I’ve thought for awhile that after 5 wins, or if you aren’t winning at all, 1 season should be max. for Rookies. After 1 season, you aren’t a beginner anymore.
As far as clips, I would not allow my son to get clips until he was 14 and had turned Expert. My daughter was 13 before she got hers. I had seen and still see too many kids falling and not being able to get unclipped. Dads having to pick up bike, kid and all and carry them still attached off the track, or having to stand at the finish line and catch the kid cause he can’t unclip to put his foot down when he stops. A lot of serious injuries have happened to the young riders because of clips.
And last but not least, Rookies at Nationals. I think they should be allowed to attend, but maybe have combined classes for them 8 and under, 14 and under, 18 and under. Let’s them get the National experience. But would encourage the kids to move out of Rookie to avoid being combined with so many others.