NJSBUA - New Jersey Baseball Umpires Association Inc.: 2018 Cadet Class

NJSBUA 2018 Cadet School
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We will be taking applications for the 2018 Cadet class.

Please download the application and follow the instructions on athe applcation. 


Handout: 2018 Cadet Application

Want to be a Carded High School Umpire? 

This is what you must know!

What is a cadet?

A cadet is a trainee. Virtually anyone interested in becoming an umpire can attend the cadet class. Many men and women with very diverse baseball experiences have attended the class. Some cadets come to the NJSBUA having never called balls or strikes before. Some cadets have graduated from professional umpire schools, been former professional baseball players, and are former high school head coaches. Previous cadets have been former college players, current and former high school players, and college and high school students! You might have a lot of experience as an umpire, or you may have never set foot on a field as an umpire or played the game. In either case, if you wish to umpire High School Baseball and/or Softball games in New Jersey, regardless of your background you must begin as a cadet, complete the cadet class and pass the state exam.

What is the NJSBUA?

The NJSBUA is the New Jersey State Baseball Umpires Association. We are one of the 15 state chapters of the recognized by the NJSIAA. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association is the state organization that oversees all interscholastic sports competition in the state of New Jersey. The NJSIAA requires that all high school sports officials to be trained and tested when they earn their certification. The NJSIAA also requires that each sports official is insured, keeps current on annual rules changes, learns new game management policies and is re-tested on any new rules or modifications made for each new season. The function of all the local chapters, like the NJSIAA, is to execute all of those requirements.

The NJSBUA certifies umpires to county assigners for assignments to officiate games at high schools within the State for baseball and softball games. If you would like to see a list of all the NJSIAA affiliated chapters for baseball and softball umpires you could go to www.NJSIAA.org or click on Affiliate Associations.

Do I have to live in New Jersey to be NJSIAA certified?


Do I have to live or work in Essex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex or Union Counties to belong to the NJSBAU?


How do I train to become an NJSIAA certified high school umpire?

You must attend a cadet class at one of the 15 Chapters around the New Jersey if you’re interested in receiving training to obtain NJSIAA Certification to umpire high school baseball and/or softball.

Do I have to attend the cadet class if I was previously NJSIAA certified?

If you were previously NJSIAA certified to umpire high school baseball and/or softball and if you maintained your membership in any state chapter you may transfer your membership to the NJSBUA and continue your certification without attending the NJSBUA cadet class. However, if you passed a previous state exam and even if you were once certified, if you never joined a state chapter, or if you allowed your membership in a chapter to lapse and you did not pay dues to that chapter for the upcoming season then you are no longer NJSIAA certified. To become certified once again you will have to attend a cadet class and pass the state exam(s).

Do I have to attend the cadet class if I am currently NJSIAA certified in another sport?

Yes. If you are NJSIAA certified to officiate another sport, but not certified to umpire high school baseball and/or softball, then you will have you attend a cadet class and pass the state exam(s) for baseball and/or softball.

Do I have to take both the Softball and Baseball exam?

No. You may opt to take just one of those exams if you wish. However, we strongly encourage you to take both. Right now you might think that you want to umpire only one of the sports. However, often a cadet will realize that it is worth the extra time to learn the other sport since our cadet class is designed to teach the rules for both sports at the same time in each class. Also, our chapter supplies umpires for games in both sports. So, if you can umpire both sports it doubles your employability as an umpire which translates into more money and more game opportunities for you. Since there is no additional cost to you and we cover the rules of both sports in every class anyway, why not go for both!

What if I do not want to umpire high school games? Or, what if I can’t get out of work early enough to umpire a high school game?

Becoming an NJSIAA certified umpire is required to umpire Varsity baseball and softball in NJ. However, attending the cadet class and passing the NFHS umpire exam does not obligate you to umpire high school games.  Most cadets attend the class with the intention of working high school games. However, often some folks will attend the class just to learn the rules better and gain a greater depth of understanding of umpiring. Many “CARDED” umpires in the NJSBUA have never worked an actual high school game.  Even if you have no intention of ever officiating an actual high school game, or if you plan to delay working high school games until sometime in future years, you are still welcome to attend the class and take the exams and join the NJSBUA. 

How will I be assigned high school games if I want to umpire them?

During one of the early cadet classes you will be provided with the names and contact information of local assigners who can assign you to work high school games. Making the initial contact with assigners it is up to you. The NJSBUA does not assign games. Attending the cadet class and/or joining the NJSBUA will not guarantee that you will be assigned any games to umpire. The decision to assign games to you rests totally with the assigners and their confidence that you can do the job. Advice: Always make all your contacts with assigners YOURSELF. Do not allow your parents, your spouse, a friend or anyone else to make arrangements with an assigner on your behalf. Assigners prefer to work directly with an umpire and are suspicious of umpires who don’t, won’t or can’t handle their own business. This is especially true for umpires under the age of 21. Take care of your own business with the NJSBUA and any future assigner!

Will I have insurance protection when I umpire?

Yes. When you become certified and join any Chapter you are automatically covered under the NFHS Officials Association Insurance policy. The cost of this insurance is included in the annual dues paid to your chapter to maintain membership and certification. You will be covered for AD&D, liability and injury resulting from an accident which occurs directly from officiating activities during regularly scheduled sport competitions.

How do I get an NJSIAA patch to wear on the sleeve of my umpire shirt?

After you have passed the state exam at the end of your cadet course, then join any Chapter and pay your next years dues, you will be given your “CARD” (demonstrating that you are member) at that association’s first meeting of the New Year.  

How soon will I be able to work a varsity game?

Not soon. When you become a competent and skillful umpire you will probably be offered plenty of games, more than you’ll be able to accept. The decision to assign games to you rests entirely with the assigners and their confidence that you can do the job. Making the initial contact with assigners is up to you. The volume of games you wish to work is up to you. The distances you wish to travel to games and the player’s age-level of the games you work is controlled by you.  When you first pass the cadet class as a newly certified umpire you should not expect to be offered varsity games to work within the first three years after certification. It sometimes does happen when there is a sudden need for a last-minute emergency replacement. But you should expect to work a few dozen sub-varsity games to gain high school experience and hope your assigner gets good reports on your performance before you will be regularly assigned varsity games.

What is the NJSBAU cadet class schedule?

The schedule of the cadet class is always subject to change. However, for the past several years the NJSBUA cadet course has approximately 13 to 14 2 & 1/2-hour classes presented on each Wednesday evenings from mid-January until the end of April. Each class begins at 7:00 p.m. and lasts until 9:30 p.m.

So, plan on being in class every Wednesday night from January through April. The NJSBUA cadet class is presented with the same level of detail and concentration as any college level course. It is not a high-level clinic, review or a refresher course. We cover every rule in the book! You should be prepared to devote a substantial amount of time and effort into attending the class, doing homework and preparing for the exams.   

Is there an attendance policy?

Yes. You are expected to attend all of the cadet classes to be eligible to take the exam. If you miss three (3) or more class sessions you will be removed from the class and you will not be permitted to sit for the state exams. Attendance of the class directly correlates to passing the exam.

May I join the cadet class once the course has begun?

No. Cadets may not join the class after the first cadet class date.

Where is the cadet class held?

The cadet classes are held at Bloomfield High School.

When are the state exams given?

The NJBAU State exams will be administered on the last class in our NJSBUA cadet class.

Is there a minimum age to attend the cadet class?

Yes. Cadets may attend the class, take the exams and become certified at age 17. However, one must reach age 18 to be eligible to be assigned to work in any high school game.

Must cadets be physically fit?

Yes. Cadets are required by the NJSBUA to certify that they are physically capable of performing the duties of an umpire.

Is there a fee to attend the cadet class?

Yes. The class fee must be paid in full in order to guarantee that you have a seat in the class. All fees must be paid in full by the first class. The check should be made payable to the “NJSBUA” and mailed to David R. Klein, the cadet coordinator, as soon as possible. (Rich’s address is at the bottom of this page.) NOTE: You are not considered registered in the class until the entire class fee is received. In the past cadet classes have filled up all available seats by mid-December. Registration was closed and some folks had to be turned away. To guarantee that you have a seat in the class, mail your cadet fee as soon as possible. POST-DATED CHECKS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Are the cadets provided with any printed educational materials in class?

Yes. Cadets are provided with NFHS books. These books include the baseball and or softball rulebooks. We also provide the NJSIAA Official’s Manual. Additionally, cadets will receive over handouts and other class materials. We recommend that you get a 3-ring binder to keep all of it organized for future use!

Do cadets have to attend the regular NJSBUA membership meetings?

Cadets are welcome, but not required to attend the regular NJSBUA meetings for the certified active membership. The first NJSBUA Meeting each year are usually held in late January. Then NJSBUA membership meetings are held in various High Schools in Essex, Morris and Union Counties. There are usually five (6) meetings scheduled on Tuesday or Thursday evenings, spread out from January until mid-May. Attending these meetings can offer the cadet the opportunity to meet veteran umpires in the area and learn from their experience. The cadets can benefit from the important information presented to the certified members at these regular meetings. Plus the regular meetings are a lot of fun! The schedule of our meetings is posted on our website.

What if I pass the exam but don’t join a UANJ Chapter?

Just passing the exam is does not make you a certified or “carded” umpire. You must join a NJSBUA chapter and remain a member (active or inactive) as long as you wish to be a carded umpire. If you do not join a chapter you will not be listed with NJSIAA as a certified varsity umpire. Therefore you cannot be assigned to work any varsity games. If you don’t join a chapter right away in the next year and then in the future year you decide you would like to join a chapter, you will be required to repeat the cadet class and take the state exams again to re-establish your certification.  This is true even if you join a chapter right away next year but then drop out and let your NJSBUA membership lapse at some point. 

May I join more than one UANJ chapter at the same time?


What if I fail the exam?

If a cadet fails the state exam he/she may repeat the class and take the test again in the following year.

Do I need to have previous umpire experience to attend the cadet class?

No. Although prior umpire experience is not required to attend the class, it is highly recommended that cadets who plan to umpire high school games immediately in the current season have a firm understanding of the game and some minimal umpiring practice to have a successful experience. If you have no prior umpire experience we suggest that you work some games in local youth leagues (i.e. Little League or Babe Ruth) first and attend a few mechanics clinics before attempting to umpire a high school game.  

Are there any other requirements to stay certified after passing the exam?

Yes. To maintain varsity certification, each year, chapter members must:

·               Join the NJSBUA or another Chapter and pay the annual dues.

·               Attend the required number of NJBSUA chapter meetings each year.

·               Pass the annual NJSIAA rules review exams given by NJSIAA.

·               Pass the annual NFHS Concussion Awareness online course.

·               If you need to take a season “off” from umpiring you can maintain your certification by changing your membership status to “inactive” for the year.

Do I need to have an email address to join the cadet class?

Yes. Hey, this is the 21st century! Like so many other things in today’s world you must have an email address and handy access to the internet to be an NJSBUA cadet and a NJSIAA certified umpire. All communications with the cadet class and the NJSBUA membership is done via email. Furthermore, the NJSIAA now requires that all certified officials in all high school sports must have an email addresses because all high school game assignments are now done on-line using the ArbiterSports.com website. 

Do cadets have to own an umpire’s uniform and umpire equipment?

You don’t need to have a uniform or own equipment to attend the cadet class. However, all umpires who work any level of high school sports are required to own their umpire’s uniform and umpire equipment. Schools do not provide these items to umpires. Therefore, if you expect to request high school game assignments you will have to obtain these items. 

Where do I buy an umpire’s uniform and umpire equipment?

There are many internet sources and a few retail outlets in NJ that can sell you quality umpire’s uniforms and equipment. You will be provided with information on these vendors in the cadet class. The NJSBUA always invites a local umpire supplier to attend one of our early season NJSBUA membership meetings where you can evaluate and purchase items from him directly in person and save on shipping charges!  If you don’t own equipment yet, or you plan to upgrade what you have do not buy anything yet! Some local umpire uniform and equipment suppliers extend discounts to NJSBUA members and cadets. A list of the names of these vendors will be provided to cadets early in the cadet class.

Do I need to be certified to umpire sub-varsity games?

NJSIAA certification is not required to umpire sub-varsity games (i.e. middle school, freshman and JV). However it is not recommended that you attempt to do this. All of the same high school rules that apply to varsity games apply to the sub-varsity levels as well. Attempting to umpire sub-varsity games without cadet training in a high school game using NFHS rules is foolish at best. You will not know how to properly rule on many difficult situations or understand the many safety regulations certified umpires are expected to enforce. Furthermore, assigners will always prefer to assign certified officials before using uncertified umpires. The certified officials will usually get the best games even at the sub-varsity level before any game would be assigned to an uncertified person.