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How to call a balk

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I have my first games tonight with "balk age" kids. I have a good idea and am confident in what a balk is and isn't, but I can't find any information on how to properly call it.

Is it always a delayed dead ball? Or is that only when the pitcher is in motion to throw? Do you say "Time" first? How does the PU move as he calls it? When do you just kill it vs allow time for a pitch/ overthrow to happen?

A few common scenarios of how to signal a balk properly would be extremely helpful. 

Also, as an aside to the mechanics... Does a batter receive a base on balls if the pitcher throws a ball on a balk?

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22 minutes ago, RBIbaseball said:

I have my first games tonight with "balk age" kids. I have a good idea and am confident in what a balk is and isn't, but I can't find any information on how to properly call it.

Is it always a delayed dead ball? Or is that only when the pitcher is in motion to throw? Do you say "Time" first? How does the PU move as he calls it? When do you just kill it vs allow time for a pitch/ overthrow to happen?

A few common scenarios of how to signal a balk properly would be extremely helpful. 

Also, as an aside to the mechanics... Does a runner receive a base on balls if the pitcher throws a ball on a balk?

BU - "That's a balk' while pointing or "Balk" and go back to HOK and see what happens. PU - same verbiage and get set for pitch if it happens. Then call time as per @noumpere's post on second page of the thread and apply as per the rule and that guidance. The runner may or may not get awarded 1B on a delivered pitch that was a ball. After you read "when to call time" come back and post your understanding of it. There is a debate about whether we could count on the majority of amateur umps getting this right.

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8 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

BU - "That's a balk' while pointing or "Balk" and go back to HOK and see what happens. PU - same verbiage and get set for pitch if it happens. Then call time as per @noumpere's post on second page of the thread and apply as per the rule and that guidance. The runner may or may not get awarded 1B on a delivered pitch that was a ball. After you read "when to call time" come back and post your understanding of it. There is a debate about whether we could count on the majority of amateur umps getting this right.

Thanks for the homework @Jimurray . Did you mean to provide a link to the thread? Or is that part of the fun?

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@Jimurray

Hopefully this isn't over simplified, but this is what I took away. If I'm wrong please correct me.

Whenever there is a balk, always point and verbalize "Balk!" or something along the lines of "That's a Balk!", then assess the situation...

  • Did a throw (pick off throw or pitch) happen or is a throw imminent - if NO - Immediately call "Time" and enforce the balk
  • Did a throw (pick off throw or pitch) happen or is a throw imminent - if YES - let the play unfold
    • was the pitch or pickoff attempt caught by the defense - if YES - Call "Time" and enforce the balk
    • was the pitch batted into play OR was the pitch or pickoff attempt wild (past the defender)  - if YES - let the play unfold
      • Once it's clear that the batter and all runners (just runners on pickoff) cannot or won't advance at least one base safely then call "Time" and enforce the balk from where everyone started (examples: Caught fly ball, ground ball stopped by the infield where runners don't all advance, caught pickoff throw)
      • If the BR and all runners (just runners on pickoff) advance at least one base, then let the play stand

Notes:

  • If the pitch happens and it is judged ball 4, and the BB would force all runners to advance, then allow the play to happen. Otherwise call "Time" (no pitch) and enforce the balk.
  • If the pitch happens and it is swung on while also a wild pitch and the BR and all runners advance one base, then let the play stand. Otherwise call "Time" (no pitch) and enforce the balk

 

I wrote this up real fast cause I got to go, so I might have missed something important.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, RBIbaseball said:

@Jimurray

Hopefully this isn't over simplified, but this is what I took away. If I'm wrong please correct me.

Whenever there is a balk, always point and verbalize "Balk!" or something along the lines of "That's a Balk!", then assess the situation...

  • Did a throw (pick off throw or pitch) happen or is a throw imminent - if NO - Immediately call "Time" and enforce the balk
  • Did a throw (pick off throw or pitch) happen or is a throw imminent - if YES - let the play unfold
    • was the pitch or pickoff attempt caught by the defense - if YES - Call "Time" and enforce the balk
    • was the pitch batted into play OR was the pitch or pickoff attempt wild (past the defender)  - if YES - let the play unfold
      • Once it's clear that the batter and all runners (just runners on pickoff) cannot or won't advance at least one base safely then call "Time" and enforce the balk from where everyone started (examples: Caught fly ball, ground ball stopped by the infield where runners don't all advance, caught pickoff throw)
      • If the BR and all runners (just runners on pickoff) advance at least one base, then let the play stand

Notes:

  • If the pitch happens and it is judged ball 4, and the BB would force all runners to advance, then allow the play to happen. Otherwise call "Time" (no pitch) and enforce the balk.
  • If the pitch happens and it is swung on while also a wild pitch and the BR and all runners advance one base, then let the play stand. Otherwise call "Time" (no pitch) and enforce the balk

 

I wrote this up real fast cause I got to go, so I might have missed something important.

 

 

 

Good job. A balk is enforced, ignored or acknowledged. Some miss “acknowledged”. Wild pitch, swung on ( if third strike we go to another algorithm) or not swung on, R1 is safe. Or is thrown out at 3B. The play or the out stands but the balk is acknowledged, no pitch. And your cohorts neglected to train you on this? Emoticon not available. The criteria of when “all play has ceased” can become important also. 

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1 hour ago, Jimurray said:

Good job. A balk is enforced, ignored or acknowledged. Some miss “acknowledged”. Wild pitch, swung on ( if third strike we go to another algorithm) or not swung on, R1 is safe. Or is thrown out at 3B. The play or the out stands but the balk is acknowledged, no pitch. And your cohorts neglected to train you on this? Emoticon not available. The criteria of when “all play has ceased” can become important also. 

I know there was some sarcasm there, but I wish I did have someone to demonstrate mechanics to me, but anyone I start asking questions to I realize knows less than I do (either rules or mechanics), and once they try to convince me something I know that is right, is wrong, then I stop asking them questions.

But anyways, yes, I was implying that it was 3rd strike (dropped 3rd strike) on my last note.

When you said the out stands, are you talking about R1 advancing to 3B on a past ball and getting thrown out at 3B? If so, ya I understood that. He is only protected to 2B and anything beyond that is at his own risk.

So since I passed the test (thanks for the link and the explanations @noumpere < thanks), just curious what side of the debate you were on? lol

p.s. just got back from my 13-14 yr old game and felt like a boss out there with my balk knowledge. My PU was just like (I'm gonna let you call all the balks after I gave him a brief explanation of what I found out here). Confidence boost 1000. Thanks again.

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5 hours ago, RBIbaseball said:

but anyone I start asking questions to I realize knows less than I do (either rules or mechanics), and once they try to convince me something I know that is right, is wrong, then I stop asking them question

I ran into this a lot when I was starting. You will run into good partners sooner or later. When you do, pick their brains. Seek out good clinics, and you have already found this place, which has a wealth of info. 

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1 hour ago, catsbackr said:

Remember, it depends on what rules you are playing with, OBR or Fed, delayed dead ball vs. immediate dead ball.

I believe what was discussed above is OBR, so Im guessing Fed is immediate? 

Meaning every balk kills the play immediately and everything is a no pitch, batted or not?

If not please explain.

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4 minutes ago, RBIbaseball said:

I believe what was discussed above is OBR, so Im guessing Fed is immediate? 

Meaning every balk kills the play immediately and everything is a no pitch, batted or not?

If not please explain.

Correct.  That grand slam immediately after a balk call?  In Fed it didn't happen.

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Yes, Fed is immediate dead ball.  No pitch - just the runner (if applicable) moves over a base, then re-set and play .

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10 hours ago, RBIbaseball said:

I know there was some sarcasm there, but I wish I did have someone to demonstrate mechanics to me, but anyone I start asking questions to I realize knows less than I do (either rules or mechanics), and once they try to convince me something I know that is right, is wrong, then I stop asking them questions.

But anyways, yes, I was implying that it was 3rd strike (dropped 3rd strike) on my last note.

When you said the out stands, are you talking about R1 advancing to 3B on a past ball and getting thrown out at 3B? If so, ya I understood that. He is only protected to 2B and anything beyond that is at his own risk.

So since I passed the test (thanks for the link and the explanations @noumpere < thanks), just curious what side of the debate you were on? lol

p.s. just got back from my 13-14 yr old game and felt like a boss out there with my balk knowledge. My PU was just like (I'm gonna let you call all the balks after I gave him a brief explanation of what I found out here). Confidence boost 1000. Thanks again.

I would not want to change FED to the OBR rule based on my observation of umpires' grasp, in my neck of the woods, of the OBR balk rule. I've actually seen a PONY umpire group revert to "coaches choice" because the "when to call time" instruction was too complicated. But you are a welcome exception to my observations.:D

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37 minutes ago, wolfe_man said:

Yes, Fed is immediate dead ball.  No pitch - just the runner (if applicable) moves over a base, then re-set and play .

And, in all of my training, you shouldn't change the way you call it in Fed. Still say "That's a balk! TIME!"

Some say you should say "TIME! That's a balk!", but then you get confused in an OBR game and do it wrong.

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2 minutes ago, yawetag said:

And, in all of my training, you shouldn't change the way you call it in Fed. Still say "That's a balk! TIME!"

Some say you should say "TIME! That's a balk!", but then you get confused in an OBR game and do it wrong.

Agree.  We were taught to say "That's a balk! Time!" in our Fed class.

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Always remember .......... 95+% of the time (probably higher than 95%) .... when you yell "THAT'S A BALK" ....but the time you get "TIME" out of your mouth ....everyone has stopped and is looking at you.  VERY RARELY will play continue :nod: 

This gives you time to assess the situation,  award bases, etc, regardless of rule-set

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10 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

Always remember .......... 95+% of the time (probably higher than 95%) .... when you yell "THAT'S A BALK" ....but the time you get "TIME" out of your mouth ....everyone has stopped and is looking at you.  VERY RARELY will play continue :nod: 

This gives you time to assess the situation,  award bases, etc, regardless of rule-set

I have found that when PU calls a balk F1 continues his delivery more often than when BU calls a balk. I wonder if it has something to do with the direction of the announcement.

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