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USA BMX Shuts Down Florida SSA Series

May 17, 2018 by  

Logo for the Sunshine State BMX Association
In an odd stroke of coincidence, yesterday was seven years to the day that ABA and NBL officials met in a hotel meeting room to discuss the terms of an NBL/ABA Merger (ultimately leading to the formation of USA BMX). It was also the day that one of the final vestiges of NBL racing was dealt what is presumed to be a death blow by USA BMX.

The Sunshine State BMX Association (or, “SSA”) was the most powerful, and last-surviving state association from the NBL days. In the NBL structure, each state had its own association, responsible for managing the state series. In ABA, and to this point, in USA BMX, that is done in more of a “laissez-faire” fashion, with tracks free to run their respective state races as they see fit.

In an email to Florida tracks on Thursday, USA BMX COO, John David said, in part:

This email is to notify all Florida tracks that the Sunshine State Association will no longer host USA BMX sanctioned events in Florida. We are truly thankful for the dedicated volunteers of the SSA and appreciate their long commitment to BMX in Florida.

On social media, screen shots of the email were circulated without the USA BMX logo at the top and John David’s signoff at the bottom, prompting people to conclude that this was actually a message *from* SSA, opting out of the USA BMX program. That, of course, is not the case.

The email went on to lay out the go-forward plan for replacing the popular SSA “Florida Cup” series with a new “unified” state series “combining the best of the traditional SSA series and the existing (USA BMX) state series (quoting, again, from the email).” That series will be run by USA BMX staff, most likely as the gold cup finals and national races are run.

In order to set the table for the new USA BMX-run state series, the sanction has called a meeting of Florida tracks for July 21. The purpose of the meeting is to “discuss structural options of the new series and finalize the details for 2019.”

The email states that the new series will be a “pilot program for what the future in other states might look like.” This may hint at a coming-soon change to how the USA BMX state series’ will be run (more closely under USA BMX control, versus the laissez-faire approach observed to this point).

We reached out to both John David of USA BMX, and John Pingol, president of SSA, for their reaction.

John David said:

USA BMX made the decision to no longer have SSA host USA BMX events in Florida. Our goal is to build upon the foundation created by SSA and provide great programming and awards which will serve as guiding principles for the new Florida State program. USA BMX will work directly with the tracks creating a completely unique, unified Florida State series where the agreed upon structure and 2019 series will offer exciting opportunities to benefit both the riders and the tracks.

John Pingol said:

We were completely taken by surprise at USA BMX’s decision not to allow the SSA to promote BMX events in Florida and we are considering our options.

BMX News will have more on this story as it develops.

—Mike Carruth

Links

Sunshine State BMX Association Website

USA BMX Website

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