When Do Restrictions on the Pitcher’s Movement Begin ? They begin when he intentionally contacts the pitcher’s plate (rubber) with his Pivot foot Example: 6.1.3 Situation E The Pitcher (F1) receives the ball from the Catcher (F2) with his feet in the SET position and in contact with the pitcher’s plate (rubber) then nervously starts tossing the ball in his glove or, he removes the ball from his glove altogether resulting in a Balk
Legal Pitching Positions The WINDUP is one of two legal pitching positions. For the windup, “the pitcher’s non-pivot foot shall be in any position on or behind a line extending through the front edge of the pitcher’s plate.” PlayPic ® Rule 6 33 Legal Pitching Positions
The set is the other legal pitching position. For the set position, a pitcher’s “entire non-pivot foot must be in front of a line extending through the front edge of the pitcher’s plate and the entire pivot foot must be in contact with or directly in front of the pitching plate.” PlayPic ® Rule 6 32 Legal Pitching Positions The SET is the other legal pitching position. For the set position, a pitcher’s “entire non-pivot foot must be in front of a line extending through the front edge of the pitcher’s plate and the entire pivot foot must be in contact with or directly in front of the pitching plate.”
6.1.1 (A) The Pitcher’s Pivot Foot Question. F1 pitches with the toe of his pivot foot in contact with the rubber but his heel is outside a line through the end edge of the plate. (His heel is off the Rubber) He pitches from (a) the windup position or (b) the set position Ruling: Legal in (a) “A word to the wise” (If you are going to say something, say it early) Ruling: Illegal Pitch or Balk in (b)
To Disengage or not to Disengage… When F1 disengages the rubber he must step clearly backward off the pitching plate with his pivot foot Example. F1 takes his sign in the (a) windup or (b) set position. R3 attempts to steal Home and F1 steps forward off the rubber to throw to F2. Ruling: This is a Balk in either position
Step Off George… but When? (for you Seinfeld fans out there) In either pitching position, when is F1 permitted to legally step backward off the rubber ? Ruling: At any time prior to the start of any motion indicating the start of the windup or, from the set position, prior to the start of the pitch (Reference 6.1.1 I )
While we are on the Subject of Feet The Pitcher as an Infielder Rule 6.1.5 and/or the same Situation in the Case Book The example provided here is the 3 rd to 1 st move. An easier example might be a matter of F1 stepping off the rubber and throwing the Ball past R3 and out of play…
F1 Turns His Shoulder 6.1.1 Situations G and J tell us that From the Set position and prior to bringing his hands together while in contact with the rubber F1 may: Casually turn his shoulders to glance at R1 or, Abruptly and quickly turn his shoulders toward 1 st base in an attempt to drive back that runner and in both cases this is Legal
As Basic as Being on the Rubber or Stepping Back 6.1.1 Situation H reminds us that, while on the rubber in the Set position and with runners on base, F1 must come to a complete and discernible Stop. In other words, one that is clearly recognizable.
F1 Drops the Baseball or it slips out of his hand during the Delivery 6.1.2 A With no runners on Base If it does not cross a foul line it is no pitch If it crosses a foul line the pitch is to be called a Ball If there are runners on Base Dropping the ball while in contact with the rubber is a Balk if the Ball does not cross a Foul Line.
How F1 Brings His Hands Together R3, F1 steps onto the rubber in the Windup position with his glove hand in front of his body and his pitching hand at his side. Which of the situations below are Legal ? (a) immediately brings his hands together for the purpose of taking the sign but he does not begin his delivery (c) gets the sign, brings his hands together and continues his pitching motion. (b) gets the sign and then brings his hands together and stops before delivering a pitch
F1 Separates His Hands R3. F1 steps on the rubber with his hands already together in front of his body. He then drops his pitching hand to his side and Stops. Ruling: This is a Balk and R3 is awarded Home. F1 separated his hands without delivering a pitch. Reference: 6.1.2 F
That’s Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige, arguably the Greatest Pitcher who ever lived… Rule 6.1.2 and Situation B. Pumps and Rotations Who is this Man ?
Basic Pitching Position: Position of Feet Pitcher assumes the rubber with: It ’ s OK to:It ’ s NOT OK to: Pitcher must: Wind- Up Pivot foot: Must be “ in contact with the pitcher ’ s plate. ” Non-pivot foot: “ Shall be in any position on or behind a line extending through the front edge of the pitcher ’ s plate. ” 1. Both hands together Drop the pitching hand and stop Step off or pitch 2. Both hands at his sides a. Bring both hands together and immediately begin the pitch. b. Bring the glove hand up and stop, followed by bringing the pitching hand into the glove and stopping. a. Bring both hands together and stop b. Then drop one hand and stop a. Continue the pitch when both hands are simultaneously brought together b. Step off or pitch 3. One hand in front, the other at his side a. Bring both hands together and immediately begin the pitch. b. Bring the pitching hand into the glove and stop. Drop either hand and not continue the pitching motion.
The Non Pivot Foot from the Set Position (now) F1’s non pivot foot is entirely in front of his pivot foot (toward home plate) but not entirely within the plane of each end of the pitcher’s plate (rubber) (In other words, it is outside the 24” that make up the rubber) Is this Legal ? Ruling: Yes (see Slide 7) (Rule Reference 6.1.1 A)
F2 Flips F1 the Bird R1. F1 is in the set position and takes his sign with the ball in his glove and pitching hand at his side (or behind his back) and, begins his stretch. Before he comes Set, F2 changes his sign and F1 (a) stops without stepping backward off the rubber (b) steps backward off the rubber and stops Ruling: This is a Balk in (a). F1 must come set without interruption and in one continuous motion. Legal in (b) Reference: 6.1.3 C
While Stretching F1 Makes a Move “Kramer stopped short.” Hey, that’s a good move. “I know, that’s my move.” R1. F1 is in the Set position. He stretches his arms and, without stopping, steps toward and throws to first. Is this Legal ? Yes (6.1.3 Situation H)
Is an Illegal Pitch Always a Ball ? Question: Does a quick pitch or other illegal pitch always result in a Ball being called? Ruling: Not always. If there is a runner, it is a Balk and no Ball is called. Reference: 6.1.3 Situation J For Homework: Read 6.2.4 Comment B
At, Below, or Partially Above His Chin 6.1.3 Situations M and N Next !
F1 Goes to His Mouth (1) That’s a Balk. Explanation: F1 cannot bring his hand to his mouth because he is required to go to the Set position without interruption and in one continuous motion. R3 and R1. F1 is in contact with the rubber but has not yet come set. He brings his pitching hand to his mouth and distinctly wipes it off. Ruling ?
The Pitcher Rocks His Arm Any movement of the arm is considered the start of the pitching motion and a pitch must be delivered to the plate. In other words, this rocking motion results in a Balk.
Basic Pitching Position: Position of Feet Pitcher assumes the rubber with: It ’ s OK to:It ’ s NOT OK to: Pitcher must: Set Pivot foot: The entire pivot foot shall be in contact with or directly in front of the pitcher ’ s plate. ” Non-pivot foot: “ The entire non- pivot foot shall be in front of a line extending through the front edge of the pitcher ’ s plate. ” Pitching hand stationary down at his side or behind his back. Use gorilla stance while getting sign. Arm MUST be still. (new in 2010) Swing the arm in the gorilla stance: balk. Be still while getting the sign, then come to the set position in one, continuous motion.
F1 Goes to his Mouth (2) No one on Base. F1 places his pitching hand on his mouth and distinctly wipes it off prior to touching the Ball (a) while not touching the rubber (b) while touching the rubber Ruling: (a) Legal; (b) Illegal, and a ball shall be awarded to the Batter’s count
Illegal Pitching Motion Going to the mouth while in contact with the pitcher’s plate is an illegal pitch with no one on base or a balk with runners on base, because the pitcher went to his mouth and, the action simulates the start of the pitching motion. 29
F1 Goes to his Mouth (3) R1. F1 places his pitching hand on his mouth and distinctly wipes it off prior to touching the Ball (a) while not touching the rubber (b) while touching the rubber in the SET position Ruling: Legal in (a). In (b) F1 has Balked and R1 is awarded 2 nd Base.
What the Heck Am I Looking At ? As the Umpire you notice F1 (a) wearing an adhesive strip around his index finger on his pitching hand (b) tape on the palm of his pitching hand Ruling: In (a) and (b), this is illegal because contact with the Ball could occur. Have F1 remove the tape. No Penalty. (6.2.1 C)
Non Pivot Foot (1) R3, R1. F1 stretches and comes set. He then swings his entire non pivot foot behind the back edge of the rubber, steps toward 2 nd and, (a) throws the ball to 2 nd in an attempt to retire R1 who is advancing there, Ruling: In (b), it is a Balk (6.2.4 A) Ruling: In (a) this is Legal. (b) feints a throw to 2 nd to drive R1 back to 1 st, who has neither attempted nor feinted an advance to 2 nd
Non Pivot Foot (2) R1 and R2. F1, who is Left handed, is in the Set position. He stretches and comes to a complete Stop with the Ball in the glove completely below his chin in front of the body. He then lifts his entire non pivot foot and swings it behind the perpendicular plane of the back edge of the rubber and, (a) throws the ball to F3 in an attempt to pick off R1 or, (b) continuing through, throws or feints a throw to 2 nd Base Ruling: In (a) this is a Balk. Action in (b) is Legal, provided the non pivot foot movement was not interrupted nor stopped prior to completion of the action. (6.2.4 F)
“Step Directly Toward” With R1, F1 who is Left handed, attempts a pickoff while stepping at an angle but to the Home Plate side. Ruling: Balk Explanation: To “step directly toward” means, more toward first base than the plate. 6.2.4 Situation B tells us that F1 must step to the first base side of a 45-degree angle between the center of the pitcher’s plate (rubber) and between Home and First Base.
“Occupied Third” 3 rd to 1 st Pickoff Move: With runners on first and third, the pitcher may bluff a throw to “occupied third” (by stepping toward third base) and then, turn toward first and either feint, assuming he has disengaged the rubber, or make a throw in an attempt to retire the runner He could use the same motion even if he stayed in contact with the rubber, although this move would require him to throw to first since he maintained contact with the rubber. The paragraph above would require the pitcher to make two distinct and recognizable moves. (It cannot be done all in the same motion without deceiving the runner). (Case Book Reference 6.2.4C)
Separates His Hands With a runner or runners on Base, F1 assumes the Set position. He stretches his arms above his head, brings them down together and pauses with the Ball in both hands in front of his body after which he (a) separates his hands and then steps back off the rubber with his pivot foot or (b) steps back off the rubber with the pivot foot and feints a throw to unoccupied first (1 st ). Ruling: In (a), this is a Balk. In (b), this is Legal.
“It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” R1, two outs. F1 attempts to pick off R1 and as F1 pivots to throw, he realizes that F3 is not on the Base but, in his normal position. F1 completes the throw without interruption. The Coach of the Offensive team wants a Balk called on F1. Ruling: As long as F3 is in the proximity of the Base, F1 would not be guilty of a Balk. ( Proximity is your judgement and is based on whether the fielder is close enough to the Base to legitimately make a play)
In High School Baseball, Is it a Home Run ? R1, B2 with a count of 1 – 0. The Umpire calls “Balk” just as F1 delivers the pitch. B2 hits the ball over the outfield fence for a Home Run. Is it ? Ruling: The Ball becomes dead the moment the Balk occurs. Therefore, B2 does not have the opportunity to hit the pitch in this case. R1 is awarded second (2 nd ) base and B2 remains at the plate
This Last One’s Tricky R3. F1 starts his pitching motion and B4 requests “Time” but you do not grant him “Time.” B4 steps out of the batter’s box with both feet and (a) F1 delivers a pitch (b) F1 does not deliver the pitch or (c) throws a wild pitch (b) you shall call a Strike on B4 for stepping out of the batter’s box and the Balk is “nullified.” Ruling: (a) Call two strikes on B4, one on the pitch, no matter if Strike or Ball, and one for stepping out of the box (c), two (2) Strikes shall be called on B4, one on the pitch, no matter if Strike or Ball, and one for stepping out. The Ball remains Live.