NASSAU COUNTY SOFTBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION, INC.
Thank you to all that worked the Exceptional Senior Game. The game was highlighted with Marie Terc throwing out the first pitch and Jim Borek call the first pitch.
The Nassau County Softball Official's Executive Board is creating an alumni distribution list to keep retired officials updated on what is going on in the Association. If you would like to be a part of that list or know of someone who would, please email Brad Patterson their e-mail. Brad's e-mail is email@example.com
I hope this email finds everyone doing well. It has been a long time coming but I have just received word regarding the date, time & place of Marie's upcoming induction into the NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame. As you well know, Covid-19 reared its ugly head & postponed the ceremony from last year to this year. I have included an attachment below containing all the information for this very special occasion.
The reason why I am specifically writing to you is because I have had many, many conversations with Marie over the years. It has become very evident to me that each & every one of you holds a special place in Marie's heart & each for reasons far too numerous to enumerate. Sending this personally to you by no means obligates you to attend. I am simply sharing this with you in case you would like to attend.
I, for one, wouldn't miss it for the world as it is not every day that we get to “celebrate” someone who has honorably & humbly devoted 54 years of her life to officiating 6 different sports during that span of time. Additionally, it is not every day that we get to honor "one of our own" from Section VIII in such a dignified manner & in such a majestic setting as the Catskills.
Marie's passion for all sports, her dedication to the student-athletes of Nassau County, her contributions to her officials' associations, her accomplishments as a highly respected official & her sterling reputation for fairness all summarize perfectly the quintessential professional that she is. As Marie's friend, I admit I am a bit partial here; however, my guess is that you also agree.
Whether Marie has officiated your games or you have worked side by side officiating with her or Marie was a mentor to you or you worked together on committees or you simply call her "friend", your presence in Marie's officiating journey is among the multitude of reasons for this honor being bestowed on her! If you attend, I look forward to seeing you there (no doubt, I'll be the one in the casino losing my money!). If you cannot attend, I know you will be there in spirit wishing Marie “congratulations” from afar!
The season has gone smoothly and I have not received many calls from coaches. Here are several items that need our attention before the season end.
Masks are still mandatory for our umpires even when doing the plate. Our pants are heather gray, not black. Our ball bags are gray or blue, not black. They are worn by plate umpires only, they are never to be worn by base umpires. All our equipment should be left outside the backstop including water and other drinks.
LOOK PROFESSIONAL – BE PROFESSIONAL
Batting out of order:
A key takeaway is, once the next pitch, legal or illegal is thrown, ALL PLAY STANDS.
Bunt vs Slap
There have been some issues on calling batter’s out on ball batted foul on the third strike. If it is a bunt, the batter is indeed out. We need to make sure that it is a bunt and not a slap.
This is not an easy task. There is not a lot of information in the rule book except the definition of a bunt. The ball defines a bunt as “a pitched ball that is intentionally tapped with the bat, slowly, slowly within the infield.”
What else do we look for?
Look at the hands, a bunt usually has the top hand moving up on the bat, a slap the hands are usually together.
Looks at the wrists, did the batter break the wrists? On bunts they don’t on slaps they do.
Look at the path of the bat, on bunts the bat stays steady and moves with the players as she runs forward, on a slap the bat moves forward and usually in a downward path as they like to pound the ball into the ground.
Here is some information from Referee magazine:
The photo above provides an interesting conundrum for umpires. While it is just a snapshot, it leads to some intriguing questions and forces us to get into the rules. At the end of the day, the issue remains the same — what do we have on this play?
To settle the matter, we need to look at both definitions and rules for batting in order to figure out exactly what we have. While at first glance it appears the batter is slapping at the ball, is it really that easy? If you are the base umpire on this game and the plate umpire comes to you for help, what will be your response?
Let’s first take the feet out of the equation. That is a different article for a different day. Let’s instead focus solely on the bat. The first determination we need to make is whether or not this is a bunt attempt. All four major codes define a bunt in relatively the same terms. A bunt is a legally batted ball not swung at but tapped or intentionally tapped into the infield with the bat. The bat is held in the path of the ball and tapped slowly as opposed to a full swing. In the picture above, the batter would need to hold the bat out, leave it and simply run forward and tap the ball at the last minute to even possibly be considered a bunt or drag bunt. Since both hands are down around the knob of the bat, it is more than likely that isn’t the case in this scenario.
If you deem this is a bunt, you must determine if she attempted to bunt or not. In USA Softball, the batter can leave the bat over the plate on a bunt attempt, provided she doesn’t move the bat toward the ball, and not have a strike called if the ball is out of the zone. In all other codes, the batter must pull the bat back in order to not have a strike called. Determining if this is a bunt attempt or not is extremely important with two strikes, because if the batter happens to foul the ball off, she would be out if this is deemed a bunt attempt.
If you determine this isn’t a bunt attempt, the next logical step is to deem it a slap. A slap is a batted ball that has been struck with a short, chopping motion or modified swing as opposed to a full swing. Batters will either set up in a bunting stance and then pull back and slap at the ball or more commonly, as in the picture above, run up toward the pitcher and swing. If the batter happens to contact the ball and fouls it off, it is treated as any other foul ball and not a bunt. Often it is incorrectly referred to as a slap bunt, which is a misnomer.
If you consider this a slap, you must determine whether this is a checked swing or a swing. While difficult to determine from a still photo, there are things umpires must consider to determine if a swing happened. The first is to ascertain if the batter attempts to hit the pitch. Second, we can look at the barrel and see if it is in front of the body or out in front of the front hip (NCAA). Other determinations include: Does the batter roll her wrists, and does she swing through the ball and bring the bat back or does she draw the bat back before the pitch arrives?
There have been instances in games when a pitcher throws a change-up and the batter checks her swing (or swings), pulls back and swings again. If you rule that first attempt was a swing, the second swing does not count. If the batter makes contact on the second attempt, it would be a dead ball and all action from that swing is canceled.
This is why it is extremely important as a base umpire to always look into the plate and make a determination on every swing or checked swing. While the plate umpire may not come to you on every attempt, this situation could blow up on you if you aren’t prepared. In this instance, a simple, “Swing?” request from the plate umpire may not be enough to properly rule on the play and all umpires may need to come together to get the call right.
We are sad to report the passing of Jay Wolfson. A long time member of our NCSBOA Softball Association. Let us all keep him and his family in our prayers.
No other information is available at this time.
The masks that NCSBOA has purchased for our members will be distributed during the candidate rating sessions next week. The first session is at Clarke High School on Tuesday, April 27th from 3:30 until 6PM. The second is at Carey Wednesday, April 28th during the same time frame.
Feel free to pick them up for other members that can’t make those times.
GENERAL COVID POLICY & SEASON INFORMATION
COVIC protocols are a fluid situation that can change rapidly. Here is the current policy.
· NYS Public HS Policy
· School, district and sectional requirements
May be more strict.
· Arrive 30+ minutes prior to first pitch.
· Be flexible.
· Be accommodating.
Rather than having a bucket of game balls in each dugout, the home team will be responsible for supplying and sanitizing all game balls. The designated “ball person” will toss the ball to the catcher. The umpires are not responsible for micromanaging ball rotation. Coaches have been informed of the importance of the balls being rubbed up properly. The coaches were informed of the fact the pitchers do not like a slick ball and that a non- rubbed up ball can slip from the pitcher’s hand and be dangerous. Ensure the game balls are properly rubbed up prior to the start of the game. It might to a minute or two to educate the “ball person” on what needs to be done. Use common sense, thoughtful reasoning and good judgment when monitoring/administering ball rotation.
Rather than permitting players at the pre-game coaches’ conference, only umpires and 1 coach per team are permitted. Again, coaches will stand outside the batters’ boxes and umpires will stand in their usual positions.
Umpires are to wear masks upon approaching the field and keep masks on until they have vacated the field. Face shields/gaitors are not acceptable. Masks must be a solid color or officiating related. No advertising. Occasional, momentary removal of masks during breaks while not near the proximity of others is permitted.
Per a confirmed amendment by NYSPHSAA on April 20, 2021, a “face covering” is required without any further guidance or specificity other than to refer to the NYS DOH. Additionally, face coverings for base umpires are only required when they cannot maintain six foot separation from others.
That being said, NYSSO and NCSBOA strongly urges base umpires to simply wear the face covering during innings since umpires can easily come within six feet of others in a moment’s notice. Moreover, umpires need to focus on getting into position to get calls correct rather than adjusting a face covering while moving into position.
The pre-game equipment check of bats and helmets has been eliminated. Ask the coaches to certify that their team is legally and properly equipped and will remain so to the best of their knowledge. Coaches were briefed on what to look for in bats and helmets.
Plate umpires may set further back behind the catcher but are prohibited from setting up within the infield (i.e., near the pitcher).
The dugout conduct rule has been relaxed as players may not be able to social distance within the confines of the dugout. Coaches were instructed to not have their players behind the backstop.
The is a hard ten games for both a rating and playoff eligibility. The definition of hard is that you must officiate these games not just have them on your schedule. Every team makes the playoffs. Each team has a 14 game schedule. The semi-finals are one game (3 man), the finals are 2 of 3 (3 man) and there will be a Long Island Championship (4 man, 2 from Nassau and 2 from Suffolk) for each division (A, AA, B).
There will be bathroom facilities for our officials. Changing facilities is dependent upon the school. Call ahead to the schools.
There will be no observation program this year.
Do forget to communicate to the schools, call the day before for weekend games.
Good Morning Everyone,
Softball is finally upon us. With all the anticipation and excitement that comes along with a new season, let us not have the next several weeks of our shortened schedules just fly by .Take the time to enjoy what we love to do. Yes, it certainly will have a different feel to it for obvious reasons.This should, by no means take away the work ethic and professionalism that we bring to the field. Arrive on time + A clean uniform, you're ahead of the game already.
I would just like to mention a few items as reminders:
This past year has absolutely tested all of us, on so many levels. Including, whether or not to officiate games. Wherever we are for the next several months, on the field or not. Please be safe, next season is right around the corner.
Have A Great Day...
To All Members,
First, I hope this letter finds you and your families safe and in good health. The COVID Pandemic continues to impact all aspects of our lives. Our upcoming Softball Season is no exception. I will give you as much information as I can today about the potential for school games to be played this year. As per NYS guidelines the softball season can start on April 22nd and continue into June. The current plan is for Varsity, Junior Varsity and Modified games to be played. There will not be a State Tournament in 2021. The schedules will be limited and some School Districts have already announced that they will not participate this year. Our Board continues to plan for a season.
We will have at least (3) meetings. These will all be Virtual Zoom Meetings for now. The dates and times are as follows: @ 7:30
24th - Mandatory Interpretation Meeting
5/12/21 Nominations and General Meeting Information NEW DATE 5/12/21
5/26/21 - Elections and General Meeting Information NEW DATE 5/26/21
You will receive a Zoom Invitation with the information on the Zoom Meetings. Please make sure you have downloaded Zoom on whatever device you are using.
The State Test will be conducted online during the month of March. Information on taking the test will be sent as available. For those of you who officiate other sports the online test is a simple format and very easy to navigate and submit. In order to officiate, you will be required to log on to the Virtual Meetings and take the State Test.
Each of our officials will have to make a decision on whether or not to umpire this year. Of course, this is a tough and personal decision. Be assured, there will be no penalty for taking the year off. That being said. In order to get an idea of the numbers please let me know of your intention to work this year or not. This is an informal survey, and you will have an opportunity to change your mind. As for the Rules changes or COVID modifications, Rick Norris attended the State Meeting. We will pass on this information during the Interpretation Meeting. Our new website will provide updates. There is still a great deal of information available on the site.
Once again, I wish you all good health and safety. Be patient as we wait for more information on the season.
LET US ALL BE OPTIMISTIC !!!!!
To: NCSBOA Varsity Umpires
I am sure everyone can agree that the past year has been one of the most tumultuous in our lives. However, we are slowly beginning to see the opening of High School Sports, even though it is not as we might have expected.
For this coming school Softball season, we have the unique issue and opportunity to provide Mentors for our 2020 and 2021 Candidate classes
Even though we did not have a Softball season in 2020, Varsity volunteers that stepped forward were: Chris Bivona, Bob O'Brien, Jay Cincotta, Tony Okolski, Bill Pettas, Dave Nelson, Frank Sheehan, Brad Patterson, Glen Bozak, Stu Cohen, Joe McElroy, Mark Furman, Hector Baker and myself. I am hoping that each and every one can once again provide mentorship for the 2020 Candidate class.
For the 2021 Candidate class, we will need an additional ten (10) Mentors. It is the goal of this Association to have every new candidate paired up one-on-one with a senior member.
A Mentor must be a Varsity official for a minimum of 2 + years. You all have something important you can offer as guidance to the new officials. As a Mentor, you will be assigned a new official. You should meet one another as soon as possible via face-to-face contact, phone call or email. By being a Mentor, you are going to allow your new official the opportunity to use you as a sounding board and a source of guidance through their first year in softball. Contact with your Candidate, as often as possible, should insure your Candidate is progressing satisfactorily throughout the season. Being a Mentor is rewarding for both the Mentor as well as the Candidate. A Mentor is here (along with the support of the entire Association) to help and guide our new Candidates into becoming the best official they can be. You should be willing to: Be contacted to discuss games, plays, rules, situations, etc.; Be emailed for the above, especially key questions anyone may have.; And, be at a games or games if you have free time to visit umpires making a request, because being seen / observed is a good thing.
As challenging as the classroom work was for the Candidates, their field work will prove even more so; they must now integrate their book knowledge during the fast paced game of softball. Having a willing and able Mentor will be key to their success.
If scheduling permits, we will ask BOCES to pair you up with your candidate in a JHB game or two this season.
Remember, being a Mentor qualifies as service credit to the Association. We understand that many of our newest Umpires continue to talk with their original Mentors, so we know this program is much needed.
If at all possible, I need the 2020 Mentors to once again volunteer to provide mentorship to the 2020 class of Candidates. If those mentioned above could please get back to me that you will be able to do so, it would be greatly appreciated.
If you have an interest in becoming an NCSBOA, please contact Phil Saltalamacchio via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me at cell number 516-297-0275. I already have had two (2) people step up for the 2021 Candidate class, but will need more obviously.
Thank you in advance.
Mentor Program Chair
GOOD NEWS !!!
Finally some wonderful news to share with all of you in the midst of all this craziness!!!
Marie Terc has received word that she will be inducted into the Class of 2020 “New
York State Public High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame”!!!
Every year the committee selects only six people from throughout all of New York State and, this year, Marie is one of them!
Marie’s outstanding qualifications, contributions and accomplishments spanning 53
years of officiating six sports, her devotion to Section VIII’s student-athletes, her
unselfish commitment to her officials’ associations, along with a multitude of testaments of support and Section VIII’s wholehearted endorsement, all combined to make Marie an excellent candidate for induction!
Because of the current pandemic situation, the Class of 2020’s Hall of Fame induction
will be held next year on July 28, 2021 at the “Resorts World Catskills” in Monticello, NY
- at a time when, hopefully, it is safe to do so.
Our association is proud to call Marie "one of our own" and honored to call her "friend".
Congratulations, Marie, on your induction into the 2020 NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame!
Congratulations to Joyce!
The Nassau County High School Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner and the induction of Joyce Badger have been postponed until next September 29th, 2021. Let's hope we are back to a more normal life by then. If you would like to attend the dinner ceremony, I will let you know when tickets become available next year.
2020 was a difficult year for NCSBOA. We lost four of our members. Please remember them in your thoughts and prayers.
Gordon Butch Thomas
There is no time limit for junior varsity games. There is a 12 Run Rule after at least 5 innings. No visiting team can win by the 12 run rule in the top of any 5th, 6th or 7th inning. Innings 1 - 6 allow no more than 3 outs or a maximum of 7 runs scored. Unlimited runs in the 7th inning. With advance notice, inning 5 or 6 may follow the unlimited runs procedure if used to end game (only used for cases of darkness and the like).
We recently lost the long NYS rules interpreter and friend of our Association, Jay Miner. Below is his obituary written by his daughter.
Today I am celebrating the life of my father, Jay Miner. Jay passed away today after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Jay was born In Albany, NY on March 4,1943. Until recently, he was a lifelong resident of Colonie.
He was a great athlete at Colonie Central High playing Varsity basketball and baseball for 3 years and graduating in 1961. He was offered a minor league contract by the NY Yankees, but another passion won out and he never signed.
While in high school he developed his love for racing, taking his mother’s car out after she was asleep and racing light to light on Central Avenue and eventually on Depot Road. Jay built and drove some of the first altered wheelbase modified street cars and eventually became a top fuel funny car driver with the East Coast Fuel Funny Car Circuit with a Hemi Cuda and later a Challenger funny car named “The Trip”. Jay competed with racers like Cha Cha Muldowney, Connie Kalitta, John Force, Jungle Jim, Ramchargers, Blue Max and Tom McEwen’s Mongoose, Tom “Smoker” Smith, Pop Whitt, Bobby Martindale, Butch Kernodle and Leroy Worley. Eventually, a horrific crash in September 1973 ended his racing career.
He met his wife Lohre at Yezzie’s bar in Albany during his racing days and they toured the country together. I was born during his racing days and spent most of my early childhood playing in the pit area. Jay started his 37-year career with South Colonie Central Schools as a bus driver while racing.
After his racing career ended, he opened a bar, “The Salty Dog” at the former Yezzie’s location with Lohre. The name of the bar was selected not for the drink but for his love of dogs. Jay liked dogs better than most people. Jay tragically lost his wife in 1975. The bar eventually transformed into a disco called the “King of Clubs”. Fire took out the club and forced Jay to pivot again.
Jay decided to return to his original passion, baseball. He became an umpire as he loved the game and it worked well with his school schedule. He started doing men’s softball games for $6 per game. He took on umpiring with the same obsessive drive that he did with all his endeavors. He quickly memorized the rule books for MLB, HS and college baseball and softball. He became an assignor, rules interpreter and instructor of both sports.
Jay began writing for Referee magazine in 1977 as a contributing editor for softball. Eventually, he took over the baseball column as well. He wrote many technical books and became a top expert in modernizing umpiring in both sports nationwide. In 1984, he umpired for the US Olympic Team. He continued to write for Referee Magazine until 2018. In 2016, he was inducted into the NYS Baseball Hall of Fame as an umpire.
Donations can be made in the memory of Jay Miner to the Willa Cather Foundation. Willa Cather is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Jay is a Cather family descendent and his father’s childhood home is maintained as a national historic site by the foundation. https://www.willacather.org/support/donate
There are always questions on how ratings are calculated.
Here is a summary on how your rating is calculated. Keep in mind your current rating is a combined rating for the past two seasons.
Ideally after every game, each coach fills out a rating card and sends it in to BOCES. BOCES takes those ratings and adds them up and divides by the number of ratings to get the coaches contribution to your rating. This rating constitutes 60% of your overall rating. Under certain circumstances, rating cards are thrown out. A game with an ejection is an example of a reason why a card is thrown out.
BOCES gives you up to 10 office points. Points can be deducted for turn backs, being late, etc. These points make up 10% of your rating.
You can receive up to 30 points from our Association. These points make up the remaining 30% of your rating.
Here is how you earn your 30 points:
Being a member: 6 points
84-100 7 points
80-83 6 points
74-79 5 points
Attendance: 6 points (missing a mandatory meeting without a written excuse takes 5 points from this category)
Service: 5 points
Return of Sportsmanship Ballot on Time: 3 points
Paying dues on time: 3 points