Definition. A balk occurs when a pitcher makes an illegal motion on the mound that the umpire deems to be deceitful to the runner(s). As a result, any men on base are awarded the next base, and the pitch (if it was thrown in the first place) is waved off for a dead ball.
Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.
(d) Official Baseball Rule 6.02(a)(3) requires the pitcher, while touching the pitcher’s plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually stepping, or if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk.
Twenty Ways to Balk- Interrupts his pitching motion.
If no runners are on base and the pitcher commits an otherwise balkable action, there generally is no penalty. However, delivering a quick return or pitching while off the rubber (which constitute balks when runners are on base) results in a ball being called with the bases empty.
If the pitcher drops the ball while in contact with the rubber and the ball does not break the plane of the foul line, that is a balk. If the ball crosses the foul line, that is a wild pitch and the ball remains live.
The ol’ fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff move, a pitcher’s trick that fooled only the most gullible base runners, will now be a balk.
The rules state that a pitcher must step toward the base he throws to. It doesn’t matter if you’re set or not. If you’re on the rubber, that makes you a pitcher and you must step before throwing.
The pitcher may fake a throw to second or third base from the rubber, but not to first base. This may be done from the windup or the set position. (You do not have to step off the rubber to fake to 2nd or 3rd. Only if you fake to 1st.)
Balks. In order to successfully steal a base, timing is absolutely crucial. Many baserunners, therefore, only attempt to steal a base while the pitcher is in the motion of throwing the ball to home plate.
In professional baseball, under Rule 6.02(a)(9), a balk occurs if the pitcher is standing on or astride of the pitching rubber without the ball. As play after a foul ball, hit batsman, or time out, must not resume until the pitcher is on the pitcher’s mound, the infielder cannot use these times to obtain the ball.
The penalty for a balk provides that if a batter reaches first base safely on a hit or error, base on balls, or otherwise on a pitch on which a balk is called, the batter shall be entitled to first base only if all other runners have advanced one base or more on the play, in which case the balk is disregarded.
Once a pitcher steps off the pitching rubber, they are considered an infielder and they are allowed to do whatever they want. If they want to fake a throw to first base after stepping off the rubber, they are able to do that without breaking any rules.
One cannot call a balk on a third baseman. Ever. A balk can only be called on a pitcher.
Umpires should call “Balk” loud enough to hear, but if he doesn’t it doesn’t change the result, still a homer! The balk is only if the pitch ends up in the catchers mitt or if he doesn’t deliver the ball, this is why pitchers might not even deliver the ball if he knows of the call prior to release.
The intentional balk is a tactic used in baseball. It involves the pitcher deliberately balking in order to move a baserunner from second base to third base, in order to prevent sign stealing.
The umpire will call the balk in the usual manner, but should not call time until all play has ceased (runners have stopped trying to advance and/or a fielder is in possession of the ball in the infield). If all runners do not advance one base, the balk penalty is enforced (NCAA 9-3 Pen. (2); pro PBUC 8.9-7).
In our state, the pitcher can, indeed, feint to third, but, if he turns and throws to first, he must disengage first, or it is a balk.
However, if in the umpire’s judgment, the pitcher has thrown this ball to the shortstop in this case – legally or not, in such a manner that delays the game, then a BALK shall be called on the pitcher and ALL runners advance one base.
Can You Pickoff to an Empty Base? In baseball, it is illegal to pickoff to an empty base. Performing a pickoff to an empty base violates the rule about throwing to an unoccupied base. Therefore, a balk will be called when a pitcher tries to pickoff an empty base.
8.04 When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.”
pitching from the mound and making a throw across the diamond to first base are two totally different throwing motions (at least they should be). Pitching requires a full range of motion in delivering the baseball, and pitchers get used to that delivery moving downhill off the mound to the plate.
Rule 5.02(a) says a catcher’s balk happens when the catcher is out of position on a pitch: “Except that when the batter is being given an intentional base on balls, the catcher must stand with both feet within the lines of the catcher’s box until the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand.”
The windup position puts specific requirements on the pitcher by rule: The pitcher must stand facing the batter and his pivot foot must be touching the pitching rubber. (More about foot positions below.) Before delivering the pitch, he will bring both hands together in front of his body.