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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 10:19am
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Question

Is there any place on the internet I can go to read and understand the 39 different ways a pitcher can balk in Colt Leagues?

Any direction would help.

Thanks,
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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 10:34am
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WOW, are we up to 39? These may or may not, be applicable to Colt League rules, depending upon your League.

In "THE UMPIRE'S ANSWER BOOK" by Carl Childress, April 1990 and edited by Tom Hammill, there are listed 30 ways that high school pitchers could balk. Some are also balks in Pro and College rules.

As quoted on pages 13 & 14:

"1.Takes his sign while not on the rubber.
2.Assumes the windup position when his non-pivot foot
is not on or behind a line extending through the
frontedge of the rubber.
3.Rotates his arms more than twice before delivery.
4.Attempts a pickoff move from the windup position.
5.Pitches a defaced ball.
6.Delivers without facing the batter.
7.Throws to first or third after his non-pivot foot has
broken the plane of the back edge of the rubber.
8.Pitches when the catcher does not have both feet in the
catcher’s box.
9.Pumps more than twice before delivery.
10.Assumes the set position without keeping his pitching
hand at his side or behind his back.
11.Comes to his stop with the ball above his chin.
12.Brings his pitching hand to his mouth and then delivers
without wiping off that hand.
13.Interrupts his pitching motion, once begun
14.Pitches from the windup position without maintaining
contact with the rubber.
15.Pitches from the set position with his pivot foot
outside the end of the rubber.
16.Makes a quick return pitch.
17.Steps forward off the rubber from the set position.
18.Pitches from the set without coming to a complete stop.
19.Stretches twice.
20.Drops the ball while on the rubber when the ball does
not cross the foul line.
21.Feints toward home.
22.Feints toward first.
23.Fails to step first with the non-pivot foot toward any
base before making a throw.
24.Feints or throws to an unoccupied base except when
making a play.
25.Fails to pitch after making any motion habitually
connected with his delivery.
26.Removes his hand from the ball in the set position
except to pitch or throw.
27.Stands on or astride or within five feet of the rubber
without the ball (NCAA and pro: the five-foot
restriction is not part of the rule).
28.After coming to a stop in the set position. Feints with
any part of the upper body, except the head.
29.Steps toward occupied third and then turns to throw to
first without first disengaging the rubber.
30.Commits any act which, in the umpire’s judgment, is an
illegal attempt to deceive the runners."

In #29, the HS pitcher is allowed to make this move with or without disengaging the rubber.

Good Luck

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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 11:13am
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Coach:

Colt is played under the Official Rules of Baseball plus some PONY add-ons, none of which involve balks.

Read rule 8 of the OBR with particular attention to 8.05 (a)-(m).

These are the balks.

Those who create lists like "39" or "50" ways to balk describe several ways to violate each of the 13 listed in 8.05. Try hard enough and you could list 100, but they are all variations on a theme,

Learn the real Balk Rule and you won't need a list.
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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 12:11pm
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BALK!

I still have trouble looking for balks when on the plate...Which ones shuold I be looking for, and which ones should the BU be looking for? What are common mistakes when looking for balks? Any information pertaining to the subject of Balks would be helpful!
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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 12:35pm
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Depends on the level you are working Lonewolf.

At the lower levels you will probaly see most often the failure to come set, feinting to first from the rubber and some God awful foot work that resembles stepping to home and throwing elsewhere.

Moving up the food chain you will see some creative balks like simulating a pitch while not incontact with the rubber (visualize a pitcher who thinks he can anything as long as he disengages), snap throws to first ahead of his step, hesitations after beginning the delvery motion and tricky "double sets". (Even though as Carl Childress likes to point out, double setting is not specifically forbidden by the letter of the rule.)

Get ahold of Jim Evans video on Pitching Regulations. It's the best one out there. And if someone offers you "See a Balk, Call a Balk" for free, or even offers you money to take it, snicker knowingly and tell them you're waiting for the Evans tape.
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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 12:55pm
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I try very hard not to use the "B" word unless it is absolutly obvious and necessary. (Ex. Pitcher fakes to 1st.) Can't help you son.

I will do my best to communicate with the pitcher directly or through the catcher, technical flaws that could lead to the use of the "B" word. "Hey catch, go tell your pitcher to come to a good stop". I may ask to inspect the ball and make a suggestion to the pitcher while examing the ball. This works for every level of ball I have done, even semi-pro.

This is my approach. Some feel that it is black and white and the only way the pitcher will learn, is if you say the "B' word. I guess this works too.

One common mistake I used to make was being too eager to call a Balk. Some say if it looks strange , it got to be a balk. I say, if you can't explain what was wrong, then you shouldn't be calling it because you probably don't know enough about balks. JMO

Good luck

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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 12:59pm
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Question Question

If the 1B or 3B player is stradling the base with a foot clearly in foul area, and the pitch is delivered and caught, what is the call?
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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 02:07pm
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Re: Question

Quote:
Originally posted by BoysCoach
If the 1B or 3B player is stradling the base with a foot clearly in foul area, and the pitch is delivered and caught, what is the call?
"Don't do that!"

It is NOT a balk.



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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 03:14pm
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"If the 1B or 3B player is stradling the base with a foot clearly in foul area, and the pitch is delivered and caught, what is the call?"

If someone makes a big deal of this, this is the call

"Time, Son please move both feet (depending on the level of game OBR,NCAA or FED) or one foot into fair territory" If the player does not comply than further action may be requried. It is NEVER NEVER a balk. Too many officials get this confused with the penalty for a catchers balk which is on the same page and just below the wording about players being in fair territory.

There are variations about this in Fed and NCAA, however this is probably the best way to handle it.
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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 05:21pm
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If the 1B or 3B player is stradling the base with a foot clearly in foul area, and the pitch is delivered and caught, what is the call?

Depends. If the pitch was in the strike zone, it would be a strike, if not, a ball.

If you are referring to F3 or F5 having a foot in foul territory, the call is nothing unless someone complains. Then, it's "Hey, get in both feet in fair territory." And be sure you watch the players on the team that complained, as well.

The problem with OBR 4.03 is that some people conclude the listed penalty of Balk is for the entire section. They are wrong. It applies to paragraph (a), where it is found, only.
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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 05:56pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by jicecone
I try very hard not to use the "B" word unless it is absolutly obvious and necessary. (Ex. Pitcher fakes to 1st.) Can't help you son.

I will do my best to communicate with the pitcher directly or through the catcher, technical flaws that could lead to the use of the "B" word. "Hey catch, go tell your pitcher to come to a good stop". I may ask to inspect the ball and make a suggestion to the pitcher while examing the ball. This works for every level of ball I have done, even semi-pro.

This is my approach. Some feel that it is black and white and the only way the pitcher will learn, is if you say the "B' word. I guess this works too.

One common mistake I used to make was being too eager to call a Balk. Some say if it looks strange , it got to be a balk. I say, if you can't explain what was wrong, then you shouldn't be calling it because you probably don't know enough about balks. JMO

Good luck
There are several things demonstrably wrong with this approach.
  1. Most balks are a form of cheating - by definition an illegal attempt to gain advantage
  2. Some balks are intentionally punitive, and designed to affect the balance between offense and defense for the good of the game
  3. Even technical balks are illegal acts, because they disadvantage the offense in a way not intended under the rules
  4. Umpires are NOT coaches and do NOT have any mandate to instruct pitchers on their craft
While there may be a case for moderating the enforcement of certain technical balks at some junior levels, based on a lack of intent, most of the time at all serious levels of the game the advice to "See a balk, call a balk" is far closer to the truth of an official's task.

Anyone wanting a comprehensive analysis of the Balk rules, and their underlying intent, could do much worse than to read Garth Benham's excellent series on the subject at Officiating.com.

Cheers
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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 07:49pm
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Warren:

Jim's approach is very solid and has a ton of common sense - something that is lacking today with many officals.

blaine
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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 08:04pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blaine Gallant
Warren:

Jim's approach is very solid and has a ton of common sense - something that is lacking today with many officals.

blaine
In YOUR opinion.

OTOH, I think officials should take seriously their charter under 9.01(a) to conduct the game "in accordance with these rules...".

Now I know that there are many inconsistencies and gray areas in the rules. At those times I would AGREE that a solid, common sense approach is a good way to travel. In this case, however, the rules are hardly inconsistent or ambiguous. If you clearly see a balk then it is your job to call it, whether or not it's "obvious" to everyone else - to do otherwise would be a misapplication of the rules.

The only time umpires get to exercise their discretion is when they have doubt that the pitcher's action is illegal. In that case they can base their decision on their perception of the pitcher's intent. [OBR 8.05 Comment] Otherwise, the rules require the enforcement of balks. That's the umpire's job.

I believe that umpires should first endeavour to DO THE JOB before they start looking for excuses to inject their personal opinions into the game. It is all about being an IMPARTIAL ARBITER of the rules, and not about using one's individual perceptions to alter the play.

Cheers


[Edited by Warren Willson on Jun 30th, 2003 at 08:16 PM]
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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 10:36pm
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Warren,

If man could live by "Words" alone, you would have already have mastered life.

However, real life just doesn't support your black and white philosophy. It sounds good and may work for you, but most of the time it just isn't practical. In all due respect, good luck.

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Old Mon Jun 30, 2003, 10:57pm
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I guess it depends on the level of play. If I were doing 12U ball, Jim's approach would probably be appreciated by all. But working games in these parts with players who shave, at least above the shoulders, umpires who utilize that approach either learn not to, or don't work long.

We are umpires, not coaches. Our job is to see that neither side gets an advantage not intended by rule. To allow a pitcher to gain an illegal advantage should not be tolerated.

Note that I said "advantage". Admittedly, there are some balks that do not provide advantage and, again, depending on the level of the game, an argument could be made for letting them slip. But, again, in big boy ball, if you recognize it as a balk, call it.

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