About Us - Bergen County Umpires Association

The Bergen County Umpires Association is an organization of baseball and softball umpires certified to officiate high school contests in New Jersey.

Our purpose is:

  • promote the welfare of the games of baseball and softball on the county level by uniformly interpreting and administering the rules of those games as set forth by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) and the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS).
  • promote and maintain the highest degree of baseball and softball officiating by following a uniform set of mechanics and have available at all times an adequate number of thoroughly trained and capable umpires.
  • preserve the traditions, foster the ideals, advance the interests and improve the quality and prestige of the baseball and softball umpires through a comprehensive program of classroom training and on-the-field experience and develop a spirit of friendship and maintain a high standard of ethics among umpires.

 

 

NFHS 2017 Softball Rules Changes - High School Softball Rules Changes Focus on Uniforms, Equipment

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Softball Rules Committee approved four additions to Rule 3 regarding uniforms, equipment and substitutions at its June 13-15 meeting in Indianapolis. These changes approved by the committee, along with one in Rule 1, were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Rule 3-2-15 states that all equipment shall be inspected by the umpire, and is to be placed outside the dugout/bench prior to the start of the game. The rules committee agreed that placing all equipment in one location at one time is a more efficient method to conduct this inspection.

“The committee believes that expediting the inspection of all equipment will make the process more efficient and done in a timely fashion,” said Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and staff liaison for softball.

In Rule 3-2-1, the committee added inclement weather as an exception to the uniform rule for state associations.

The Softball Rules Committee also approved new language to Rule 3-2-7 to reinforce the solid color undergarments requirements.

“We felt it was important to standardize the colors of the undergarments not only to reinforce the solid color requirements similar to other NFHS sport rules, but also because it can be a distraction and create a possible safety concern,” Searcy said.

In Rule 3-6-7, which states that players and substitutes shall not enter the contest unreported, the penalty was revised to state that the head coach is restricted to the dugout/bench for the remainder of the game only for a second violation.

The committee also revised Rule 1-5-2c by eliminating the description of the taper’s surface. This change brings the NFHS in line with other rules codes concerning the surface of the taper.

A complete listing of the softball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website atwww.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “Softball.”

According to the 2015-16 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, there are 364,103 girls participating in fast-pitch softball at 15,115 schools. 

NFHS 2017 Baseball Rules Changes - Pitching Restriction Policies in Baseball to be Based on Pitches

High school baseball rules now will require a pitching restriction policy based on the number of pitches thrown in a game.

The revised pitching policy in Rule 6-2-6 was one of six rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Baseball Rules Committee at its June 5-7 meeting in Indianapolis. The rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Each NFHS member state association will be required to develop its own pitching restriction policy based on the number of pitches thrown during a game to afford pitchers a required rest period between pitching appearances.

“We’re pleased that the rules committee worked in conjunction with the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to find an acceptable and reasonable modification to this rule in order to emphasis the risk that occurs when pitchers overuse their throwing arm,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and staff liaison for baseball.

The Baseball Rules Committee also revised Rule 2-32-2 regarding sliding into home plate. The revised language states: “At home plate, it is permissible for the slider’s momentum to carry him through the plate in the baseline extended.” The committee altered this rule since the physical design of home plate makes it difficult for a runner to break momentum on a slide – as opposed to the other three elevated bases which are elevated. 

The committee also revised Rule 3-3-1, which states the umpire has the ability to give three warnings to a coach or player before he or she is removed from the game.

“Officials now have the opportunity to provide a tiered warning system for coaches or players,” Hopkins said. “It provides the coaches or players with a teachable moment to change their unsportsmanlike behavior in order to stay in the game.”

A new article 6 was added to Rule 8-3 to provide a rules reference for an existing ruling in the Baseball Case Book. The new article reads: “When a plate umpire hinders, impedes or prevents a catcher’s throw attempting to prevent a stolen base or retire a runner on a pickoff play, if an out is not made at the end of the catcher’s initial throw, the ball shall be dead and all runners shall return to the bases occupied at the time of the interference.”

The rules committee also approved an addition to Rule 8-4-2, which states that any runner is out when he is physically assisted by a coach. This rule change supports a revision in Rule 3-2-2 Penalty, which states that the runner shall be called out immediately when he is physically assisted by a coach.

A complete listing of the baseball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website atwww.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “Baseball.”

According to the 2015-16 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, there are 486,567 boys participating in baseball at 15,899 schools across the country, and 1,203 girls playing the sport in 260 schools.

Sportsmanship Awards for Banquet

Members - registration for the banquet and voting for the Bergen and Passaic County schools to receive the annual BCUA Sportsmanship Awards in both baseball and softball is now open.

Along with these awards, the association also awards a worthy individual umpire the Barney Finn Award (for loyal service to the BCUA) and the Ray Farricker Award (for consistently displaying qualities of Integrity, Pride, Enthusiasm and Hustle) at the banquet.

Even if you're not planning to attend, please take the time to vote for these prestigious awards. If you have been moved by another fellow umpire or some school during the season, this is your time to show your appreciation for them.

To vote, please click here. Remember, you must be signed on with the username and password e-mailed out by John Gojdycz before you can access the form. Ballots must be completed by the end of the day on Monday May 23, 2016.

Beware of ArbiterPay (RefPay) Scam Alert

ArbiterPay recently became aware of an effort to entice officials to register for a false ArbiterPay account. We want to arm you with information you can use to protect yourself from this type of scam. We also ask that you report suspicious activity of this nature to our support staff immediately.

2016 Rules Changes Approved for High School Baseball, Softball

Rules changes for the 2016 baseball and softball seasons were made at rules committee meetings last month in Indianapolis. Those changes were subsequently approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Board of Directors.

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