History Of NCSBOA
A HISTORY OF NASSAU SOFTBALL UMPIRING
PART I: NASSAU BOARD OF WOMEN’S OFFICIALS (NBWO)
PART II: NASSAU COUNTY SOFTBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION, INC.
Part I: NBWO-1950-1990
Softball umpiring like everything else on Long Island has grown from its early days to the organization that exists today. Early softball games have grown from play dates with cookies and juice to the highly competitive league, sectional and state tournaments. Once the high schools started organizing leagues and the game became more competitive, the umpiring evolved from coaches or gym teachers to the use of rated officials. The Long Island Girls Association was organized by several Long Island physical education teachers to coordinate girl’s sports activities and they organized league play. They also were responsible for obtaining officials for these contests. Eventually this responsibility was assumed by BOCES.
The Nassau Board of Women’s Officials (NBWO) was founded by women who were active in girl’s sports through teaching, coaching, officiating, or coordinating recreational programs. The NBWO served as an umbrella group for the various sports played in the schools and recreation programs. There were seven divisions of the NBWO, one for each of the sports officials groups (Basketball, Field Hockey, Gymnastics, Softball, Swimming, Track and Field, and Volleyball).
The rules for Softball were written and published by the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports (NAGWS) based in Washington, DC. The written test were taken annually and ratings (Apprentice, Local, State, and National) were given for two years. The field test was administered annually to all who had to renew. Movement up in the organization was based on a closed book test and the practical filed test where you were rated by your peers. After twenty-five years of service the rating of Honorary was awarded to an umpire. Today, this honor is Life Membership in the NCSOA, Inc.
The NBWO-Softball Division had an organizational structure very similar to the present day Executive Board—Chairperson, Chair-elect, Treasurer, Secretary, and Rules Interpreter. The organization collected dues, administered the tests, held clinics and conducted meeting to keep the membership updated. Most of the umpiring was for the local schools and the CYO program. Many officials got their start on the fields of Eisenhower Park where on any Saturday rookie officials or aspiring candidates would observe CYO games under the guidance of experienced officials.
With Title IX legislation, girls’ sports expanded on all levels and officiating became a big business. In 1976, Dr. Sandra Scott, Associate Director of New York State Public High School Athletic Association, requested that each sport group organize a State Organization to govern umpiring of each sport. The New York State Softball Officials Association, Inc. needed to be organized to meet this request.
Dr. Scott reached out to the existing groups in the State and the NBWO leadership asked Joan Hanlon to undertake this task for Softball. Joan was instrumental in writing the Constitution for this new group and establishing a uniform set of rules for Softball throughout the State. Now, all Sections in the State would play Softball using a uniform set of rules and guidelines. This was essential in order to facilitate successful sectional and state level competition. Prior to this time, each umpire group throughout the State was using a variety of rules: NAGWS, ASA, Federation, Little League or whatever set of rules that existed in that Section, School District, or County. Joan was elected the first president of the NYSSOA, Inc. in 1976 and served until 1980.
By the 1970’s things were changing. BOCES was doing the assigning. The rating system was replaced by the current system. All the NAGWS levels were replaced by Varsity, JV and Junior High. Movement from level to level was now based on coaches rating cards, 30% from the Softball organization, and a percent from the BOCES office. The two year renewal field test was eliminated. The annual written test was now administered by the State organization.
Listed here are some of the women who took leadership roles during these first forty year:
Ann Adamchik Helen Allen Margo Bores
Joan Cappel Maggie Callaghan Marianne Collins
Loretta Dressler Joan Hanlon Kathy Harkins
Carol Huber Mary LaBella Jodi Larsen
Ann Mallinson Cecelia Rutkowski Marie Terc
Part II: NCSBOA—1990 to Present
In June 1990 at a dinner meeting the NBWO was officially disbanded. Marianne Collins presided as the last Chairperson of the NBWO Softball Division. At this time each officials’ group became independent. The NCSBOA, Inc. became the official organization for the softball umpires working for BOCES. Vito Giglio served as the first Chairperson of the new “old” softball umpires group.
Although the local name changed, things continued to function as they did in the past. The Executive Board continued to operate but with the addition of two Members-at-Large. These two officials represented the general membership at all executive meeting. Because of the increasing number of members, the secretary position was separated into two positions: Corresponding Secretary and Recording Secretary. Clinics were held annually in order to keep the membership numbers adequate in order to service the growing program. Also most games were now umpired by two officials. Playoffs expanded the coverage to include a 3-umpire or 4-umpire system depending on the level of play.
The old NAGWS “Honorary” rating became a Life Membership. Any official after twenty –five years of service became a Life Member and did not have to pay the annual dues. An end of the year dinner became an annual event. Service awards and recognition of playoff officials became a traditional part of this dinner.
Since 1950, things have changed: the name, the rules, the organizational structure, the rating system, the uniform, and the people who became umpires; but one thing never has changed and that is the fact that Softball umpires were and still are people who love the game of softball.
Listed here are the names of the people who took leadership roles since 1990.
1988-1990 Irwin (Buster) Wolofsky
1990-1992 Vito Giglio 2002-2004 Bob Kutch
1992-1994 Paul Kessler 2004-2005 Jay Cincotta
1994-1996 Rick Frey 2005-2008 Bob Signoracci
1996-1998 Frank Lawlor 2008-2010 Rick Norris
1998-2000 Tony Meiswinkle 2010-2012 Frank Sheehan
2000-2002 Jay Cincotta 2012-2014 Rick Norris
2014-2016 Jim Borek 2016- 2018 Steve Hopkins
2019 - Present Steve Moffett
Life Members of NCSBOA, Inc. and the year that they started umpiring.
Marianne Collins (1968) Paul Kessler (1979) Kevin Hinton (1983)
Marie Terc (1968) Joe McElroy (1980) Henry Burkhardt (1984)
Loretta Dressler (1969) Joyce Badger (1981) Jay Cincotta (1984)
Joan Hanlon (1971) Gerald Schiraldi (1981) Bob Kutch (1984)
Roy Levin (1976) Rae Ammirati (1982) John Sficos (1986)
Craig Marshall (1976) Bernard Aronowitz (1982) Henry Burkhardt III (1989)
Alan Wharton (1976) Harold Kreiger (1982) Mark Sosna (1989)
Rick Frey (1978) Steve Lichtenstein (1982)
Jim Coyle (1979) Frank Sheehan (1982)
Written by Joan Hanlon (May, 2013)