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thumpferee Thu May 06, 2004 06:29am

Your thoughts on this.

R1, pitcher comes to what I call an open set. Ex. RH Pitcher from the stretch comes up to the set position with his non pivot foot(free foot) open toward 1B. Balk or no balk?

I have seen this happen in the past and have not called it. I have gotten opinions on this in the past from members of this forum as well as from other experienced officials.

The thing about the balk rule is there are too many opinions out there and not enough rules clarification. I feel more information needs to be added to the rule books so officials have a better clarification on what a balk is so we can be on the same page when making this call. IMO

Example. an email was sent out to our district officials and both replies were different based on their interpretation of the rule.

So, hopefully your thoughts and expertice can help clarify this move.

Thanks.


Gee Thu May 06, 2004 07:32am

Not a balk. Let's look at the rule:

"(b) The Set Position. Set Position shall be indicated by the pitcher when he stands facing the batter with his entire pivot foot on, or in front of, and in contact with, and not off the end of the pitcher's plate, and his other foot in front of the pitcher's plate, holding the ball in both hands in front of his body and coming to a complete stop."

As you can see, the rule only requires the free foot to be IN FRONT of the rubber. The side restriction is limited to the pivot foot.

A lot of young pitchers are taught to open up their set so they can get a better look at first without turning their shoulder which under some rules is considered a feint and a balk.

The reason that you see so many interps on the balk is due to how different areas, different leagues and different Rules handle it. The only person that can clarify this for you would be your associations Rules interpreter for the particular league and under the rules of that league you are concerned with.

mick Thu May 06, 2004 08:12am

Advantage to the offense.
 
Quote:

Originally posted by thumpferee
Your thoughts on this.

R1, pitcher comes to what I call an open set. Ex. RH Pitcher from the stretch comes up to the set position with his non pivot foot(free foot) open toward 1B. Balk or no balk?

Looks like a case of poor coaching to me, thumpferee.

When a pitcher stands like that the delivery takes more time (to assist the runner) and the pitch loses speed (to assist the batter).
mick


thumpferee Thu May 06, 2004 12:59pm

I am in agreement with both of you. Thanks guys!






DG Thu May 06, 2004 07:54pm

In front of the rubber means in front of the rubber. If he plants his non pivot foot in a location that I would consider a balk if he were to step there after coming set normally, then I call a balk as soon as he makes a move to home. Never seen it happen, I'm just answering the question.

Patrick Szalapski Fri May 07, 2004 10:29am

Quote:

Originally posted by DG
In front of the rubber means in front of the rubber. If he plants his non pivot foot in a location that I would consider a balk if he were to step there after coming set normally, then I call a balk as soon as he makes a move to home. Never seen it happen, I'm just answering the question.
If that were so, wouldn't you have to balk him immediately, when he fails to throw to first (assuming R1 and a right-handed pitcher) under OBR 8.05b?

I don't think this is a good guideline. I see you've mastered the reflexive property, but that doesn't tell us what the definition of "is" is. ;-) "In front" is a pretty vague term. A "step" toward a base is usually defined as having both distance and direction. A goofy location of the free foot in the set position does not become a step. Gee has the rule citation above.

P-Sz


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