The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is proud to announce that it will sanction the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) for 2009. In addition, the AMA and WORCS will also partner on several rounds of the AMA Western Hare Scrambles Series, which will lay the groundwork for future cooperative endeavors. "Off-road racing is a unique area of motorcycle competition where both the country's top athletes and recreational amateur racers frequently compete in their respective classes at the same events," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "Thousands of our members are die-hard off-road racing enthusiasts, and the AMA remains steadfastly committed to this form of competition on all levels. As one of the premier series for off-road racers in this country, WORCS represents an excellent additional partner for the Association as we continue to grow and improve this area of competition." With the addition of WORCS events, the AMA adds another of the country's top off-road series to its fold, which also includes the AMA FMF Racing National Enduro Series, the AMA FMF Racing National Hare & Hound Series, the Can-Am AMA Grand National Cross Country Series, the AMA/MAXXIS National Endurocross Series, the AMA/NATC National Observed Trials Series and the AMA Eastern and Western Hare Scrambles Series. AMA Off-Road Director Chuck Weir added that the benefits of sanctioning WORCS will go beyond that series alone. "The AMA is thrilled with the opportunity to sanction this world-class championship, and honor the WORCS champions with AMA recognition," Weir said. "In addition, by working with WORCS on the AMA Western Hare Scrambles Series, both programs will be elevated and better racing will result for the competitors and fans. This is a win/win relationship that will start paying dividends immediately." Sean Reddish, CEO and founder of WORCS, said that he has long wanted to affiliate WORCS with the AMA, the world's largest motorsports sanctioning body and the leading advocate for motorcyclists' rights in the United States. "WORCS has looked at partnering with the AMA for the last three years and now the time is just right," Reddish said. "With the growth of the WORCS series and the new direction AMA has taken in sanctioning, we knew that 2009 was the year to make it happen. Many positive things can be said of the AMA, and the one that I and WORCS consider the most important is the protection of our right to ride and race." Reddish added that WORCS hopes to co-sanction three to four races with the Western National Hare Scrambles program in 2009. "This will bring all the talent west of the Mississippi together to make for some of the best racing anywhere," Reddish said. "As WORCS grows into new areas of off-road racing, we will lean on the experience of the AMA. The future of Western off-road racing just took one big step forward, and I am proud to be part of that." Including a mix of off-road and motocross, WORCS races feature some of the fastest, most intense racing in the country, with competitors riding full-tilt for well over two hours. Some of the world's best off-road riders compete in WORCS, including many of the AMA riders who contested this year's International Six Days Enduro on the U.S. Trophy Team.