The penalty for a balk is that all base runners are awarded one base. The penalty for an illegal pitch is awarding one ball to the batter (unless the batter reaches first base safely on the pitch). A balk is a delayed dead ball.
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.
Why is a balk illegal? The balk rule exists to limit the pitcher’s ability to deceive the batter and any base runners. The balk rule consists of specific actions a pitcher is unable to make and these actions are illegal because they help level the playing field between the pitcher and the offense.
When a balk is called, there is a delayed dead ball. If the batter safely reaches first base and all other runners safely advance one base, the dead ball is waived and the play stands. Otherwise, the ball is dead from when the pitcher balked and all base runners advance one base.
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.
Twenty Ways to Balk- Interrupts his pitching motion.
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.
If you step back off the rubber, first, a fake is legal. If you perform a pick off move where the first move is NOT a step back, off the rubber, then a fake is NOT legal – it is a balk.
(Under current rules, the only base a pitcher may feint to is second.) Umpires should indicate balks called under Official Baseball Rule 6.02(a)(3) (no step) by slapping the side of their leg after calling the balk. This indicates the balk is for failure to step directly towards a base.
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.
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.
According to the rules of baseball, a balk is “an illegal act by the pitcher with a runner or runners on base, entitling all runners to advance one base.” The purpose of the balk rule is to preserve a balance between runners attempts to steal bases and the defense’s attempts to retire them.
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.)
According to the rules, if the batter hits the ball after a balk is called, and gets a base hit, the play stands as if the balk was never called at all. Unfortunately, very few umpires know this, and tend to call it a “no play” or “do over”.
Baulk is a British variant of balk. In British publications, balk and baulk are used interchangeably, and both spellings appear about equally often. Canadian writers favor balk, and Australians favor baulk.
A balk is technically a “play” and therefore nullifies the opportunity to appeal. That said, it is not necessary for the pitcher to disengage the rubber before throwing to a base for the purpose of making an appeal. This is a common rules myth.
In disengaging the rubber the pitcher must step off with his pivot foot and not his free foot first. He may not go into a set or stretch position—if he does it is a balk. that known as “the stretch.” But if he so elects, he shall come to Set Position before delivering the ball to the batter.
A pitcher can not feint a throw to first base.
A pitcher is not allowed to fake a pickoff throw to first or third base, but pitchers are allowed to fake a pickoff attempt to second base. In order for the fake pickoff attempt at second base to be legal, a base runner must be occupying second base.
To avoid a balk call, be sure that you step toward first base when you throw. You must “disengage from the rubber” before throwing to first base. For RHPs this means you move your back foot [the one touching the rubber] first.
It’s not a balk because he’s not in his set position yet.
From the windup position, any natural movement associated with delivering the ball commits the pitcher to pitching the ball in a single, continuous motion. This includes any motion by hand, arm, or legs. Failing to deliver the pitch is a balk (with runners on base).
It’s to prevent sign-stealing from the runner at second base.
(1) A base on balls, a base awarded to a batter for being hit by a pitched ball, a balk, a passed ball or a wild pitch shall not be scored as an error.