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Joe0x7F

Short videos of possible balks ???

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Hello Everyone,

Please take a look at these two very short video snippets and let me know if you see any balks, please. 

And, if there are balks, please let me know which pitches are balks.

All of the pitches shown are when at least one runner is on base and the league is operating under the NFHS rules.

Thank you very much !!!

 

Video 1.
https://youtu.be/krknEh4SI_4

Video 2.
https://youtu.be/rlJUbfyb_c8
 

 

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The umpires in the game called no balks. Do you think there should have been?

I see a U1 who is not demonstrating proper mechanics, but no balks.

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"ART. 3 . . . For the set position, the pitcher shall have the ball in either his gloved hand or his pitching hand. His pitching hand shall be down at his side or behind his back... He shall go to the set position without interruption and in one continuous motion. He shall come to a complete and discernible stop (a change of direction is not considered an acceptable stop) with the ball in both hands in front of the body and his glove at or below his chin." - 2019 NFHS Baseball Rules Book.
 

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I see a first base coach wearing ... FLANNEL and a BACKWARDS CAP?!

 

I also see a pitcher who should worry more about his base runners than his funky-cool leg twitch.  It isn’t doing him any good apparently.

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1 hour ago, Joe0x7F said:

"ART. 3 . . . For the set position, the pitcher shall have the ball in either his gloved hand or his pitching hand. His pitching hand shall be down at his side or behind his back... He shall go to the set position without interruption and in one continuous motion. He shall come to a complete and discernible stop (a change of direction is not considered an acceptable stop) with the ball in both hands in front of the body and his glove at or below his chin." - 2019 NFHS Baseball Rules Book.
 

He's doing that. I've got nothing in either.

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10 hours ago, Joe0x7F said:

 the league is operating under the NFHS rules.

I agree with the others that the pitches are legal under NFHS rules.

Under OBR and NCAA, these are also legal moves.

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In the first two pitches in either video, especially the first video, please explain to me how the pitcher is coming "to a complete and discernible stop (a change of direction is not considered an acceptable stop) with the ball in both hands in front of the body" ?

 

 

Edited by Joe0x7F
to make a little clearer

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42 minutes ago, Joe0x7F said:

In the first two pitches in either video, especially the first video, please explain to me how the pitcher is coming "to a complete and discernible stop (a change of direction is not considered an acceptable stop) with the ball in both hands in front of the body" ?

 

 

I'm not sure how that can be explained. I see a stop. So does everyone else here so far.

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Does his hands have to stop?

From a physics perspective, a change of direction (hands go down and then immediately come up) is a stop, but this is not considered "a complete and discernible stop" in the FED rules and that is why this is in the rules: "a change of direction is not considered an acceptable stop'.

 

 

 

 

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If you are still convinced this is not a balk, then please explain to me a situation where it would be a balk by this part of the rule:

"a change of direction is not considered an acceptable stop" 

 

Are you saying that it does not matter what his hands are doing? He can move his hands the whole time?

 

 

 

 

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The first pitch of the first video is borderline for me: I might send F2 out to tell him to give me a good stop.

'Borderline' here for me means 'legal but I can see how an opposing player/coach/fan might have a problem with it.'

The other motions I saw were not borderline, and quite legal.

 

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22 minutes ago, Joe0x7F said:

If you are still convinced this is not a balk, then please explain to me a situation where it would be a balk by this part of the rule:

The "bounce" needs to be more pronounced than is shown to be a balk.

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In the first video the very first pitch, the pitcher seems to move his front leg. which I don't think should be called a balk if it is his normal motio, BUT in subsequent pitches he does not make that same move with his front that leg

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Joe, it must be evident to you that what is a "discernible" stop is a matter of each umpire's judgment. In my judgment, the stops are discernible--noticeable, perceptible, detectable (pick your synonym)--although a couple are borderline, where I would probably engage in some preventive officiating.

And, please, take into account the possibility that you may be subject to confirmation bias.

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My eyes immediately went to the leg twitch and I assumed that is what you were talking about.  I can’t stand it, but it seems to be accepted these days.

Shame on me for not looking at his hands.  He was paying no attention to the runners, so my mind was a little lax there.

He’s working fast on a few of those, but I agree with @maven that only the first one in the first video might have given me concern.

Along with the leg twitch, the other thing I don’t like is the “almost” pause as soon as his hands come together.  To me that is really pushing the limits of a “continuous motion”.  But hey, pitchers do just about anything they want anymore.

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8 hours ago, maven said:

The first pitch of the first video is borderline for me: I might send F2 out to tell him to give me a good stop.

'Borderline' here for me means 'legal but I can see how an opposing player/coach/fan might have a problem with it.'

The other motions I saw were not borderline, and quite legal.

 

I agree with Maven. "Borderline" on the first pitch and then discernible after that. And I see no evidence that opposing players are having a problem discerning the stop, nor that they are being deceived, which is another element of the balk rule. Their jumps off first base are free and easy.

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6 hours ago, Phu Bai said:

In the first video the very first pitch, the pitcher seems to move his front leg. which I don't think should be called a balk if it is his normal motio, BUT in subsequent pitches he does not make that same move with his front that leg

Normal motion has nothing to do with this. He can use a different motion for every pitch in every game.

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@Joe0x7F is another of many users who has sought the input of this umpiring community with the hope of a particular answer. When the preferred reply is not provided, he makes an argument about why the answers provided ought to conform to his line of thinking. 

Why are these pitches not a balk? 

Because in the judgment of every umpire who has replied, the pitcher has not violated the requirements for the set  position. The umpires see a discernible stop. Many of those who have replied have seen hundreds of thousands pitches. That experience affords each of them the courtesy from all of us that they are capable of telling a bounce from a stop. That is why those pitches are not balks.

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@Kevin_K, I’m going to follow on to your post with this...

11 hours ago, maven said:

The first pitch of the first video is borderline for me: I might send F2 out to tell him to give me a good stop.

and...

10 hours ago, LRZ said:

In my judgment, the stops are discernible--noticeable, perceptible, detectable (pick your synonym)--although a couple are borderline, where I would probably engage in some preventive officiating.

Then...

12 hours ago, Joe0x7F said:

If you are still convinced this is not a balk, then please explain to me a situation where it would be a balk by this part of the rule: (cited rule)

I have this sinking suspicion that Joe is asking this from a fan/observer’s standpoint, and there’s a twinge of sour grapes here. The unasked question to maven’s and LRZ’s replies of “preventive umpiring” is – “well, why didn’t you (or the Umpire present) call it the first time, then??!!”.

I have a hunch that there was a R3 in the first video sequence of pitches, and that he didn’t score... and that Joe believes he should have. What Joe needs to be made aware of is the element of context. This isn’t the Major Leagues, or even College, for that matter. Anything less than that is amateur baseball, and Adult leagues aside, thus is developmental baseball. The players are developing their respective skills, and the coaches and umpires are there to support and administer that development. I’m not saying coddle. I chose the word “administer” very specifically. A synonym to “administer” is “adjudicate”, or judge. Does every judge throw the full weight of the book-of-law at every defendant or violator? Certainly not. Different scenarios and circumstances – different contexts – require different handlings, interpretations, treatments, and applications.

 

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28 minutes ago, MadMax said:

I have this sinking suspicion that Joe is asking this from a fan/observer’s standpoint, and there’s a twinge of sour grapes here. The unasked question to maven’s and LRZ’s replies of “preventive umpiring” is – “well, why didn’t you (or the Umpire present) call it the first time, then??!!”.

Two points, without speculating on the OP's motives:

  1. F1 gets slack if he almost fails to stop. That's the opportunity for preventive officiating. I don't know an umpire instructor who recommends "ignoring the first one" or any such. I'll balk a first offense if it is one.
  2. As for an explanation of "a situation where it would be a balk by this part of the rule," I'm afraid that's not terribly satisfying: it's a motion with no stop. This will, of course, be umpire judgment. 

I try to remind newer umpires repeatedly that coaches will disagree with our judgment calls. That's fine: they're entitled to their opinion. The OP evidently disagrees with the umpire on his game (and most of us) that this F1 stopped. Fine! And if he wants to coach his F1's to stop longer, also fine: they're less likely to be balked that way. 

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I've also got nothing on any of the pitches. Good for him to keep a good pace delivering pitches. Only close ones really were the first one on each video. I would be OK with a judgment call from my partner of a balk on those, but when I first looked at the video, it did not induce me personally to yell "balk" at the screen.. I would like to add that the runners did not seem to have any issues with this pitcher's pace or moves either, they got great jumps on him every time. Even the batters seemed to be comfortable with him also. If that shot down the line was fair, at least one run was scoring...

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Well, considering the runners are stealing before he even drops his hands the last thing I'd be worrying about is if he is balking...from a development perspective there are better teachable moments for this pitcher, and from a competitive standpoint, if my team's runners are stealing at will he can get away with uncalled balks all day long if he wants.

I see two pitches where he may not come to a complete stop.   As the opposing coach I'm not worrying about it - it's close enough.  As his coach, I'll bring it up next practice...for in between innings I'm more worried about the fact that he's not even looking at the runners.

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Guest NoCO Baseball Fan
On 11/3/2019 at 6:08 AM, Joe0x7F said:

In the first two pitches in either video, especially the first video, please explain to me how the pitcher is coming "to a complete and discernible stop (a change of direction is not considered an acceptable stop) with the ball in both hands in front of the body" ?

 

 

The first video shows 4 pitches.  In pitches 1, 2, and 4, I have him with a discernible stop at his shoulder. It's quick.  It's borderline.  But, I have him with a stop. In pitch 3, he doesn't stop or pause at his shoulder.  It's one fluid move with no stop.  That's a balk.  When I explained the balk, which isn't mandatory but I think good practice, I would tell him that his other pitches are dangerously close to balks.

I'd also be sensitive to a double-stop.  Is he stopping at his shoulder, dropping to his belt, stopping at his belt, and then pitching?  Maybe.  But, I'd probably only have an issue with pitch 2.

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1 hour ago, Guest NoCO Baseball Fan said:

The first video shows 4 pitches.  In pitches 1, 2, and 4, I have him with a discernible stop at his shoulder. It's quick.  It's borderline.  But, I have him with a stop. In pitch 3, he doesn't stop or pause at his shoulder.  It's one fluid move with no stop.  That's a balk.  When I explained the balk, which isn't mandatory but I think good practice, I would tell him that his other pitches are dangerously close to balks.

I'd also be sensitive to a double-stop.  Is he stopping at his shoulder, dropping to his belt, stopping at his belt, and then pitching?  Maybe.  But, I'd probably only have an issue with pitch 2.

Those are not stops at the shoulder and he's not double stopping. His stop is at the bottom.

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