Jump to content

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member
Thunderheads

Balk - Dropped Ball

Recommended Posts

Hi all ...

I'm losing my mind .... (at least I think I am) but ....  A dropped ball by a pitcher is a balk (that doesn't cross the foul line) ONLY if he's touching the pitchers plate, yes?  Why do I think I remember seeing "either on the rubber or straddling" ??   All I'm finding is 6-2-4a

Help! Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member

Pitching position. If he's straddling and simulating pitching position, like taking signs or other deception, that's a balk in itself, don't need a dropped ball.
That's also why if it crosses the foul line it's a pitch and a ball.
Almost had my first ball call on this on turf two weeks ago in a 13U game. The pitcher went to put his hands together coming to a set, and the ball went flying out of his hand and slowly rolled to the third base line. By some miracle the R1 never took off. All were mesmorized I think! It slowly stopped inches from the line, and I balk him..

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, BobUmp said:

Pitching position. If he's straddling and simulating pitching position, like taking signs or other deception, that's a balk in itself, don't need a dropped ball.
That's also why if it crosses the foul line it's a pitch and a ball.
Almost had my first ball call on this on turf two weeks ago in a 13U game. The pitcher went to put his hands together coming to a set, and the ball went flying out of his hand and slowly rolled to the third base line. By some miracle the R1 never took off. All were mesmorized I think! It slowly stopped inches from the line, and I balk him..

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

Bob, thanks, but that's not what the rule says .........

My specific question is:  If a pitcher is straddling the rubber, and he drops the ball, is that a balk, or does he have to be touching it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, taking a look at the NFHS Rule book for you, so I can quote directly :
6.1.1 states "the pitching regulations begin when he intentionally contacts the pitchers plate." That's what I meant by pitching position in my above quote.
6.1.4 states "Each legal pitch shall be declared by the umpire as a strike, ball, fair or foul hit or a dead ball. A pitch dropped during delivery and which crosses a foul line shall be called a ball. Otherwise, it will be called no pitch. A pitch dropped during delivery with at least one runner on base would be a balk if it does not cross a foul line." Dropped during delivery indicates dropped while pitching regulations are in effect, which indicates he is in contact with the pitchers plate during the drop.
6.2.5 states" It is also a balk if a runner or runners are on base and the pitcher, while he is not touching the pitcher’s plate, makes any movement naturally associated with his pitch, or he places his feet on or astride the pitcher’s plate, or positions himself within approximately five feet of the pitcher’s plate without having the ball."
This is NFHS, but the OBR is very similar to what I quoted here, excepting the five feet without the ball statement and some other small minutiae.

Now I am guessing in your example the pitcher may have been straddling the bag briefly while he gets himself into set position, so you feel he was not violating 6.2.5 by simulating pitching movements when not in contact with the rubber. And he dropped the ball before his foot was on the rubber. That would be nothing, according to the rules, if, in your judgment, he did not violate 6.2.5 and in your judgment he did not yet contact the pitchers plate intentionally when he dropped the ball, so per 6.1.1, the pitching regulations were not applicable yet.

I hope this helps


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

Hi all ...

I'm losing my mind .... (at least I think I am) but ....  A dropped ball by a pitcher is a balk (that doesn't cross the foul line) ONLY if he's touching the pitchers plate, yes?  Why do I think I remember seeing "either on the rubber or straddling" ??   All I'm finding is 6-2-4a

Help! Thanks!

You might be running together two different provisions.

Dropping the ball is a balk only when the pitching restrictions apply. Not merely touching the plate, but engaged.

Pitching or feinting while astride the rubber is a balk.

'Astride' appears in just one subsection of one rule (in both FED and OBR).

I'm not competent to judge whether this conflation is sufficient to warrant a diagnosis of mental illness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, maven said:

You might be running together two different provisions.

Dropping the ball is a balk only when the pitching restrictions apply. Not merely touching the plate, but engaged.

Pitching or feinting while astride the rubber is a balk.

'Astride' appears in just one subsection of one rule (in both FED and OBR).

I'm not competent to judge whether this conflation is sufficient to warrant a diagnosis of mental illness.

I did indeed run together 2 provisions!  Thanks Maven!

P.S.   This didn't effect the inning or game! :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

I did indeed run together 2 provisions!  Thanks Maven!

P.S.   This didn't effect the inning or game! :D 

You also might be conflating it with the OBR hidden-ball trick while on or astride.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, maven said:

Dropping the ball is a balk only when the pitching restrictions apply. Not merely touching the plate, but engaged.

Is it possible to be touching the plate, but not be engaged? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Mudder said:

Is it possible to be touching the plate, but not be engaged? 

Of course. Most obviously when the ball is dead. But in general any time F1 walks over the mound and touches the rubber on the way. Any such accidental touching will not count as engagement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Mudder said:

Is it possible to be touching the plate, but not be engaged? 

 

16 hours ago, maven said:

Of course. Most obviously when the ball is dead. But in general any time F1 walks over the mound and touches the rubber on the way. Any such accidental touching will not count as engagement.

I think he's asking:

1) RH pitcher stands just to the side of the rubber

2) Pitcher steps forward and puts the right foot touching the rubber and parallel to it

3) Pitcher steps with the left foot toward home, places the right hand behind his back, bends over, and looks for the sign

(Just describing a reasonably common way of  a pitcher taking the rubber.)

We all agree that if the ball is dropped before step 2, it's nothing.  If it's dropped after step 3, it's something (depending on what the ball does).  what if it's dropped between steps 2 and 3?

 

Although by FED rules the balk regulations begin when the pitcher intentionally contacts the rubber, that isn't interpreted literally -- otherwise step 3 above would be a balk.  It's usually interpreted as "the balk regulations begin when the pitcher 'gets comfortable' on the rubber."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, noumpere said:

Although by FED rules the balk regulations begin when the pitcher intentionally contacts the rubber, that isn't interpreted literally -- otherwise step 3 above would be a balk.  It's usually interpreted as "the balk regulations begin when the pitcher 'gets comfortable' on the rubber."

I have your steps 2 & 3 as the process of intentionally contacting the rubber. That process is not complete until it is (judgment), and the restrictions don't kick in until it's done.

You know, like the process of the catch in football...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Similar Content

    • By chalen
      OBR. R1, stealing on the pitch. The pitcher using the set position balks by failing to come to a discernible stop but delivers the pitch. The batter lays down a bunt. F2 fields the batted ball and throws out the batter-runner at 1B. Obviously we have a no-pitch and we will enforce the balk. Because the batter did not achieve 1B, do we kill the play immediately when the out is recorded at 1B, regardless the location of R1? If R1 was already on 3B when the out was recorded, is R1 still returned to 2B?
    • By chalen
      R1 and R2 (on 1B and 2B, of course). The pitcher balks with a feint to 1B, then throws the ball past 1B. R2 scores, but R1 (who dove back to 1B and was slow to advance), is tagged out while attempting to reach 2B. So we enforce the balk. Obviously R1 gets 2B. Is R2 returned to 3B?
    • By rzanew
      10U Travel ball.  At this age you see some weird things!
       
      RHP with runner on first.  F1 lifts left leg (knee up), pivots, steps toward first and throws to F3 on the bag.  Pivot foot stays on/near the rubber.  Would this be a balk or legal play?
      My thinking at the time is that he is doing the same thing a LHP would do.  Namely lifting the non-pivot leg and then stepping directly toward first.  
       
      On reflection, I could see this as illegal, as he started his normal pitching motion (left leg lift) and did not complete the pitch.  But then why doesn't this apply to LHP?  Does RHP need to move the pivot foot first when making a pickoff move?  
       
    • By David3
      If a pitcher's Windup position is very similar to a set position with runner/s on bases he has to announce this windup pitching to umpires under rule 5.07(a)(2) Comment. Is there a balk if he announces Windup and uses the set motion?
    • By jms1425
      My apologies if this was posted before, but I can't find it. What is the violation here?
       
       
×