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Old Tue May 23, 2006, 12:02pm
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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.
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Old Tue May 23, 2006, 12:10pm
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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).
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Old Tue May 23, 2006, 03:36pm
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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.
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Old Wed May 24, 2006, 11:47am
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"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.
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Old Thu May 25, 2006, 11:15pm
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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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