 2015

Novices Can Now Race a Cruiser
Perhaps the biggest change for 2015 is that the Novice category will allow a class or cruiser style bicycle. We’ve had requests for years for another proficiency in the Cruiser class for dads looking to get into racing on a larger-wheeled bicycle, but they didn’t want to race the former Experts and Professionals that compete in some of those older Cruiser classes. We know that there are times that a kid shows up as a brand-new rider on a bike with wheels larger than 20” diameter. For tracks that have loaner bikes, they can simply put the kid on a track bike and send them into the Novice class. However, for tracks that don’t – the kid gets put into a Cruiser class. This will allow that brand-new rider (and his dad) to race their larger-wheeled bikes in the Novice class. Once the rider gets 10 wins in Novice, they can either choose to get a 20” bike and continue in Intermediate or they will have to move into the Cruiser class on their cruiser-sized bike.

The rule about flat pedals only in Novice classes still applies.

Wheel Size for Class and Cruiser Bikes
We clarified the diameter of wheels by stating that 20” size bikes should have wheels with a total diameter of the inflated tires of 22 1⁄2” (57 cm) or less. Cruiser and Girl Cruiser bikes should have wheels with a total diameter of the inflated tires that measure more than 22 1⁄2” (57 cm).

Divisional Series
For the Divisional Champion jerseys, riders must compete in all 3 days of the Divisional Championship Final weekend to be eligible.

National and NAG Eligibilty Requirements
There seems to be some confusion regarding the Grands and the required number of races required for a national plate. The Grand National is not required to earn a National or NAG plate. However the race is a double-point score so it can be a huge disadvantage for a rider in the standings that choses not to race it.

Changes to Men and Women Elite classes at Pro Series races
If an Amateur rider participates in a Men Elite or Junior class that rider must be classified as no less than an A Pro. Any monies earned will be credited towards the $4,000 required to advance to AA Pro.

If an Amateur rider participates in Women Elite or Junior that rider will be classified as a Women Pro.

Canadian National Series
The BMX Canada National Series will feature three weekends of racing in Ontario, which means that we will once again count a rider’s best six (6) scores, plus the BMX Canada Grands to determine CNAG and CNAT rankings.


These are some very positive changes in the ruleset. Comment below to weigh-in on how you feel about them.


Download the 2015 USA BMX Rulebook


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Reader Letter: Does USA BMX Send Reminders?

June 2, 2014 by · Comments Off 

BMX News Reader Letter: Renewal Notices

It’s been a few weeks since we had a reader letter come in, then a flurry of them in just the past few days.
Lots of folks getting back to the track after having the winter off. And pulling the bike out of the rafters also means pulling the USA BMX card out from behind your christmas receipts Read more

Download the 2014 USA BMX Rulebook

January 20, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Download the 2014 USA BMX Rulebook

Back on November 15, BMX News ran an article on the coming Changes to the USA BMX Rulebook. With the 2014 season now underway, the PDF version of the rulebook is now available for download. Actually, it was available a few days before Reno, but we just got around to posting it now.

Load the PDF on your phone or iPad for quick access (via Adobe Reader) to all the rules of BMX Racing in North America.

Otherwise, no excuse for not knowing all the ins and outs when the time comes.


Download the 2014 USA BMX Rulebook (PDF)

2014 Rule Changes

USA BMX Changes Pro Age Eligibility

January 9, 2014 by · Comments Off 

2014 USA BMX Pro Age Changes

BMX News was following the USA BMX contingent on Facebook as they made their way over the Atlantic to Switzerland for a meeting at UCI HQ, including a meeting of Supercross World Cup promoters. One of the headlines to come out of that meeting is a change to USA BMX rules which allows riders born in 1997 and earlier to turn pro. That means that all 17 year olds can now turn pro in USA BMX (the previous rule was that females had to be 19, and males 17).

Here is a release USA BMX sent out earlier today:

The USA BMX leadership team is returning home from Switzerland after meeting with BMX officials at the International Cycling Union (UCI). While many items were discussed, the change in the running of pro classes warrants immediate release. With the first USA BMX pro event of the 2014 season occurring this weekend in Reno, Nevada, USA BMX officials wanted to inform the membership of the change.

Effective immediately, all riders born in 1997 or before will be eligible to pursue a pro license and compete in the pro class. For the male racer, this will be racing in the A Pro class and for the female racer, the Women’s Pro class. Previously, females were not allowed to turn pro until the year of their 19th birthday and males were not allowed to turn until they had reached 17. This will also allow racers that previously were not of age to compete in the Elite class the ability to compete, as long as they were born in 1997 or earlier.

As a result of the meeting with UCI, USA BMX will combine Junior and Elite classes at all USA BMX pro events as well as all UCI events in accordance with the UCI rulebook. This change will allow USA BMX to continue running UCI races that also count towards the USA BMX Pro Title.

BA Anderson, CEO at USA BMX said:
“We are very pleased with this change and the other discussions we had with UCI leaders. We have worked to align our programs in many ways while still maintaining the wishes of our membership. The changes in C1 races will allow us to continue awarding USA BMX points at these races as well as stay within the guidelines of the UCI. With Olympic qualification for 2016 now beginning, we want to ensure that we are giving our membership the best opportunity and doing what is best for the sport.”

What this means is that USA BMX riders can turn pro in their 17th year. The UCI rule that states an “Elite” is one who is in their 19th year will not change. This rule will simply allow USA BMX to combine what would have previously been the Junior and the Elite class into one class. A 17-year old amateur can, as a result of this rule, race “Elite” at UCI races happening in the USA BMX schedule. However, that rider must then turn A Pro as of the following year.

This rule takes effect as of the first race of the year–this weekend’s USA BMX Silver Dollar Nationals.

We will update this story as it becomes necessary, so bookmark this page!


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NAGging question – Now Updated!

December 9, 2013 by · Comments Off 

USA BMX Expanded NAG Plates

UPDATE: December 13, 2:00PM>>>>

The content of this article is no longer valid and accurate. USA BMX issued a policy directive this afternoon which reversed the information listed below. Please refer to the update version of this story at the link below:

Update to District / Expanded NAG Issue

With the unofficial release of 2013 NAG finishes, lots of riders are scratching their heads wondering whether they have the option of running their new double-digit NAG plate, or their (presumably) lower-number district plate.

In recent years, if you earned a top 10 NAG plate, you would get an asterisk next to your name in the district points, indicating that you were eligible for a NAG plate and, thus, not eligible for a district plate.

With this year’s expansion of the NAG plates for amateur boys/men, that rule has been altered a bit to allow NAG places 11-20 to be awarded both a NAG and a district plate. The rider can choose which one he wants to run, like any other earned plate.

NAG places 1-10 will receive their grey plate and a NAG jacket. Places 11-20 will receive a grey plate (and a district award, if any). Girls, Cruiser and Girls Cruiser are awarded 1-10 as in the past (thus, no district award).

It is important to note that the NAG standings making the rounds are still unofficial, so don’t order up a custom just yet.

—Mike Carruth

Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

USA BMX 2014 Rule Changes Have Class

November 15, 2013 by · Comments Off 

2014 USA BMX Rule Changes

In fact, they have more than one class. In some years, there are a volume of rule changes that have to be digested over a multipart series. But as the sport of BMX Racing hits its post-merger powerband, things are running pretty smooth. Thus, the number of new rules this year are more along the lines of minor course corrections, versus big changes that are of a “who moved my cheese?” variety.

For 2014, Nine changes will hit the USA BMX Rulebook. Here is a short walkthrough:

1). The highest age 20″ group will go from 41-over to 46-over Novice, Intermediate and Expert (thus also creating a new 41-45 class).

2). The number of 31-over women who are riding 20″ bikes exploded this year, so USA BMX ran the numbers to see how to best serve this new constituency. The 31-over Women’s 20″ class will now get “protection.” This means if there are enough riders to make a class, any riders from the lower classes would move down instead of up. Previously, if a 21-25 or a 26-30 did not have a class, they would move up–which was arguably “easier” competition for the younger riders, and is generally not a desirable result under the USA BMX philosophy of class-combining. Those riders will move down to 17-20 under the new rule, but will not move down beyond that. Presumably, only-then would the younger riders be combined with the 31-overs (in order to allow those riders to race).

BMX News asked one of the riders affected by the new rule, who said:

It’s a very welcome and appreciated change. The 31 & Over Women class has grown from a handful of women nationwide to a class that consistently has four or more riders signed up at each national. We want to see that growth continue.

With this change, more women will try the 20″ at nationals next year. The thought of having to race someone 20 years their junior was keeping many away. I also think it will be much better for the 21-25 and 26-30 women’s classes as well, because they will be racing women closer to their age.

—Meredith Lidstone, Factory Felt – NAG 1 (46-50 Women Cruiser), NAG 4 (31-Over Women)
(and 4th Grade Spelling Bee Champ)

3). The class-building rules for older age classes will be tweaked.

a). For men, the new rules will attempt to keep experts with experts, and out of the Intermediate classes, where possible. The “Race Manager” software will look back two age groups, attempting to find a proper class for the older riders. If none exist, then Intermediate classes will be considered.

b). For women’s classes, 31 and over will be “protected” from younger riders moving up to their class. Any 21-25 or 26-30 women who do not have a fully-made class, the software will check 17-20 first, before breaking the “protection” of 31-over (as noted in #2, above).

4). There will now be a 56-over Ladies Cruiser class.

5). Regarding parents in staging on the starting hill, a tweak to the current rule for 2014:

a). Riders 5-under can be assisted on the gate (the same as the current rule in XII. Racing Rules #12)

b). Parents of riders 6-8 years old may accompany their rider through the staging area (up to the back of the gate), however these parents are not allowed to assist their rider at or on the starting gate. (same as XII. Racing Rules #13, but limiting it to “6-8 Years old”).

c). Parents of riders 9 years and older may accompany their rider through the staging chutes, but must exit the staging area when the riders exit the chutes. Parents of riders 9 and older are not permitted beyond the chutes.

On this one, we heard from “LM,” the reader who sent in the letter that prompted the “Gate Crashers” article we posted on October 28. Here’s what they said:

It pleases me that USA BMX took quick action on this. The rule revision is a good compromise between parents who feel their child needs them in staging, and the riders who need them off the hill. I think this will work out better for riders and parents.

—LM, Midwest

6). Novices will now advance to Intermediate after THREE national wins, or title wins. The previous standard was five, which will remain so for Intermediates.

7). The 2014 rulebook clarifies the “Flat-Pedals-For-Novices” rule that was added in 2013. A lot of people were searching for a loophole if they got moved up to Inter or Expert on a given race day, asking “well, I’m racing Inter today, so I get to run my clips, right?”

“Novice riders are restricted to flat pedals only; regardless of what class they might end up competing in that day.”

Also, the concept of “sorta-clips” (magnetic, interlocking cleat…or even (ha-ha) duct taping) are all considered “affixing the shoe to the pedal” and are, as such, generically considered “clips” (our words, not the rulebook’s).

8). Regarding state series qualification, the *requirement* of a certain number of single point races will be removed, in favor of an incentive-based system.

Riders will earn ONE bonus point for every TWO single-point races on or before July 15 (was July 31), up to a max of FOUR bonus points. Pro-Tip: Get those locals in, and don’t lose a state plate place by one point!

9). A USA BMX Certified Coach must be present during any clinics at USA BMX / BMX Canada tracks. This does not necessarily mean that the hotshoe expert who is teaching a clinic needs to be certified in order to do a clinic. In some cases, the track operator may be a certified coach, who is officially supervising the clinic. If not the TO, then any other Certified Coach can be on-hand, whether or not they are actually conducting the clinic. Certified Coaches are certified in first aid and CPR, and have also passed a background check.

And a little end-of-story bonus scoop: The Redline Cup, which has been the name of the regional series for at least a decade will go back to being the “Gold Cup” in 2014–the name it had at its inception in the late 1980s (which may help make sense of why Redline Cup plates had a yellow background).

The final 2014 USA BMX Rulebook will be available soon. Meanwhile, familiarize yourself with the 2013 rules by downloading the in-effect rulebook now (download link below).


2014 Rules Discussion on

Download the 2013 USA BMX Rulebook

Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Download the 2013 USA BMX Rulebook

December 29, 2012 by · Comments Off 

2013 USA BMX Rulebook

Just in time for the new year, comes the 2013 USA BMX Rulebook. The summary of the latest and greatest updates can be found in the USA BMX article linked below. Among themL


* MOVE-UP ADJUSTMENTS (10 wins for Novices to move to Inter; 20 for Inter to Expert)

* AGE CLASS RESTRUCTURING (7-Under Cruiser, and some Girls class changes)

* OPEN WHEEL CLASS (cruisers can race mixed open and expert open at Nationals)


…and some additional gems for BMX Canada Nationals, Redline Cup and State/Provincial Series.

More on this as it develops, but the PDF linked below pretty much says it all very well.


Download the 2013 USA BMX Rulebook

2013 USA BMX Rule Changes

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