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Balk to third


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In OBR and NCAA: Provided he made the throw in one (generally) continuous, natural motion, and you’ve got him – “the pitcher stepped to third base” – with distance and direction towards third base, then you have a legal pick off attempt. It is NOT a Balk. 

Now, if he was to step towards 3B, and delayed his throwing motion in waiting for F5 to get there, or double-pump it then throw, then you wouldn’t have a legal pick off throw, thus, it would be a Balk. 

In NFHS (Fed): Provided he steps toward 3B (being occupied) with distance and direction, he doesn’t even need to throw; thus, whether his foot hits the ground prior to throwing (if he in fact throws at all) is inconsequential. Thus, not a Balk.

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OBR 6.02(a)(3): it is a balk when the "pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base...." [Emphases added.] Taking a step implies lifting the foot and setting it down* which must occur "before throwing" to the base.

*Consistent with common sense and ordinary usage, dictionaries define "step" along these lines: " to move by raising the foot and bringing it down elsewhere."

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1 hour ago, LRZ said:

OBR 6.02(a)(3): it is a balk when the "pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base...." [Emphases added.] Taking a step implies lifting the foot and setting it down* which must occur "before throwing" to the base.

*Consistent with common sense and ordinary usage, dictionaries define "step" along these lines: " to move by raising the foot and bringing it down elsewhere."

It doesn't saying releasing the ball.

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The rule says "before" so apply it with common sense. If you mean to suggest that "almost simultaneously," "close enough" or "approximately" could satisfy the rule in the real world in which we umpire, I can live with that, as we don't officiate with lasers or micrometers.

Besides, the OP asked a question and I quoted the applicable rule, without delving into nuances or interpretations.

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1 hour ago, LRZ said:

The rule says "before" so apply it with common sense. If you mean to suggest that "almost simultaneously," "close enough" or "approximately" could satisfy the rule in the real world in which we umpire, I can live with that, as we don't officiate with lasers or micrometers.

Besides, the OP asked a question and I quoted the applicable rule, without delving into nuances or interpretations.

Did the rule help the OP? 

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