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LVUmp34

LL situation - Did I call it correctly?

Question

Batter asks for time and steps out of the box while pitcher starts his windup. No runners on base. 

I do not grant time.  The pitcher pauses more then usual and then delivers pitch after the coach tells pitcher to throw a pitch since I did not grant time.

I called a balk, or in this case their team warning as it was 10 year old kids.

I treated it as a learning experience for the pitchers and the batter with the coaches present and explained play continues until I call time.

Was I wrong?  Older kids I would not have done this.

Thoughts?

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I see no problem. You don't have to grant time to the batter.   If pitcher stopped and restarted during his windup, then a warning would be fair. 

No one was really punished by your ruling and they all can learn what they need to do correctly the next time. 

I would make sure to inform batter that unless you grant time, then it is a live ball and will be called a strike if in the zone.  He may want to ensure you call "Time" before stepping out next time. I'm sure the pitching team's coach was already telling his pitcher to keep going in the future unless time is called.

From my view, good game management/teaching skills on your part.  I agree this isn't for every level, but a good learning moment for LL.

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If the batter steps out and the pitcher stops / pauses, it's a "do-over" -- no balk, no warning.

After you call time, you can still explain the rule, if appropriate for the level / league.

Here's the OBR rule:

If after the pitcher starts his windup or comes to a “set position”
with a runner on, he does not go through with his pitch
because the batter has inadvertently caused the pitcher to interrupt
his delivery, it shall not be called a balk. Both the pitcher
and batter have violated a rule and the umpire shall call time
and both the batter and pitcher start over from “scratch.”

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4 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

I see no problem. You don't have to grant time to the batter.   If pitcher stopped and restarted during his windup, then a warning would be fair. 

No one was really punished by your ruling and they all can learn what they need to do correctly the next time. 

I would make sure to inform batter that unless you grant time, then it is a live ball and will be called a strike if in the zone.  He may want to ensure you call "Time" before stepping out next time. I'm sure the pitching team's coach was already telling his pitcher to keep going in the future unless time is called.

From my view, good game management/teaching skills on your part.  I agree this isn't for every level, but a good learning moment for LL.

There is a problem. The OP has no runners so there is no possible balk or IP. It’s a no pitch and start again. With runners the call would be as @noumpere described even though the green book does not have that verbiage. But the RIM does have similar wording. The green book does have a batters box rule that is optional where a warning and then a no pitch strike could be called. 

Edited by Jimurray
added RIM cite

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From the 2018 Little League Make the Right Call—

RULE 6.02(b) SITUATION:  The batter steps out of the batter’s box without having “Time” granted after the pitcher has started his/her delivery. The pitcher delivers the ball and the umpire declares “No pitch.”

RULING:  This is incorrect. The pitch should be called either a ball or a strike but never “No Pitch.”

Here’s the actual rule the interpretation is based on—

6.02(b) The batter shall not leave that position in the batter’s box after the pitcher comes to Set Position, or starts a windup.

PENALTY:  If the pitcher pitches, the umpire shall call “Ball” or “Strike” as the case may be.

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Correct.

The pitcher stopped and stuttered in his delivery of the pitch.

If it was his natural delivery I would have called it as a ball or strike.

The batter calling time while the pitcher was in his delivery caused the balk.

It just seemed like a good opportunity to explain it to kids that were 9 and 10 year old kids.

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44 minutes ago, LVUmp34 said:

Correct.

The pitcher stopped and stuttered in his delivery of the pitch.

If it was his natural delivery I would have called it as a ball or strike.

The batter calling time while the pitcher was in his delivery caused the pitcher to stop his delivery. This is a no pitch with no penalty. The delivery after the pitcher hesitated was not a pitch.

 

It just seemed like a good opportunity to explain it to kids that were 9 and 10 year old kids.

Added the bold to your post. Time should have been called by you after the pitchers hesition. Then you should let everyone know you had a no pitch caused by the batter. No penalty unless your league is using the optional batters box rule when it be a warning to the batter and then a strike if he did it again. 

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8 hours ago, LVUmp34 said:

I called a balk,

 

1 hour ago, LVUmp34 said:

The batter calling time while the pitcher was in his delivery caused the balk

There can never be a balk with no runners on base.  As well, if your ten year olds are LIttle League, they can't lead off, so there can be no balks, even with runners on base.  In softball there can never be a balk either.

You may consider it semantics.  And a lot of people, including experienced umpires, confuse this or make this mistake.  I've seen seasoned ASA umpires debate this over beers about whether or not there are balks in softball.   There are not.  If there is no scenario where a runner can be deceived there can be no balk.

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From the RIM:

6.02(b) The batter shall not leave that position in the batter’s box after the pitcher comes to Set Position, or starts a windup. PENALTY: If the pitcher pitches, the umpire shall call “Ball” or “Strike” as the case may be.

INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS: Î Keep in mind, however, that with no batter present, the pitcher should be given the benefit of the doubt in this case. After all, the batter backed out without permission. It is, however, not an automatic strike. The batter leaves the batter’s box at the risk of having a pitch delivered and a strike called, unless he/she requests the umpire to call “Time.” The batter is not at liberty to step in and out of the batter’s box at will.

Î Umpires will not call “Time” at the request of the batter or any member of his/her team once the pitcher has started his/her windup or has come to a set position even though the batter claims “dust in his/her eyes,” “steamed glasses,” “didn’t get the sign” or for any other reason. Î Umpires may grant a hitter’s request for “Time” once he/she is in the batter’s box, but the umpire should eliminate hitters walking out of the batter’s box without reason. If umpires strictly enforce this, batters will understand that they are in the batter’s box and they must remain there until the ball is pitched.

Î If the pitcher delays once the batter is in the box and the umpire feels that the delay is not justified he/she may allow the batter to step out of the box momentarily.

Î If after the pitcher starts his/her windup or comes to a “set position” with a runner on, and he/she does not go through with his/her pitch because the batter has stepped out of the box, it shall not be called a balk or illegal pitch. Both the pitcher and batter have violated a rule and the umpire shall call time and both the batter and pitcher start over from “scratch.”

(c) Local League Option: After entering the batter’s box, the batter must remain in the box with at least one foot throughout the at bat.

Exceptions:

1. On a swing, slap, or check swing.

2. When forced out of the box by a pitch.

3. When the batter attempts a “drag bunt.”

4. When the catcher does not catch the pitched ball.

5. When a play has been attempted.

6. When time has been called.

7. When the pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound or takes a position more than five feet from the pitcher’s plate after receiving the ball or the catcher leaves the catcher’s box.

8. On a three ball count pitch that is a strike that the batter thinks is a ball.

PENALTY: If the batter leaves the batter’s box or delays play and none of the exceptions apply, the umpire shall warn the batter. After one warning on a batter, the umpire shall call a strike. Any number of strikes can be called on each batter. Minor/Major Division: No pitch has to be thrown, the ball is dead, and no runners may advance. Intermediate (50-70) Division/Junior/Senior: No pitch has to be thrown and ball is live.

NOTE: The batter may return to their position in the batter’s box and assume the new count at any time during the at-bat, unless such enforced penalty is the third strike.

INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS:

Î The warning must be repeated for every batter each time he/she comes to bat. The warnings are NOT cumulative. If the umpire issues a formal warning make sure that the batter’s manager and the official scorekeeper are aware of the warning.

Î The umpire shall give the batter a reasonable opportunity to take his/her proper position in the batter’s box after the umpire has called a strike and before the umpire calls a successive strike.

Î The ball is dead and any base runners will be required to stay on their respective base. Little League Majors and Below

Î In Intermediate 50-70,Junior, Senior League, if the situation exists where the batter would ordinarily be allowed to run to first base on strike three, he/she will be declared out. Little League Baseball® Umpire

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18 hours ago, LVUmp34 said:

Correct.

The pitcher stopped and stuttered in his delivery of the pitch.

If it was his natural delivery I would have called it as a ball or strike.

 

A "natural delivery" doesn't turn an illegal move into a legal one.  Nor does varying the delivery turn a legal move into an illegal one.

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I was crossed up with the second game I did. (Sorry for the mix-up).

I did not call a balk. The coach called for one. (I looked back at my notes from the game.)

I just called time without calling for illegal pitch.

Noumpere, good to know. 

 

I appreciate all of the feedback!

I had a game last night, got to the field early and went through all of the comments and the rules again.

 

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