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Old Thu Jul 20, 2006, 04:15pm
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RHP in stretch facing 1st base (balk or no balk)

1. OBR rules and a Pony League tournament (13-14).
2. R2, no outs.
3. Right-handed pitcher in stretch position but facing first base. (glove is still on his left hand)
4. Pitcher steps off with his pivot foot towards second base and immediatly throws to pick off runner. R2 was safe however the opposing coach wanted a balk.

Is this considered a balk?

I stated that no where in the rulebook does it state how the pitcher should engage the rubber relative to his throwing hand and therefore is legal. After the game we had a group discussion, that included the tournament director, and he felt that it should be a balk based upon the closing sentences at the end of section 8.05, which states:

Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire’s mind, the “intent” of the pitcher should govern. However, certain specifics should be borne in mind:

His argument, which makes sense, is that the pitcher had one thing in mind and that was to deceive the runner and there was never any intent to pitch the baseball and thus should be a balk. I could buy into that argument, but I wanted to get more input from some of my peers. Thanks for any information.
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Old Thu Jul 20, 2006, 04:22pm
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That may be the intent of the balk rule, and it is true that when ruling on balks we should have this intent in mind... but that intent does not allow us to expand the rules or make up new ones to make what we feel was deceiving illegal. I see no rule broken here.
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Old Thu Jul 20, 2006, 04:34pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tem_blue
1. OBR rules and a Pony League tournament (13-14).
2. R2, no outs.
3. Right-handed pitcher in stretch position but facing first base. (glove is still on his left hand)
4. Pitcher steps off with his pivot foot towards second base and immediatly throws to pick off runner. R2 was safe however the opposing coach wanted a balk.

Is this considered a balk?
Absolutely.
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Old Thu Jul 20, 2006, 04:47pm
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Technically he never had his "pivot" foot on the rubber, as a right hander, his right foot is considered his "pivot" foot.

FED casebook 6.1.3L ..."assumes a right handed pitcher who illegally assumes a left handed set position in order to to make a stronger pick off throw to second base. The penalty is a balk since a right handed pitcher's pivot foot is his right foot."

Per BRD, Page 231, OBR uses the FED coorelation.
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Old Thu Jul 20, 2006, 04:48pm
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4. Pitcher steps off with his pivot foot towards second base and immediatly throws to pick off runner. R2 was safe however the opposing coach wanted a balk.

The Pitcher's PIVOT FOOT is that foot which is in contact with the pitcher's plate as the pitch is delivered. Which foot did he use to deliver pitches? It does not change unless he puts the glove on his right hand and holds the ball in his left hand.


I stated that no where in the rulebook does it state how the pitcher should engage the rubber relative to his throwing hand and therefore is legal.

How about:
(b) The Set Position. Set Position shall be indicated by the pitcher when that pitcher stands facing the batter with the entire pivot foot on, or in front of, and in con-tact with, and not off the end of the pitcher's plate, and the other foot in front of the pitcher's plate, holding the ball in both hands in front of the body.

Balk

Paul
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Old Thu Jul 20, 2006, 04:54pm
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FED defines pivot foot as being on the same side as the arm he pitches with.

NCAA defines it as the foot in contact with the rubber when the pitcher delivers. ( I'd like to see this pitcher throw the ball!)

OBR, same as NCAA. BUT according to J/R, professional umpires use the FED interp.

Clear as mud? Carl....HELLLPPP!!!
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Old Thu Jul 20, 2006, 10:00pm
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From the J/R (page 131):

The stretch Position [8.01b]

A. Initial Stage

When taking the stretch position, the pitcher must stand with his gloved side toward home plate. His hands must be obviously seperate; his throwing hand (with or without the ball) at his side in view from all three bases. His piviot foot must be parallel to and touching the pitching rubber.

From this description, I would consider that in the above case the glove hand is not on the side of home plate. The second base runner can not see the ball in his hand. Illegal pitching position. Balk.
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