Free Previews

This page will show you previews of our video lessons, DVDs and articles that are so valuable to your umpire training.  Please check back.


This is a sample of one of our standard training videos which are included in your membership.

Bugsycasts are extra videos that Bugsy produces throughout the baseball season to give you extra value for your membership along with the standard training videos included in your membership.


This preview below briefly discusses how to remove the bat for a possible play at the plate.

Number 1 Priority is your play at the plate.   If you’re able to remove the bat, do so and get back to your position to call the play at the plate.  When in doubt as to whether you can get to the bat in time, stay back and call your play.  But work on it, work on being quick to grab the bat, especially if it’s in the runners path.  (Email addresses are safe with us, we do not sell them, you will be put on our Newsletter email list.  Note the “skip” arrow lower right.


Here’s a good article!
The Question: Can I work behind the Catcher? (do I have to work the slot?)

Posted on June 12, 2015 by Bugsy
Over the years I’ve been asked on several occassions, “Hey Bugsy, can I work the plate directly behind the catcher because I’m getting killed by missed pitches and the catcher is doing a lousy job!”

My answer is, if you’re working Amateur ball, as all of you are, sure…. and in a lot of cases I recommend it!

In Pro ball (Minor leagues too), we would never work that way, you work the slot always, whenever you can but of course in the last several years now, even in Pro ball, catchers are moving around all over the place behind the plate and there’s times the umpires have to work “over the top” of the catcher even in MLB.

So that’s what I mean by working behind the catcher, you’re actually working “over the top” of him.

But to do it here and there, throughout the game is one thing (for example, watch a MLB game, the umpire is always in the slot unless the catcher moves way inside in relation to the batter) but to do it from the beginning of the game to the end, is whole ‘nother story because now, you will “see” the strike zone differently.

How? Well for one thing, you will not perceive the low pitch the same. For the most part your strike zone will not be as low around the knees of the batter and will probably be a bit higher on the top side because you see the pitches different from working “over the top” of the catcher.

AND I only recommend working over the top of the catcher if one or both (catchers) are bad at doing their job and part of their job is to protect you, which many, MANY amateur catchers don’t understand from youth through college. I’ve worked behind some pretty lazy college catchers too or a lot are not trained properly regarding protecting the umpire. In Pro ball they’re trained from the low minors on to protect the umpire.

So….look at these pics and you see what you’re supposed to do when working the plate…..

For the rest of the article and for others….Join Umpire Nation now!

“And then there was NFHS”
(Sample of our High School rules teachings. . . )

Infield Fly Rule: NFHS RULE 2-19
The batter is called out when, with less than two outs and runners on first and second or bases loaded, he hits a fair fly ball that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort.  NOTE: it is not an infield fly on a ball that is bunted or is a line drive.  A bunt is obvious but a “line drive”?!  Well, here’s a tip: if it’s got any kind of “hump” on it off the bat and is not hit sharp and straight to the fielder, you can consider it an infield fly out because the whole purpose of the infield fly rule is to protect the runners.

Those little “hump” balls are the ones that will catch you off guard!

Tip: An infield fly is best called when the ball has just started it’s downward descent. This not always easy because if it’s not very high, it’s going to happen quickly!

Tip: Wind, but not the sun, can be a factor in determining whether the can be caught with ordinary effort.  On a really windy day, always be sure the fielder really has a good track on the ball.

Tip: Umpires call the infield fly by pointing in the air with their forefinger and yelling as loud as you can, “Infield fly, batter is out!”  And yell it out several times.  Either umpire can initiate the call.  Any ball close to the foul line, the call is, “Infield fly if fair” and if you deem it fair then follow up with “Infield Fly, batter is out”.

If an infield fly falls to the ground, get ready for the crazies from the play!

But REMEMBER the batter is out regardless of whether it’s caught or not.  It’s SUPER IMPORTANT (if the ball is dropped or falls to the ground, to vigorously and loudly call, “The batter is out. The batter is still out.”

The infield fly removes the force out.  Runners no longer have to advance, but may choose to do so – with normal tag-up responsibilities if the ball is caught.  The runners regularly take off anyway because most players and coaches don’t know the rule. They often run right into a double play!

Umpires judge an infield fly based on the infielders and their ability to catch the ball with ordinary effort – not the physical confines of the infield.  An infield fly might potentially fall onto the outfield grass, particularly if the infielders are playing deep, or an outfielder could attempt the catch AND MAKE THE CATCH, it’s still an infield fly as long you originally deemed it to be caught by an infielder with “ordinary effort”!

A little history about the Infield Fly

The infield fly has been around baseball in some form for a long, long time-since 1895!
And it’s to the advantage of the team at-bat to have the out called against them.  Smart players in baseball’s early days figured out that they could get easy double plays by pretending they were going to catch these fly balls and then letting them drop and thus the Infield Fly Rule was put in the book!


Force Play Slide Rule: NFHS RULE 8-4-2b (or as I like to call it, the “Safety Slide Rule”)


You’ve heard it shouted before – “The runner has to slide on a close play.”  But not true oh so called experts who think they know!

Runners are never required to slide, but they can’t initiate malicious contact.  And if they do slide, it must be legal.

A slide is illegal if a runner uses a rolling, cross-body or pop-up slide into the fielder, or a runner’s raised leg is higher than the fielder’s knee when the fielder is in a standing position, or (except at home plate) a runner goes beyond the base and then makes contact with or alters the play of the fielder, or a runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg, or the runner tries to injure the fielder, or a runner, on a force play, does not slide on the ground and in a direct line between the two bases.  If the slide is illegal and the runner makes contact and/or alters the play, the runner is out.

In an essence to keep it simple in your mind, a runner must slide direct to the bag, straight-in slide, legs down and arms not grabbing the fielder or trying to cause confusion by failing his arms all around the place.  High School ball is super strict with this call

Legal Slide:
-It may be head first or feet first, either one is o.k.
-If feet first, at least one leg and buttock must be on the ground.
-If a runner slides, he must slide within reach of the base with either a hand or a foot.
-A runner may slide or run away from the fielder to avoid making contact or alternation the play of the fielder. (BUT he CANNOT slide towards the fielder to either side of the bag, if the fielder is on one side or the other of the bag.)

If an illegal slide occurs at a base with a force play, not only is that runner called out but the batter-runner is also called out.

A runner may jump, hurdle or leap to avoid a fielder only if the fielder is lying on the ground.  Otherwise, those actions are illegal.  Diving over a fielder is always prohibited in high school ball (you will see this when a fielder is just grabbing the ball and is starting to come up to make a tag on a runner and then the runner is inclined to leap as opposed to stopping or trying to go around the fielder.)  It’s all about SAFETY!