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David M Tue May 23, 2006 12:02pm

Another Stupid Balk Question
R1, Pitcher in stretch comes set. While stepping back from the rubber pitcher turns shoulder and fakes to first. Do you have a balk? I have had some fellow officials tell me this is OK as he stepped back but other have said to treat it like a jab step because the pitcher is doing this all in one continuous motion.

bob jenkins Tue May 23, 2006 12:10pm

By rule, the pivot foot must land before the feint begins.

In practice, it's hard to see the exact timing, so the move is usually let go. (IOW, the benefit of the doubt goes to F1 here).

RPatrino Tue May 23, 2006 03:36pm

I agree with Bob J here. If the pivot foot ultimately lands behind the rubber then I have no balk. Remember, if F1 airmails the ball OOB, it's a 2 base award.

Bob P.

mbyron Wed May 24, 2006 11:47am

"While stepping back" is ambiguous. If F1 legally stepped off with his pivot foot, then he's an infielder and can feint to first. If he "stepped back" in some other sense, then it's a balk.

I'm guessing that you meant to ask simply about the timing: does F1 have to step off before feinting to first? Bob Jenkins answered that question.

Bainer Thu May 25, 2006 11:15pm

I agree-
Rule of thumb I was always taught was - Step Must Precede Throw.
Whether it's a step off the back or to the base.


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