USA BMX Changes Pro Age Eligibility
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!