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Old Mon Jun 05, 2006, 06:20pm
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What new ump should look for re:balks

I'm in my first year of working 90' field games and my biggest area of difficulty has been balks when I'm working as BU. Sometimes it seems like there is more going on than I can process in real time, inasmuch as calling balks instantly hasn't yet become second nature to me. Is there an approach that new umpires can use to simplify the matter, i.e., focus on a few key things, while they are on the learning curve?

Mike
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Old Mon Jun 05, 2006, 09:28pm
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DTQ:

First, watch the Jim Evans balk video multiple times. It is very good and it talks about the very obvious balks as well as the more subtle ones.

My question to you is, why do you state you have difficulty called balks while on the bases? Do you not have the same difficulty working the plate? I need to know what you mean by the distinction.

In the meantime, I would recommend you learn and call the real obvious balks as you gain more experience and work more big field ball. So, here are the big 5 for me:

1) Not coming to a complete stop prior to delivering to the plate.
2) Faking to first while on the rubber.
3) Stopping the delivery during a pitch.
4) Not stepping toward the base being thrown to.
5) Disengaging the rubber incorrectly.

There are a lot more than this, but I feel if you start with these you will get most balks that are committed.
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Old Mon Jun 05, 2006, 10:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DTQ_Blue
I'm in my first year of working 90' field games and my biggest area of difficulty has been balks when I'm working as BU. Sometimes it seems like there is more going on than I can process in real time, inasmuch as calling balks instantly hasn't yet become second nature to me. Is there an approach that new umpires can use to simplify the matter, i.e., focus on a few key things, while they are on the learning curve?

Mike
If you are in first year of 90' foot bases leave the balk calls to the PU. That's about as simple as I can make it. Learn from what he calls a balk.
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Old Mon Jun 05, 2006, 10:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPatrino
DTQ:

First, watch the Jim Evans balk video multiple times. It is very good and it talks about the very obvious balks as well as the more subtle ones.

My question to you is, why do you state you have difficulty called balks while on the bases? Do you not have the same difficulty working the plate? I need to know what you mean by the distinction.

In the meantime, I would recommend you learn and call the real obvious balks as you gain more experience and work more big field ball. So, here are the big 5 for me:

1) Not coming to a complete stop prior to delivering to the plate.
2) Faking to first while on the rubber.
3) Stopping the delivery during a pitch.
4) Not stepping toward the base being thrown to.
5) Disengaging the rubber incorrectly.

There are a lot more than this, but I feel if you start with these you will get most balks that are committed.
And don't forget "dropping the ball." I had this one in a college game this year.
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Old Mon Jun 05, 2006, 10:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPatrino
DTQ:

First, watch the Jim Evans balk video multiple times. It is very good and it talks about the very obvious balks as well as the more subtle ones.
I enthusiastically second this suggestion. The Evans video is damn near "everything you need to know about pitching regs and balks." Watch the video once. Then watch it again. Watch it one more time.

The next time you step on the field, you will have no fear about your understanding of what is and is not a balk.
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Old Tue Jun 06, 2006, 01:27am
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I'd say those 6 things listed above cover just about all you'll see when needing to call a balk. Just continue to pay attention every pitch, and eventually it will become second nature, and you won't even realize you're doing it. Every pitch I think in my head - "hands apart, on rubber, taking sign, full stop". For every pickoff i thinkg "off the rubber" or "stepped directly to the base, didn't fake"

Just keep focusing, you'll figure it out.
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Old Tue Jun 06, 2006, 08:14pm
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Purchase the Jim Evans Balk Video- great video.

i think you can get it at www.umpireacademy.com for like 50 bucks
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