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 us having never called a ball or strike 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 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 RVUA?
The RVUA is the Raritan Valley Umpires Association. We are one of the 15 state chapters of the Umpire Association of NJ. The organization that oversees all interscholastic sports competition in the state of New Jersey is The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. The NJSIAA requires that all high school sports officials are 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 RVUA, is to execute all of those requirements. The RVUA supplies umpires for assignment to officiate games at high schools in Hunterdon and Somerset County for baseball and softball. 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 Officials Associations.
Do I have to live in New Jersey to be NJSIAA certified?
Do I have to live or work in Somerset County to belong to the RVUA?
How do I train to become an NJSIAA certified high school umpire?
You must attend a cadet class at one of the 15 UANJ Chapters around the New Jersey if you’re interested in receiving training to obtain NJSIAA Certification to umpire high school baseball and/or softball. We hope you will choose to enroll in the cadet class the offered by the Raritan Valley Umpire’s Association.
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 UANJ chapter you may transfer your membership to the RVUA and continue your certification without attending the RVUA cadet class. However, if you passed a previous state exam and even if you were once certified, if you never joined a UANJ chapter, or if you allowed your membership in a UANJ chapter to lapse and you did not pay dues to that chapter for the 2018 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 employ-ability 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 UANJ 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. 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 RVUA.
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 RVUA does not assign games. Attending the cadet class and/or joining the RVUA do 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.
Will I have insurance protection when I umpire?
Yes. When you become certified and join any UANJ 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.
What do I get to show I am a NJSIAA Certified Umpire?
After you have passed the state exam at the end of your cadet course, then join any UANJ Chapter and pay your dues, you will be given your “card” (demonstrating that you are member) at that association’s first meeting for the following season.
How soon will I be able to work a varsity game?
When you become a competent and skillful umpire you will probably be offered plenty of games.. 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 RVUA cadet class schedule?
Plan to meet Tuesday and Thursday nights for 6-7 weeks starting mid January 2018. Each class lasts 2 hours. You will be advised of the complete schedule. So, plan on being in class every Tuesday and Thursday night from January through the end of March. The RVUA cadet class will be presented in a way to explain high school baseball and softball rules, basic mechanics for the 2-man umpiring system, and what is expected from an umpire at this level. You should be prepared to devote a substantial amount of time and effort into attending the class, doing homework and preparing for the exams. Note: Not all chapters in NJ follow the same schedule as the RVUA. If you plan to attend the cadet class of another chapter you must contact them directly to get their information.
Is there an attendance policy?
Yes. You are expected to attend all the cadet classes. Material covered in the class is not always passed along through independent study. Attendance of the class directly correlates to your ability in 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 Hunterdon Central High School in Flemington NJ
When are the state exams given?
The UANJ State exams will be administered on the evening on a Tuesday or Thursday, but the date has not been determined at this time.
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 RVUA 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 January 21, 2019. The class fee for the upcoming session is $120. The check should be made payable to the “RVUA” and mailed to he cadet instructor, as soon as possible. NOTE: You are not considered registered in the class until the entire class fee is received. To guarantee that you have a seat in the class, mail your cadet fee as soon as possible.
Are the cadets provided with any printed educational materials in class?
Yes. Cadets are provided with six NFHS books. These books include the baseball and softball rulebooks, casebooks, and umpire manuals. We also provide the NJSIAA Official’s Manual, the NASO Pre-season rules update bulletins for baseball and softball and other items of use to umpires. Additionally, cadets will receive 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 RVUA membership meetings?
Cadets are welcome, but not required to attend the regular RVUA meetings for the certified active membership. The first RVUA Meetings each year are usually held in late January. RVUA membership meetings are held in Hunterdon Central High School. There are usually five (5) meetings scheduled on Wednesday 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 UANJ 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 UANJ membership lapse at some point.
What happens if after I become certified I will be out of the local area for an extended time or I need to take a year off from umpiring?
You may change your membership status to “inactive” for any season. First, you must join the RVUA (or another UANJ chapter) immediately after passing the exam to become certified. You must remain a member (active or inactive) as long as you wish to be certified. Sometimes, younger cadets plan to attend college out of the local area, or sometimes active members need to take a year off from umpiring for work, health or personal reasons. Normal membership status is active. However, if you wish to maintain your certification for a year but agree to forgo receiving game assignments you may change your membership status to inactive. The dues for inactive membership are lower than normal active status membership. Inactive members do not receive updated rulebooks and are not covered by NFHS Insurance. The arrangement of changing your status as inactive or active is done through the chapter secretary.
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. Cadets who plan to umpire high school games immediately in the current season should have a firm understanding of the game and some minimal umpiring practice to have a successful experience.
Are there any other requirements to stay certified after passing the exam?
Yes. To maintain varsity certification, each year, chapter members must:
- Join the RVUA or another UANJ Chapter and pay the annual dues.
- Attend the required number of RVUA chapter meetings each year.
- Pass the annual NJSIAA rules review exams given by the RVUA.
- 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. Like so many other things in today’s world you must have an email address and handy access to the internet to be an RVUA cadet and a NJSIAA certified umpire. All communications with the cadet class and the RVUA 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 RVUA always invites a local umpire supplier to attend one of our early season RVUA membership meetings at Hunterdon Central High School 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 RVUA 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.
How do I register for the RVUA cadet class?
There are two steps to registering for the RVUA cadet class:
Complete and submit the registration form by clicking below on the Register Now button below.
Mail a check for $120 payable to the “RVUA” to:
For this information please email Gary Peckman firstname.lastname@example.org
You will be notified by email when your registration data and your check is received and accepted.
What if I have to withdraw?
If your plans change and you must withdraw from the cadet class before the first class, then your entire class fee will be refunded. After the first class is held your class fee cannot be refunded if you withdraw. If you are removed from the class for lack of attendance none of your class fee will be refunded.
Registrations for the cadet class will close on January 21, 2019. No further cadets may enroll after that date, unless approved by the cadet instructor
If you have any other questions about the cadet class you may contact Gary Peckman by email at email@example.com