Track Category Upgrade Requirements

USA Cycling requires that all track upgrades and downgrades up through category 2 are made through the local associations (NCNCA & NCVA). According to the subjective criteria, the NCVA Upgrade Committee reviews request with respect for our local events and uses their best judgment and discretion in the determination of the viability of each request.

Upgrades take effect the day after they have been approved. No upgrades are issued within 2 weeks of a pertinent National Championship.

NOTE: Attendance in three Saturday Beginner Training Sessions (or an equivalent Board-approved session) is required prior to participating in a mass start event as a Category 5 racer.

Objective Upgrade Standards
Minimum Race Days
in Category
Minimum upgrade points Minimum Field Size
Cat 5 to Cat 4 4 4 mass start race days 10
Cat 4 to Cat 3 5 20 10
Cat 3 to Cat 2 5 25 20
Cat 2 to Cat 1 5 30 20


Omnium- and event-based upgrade points between 12 and 24 months old are discounted by half; earned points older than 24 months are void. Race-day based upgrade points never age.

Subjective Criteria for Upgrade

In addition to meeting the above minimum standards, riders also have to demonstrate appropriate pack riding skills, generally ride in a safe manner, and show they can be competitive at the higher category.

Note: An exceptional rider may be upgraded without meeting the above minimum standards. An exceptional rider is defined as a rider showing handling skills well above the current category and who dominates racing at his/her current level and who gets approval from 3/4 of the upgrade committee.

The upgrade committee reserves the right to issue a probationary upgrade. The probationary upgrade will only cover racing at the Hellyer Park Velodrome and will be used to observe the rider’s conduct in the higher category. Before or after the end of the probationary period a rider may be returned to a lower category on a majority vote of the upgrade committee.

Earning USAC Upgrade Points

Upgrade points are earned in the following manner (for races that meet minimum field size requirements in the table).

World Championships, National Championships, Cat A and B track races
[See USAC Schedule of Fees section 4 (p.7, 2004), these are NOT the Hellyer racing categories!]
5,3,2,1 points to the top 4 riders in each event

Regional Championships, District/State Championships
7,5,3,2,1 points to top 5 riders in overall omnium

All other races (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday racing, e.g.)
5,4,3,2,1 points to top 5 in overall omnium

Cat 4 riders earn 1 point for every 5 race days in addition to omnium-based upgrade points.

When upgrading to a category 1, points earned need to be from more than one velodrome.

Submitting for Upgrade

Riders are responsible for keeping track of their own upgrade points. For every race that you place in, you should make note of the race date, the field size, and your placing. When you have earned the required upgrade points to move to the higher category, request an upgrade by sending an email with the above information to: with the subject line “Upgrade Request – Name”.

The committee will consider your upgrade request at a real or virtual (email) meeting, and inform you and USAC of its decision.

Upgrade Committee

The NCVA Upgrade Committee is made up of a minimum of 3 people selected by the Board of Directors of the Velodrome Association. The upgrade committee is made up of a mix of people representing riders, officials, track supervisors, and promoters. All members of the upgrade committee are at the track on a regular basis so they can observe the riding skills of a large number of riders.

The current members of the NCVA Upgrade Committee are listed on the Board page.