About Us - Mission Statement

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.

Softball Interpretation Meeting

The recording for this meeting is now available for viewing for those who were unable to attend or participate live.

You will have up until 11:59 PM on Wedneday, February 13th to watch the video and receive full attendance credit.

To access the recording, do the following:

  • Click, or type this link here into your Internet Browser: https://bit.ly/3SyqbOJ
  • Once there, register with your name and the same e-mail address you use for BCUA.
  • Hit the [Register] button.
  • On the next page, enter this as the Access Passcode: bcuasb-1
  • Please note that you do not need to e-mail anyone to let them know you watched it; Zoom will report that you've watched it (and for how long) - so as long as you used the same e-mail address to register that you have in the directory, everything will match up when the Attendance Committee receives the meeting reports.

Meeting Handouts / Materials:

Event Date: 
Wed, 02/07/2024 - 7:30pm
Location: 
Virtual

NJSIAA Pregame Sportsmanship Anti-Bias Statement - Revised

Effective with the Spring 2022 season, the following statement from the NJSIAA must be read before all sanctioned high school games without paraphrasing, regardless of level:

The NJSIAA requires officials to enforce all rules regarding unsportsmanlike conduct by coaches and players. There will be no tolerance for any negative behavior, such as taunting, trash-talking and verbal, written, or physical conduct related to race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or religion. Such behavior will result in being ejected from this event. All participants must respect the game, respect the officials, and respect their opponents.

Upload Concussion Certificates

Instructions for Uploading Concussion Certificates:

If you have any issues or need help with any of the instructions below, please click here to send an e-mail for additional assistance.

  1. Complete the concussion course at NFHSLearn.com and save to your hard drive.
  2. Open the RefSec Concussion Certificate Portal using this link: RefSec
  3. Type in your e-mail address into the Directory Number or Email field and press [Send me my PIN].
  4. After clicking this button, check your e-mail for the PIN; it will be delivered within a few minutes.
  5. After receiving the PIN, type in the PIN number into the PIN field.
  6. Click the [Choose File] button. A pop-up window to choose files will open up.
  7. Find concussion certificate from step 1 and click the icon/filename for it in the window.
  8. Click the [OK] (Windows), or [Choose] (Mac) button. The pop-up window will go away.
  9. Click the [Upload File] button.
  10. Check your e-mail for a confirmation receipt.

Softball Rules Changes - 2024

1-8-6:  Permits electronic information to be transmitted to the dugout from anywhere outside of live ball area.
Rationale: The rule change reflects current technology and still requires that electronic devices used for coaching purposes may only be used in the dugout butdoes not stipulate where the video is recorded or how it is transmitted.

3-2-2:  Beginning January 1, 2027, uniforms may only bear a single manufacturer's logo, school name, school logo, mascot and/or the participant's name. Advertisements, messages, team slogans, etc., will no longer be permitted.
Rationale: Consistent language has been established for NFHS sports that describe what information is permitted on the uniform. A player’s name, school name, school nickname, school mascot and/or the school logo may be placed on the uniform.

3-2-5: Removes the color restriction for headbands and ribbons.
Rationale: Adds consistency amongst headwear requirements for other NFHS sports.

3-2-7: Defines where a wristband with a playbook/playcard may be worn. If worn by the pitcher, the wristband with a playbook/playcard must be worn on the non-pitching wrist or arm.
Rationale: Clarifies where this equipment can be worn. This change will prohibit wristbands from being worn on the belt. It remains legal for players to keep the wristband with a playbook/playcard in their back pocket.

4-2-7, 10-2-3e, h: The umpire may call (end) a game if playing conditions in or around the facility become unacceptable to safely continue the game.
Rationale: Provides rule justification when an umpire ends a contest due to unacceptable playing conditions to continue play in addition to weather.  

6-1-2c, 2-47: The pitcher may now have both feet off the ground at the same time as long as both feet remain within the 24-inch width of the pitching plate and the pitcher does not replant the pivot foot. A definition for a replant was added.
Rationale: The rule change permits both feet to disengage from the playing surface while delivering a pitch. The addition of Rule 2-47 defines that a replant of the pivot foot occurs when the pitcher pushes off the playing surface from anywhere other than the pitcher’s plate prior to the act of delivering the pitch.

6-2-2: Pitchers can only use dirt, powdered rosin or comparable drying agents that are listed on the USA Softball’s certified equipment webpage to dry the hand.
Rationale: Clarifies the difference between tape and other non-approved substances on the pitching hand or fingers versus the use of approved substances under the supervision and control of the umpire.


2024 SOFTBALL EDITORIAL CHANGES
1-5-1c, 1-6-1, 1-7-1, 2-4-3, 1-6-1b, 7-1-2 PENALTIES 2 & 3, 7-4-4

2024 SOFTBALL POINTS OF EMPHASIS

  1. Game Management
  2. Unacceptable Conditions
  3. Unreported vs. Illegal Substitutions
  4. Pitching Mechanics: Replant     

NFHS

Electronic Communication Devices from Dugout to Catchers to be Permitted in High School Baseball

The use of a one-way communication device between a coach in the dugout and a team’s catcher for the purposes of calling pitches will be permitted in high school baseball beginning in 2024.

This change to Rules 1-6-2 and 3-2-5 was one of five rules revisions approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Baseball Rules Committee at its June 4-6 meeting in Indianapolis. The recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The new rules prohibit coaches from communicating with any other player besides the catcher on defense and with any player while batting. The coach must also be in the dugout when using the communication device.

“This change is consistent with the growth of the game and is indicative of a measured and responsible approach to enable technology into our level of competition,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS Director of Sports and Educational Services and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee. “The committee has made these changes to maintain the balance between offense and defense; increase the pace of play; and will responsibly manage technology so there is no advantaged gained by schools that have more available resources than some of their contemporaries. Creating a level playing field is paramount to education-based athletics.”

Game management by umpires was addressed with a change to Rule 10-2-3h. The edit removes spectators’ behavior from the umpire-in-chief’s jurisdiction when deciding to forfeit a contest. Only infractions by players, coaches or team/bench personnel are under the umpire’s jurisdiction. The committee agreed that poor behavior by spectators should be handled by game administration.

“This change is a complementary rule to support schools’ game management role in addressing unacceptable behavior and will allow the umpire to focus on the action and players on the field,” Hopkins said.

Rule 1-6-1 was added and designates a wristband with defensive shifts, pitching choices or game directions as non-electronic equipment and must be a single, solid color and worn on the forearm. Pitchers’ cards must not be white, gray or a distracting color and worn on their non-pitching arm.

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

According to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, baseball is the fourth-most popular sport for boys with 481,004 student-athletes in 15,925 high schools nationwide. The survey also indicated that 1,156 girls across the country play high school baseball.

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