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Balk and HBP


Kevin_K

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I had the great pleasure of working with @Richveetoday in a summer college DH. I wish the level of play equaled the pleasure of working with Rich.

I am continually amazed by how baseball has an unending combination of peculiarities that allows us to see things we have never seen before in a game.

In today's second game there were R1 & R2 with less than two out. F1 had a motion where he rocked on and off his non-pivot foot several times before coming set. Many times he was close to not coming set, but there was a clear stop each time. He then delivered a pitch on one occasion where there clearly was no stop. I balked him and he delivered a pitch that hit the BR in the back just below the numbers. My understanding of the NCAA (and OBR) balk rules is that the balk is ignored if F1 delivers a pitch that allows the BR and all base runners to advance one base. There are examples in the NCAA rules book on hits and wild pitches, but no clear example dealing with a HBP. As such, the BR was awarded 1B on the HBP with R1 & R2 advancing.

A whole lot of the peanut gallery were gobsmacked by the result of the sequence and started expounding on their vast knowledge of balks and penalties. In game, I was 100% positive that the placement of runners was correct. Now the seed of doubt has germinated into me questioning the way we addressed the situation.

I see nothing in the rules book to suggest that the play was improperly adjudicated. I came across this thread that seems to support the the way we ruled. That thread includes the OBR penalty that includes a hit batter as reason to ignore the balk, but that does not exist in the NCAA rule.

So did we get it right?

 

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Seems like a gap in the NCAA rules. They do have this: "1) If the balk immediately is followed by a pitch that permits the batter and each runner to advance a minimum of one base, the balk is ignored and the ball remains live." 

But don't include it here which makes it confusing: "3)Note 2: When a balk occurs, the pitch is nullified and the batter will resume the at-bat with the count that existed unless: a) The wild pitch was ball four on which all runners (including the batter-runner) advanced one base. b) The wild pitch was strike three on which the batter and all other runners advanced one base. In both situations (a) and (b) above, play proceeds without reference to the balk, because all runners (including the batter-runner) advanced one base on the pitch after the balk."

Default: NCAA says use OBR if their rules don't cover it.

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I couldn’t find anything for NCAA that talks about the combination of a balk and an HBP. I did find two sources that tell us to use the principle in the NCAA rule 9-3 Penalty 1 that Mr. Jimurray cited.

George Demetriou in his 2019-2020 College Baseball Study Guide says this on page 144:  “The results of the play determine whether the balk is enforced or ignored.” I also found an old article from Referee magazine that says exactly the same thing:  The results of the play determine whether the balk is enforced or ignored (NCAA 9-3 Pen. (1); pro PBUC 8.9-2).

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The rule applies directly in that the provision is if the batter and runners all advance at least one base…the only part that fails is “the ball remains live” bc on a HBP, obviously, the ball is no longer live.

You enforced it correctly.  What else could you do?  Not award first to batter?  Then you’re using HS rule where balk causes dead ball and not the HBP.  Allow runners to try and advance beyond their award ?  Can’t do that when ball is dead.

Ball is live after the balk, HBP “counts”, so batter gets first, which awards R1 and R2 next base by force.  Since everyone advanced one base, balk is ignored.

Be curious to hear what people thought should have happened, bc this seems clear to me

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It's an interesting rule provision...so if it was R1/R3 (or any other combination of runners with no R1) the OP would be a balk, runners advance, pitch nullified?

R1, R1/R2, or R1/R2/R3 the balk is ignored?  (specific to a balk ending up as a hit batter)

I can understand the FED provision of calling it dead...it's easier to remember/administer.

 

And now I'll ask the Matrix question - would F1 have hit the batter if no balk was called?  ("called", not occurred)

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2 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

R3 (or any other combination of runners with no R1) the OP would be a balk, runners advance, pitch nullified?

Team scores but Batter gains a bruise, loses an RBI, and has to bat against the guy that just plunked him. Yee-haw 😬

@Kevin_K Good on you for growth mindset. That seed of doubt can grow less next time. 😉 

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7 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

I can understand the FED provision of calling it dead...it's easier to remember/administer.

A couple of weeks ago I called a balk in a high school game where the pitch got jacked for a home run. I apologized.

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1 minute ago, agdz59 said:

A couple of weeks ago I called a balk in a high school game where the pitch got jacked for a home run. I apologized.

Yep...not to bird walk too much...but I had to take a double away from a kid two years ago. Ugh

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1 hour ago, johnnyg08 said:

 

1 hour ago, agdz59 said:

A couple of weeks ago I called a balk in a high school game where the pitch got jacked for a home run. I apologized.

Yep...not to bird walk too much...but I had to take a double away from a kid two years ago. Ugh

 

Same, but different…

 

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On 6/27/2021 at 9:30 PM, Kevin_K said:

I had the great pleasure of working with @Richveetoday in a summer college DH. I wish the level of play equaled the pleasure of working with Rich.

Thanks Kevin. Feeling is mutual. I think the poor quality of the infield lead to even worse baseball than just the quality of the teams. 

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