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Guest JMS

Little League Batter Abandons Batters Box

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Guest JMS

In a sanctioned Little League majors division (11-12U) game as the pitcher starts his delivery the batter for unknown reason (unreadiness, panic, etc.) abandons and steps out of the batters box without asking for or being granted time out by the home plate umpire. Seeing this the pitcher cuts short his delivery and does not release or pitch the ball. The umpire calls a balk on the pitcher and awards the batter with a called ball. Is this the correct call based on Little League rules? I looked through the rule book but was not 100% after reading a few relevant rules. Thanks for any input on this. 

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If the batter stepping out of the box, an illegal act, causes a balk, an illegal act... we start over. 

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Guest JMS

OK thanks so basically a dead ball. That's what I was thinking but didn't want to make a fuss at the game. Thanks for your help. 

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In a Little League Majors Division game, it is played on a 60' diamond.  There are no balks.  What is a balk on a 90' diamond, is an illegal pitch on the 60' Diamond.  HOWEVER, think of it as advantage/disadvantage. 

The batter stepping out of the box, causing the pitcher to commit the illegal pitch.  The batter put the defense at a disadvantage.  You don't allow it.

 

**Side note, in my league, I'd probably have a talk with the managers between innings. a) let your batter know that if he steps out w/o time being granted, the pitch can still be called a strike. b) let you pitcher know to follow through with the pitch.  Odds are, it will be a strike...........

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We just saw this exact situation for the first time in a MLB game in a while.

Kind of surprises Franconia didn't get run in that situation.

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8 hours ago, Gil said:

Starting from Scratch, even happens in the bigs.

June 2016: Batter Morrison steps out of the box as pitcher Porcello begins his delivery. Porcello, seeing the batter out of the box, stops, even though the umpire never called "Time." Result = Start over "from scratch": https://www.closecallsports.com/2016/06/starting-from-scratch-batter-disrupts.html

It didn't happen in 2013 when an MLB ump balked a pitcher who stopped when the batter uttered time (I'm hazy about the details) but did not step out. I'm guessing the ump hung his hat on the then current rule wording which was "the batter has stepped out of the box".  Thus the 2014 rewording of the rule comment to "inadvertently caused".

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13 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

We just saw this exact situation for the first time in a MLB game in a while.

Kind of surprises Franconia didn't get run in that situation.

Date, inning, sit?

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Under NFHS rules, probably not applicable here, it would be a strike if delivered, and 2 strikes if he was out of the box with both feet.

 

“If the pitcher, with a runner on base, stops or hesitates in his delivery because the batter steps out of the box (a) with one foot or (b) with both feet or (c) holds up his hand to request “Time,” it shall not be a balk. In (a) and (c), there is no penalty on either the batter or the pitcher. The umpire shall call “Time” and begin play anew. In (b), a strike shall be called on the batter for violation of 7-3-1. In (a), (b) and (c), if the pitcher ­legally delivers the ball, it shall be called a strike and the ball remains live. Thus, two strikes are called on the batter in (b). If the umpire judges the batter’s action to be a deliberate attempt to create a balk, he will penalize according to 3-3-1n.”

Excerpt From: NFHS. “2018 NFHS Baseball Rules Book.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/2018-nfhs-baseball-rules-book/id1314997555?mt=11

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