The Sport



From the moment that the starting gate slams down you and up to seven other racers blast at a full sprint toward the first obstacle, BMX racing will give you that rush of adrenaline you’ve been looking for.  Big jumps can mean big air, steep backsides, deep turns, and long pump sections that can add up to massive speeds, but these tracks are made to be enjoyed by riders of all ages, 4 to 50+.

To realize the total thrill that BMX gives a rider, you really need to experience it.  Once you try BMX racing, we practically guarantee you’ll be hooked for life.


Doesn’t matter what age you start, BMX offers people of all ages, ability and gender an opportunity to crank it up! From striders to cruisers there is a race for everyone. 

Whether your four years old or 50+, BMX race nights are for everyone. Come join us and experience the thrill of racing. 



Here is a little crash course on how to get started in the sport of BMX racing. It’s as easy as the 8 lanes on a BMX starting gate.

Gate 1: Getting Ready

Find a track near you and look up their hours of operation… Okay, as you probably saw, your local track is open certain days and times for practice, coaching and racing. Since the St. Albert BMX season is dependant on good weather there is no set dates for the season but because BMX racing is an individual sport, there’s no better time to start riding and racing than right now. 

Indoor facilities are open now, and some clubs are open for public use outside of club operations. 

Gate 2 : Sign Up

Sign-Up. There are a couple steps to signing up. 

1 – Become a member of a local club and get a racing licence.

2 – Sign up for club race nights. This can be through an online sign up or at the track’s moto shed window before the start of racing when you can practice! Your local Track Operator will happily walk you through the process to BECOME A MEMBER. 

UCI memberships are required annually as part of being a club member, but if you’re still unsure and just want to give BMX a try, St. Albert BMX hosts sporadic try-it nights as well as weekly open tracks where you can borrow a club bike to give it a try. So all you’ll need your first day out is the track’s daily practice and/or race fee and a parent’s signature if you are a minor.

Once you become a member and have a understanding of the schedule you can sign up for race nights online for most tracks. Racing and coach are included in your membership.

Gate 3: Classifications

Alberta BMX uses 4 criteria to determine a racer’s classification for competition—age, gender, ability and bike wheel size. As BMX racing is a sport for kids of all ages, even big kids with kids of their own, you will be matched against riders your own age and ability or skill level whenever possible. *

Everyone — boys and girls — begins in the NOVICE class. In other words—beginners. Upon winning 10 races, Novice boys move into the INTERMEDIATE class. Novice girls need to win 20 races and move directly into the EXPERT class. But while EXPERT is the highest proficiency level in the sport for amateur girls, INTERMEDIATE boys—after 20 more wins—move into the EXPERT class; the highest ability level in the sport for amateur racers.

Finally, there are two bike categories, based on wheel size/diameter—20” wheel BMX bikes called class bikes, and 24” wheel BMX bikes called cruiser bikes. The 20” bikes are the required size for all Novice, Intermediate and Expert competition, while the 24” bikes are the required size for all Cruiser competition. But while the cruiser classes, like the 20” classes, are age and gender based, they are not divided into the novice, intermediate or expert ability levels.

*At any given BMX race, if there are not enough entrants to form a legal class, racers may be matched against racers of different ages and ability levels as per Alberta BMX race rules.


Once every racer in attendance has been entered into the day’s event, your Track Operator will print and post MOTO-SHEETS. These sheets list the order/number of races or “motos”, the names of riders competing in each moto, assigned bike numbers as well as starting gate position for each of the three Motos or Semis and Mains as required.

Remember, for the most part you will be racing others that are your same age and ability. It takes 3 riders to form a legal class and motos are built according to a specific set of rules. The moto sheet will give you the specifics about how your race will be run. Sometimes, you might race in a Semi race after your 3 motos, where you will “qualify” for the Main Event. Other times, you might find yourself in a “total points” race, where all riders will race 3 motos. If you have any questions about how your race will be run, head back to the sign-up area and ask an official.

Gate 5: Staging

So, hopefully you’ve taken some practice laps, and read the moto sheets to determine your moto number as well as your gate numbers/lane assignments. And you know how many and how riders will transfer from each of your qualifying rounds. Let’s stage ‘em up!

Staging is that area comprised of the area at the back of the start hill, and the start gate itself. A track official or “stager” will be on hand to help remind you of your lane assignment and guide you into a staging “chute” and then onto the gate when it is your moto’s turn to race. Each of the gates or lanes should be clearly numbered 1–8, with Gate 1 always on the inside lane and Gate 8 always on the outside lane of each track. For tracks with a right-hand first turn, Gate 1 is farthest right. For tracks with a left-hand first turn, Gate 1 is farthest left. The starting gate is pneumatically powered and will start with the starter’s vocal commands, 4 starting lights that will flash red, yellow, yellow, green synced with audible beeps to signal the dropping of the gate. That’s when you go!

Remember staging is different at every track so get there early so you can sort yourself out!

GATE 6: Riding & Racing

“Riders ready? Watch the gate. beep, beep, beeeeep.”

That is the cadence you’ll probably hear from the starter as the gate is about to fall in front of you for the very first time. But before you go all out, first take a moment to scope out the track. Watch a few laps of practice and memorize how some of the good riders are going over the obstacles. Take mental notes of where they ride in the turns and where they pedal and where they stop pedaling. Keep in mind that, in the beginning, you probably wont be able to jump like they do; that will come in time.

Your first few laps around the track should be slow. Take it easy. By all means, don’t go all-out on your first lap! Take time to familiarize yourself with the track so that you know what obstacles are coming up and what it feels like to go over them. It will be totally different once you take the track at faster speeds. As you’ll soon find out, a good start can be the difference between first and eighth, so we’d suggest working on your gates as much as possible. And remember that all-so-true saying, “Practice makes perfect.” So… practice, practice, practice.

Another smart idea for any BMX rider is to take advantage of the many BMX clinics and camps and club coaching that are available. In addition to the clinics and programs at your local track there are teams and pros that travel from track to track, teaching riders just like you everything they need to know in order to get better at BMX racing. During the summer, there are even BMX race camps that you can attend.

GATE 7: Awards & Points

Make your Main Event at any Alberta BMX race event and finish as one of the top 8—and you’ll win more than a sense of pride in what you’ve accomplished; you could win an award in the form of a sticker, medal, #plate or a trophy or maybe even help your team win a championship belt. Oh and you’ll also earn something more—points.

In BMX racing, the ultimate achievement isn’t the bike you ride or the uniform you wear, it’s to earn the #1 plate—#1 in the province or your national age group or at a World Championship! As you can surely imagine, it’s an incredibly tough climb to the top, one that only a handful of BMX racers will eventually make. But for those that do, they began their journey like everyone else—racing at their local club. To start you will run the last 3 digits of your UCI BMX assigned number.

 So how do you earn your next plate number? Points. Points that—depending on the ability level are accumulated by your race results. These points will accumulate as a rider attends races and contribute to their year-end rankings and determine your “earned number” for the next BMX season!

GATE 8: Race Series

BMX District or Club Racing

BMX clubs hold races once or twice per week depending on the club’s schedule. District or club race scoring is managed by Alberta Bicycle Association. This track-level district racing and points system is known as “Alberta District Points” and is separate from the Alberta Cup Series. Like the Alberta Cup Series, district races are set by rider’s age and ability.

Alberta Cup Series (Provincials)

Series: The Alberta Cup Series consists of 8 rounds at 4 different tracks throughout Alberta (Saturday/Sunday races) which concludes at the final race called Grands at a 5th track. In order to qualify for an Alberta BMX Cup series final standing, riders must compete in at least 4 of the 8 series races, plus the Grands. All races in the series, including the Grands are single points races. When calculating series results, the best 4 of 8 finishes are used, plus points earned at the Grands. Any ties on points are decided by the results achieved at the Grands.

Series Prizes
: Plates numbering ‘1’ through ‘8’ will be awarded to the top 8 riders in each class accumulating the most points over the course of the series. These plates are also call ‘P’ plates and are awarded upon the completion of the Grands race.

Provincial Championship

The Alberta Provincial Championship is help on the second day of the Grands race weekend. Unlike the Alberta Cup Series, there is no requirement to run other races to qualify to race in the Provincial Championship race. Classes are set by age only, with all abilities combined. Motos, Semi-finals are run until the top 8 riders of each age grope are identified. At the completion of the final races, the top 8 riders will be awarded number plates with AB preceding their finish position.

National Championship

National Championship races are held across Canada. Races are set by age only, like the Provincial Championship and the top 8 riders per class are awarded number plates with N preceding their finishing position. 

Upgrades: Any wins achieved at district races count 1 upgrade win. Once a rider has earned the needed amount of upgrade wins per their ability level, they are required to move to the next ability level immediately.

Wins achieved during Alberta Cup Series races count as 2 upgrade wins. These wins are added to the same ability level upgrade win total as district races.

Should a rider upgrade to a new ability class part way through the series or race season, their points will be transferred to their new ability class. For example, a Novice Girl with 200 points upgrading to Expert will begin her Expert career with 200 points.

NEW: In the case of combined classes (due to small numbers) the points structure will work as follows. This is the same for both combined ability and combined age: The riders will receive points from the table corresponding to the class they are registered in. The combined rider(s) will take those points to their class as they WOULD HAVE PLACED for THEIR ability. The awards of the day are still awarded as placed for that race.

Example # 1 – There is only one 8 Novice Male so he moves to the 8 Intermediate Male class for that race. He takes second place. He receives a second place award for that race and FIRST place NOVICE points towards his class SERIES ranking (which would be 8 Novice Male in this example)

Example # 2 – There is only one 7 Expert Female so she moves to the 8 Expert Female class for that race. She takes third place. She receives a third place award for that race and FIRST place Expert points towards her class SERIES ranking (which would be 7 Expert Female in this example)

More details can be found at 


 Points Table

 Novice MaleInt Male & Novice FemaleExpert  JuniorElite Cruiser
9th or lower1011021035055010