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OBR.......With a runner on base, is it a balk if the pitcher steps on the rubber and tosses the ball back and forth from hand to glove to hand to glove to hand to glove....repeatedly......before he’s come set? He does this between every pitch. 

Edited by calablue
To clarify when and how often

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46 minutes ago, calablue said:

OBR.......With a runner on base, is it a balk if the pitcher steps on the rubber and tosses the ball back and forth from hand to glove to hand to glove .....before he’s come set?

I think it is. "(11) The pitcher, while touching his plate, accidentally or intentionally has the ball slip or fall out of his hand or glove;"

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Yeah, I was thinking the same thing but what bothers me is that it is does not slip or fall...it is tossed back and forth. If he’s come set I’ve got a balk for sure just not positive on this sitch. 

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But then again, I guess it is a balk because if he intentionally dropped it and caught it before it hit the ground,it would be balk. 

Edited by calablue

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Is the pitcher doing this repeatedly? Or just once as he steps on the rubber? If it’s repeatedly then you can call a balk for coming set (when he brings his hands together to grab the ball. That is his legal pitching position) and then separating without stepping off the back of the rubber. If he does it once as he steps on the rubber then I’m leaving it alone. 

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That's a balk. Jimurray has provided the reference.

9 hours ago, The Short Umpire said:

If he does it once as he steps on the rubber then I’m leaving it alone.

That's backward. It's not a balk until the pitching restrictions are in effect, which is after he engages the rubber.

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24 minutes ago, maven said:

That's a balk. Jimurray has provided the reference.

That's backward. It's not a balk until the pitching restrictions are in effect, which is after he engages the rubber.

At what point or what action has to take place for the pitching restrictions to be in effect?

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8 hours ago, calablue said:

At what point or what action has to take place for the pitching restrictions to be in effect?

When he's engaged. First he's not engaged, then he steps onto the rubber. When he's done, he's engaged.

Sometimes, we just gotta umpire.

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7 minutes ago, maven said:

When he's engaged. First he's not engaged, then he steps onto the rubber. When he's done, he's engaged.

Sometimes, we just gotta umpire.

Ok,so as soon as he steps on the rubber intentionally, which was the case in the OP. Got it. Thanks Maven 

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2020 NFHS rule 6-1-1 …The pitching regulations begin when he intentionally contacts the pitcher’s plate…

Unfortunately neither the NCAA nor the OBR actually states that concept but we can deduce it by a careful reading of their rules. For example, the OBR states in its 2019 rule 5.07(e) and its following comment—

If the pitcher removes his pivot foot from contact with the pitcher’s plate by stepping backward with that foot, he thereby becomes an infielder and if he makes a wild throw from that position, it shall be considered the same as a wild throw by any other infielder.

Rule 5.07(e) Comment: The pitcher, while off the rubber, may throw to any base. If he makes a wild throw, such throw is the throw of an infielder and what follows is governed by the rules covering a ball thrown by a fielder.

This rule tells us that the pitcher becomes an infielder when he disengages the rubber so we can construe that when he engages the rubber he becomes a pitcher and the pitching rules apply.

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4 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

2020 NFHS rule 6-1-1 …The pitching regulations begin when he intentionally contacts the pitcher’s plate…

 

I agree that's the wording .  IT can't be taken literally, however.

 

Often RH F1 places his right foot on the rubber and then moves his left foot to a spot between the rubber and the plate.  By the literal reading of the rule, that's a balk.

I prefer "pitching restrictions begin when F1 'makes himself comfortable" on the rubber."  Now, that can't be taken literally, either-- but for any umpire with common sense, it works.

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Scenario #1 Right-handed (RH) pitcher engages rubber to take set position. Just as he touches the rubber he drops the ball. Do you call a balk and award the runner(s) one base or do you ignore the drop? When the coach of the team at bat asks you if that was a balk do you tell him no because the pitcher wasn’t comfortable yet?

Scenario #2 RH pitcher engages rubber to take set position. Just as he touches the rubber he turns quickly and attempts a pickoff at first base but throws the ball out of play. You award the runner(s) two bases because the pitcher had not yet become comfortable on the rubber.

Scenario #3 RH pitcher engages rubber to take set position. Just as he touches the rubber the runner from third base takes off to steal home. The pitcher, without disengaging the rubber or coming to a stop, immediately throws home to put out the runner and you allow it and call the out. The offensive coach asks you why it wasn’t a balk and you tell him the pitcher had not gotten comfortable yet.

Do I understand correctly what you are advocating, Mr. noumpere? Doesn’t your theory create more problems than it solves? Wouldn’t it be more chaotic because each umpire across the nation just might have a different idea what pitcher comfort might be?

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1) I agree you have to use good judgment here.  Was the ball on the way out before F1 contacted the rubber?

2) Never happens in the real world.  If it does, then by definition F1 was "comfortable enough" to do something -- award one base.

3) Is not a balk.

The method I advocate worked better for me than being overly literal on the wording.  I agreed that no one should take the phrase "becomes comfortable" literally, and no one should use it with the coach.

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Coach, in my judgement, the pitcher was not comfortably engaged!;)

You know it when you see it!

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7 minutes ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

comfortably engaged???

Image result for baseball pitcher in chair

Was that for Joe?

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18 hours ago, Tborze said:

Was that for Joe?

Not sure if you're making a joke that went over my head, but just in case:

No, the chair was for Rivera (the guy on the left). It was made from bats broken while he was pitching against the Twins over the years.

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/07/the-twins-mariano-rivera-chairsbroken-bats

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Mr. noumpere, so why, in your opinion, is my scenario #3 not a balk. I sincerely hope you are not going to tell us that an in-contact pitcher can make a throw (as opposed to a pitch) to the plate.

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21 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. noumpere, so why, in your opinion, is my scenario #3 not a balk. I sincerely hope you are not going to tell us that an in-contact pitcher can make a throw (as opposed to a pitch) to the plate.

As I read it, it's just a pitch ( a "weird" pitch, but still a pitch).  Similar to play 2 (except the ball was delivered in one instance to first and in the other toward home).  I suspect that the way you meant the play and the way I read it might be just different enough to get different results.

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@noumpere this isn’t just a “weird pitch” it’s a balk. Very specifically. 
 

“If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when:
(13) The pitcher delivers the pitch from Set Position without coming to a stop.”

There’s no way around this being a balk. Now you might have glossed over where @Senor Azul said that the pitcher was stepping on to take the set position, and pictured the scenario as the pitcher using the wind-up position but there are two issues with that. 1. By rule in OBR the pitcher is considered to be using the set position when there are runners on base unless he notifies the umpire that he is using the wind-up. So when I call this a balk a coach may tell me that he was using the wind-up so it can’t be a “no stop balk,” I will tell him that I was not notified of this so it’s a balk. 2. If you were notified that the pitcher is using the wind-up then you still have to judge that the pitch isn’t a quick pitch and that the pitcher meets all the requirements of the wind-up position. 
 

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1) We're talking about FED not OBR.  And "intending to take the set position" is not "taking the set position.  Usually when the sequence I am discussing happens, the free foot is not completely in front of the rubber when F1 contacts it, so this is the windup position (assuming eh pivot foot is correct).  And, if the batter was in position, this would not necessarily be a quick pitch.

 

Anyway, I *think* SA's point is not to take "getting comfortable" literally.  I agree.  It's a guideline.  And, it works for me.  Like all guidelines, if it doesn't work for you, don't use it.

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