How To Call A Balk In Baseball

What is a Balk?

In its most basic definition, a balk occurs when a pitcher attempts to intentionally fool a hitter or a baserunner. An example might be a pitching mound flinch after the pitcher has been set up, a deceptive pick off attempt, or even something as basic as dropping the ball once you have been set up. There are a variety of activities that might result in a refusal to comply. Each time a balk is called while runners are on the field, all of the runners are forced to advance up a base. Because the umpire is unable to read the pitcher’s thoughts, some motions are deemed dishonest and will result in a balk being called.

Balk or Pick off Move for Left Handed Pitchers

The following is the regulation governing a left-handed pitcher’s pick-off maneuver. If the pitcher does not adhere to this regulation, the error is referred to as a balk. First and foremost, as the pitcher begins his motion and his right foot crosses his left knee, the pitcher must deliver the ball into the strike zone. A balk will be called if he attempts to come to first in the game. Some pitchers would cross over their right knee but not cross over their right foot, which might cause a base runner to become confused and allow him to choose his way over to first base without a balk being thrown at him.

  • A pitcher must get to a predetermined location in which he comes to a complete halt after receiving the signal but before beginning his move home
  • This is known as the set position. The right foot of a pitcher must point in the general direction in which he is pitching (see illustration). According to the umpires I’ve spoken to (it’s not an official regulation, but it’s a useful guideline to understand what an umpire thinks “deceptive”), it goes like this: Between home plate and first base, an imaginary 45-degree line may be drawn from the pitching rubber to the infield. Despite the fact that the 45-degree line is not an official regulation, professional umpires have described it to me as a useful guideline for understanding what an umpire deems to be “deceptive.” To bring the ball home, you must plant your right foot on the home plate side of this imaginary line if you are pitching to the plate. You must plant your right foot on the side of the imaginary line that corresponds to first base if you are throwing over to first base. In order to avoid being caught off guard by a runner stealing second base and flicking the ball to first base out of desperation, this regulation prohibits a pitcher from planning to pitch the ball home while his or her feet are in position to throw towards home plate.

Balk or Pick off Move for Right Handed Pitchers

  • Before throwing a pitch home, the pitcher must come to a complete stop in order to set his position. Unless you walk off the back of the rubber, the pitcher won’t be able to shift his shoulders or move about once he has been set. A balk will be called if you do not finish your motion after it has been initiated. A balk will be called if the ball falls to the ground, whether intentionally or unintentionally, as the pitcher is getting ready to pitch. A balk will be issued for any sort of deceit that isn’t a straightforward pitch or pick off attempt. In the event that you turn and make a pick-off attempt to first base but do not throw the baseball without stepping off the field, a balk will be called.

About Author

Doug Bernier, the founder of Pro Baseball, made his Major League debut with the Colorado Rockies in 2008 and has since played for five different organizations (the Colorado Rockies, the New York Yankees, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Minnesota Twins, and the Texas Rangers) over the course of his 16-year professional baseball career. He has experience at every infield position in the Major Leagues and has played every position on the field professionally, with the exception of catcher.

Doug departed from professional baseball after 16 years and went on to work as a Major League scout for the Colorado Rockies for two years after his retirement.

How Many Ways Can a Pitcher Balk in Baseball (With Examples)

In one of my recent baseball games, we faced a pitcher who made three balks in one inning, and we were unable to score. The fascinating part about this was that he ended up balking in three distinct directions. After reading that, I started thinking about how many variations there are in which a pitcher might balk, and how many various ways a pitcher can balk is there? I made the decision to find out. In baseball, how many different ways can a pitcher make a mistake? According to the Major League Baseball’s official rules, there are 13 different ways a pitcher can balk.

Unless you’ve been playing baseball for a long time, it may appear like there are multiple ways for a pitcher to balk, but you may still be perplexed as to what exactly those different ways are. Check out the 13 different ways the Major League Baseball defines a balk.

Ways a Pitcher can Balk in Baseball

For further information on balks, please check Section 6.02(a) of the official 2019 Major League Baseball Rules & Regulations.

  1. While touching his plate, the pitcher performs any gesture that would normally be connected with his pitch, but fails to deliver the pitch as intended. In which the pitcher feints a throw to first or third base while still touching his plate, but ultimately fails to execute the throw
  2. Despite touching his plate, the pitcher does not stride straight toward any of the bases before throwing to that base. Except for the purpose of creating a play, the pitcher tosses or feints a throw to an unoccupied base while his plate is still in contact with the ground. The pitcher throws a pitch that is not allowed
  3. In order to avoid facing the batter, the pitcher throws the ball to him while facing away from him. While he is not touching the pitcher’s plate, the pitcher can perform any move that is normally linked with his pitching motion. The pitcher unduly prolongs the game’s duration. When the pitcher does not have the ball in his hands, he stands on or astride the pitcher’s plate, or he feints a pitch while off the plate. Once in a legal pitching posture, the pitcher removes one of his or her hands from the ball, unless he or she is making an actual pitch or attempting to throw to a base. While the pitcher is touching his plate, the ball either unintentionally or purposely slips or falls out of his hand or glove
  4. The pitcher throws when the catcher is not in the catcher’s box, despite the fact that he has given up an intentional base on balls. While in Set Position, the pitcher throws the pitch without pausing to catch his breath

Are you interested in learning more about baseball’s laws and regulations? Check out this pocket-sized version of the Official Rules of Baseball book available from Amazon.

Examples of Balks

It is the primary purpose of the balk rule to prevent pitchers from misleading the runner on base. When in doubt, umpires should consider whether or not the pitcher was attempting to fool the runner by throwing a curveball. A balk is called when it is found that the pitcher attempted to fool the runner by throwing the ball in his direction instead of through it. It is one of the most prevalent reasons for a balk that people will observe is when the pitcher does not get into a predetermined posture.

  1. Following this basic guideline will assist pitchers in avoiding violations of the 13th balk rule, which is listed in the preceding section.
  2. A pitcher flinching is considered a deceptive motion, and any umpire who sees it will label it a balk right away.
  3. They both break Rule 1 from the list above, which specifies that a pitcher may not fail to deliver the ball if he makes any movement linked with his throw.
  4. If a pitcher pitches to a base that is not occupied, this is considered an unnecessary delay and is a violation of the 8th rule, which was previously discussed.
  5. The final scenario we’ll discuss is when the catcher is not in the catcher’s box at the time.
  6. The majority of people will notice that baseball grounds have a catcher’s box painted behind home plate, however this box may be removed during the course of a game, as has happened on several occasions.
  7. Runners are granted one base for every base that the catcher sets up outside of the catcher’s box.

Following a brief introduction to balks and the many laws that govern them, it becomes simpler to comprehend what a balk is and why it exists. Are you interested in knowing more about the many varieties of balks available? Visit for a video explaining the Balk Rules.

What happens when a pitcher balks?

In the event of a balk by a pitcher with runners on base, the umpire will signal a balk and all runners will be moved up one base. Unless the batter is able to advance to first base as a result of a hit, an error, or a walk, and all other runners are able to advance at least one base, the play will proceed as if the balk had never occurred in the first place. As a result, if a pitcher gets called for a balk but is still in position to deliver the pitch to home plate, the hitter has the option to swing and attempt to reach base via a hit.

Whenever a pitcher makes a balk with no runners on base, a ball is called and the action is over.

Is a balk an error on the pitcher?

Despite the fact that a balk appears to be an error, or at the very least a mental error, in most cases a balk ends in a dead ball, with no faults being awarded to any of the participants. Balks have no consequences other than that players are granted a base (if there are runners) or a ball is called in the event of a balk (if there are no runners).

Can you balk from the windup?

Another issue you could have is whether or not you can refuse to participate in the windup. Pitchers are capable of refusing to windup, despite the fact that this is not particularly often. When starting from the windup, pitchers must adhere to all of the 13 regulations listed above, which are still in place. Balks are called when a pitcher begins his pitching action from the windup and decides he does not want to finish his delivery. This is known as the windup rule. It is also considered a balk if a pitcher is standing on the rubber and accidently drops the ball.

Pitching from the windup is standard practice when no runners are on base, whereas pitching from the stretch is standard practice when runners are on base.

The runners are granted the next base if a pitcher makes a mistake with runners on (usually during a stretch pitching appearance).

Why would a pitcher intentionally balk?

Balks are currently a very infrequent occurrence in baseball, but is there a specific moment and situation in which a pitcher should purposely balks? As it turns out, there is one available! In the first game of the 2019 season, Kenley Jansen intentionally balked while pitching against the Cubs. This particular scenario involved a two-run lead for the Dodgers in the ninth inning, two outs remaining in the frame, and one runner still on second base. To avoid the runner on second base (Jason Heyward) from potentially stealing pitching signals, Kenley Jansen purposely balked to send the runner up to third base.

It is far less likely that the runner will steal pitching signs when on third base with the runner on third base. See this video by Jomboy Media, which does an excellent job of breaking down the play if you’re interested in watching this deliberate balk in action.


Rule 6.02(a): If the batter and all runners advance one base on the pitch after the balk (i.e., the actual pitch and/or action triggered by the hitter striking the ball), the play is not stopped. The umpire is not permitted to call “Time” until after the ball has been balked. As a result, the subject of whether the umpire should call “Time” to kill the ball after calling a balk arises. Following are some examples of when play should be regarded “stopped” and when the umpire should announce “Time” following a call of balk that should assist in understanding: When the pitcher refuses to throw the ball, the umpire should yell “That’s a balk; time!” and enforce the no-thrower rule.

  • At that point, call “Time” and order the balk to be enforced.
  • EXAMPLES: A hit ball that follows a balk results in a fly ball that is caught, and the moment the fly ball is caught is referred to as “Time.” Then you have to enforce the balk.
  • Then you have to enforce the balk.
  • Then you have to enforce the balk.
  • (fourth) If the balk is followed by a pickoff throw to a base where the ball is caught by a fielder, call “Time” when the fielder makes contact with the ball.
  • (2) In the event that the balk is followed by ball four, which is pitched to the batter and caught by the catcher, call “Time” and enforce the balk unless an exception is made by the umpire As a result of the fourth ball, all runners advance one base.
  • (3) If the hitter is struck by a pitch after the balk, shout “Time” at the exact instant the pitch impacts the batter.
  • Play continues without regard to the balk if the hit batter causes all other runners to advance one base as a result of the strike.
  • In that case, the umpire will call the balk in the usual fashion, but he or she will not call “Time” until all play has come to a complete halt (runners have stopped trying to advance and a fielder is in possession of the ball in the infield).
  • During that case, the umpire will call the balk in the usual fashion, but he or she will not call “Time” until all play has been completed (runners have stopped trying to advanceanda fielder is in possession of the ball in the infield).

As a result, in both of the aforementioned instances (a) and (b), play continues without regard to the balk, because all runners (including the batter-runner) advanced one base on the pitch that followed the balk. Was this article of assistance?

How to Call a Balk in Baseball? A Definitive Guide

6.02(a): The penalty for balk enables the play to continue without reference to the balk if the hitter and all runners advance one base on the pitch after the balk (that is, the actual pitch and/or action triggered by the batter striking his or her bat against the ball) No “Time” will be called until after the ball has been thrown by an opponent. In this case, the question arises as to whether the umpire should call “Time” to kill the ball after a balk has been declared. Using the following examples, you may better understand when play is regarded to have “stopped” and at what point the umpire should announce “Time” after a balk has been called.

  • (2) If the balk is followed by a batted ball, the ball should be left in play until it is clear that the hitter and all runners will not advance one base after the batted ball is released.
  • But if the hitter gets to first base and all runners advance at least one base after the balk, there is no need to worry about it.
  • EXAMPLES: A hit ball that follows a balk results in a fly ball that is caught, and the moment the fly ball is caught is referred to as calling “Time.” Apply the balk as soon as possible after that.
  • Apply the balk as soon as possible after that.
  • (3) Apply the balk as soon as possible after that.
  • (fourth) If the balk is followed by a pickoff throw to a base where the ball is caught by a fielder, call “Time” when the fielder has possession of the ball.
  • (2) In the event that the balk is followed by ball four, which is delivered to the batter and caught by the catcher, call “Time” and enforce the balk unless an exception applies.
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Play continues regardless of whether or not a balk has been issued.

(7) Then impose the no-go unless you have a good reason.

(7) If the balk is followed by a wild throw to a base, the Approved Ruling of Official Baseball Rule 6.02(a) states that the runner may advance beyond the base to which he or she is entitled at his or her own risk if the balk is followed by a wild throw to the base.

(2) If a wild pitch follows a balk, the Approved Ruling of Official Baseball Rule 6.02(a) states that the runner may advance beyond the base to which he is entitled at his own risk if the balk is followed by a wild pitch.

Consider the fact that the balk is still “acknowledged” if, as a result of a wild pitch after the balk is called, the runner advances to or beyond the base to which the runner is entitled.

Because all runners (including the batter-runner) advanced one base on the pitch following the balk, play continues in both instances (a) and (b) above, the balk has no effect on the game’s outcome. This article was a big help.

How Many Ways Can You Balk in Baseball?

There are various methods to balk in baseball, the most notable of which are as follows:

  • After starting his usual pitching movement, the pitcher comes to a complete halt or performs extra body movement. In order to avoid being thrown out, the pitcher must simulate throwing to first base while still on the rubber
  • The pitcher then fails to toss the ball, no matter how compelling the argument. Specifically, it occurs when either a lefty or a righty performs their first-base pick-off move without taking a step away from the rubber
  • The pitcher does not take a step towards first base before throwing the ball to first. After tossing the ball, the pitcher is not permitted to take another step. They must take a sufficient number of steps to reach first base. Only then does the umpire determine that the pitcher has taken a step toward first base rather than toward home
  • At this point, the pitcher either fakes or delivers the ball to an unoccupied base to end the game. As a result, the pitcher is unable to throw to a base where no runners will be present. As an alternative, they can toss a ball to a base from where a runner will take off
  • However, the pitcher must come to the plate and halt entirely for at least one second before delivering the pitch. The pitcher will be unable to roll through the upcoming set
  • The pitcher will be unable to deliver a rapid pitch. Pitching from off the rubber is strictly prohibited. The rapid pitch, on the other hand, can be classified as either lawful or illegal
  • The pitcher cannot pitch while not facing the batter. This sort of balk, on the other hand, is extremely unusual since the pitcher is unable to make the pitching action while not on the rubber. This regulation is self-explanatory in that the pitcher is not permitted to deceive the hitter or runners, nor is the pitcher permitted to prolong the game needlessly. This particular balk approach is likewise fairly uncommon. However, it is specifically stated in the rule book that the pitcher is not permitted to straddle or stand on the rubber without the ball. The pitcher cannot trick runners into thinking he is about to throw by making them believe he is about to pitch. As a result, when the pitcher straddles the rubber, he must have the baseball in his gloves or in his hands
  • And Once the pitcher is in the established position, he or she is unable to separate the hands. As a result, once the pitcher is ready to throw, his hands come together for the first and last time before delivering the pitch. It is necessary for the pitcher to take a step back from the rubber before separating the hands
  • Pitchers are not permitted to drop the ball while still on the rubber. If they lose the ball, it will be considered a balk
  • The catcher must be in the catcher’s box in order to receive a pitch. A catcher must begin in the catcher’s box and then step outside once the pitch has delivered the ball
  • Otherwise, the catcher is disqualified.

So, there you have it: the thirteen ways in which a baseball player might be judged to balk. You may also read Why Do Some Baseball Players Wear Long Pants? to learn more about this.

Why is it Called a Balk in Baseball?

When the balk rule was first implemented in Major League Baseball, it was in 1898. It specified that if a pitcher is required to throw the ball to a base, he must make a move in the direction of the base he is throwing to. After that, the balk rule was refined the next year. It was prohibited for a pitcher to impersonate a pickoff throw under the revised regulation. The regulation has been accepted by the players over a period of several decades. As a result, the number of balks increases in the year after the implementation.

Later in 1963, the National League took a tough stance against balks.

The year 1988 had the greatest dramatic increase in balks.

The goal of this amendment was to make balk calls more consistent throughout the Major League Baseball season.

What is the Penalty for a Balk in Baseball?

In baseball, the punishment for a balk is that all base runners are granted one base as a consequence. When a pitch is thrown illegally, the hitter is awarded one ball as a punishment. It will occur unless the hitter is able to safely reach first base on the pitch. A balk is seen as a delayed dead ball situation. A balk should result in the ball being declared dead in accordance with Official Baseball Rule 6.02 (a) of the game. Each runner should advance one base without being held accountable for being put out until the batter reaches the first base on a hit, a base on balls, or an error before the runner is responsible for being out.

What Causes a Balk in Baseball?

Balks are punished in baseball by awarding one base to each and every base runner on the field. In the event that a pitch is thrown illegally, the hitter is awarded one ball. It will occur unless the hitter is able to safely reach first base on the first pitch thrown to him. Balks are regarded as a form of delayed dead ball in baseball terms. A balk should result in the ball being declared dead, according to Official Baseball Rule 6.02 (a). Unless the batter reaches the first base on a hit, a base on balls, or an error, each runner shall advance one base without being held accountable for being put out.

What is Considered a Balk in Little League Baseball?

In Little League Baseball, a balk is considered unlawful by the pitcher while there is a runner on base, and all hitters are awarded one base for their efforts. The previous rule in Little League Major Division and softball did not call a balk since a base runner could not be the first one off a base. Check out this comprehensive guide on baseball rules for children. As a result, the balk did not exist in Little League Baseball prior to the introduction of the rule since there was no circumstance in which the pitcher might deceive the baserunner.

After one base is reached, the runners are awarded one base, and there is a delayed dead ball.

As a result, if a balk occurs, the pitcher must be informed of all of the possible outcomes.

The balk rule is intended to prohibit a pitcher from simulating the presence of runners on base.

You may also be interested in readingWhat is the Dropped Third Strike Rule in Baseball? However, there are a few exceptions to the rule. When this occurs, the umpire determines whether the pitcher intended to fool the runner or if the runner was tricked by the pitcher.

How to Avoid a Balk in Baseball?

It is illegal for a pitcher who is standing on the rubber in baseball to elevate his foot from the ground towards home plate unless he has delivered the ball, which is known as balking. Whenever a pitcher fails to deliver the pitch properly, the umpire rules that the pitcher has balked at the plate. When the pitcher stays solid in his set position while throwing to the base, the balk does not occur. Another method of making a great pick-off throw is to use a hoax. A pitcher, on the other hand, cannot be so dishonest that the umpire is unaware of his or her deception.

  • When the pitcher is in the predetermined position, he must accept the sign from the catcher by placing his foot on the rubber of the mound. Additionally, the pitcher’s hands must be clearly separated
  • Upon receiving the signal, the pitcher must draw his hands together and halt for one second before attempting the delivery. When the pitcher is in the set position, he is only able to move his head. It is possible for the umpire to warn him for a balk if he moves his hands, legs, or shoulders
  • It is necessary for the pitcher to throw a pitch if he swings his striding foot past the back half of the rubber. The pitcher must always take a stride directly towards the base where he is pitching to before throwing the ball. The only way for him to fool the refs is to step off the rubber
  • Otherwise, it’s pointless. If the pitcher makes any movement towards a base, he is required to throw to that base as well. He must execute the action that he has begun without pausing until he reaches the predetermined location. Until the pitcher takes possession of the ball, he should refrain from making a pitching action. Taking a step off the rubber is required if the pitcher want to move out of the set position without committing a balk. Last but not least, the pitcher must ensure that the ball does not drop during delivery.

By keeping these principles in mind, it is possible to prevent a balk in baseball. We have provided you with the necessary knowledge on how to correctly call a balk in baseball. Don’t forget to complete your purchase. Can a Pitcher Pause During His Delivery? It is critical to understand this guideline when writing a blog. Furthermore, the additional information will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how to prevent a balk and what the regulations are for doing so. This knowledge will be beneficial to you regardless of whether you are a baseball fan or wish to get more engaged in the game.

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Balk – Wikipedia

This article is about the unlawful conduct in baseball that occurred in the past. See alsoBalk for further information (disambiguation). Bob Shaw owns the big league record for the most balks in a single game with five, which he set in 1989. In baseball, a pitcher can engage in a variety of prohibited motions or acts that are considered foul play. Pitching impersonation is the most common type of infraction, with pitchers pretending to throw when they have no intention of doing so. An intentional balk results in a dead ball or a delayed dead ball in games played according to the Official Baseball Rules, which regulate professional baseball in the United States and Canada.

In some rule sets, such as the National Federation of High Schools Baseball Rules in the United States, a balk results in an immediate dead ball, which is very common in baseball.

In Major League Baseball, the balk rule was first implemented in 1898.

Balk actions

When preparing for and throwing a pitch, a pitcher is limited to a certain set of actions and one of two fundamental pitching postures. In the event that these rules are broken when one or more runners are on base, an umpire may call a balk on the play. On a balk, the hitter at home does not progress to the next round.

After being called for a balk, Mike Hauschild (right) speaks with an umpire about his options. When a runner is on base and the pitcher is on or astride (with one leg on each side of) the rubber, it is considered a balk under Official Baseball Rules if the pitcher does any of the following:

  • Pitching posture is switched from the windup to the set (or vice versa) without the rubber being properly disengaged
  • A pitcher who, when on the rubber, makes a move that is associated with a pitch but does not finish the delivery If one fails to come to a complete halt with his or her hands together before attempting to pitch from the fixed posture, it is considered unprofessional. Pitches to a base without taking any steps toward it (thereby increasing distance in the direction of that base)
  • Except in the case of a play in progress, throws or feints a throw from the rubber to an unoccupied base. A throw that takes several steps or feints from the rubber to first or third base without being completed
  • Delivers a rapid return pitch, which is a pitch delivered immediately after receiving the ball back, with the purpose of catching the hitter off guard. Drops the ball while it is still on the rubber, even if it is by mistake, as long as the ball does not cross a foul line thereafter
  • This unnecessarily prolongs the game. a pitcher who throws with his back to the batter
  • Except while making a pitch or a toss, one keeps his or her hands together on the rubber after bringing them together. Without the ball, the player stands on or astride the rubber, or he replicates a pitch without the ball When attempting a throw to a fielder from a position that is not directly at a base, Delivers a pitch during a squeeze play or a steal of home if the catcher or another player walks on or in front of home plate without possession of the ball, or if the batter is touched by the catcher or another player (or the bat). The ball has been declared dead, the hitter has been awarded first base, the pitcher has been charged with a balk, and a run has been scored.

Balk regulations differ depending on which rule set is being used. Nonetheless, if the pitcher is seen spitting on the ball, defacing or modifying the ball, rubbing the ball on his/her clothing/body, or putting a foreign substance to the ball, it will result in the pitcher being ejected from the game; however, it is not a balk.


Following an initial feint toward third (or second) base, a pitcher was permitted to turn and throw or feint to first base if the pitcher’s pivot foot disengaged from the rubber following the first feint. The “fake to third, throw to first” play is what this is known as. Major League Baseball, on the other hand, began classifying this as a balk beginning with the 2013 season. If there are no runners on base and the pitcher commits an otherwise balkable action, the pitcher will not usually be penalized.

If the pitcher does an act that is confusing to the batter with no one on base, interrupts their delivery, or otherwise breaches the rules, the game is resumed without penalty and the clock is reset to the beginning of the next inning.

If a pitcher conducts unlawful activities repeatedly when there are no runners on base, they may be ejected from the game.

Instead, it results in a balk, with all runners on base receiving their next base as a result.

Common misconceptions

It is not a phrase in the official rules, but it is occasionally used to describe an odd circumstance involving an intentional walk: when the pitcher releases the ball during delivery, the catcher is not entirely within the catcher’s box, and it is considered a violation. Because a balked pitch is classified as a “Pitcher Illegal Action,” the pitcher will still be charged with the foul ball. Pick-off attempts are not necessary to be made by a pitcher who has not yet exited the rubber before making the throw to an occupied base.

According to MLB regulations, “pitchers shall receive signs from the catcher while in touch with the pitcher’s plate” (the rubber), however the offense is not referred to as a balk in the rules.

Major League Baseball balk records

During his big league career, Steve Carlton was charged with 90 balks. Dave Stewart holds the big league record for the most balks in a single season with 16, which he achieved while pitching for the Oakland Athletics in 1988. Bob Shaw holds the big league mark for the most balks in a single game with five, which occurred on May 4, 1963, while pitching for the Milwaukee Braves against the Chicago Cubs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Four of the five balks occurred while the Cubs’ Billy Williams was on base: one in the first inning, then three more in the third inning, to complete the hat trick.

One of the reasons for Shaw’s balks was his difficulty adjusting to a new point of emphasis in baseball rules introduced at the time: umpires were instructed to strictly enforce a section of the balk rule that required the pitcher to come to a complete stop with his hands together for one full second before pitching when transitioning from the stretch to the set position.

During a single big league exhibition game in March 1988, knuckleballerCharlie Hough was penalized for nine balks, which resulted in the loss of the game.

As part of a new initiative to “enforce a complete set position” for the upcoming season, umpires called Hough for seven balks in a single inning of the game.

Notable balks

Spec Shea dropped the ball while attempting to pick off Jackie Robinson at first base during the 1947 World Series (New York Yankees vs. Brooklyn Dodgers); after at least one further effort, he dropped the ball and the umpire called a timeout. Robinson was advanced to second base by Babe Pinelli. When heavy gusts at Candlestick Park prompted pitcherStu Miller to wobble unpredictably, he was penalized for a balk in the first All-Star Game of 1961, it became a legendary moment in baseball history.

  1. In the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game with DodgerEnrique Hernándezat third base, the Los Angeles Dodgers beat theTexas Rangers on June 18, 2015, when Rangers relief pitcherKeone Kelacommitted a balk against the Dodgers.
  2. Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansenintentionally balked during a game against the Chicago Cubs on June 14, 2019.
  3. Because Jansen was concerned that a runner at second base may steal signs, he purposely balked, moving the runner to third base.
  4. Other deliberate balks have happened in Major League Baseball, albeit on a rare occasion.


  1. Baseball Rules Chronology: 1845–1899 |
  2. Baseball Rules Chronology: 1845–1899 |
  3. Major League Baseball’s official website provides the following information: official rules
  4. Official information
  5. Official information MLB is ready to eliminate the old fake-to-3rd, throw-to-1st pickoff trick maneuver in the next season, according to Balk. The Washington Post published an article on May 10, 2012, entitled Archived from the original on May 15, 2012
  6. Abc”Official Baseball Rules 2018 Edition”Major League Baseball
  7. Abc”Umpires: Feature | Official info
  8. Abc On July 31, 2018, Steve Carlton was featured on, and Dave Stewart was featured on Cleon abWalfoort abWalfoort abWalfoort abWalfoort abWalfoort abWalfoort, Cleon (May 4, 1963). “Shaw is the shakiest pitcher in the entire league.” Milwaukee Journal
  9. A scholarly journal The date was May 4, 1963. The box score and play-by-play for the Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Braves can be found at “Hough has been called for nine balks.” The New York Times, March 8, 1988
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  12. “Candlestick Park, a.k.a. 3Com Park”. Baseball Statistics. Archived from the original on 2009-10-20
  13. “Dodgers win on Rangers’ balk”. The 18th of June, 2015. The following are some examples: Gilfix, Adam (June 19, 2015), “Talking Balk: All Walk-Off Balks in Major League Baseball History,” HSAC, retrievedJune 15,2019
  14. “Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Chicago Cubs 3,” HSAC, retrievedJune 15,2019
  15. Retrosheet. The 14th of June, 2019. September 7, 2021
  16. Retrieved September 7, 2021
  17. Ken Gurnick is the author of this work (June 15, 2019). “Have you ever witnessed a deliberate balk? You now have what you want “. 15th of June, 2019
  18. Retrieved 15th of June, 2019.

External links

Jimurray said about an hour ago: “Good work.” A balk can be enforced, disregarded, or acknowledged depending on the situation. Some people use the word “acknowledged” incorrectly. R1 is safe whether the pitch is wild, swung on (if it is the third strike, we switch to another method), or not swung on. Alternatively, he gets thrown out at third base. The play or the out remains in effect, but the balk is acknowledged and there is no pitch. And your classmates failed to provide you with any training in this area?

  • It is also possible that the criterion for when “all play has stopped” will become essential.
  • However, once I start asking questions to people who know less than I do (either about rules or mechanics), I realize they know less than I do (and once they try to convince me that something I know to be true is incorrect), I stop asking questions to them.
  • When you say that the out stands, are you referring to R1 advancing to third base on a passed ball and then being thrown out at third base?
  • He is only protected up to the second baseman’s position, and everything beyond that is at his own risk.

My 13-14-year-old game was just finished, and I felt like a boss with my new knowledge. The response from my PU was (I’m going to let you name all the balks after I gave him a quick description of what I discovered here). Confidence increase by a factor of 1000. Once again, thank you.

Balks – UmpireBible

(1)While touching the plate, a pitcher performs any motion normally associated with the delivery of a pitch and fails to complete the delivery;(2)While touching the plate, a pitcher feints a throw to first base or third base and fails to complete the throw;(3)While touching the plate, a pitcher fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base;(4)While touching the plate, a pitcher throws, or feints a throw, to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making an (3)The pitcher delivers a “quick pitch,” which is defined as a pitch thrown before the hitter has a reasonable chance of being put in the batter’s box by the umpires.

(9)Without the ball, the pitcher stands on or astride the pitcher’s plate or, while off the plate, feints a pitch; (10)The pitcher, while touching the plate, accidentally or intentionally drops the ball; (11)The pitcher, while giving an inten- tion, accidentally drops the ball; (12)The pitcher, while giving an inten-tion, drops the ball; (13)The pitcher, while giving an inten- tion, drops the ball PENALTY: The pitch will be referred to as a ball.

If a play occurs as a result of the illegal pitch, the manager of the offense may notify the plate umpire of his or her choice to refuse the illegal pitch penalty and accept the play in place of the illegal pitch.

A hitter who successfully reaches first base and all base runners who advance at least one base due to the action ensuing from the batted ball are considered to have made a successful out of an unlawful pitch.

NOTE: A hitter who is struck by a pitch will be awarded first base regardless of whether or not the pitch was lawful.

Penalties for balks

The following is the penalty for a balk: The ball is dead, and each runner is free to advance one base without the risk of being put out unless the batter reaches first on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter, or other means, and all other runners have advanced at least one base, in which case the play continues without regard to the balk. Unless the pitch is a ball four (4), when a balk is called and the pitch is delivered, the pitch is not deemed to be either a ball or a strike, and the batter will be awarded first base and all runners on base will be forced to advance.

See also:  How Many Stitches Are In A Major League Baseball

Whenever there is a question in the mind of the umpire, the “intent” of the pitcher should take precedence.

  1. Attempting to cross the pitcher’s plate without the ball should be seen as an attempt to mislead and should be deemed a balk. During a situation in which a runner is on first base and another attempts to steal second, the pitcher has the option of turning completely around and throwing to second without hesitation. Obviously, this does not imply that you are tossing a bomb at an uninhabited base.

Runners may advance beyond the base to which they are entitled at their own risk when a pitcher balks and throws wild, whether to a base or to home plate, as per Approved Ruling 1. In accordance with Approved Ruling 2: A runner who fails to advance to the first base to which they are progressing and is called out on appeal is considered to have advanced one base for the purposes of this regulation. In the event that a balk occurs on any play during which action takes the batter-runner to first base and all runners advance at least one base, the balk is negated.

In addition to the thirteen parts of Rule 6.02(a), you should pay close attention to the related problem of the “catcher’s balk,” which is defined as follows: 5.02 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (a).

6.01 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (g).

Balk – BR Bullpen

Abalki is defined as “an unlawful conduct by the pitcher with a runner or runners on base, entitling all runners to advance one base,” according to baseball regulations. The balk rule is intended to maintain a healthy balance between runners’ attempts to steal bases and the defense’s efforts to retire them. The lack of strict enforcement of the balk rule from the 1930s to the 1950s resulted in a significant decrease in base stealing attempts. As a result of more stringent regulation in 1988, the season became known as the “Year of the Balk.” There are 13 possible acts that constitute a balk under the balk rule (8.05 of the Major League Baseball rules), making the regulation difficult and technical to understand.

A pitcher may be charged with a balk if he does any of the following:

  1. Starts his throwing action but does not complete it
  2. Fakes a throw to first base while standing on the rubber
  3. Throws to a base but not walking directly toward that base while standing on the rubber
  4. And Unless a runner is going toward that base, the pitcher throws or fakes a throw to an unoccupied base while standing on the rubber
  5. Makes an unlawful pitch, including a rapid pitch, without permission
  6. Pitches that are not directed at the hitter
  7. When a pitcher performs any component of his throwing motion without touching the pitching rubber
  8. It unnecessarily slows down the game
  9. Without the ball, he or she stands on or astride the pitching rubber
  10. Once the windup or set position has been achieved, one hand is removed from the ball, unless when making a pitch or throwing to a base
  11. Whilst still standing on the throwing rubber, the ball is dropped Pitches are thrown while the catcher is not in the catcher’s box
  12. Pitches from a predetermined point without coming to a complete halt

It should be emphasized that if a ball is placed in play on a pitch that is otherwise ruled a balk, the balk call will only be upheld if the batter and all baserunners do not advance at least one base as a result of the hit ball, which is unlikely to happen. Upon finding this to be true, the balk call is overturned and the outcomes of the game are upheld. Moreover, this is true even if one or more of the attacking players are eliminated prior to reaching the designated scoring position. Using the above scenario, the pitcher commits a balk, but the batter gets the ball safely to second base; the runner reaches second base but is thrown out at third base.

As an alternative, if the hitter put the ball in play and the runner was pushed out at second base, the play would be erased and the balk call would be allowed to stand, with the runner now on second base and the batter remaining at bat, with no balls or strikes being added to the count.

When the Major League Baseball Rule Committee announced in 2012 that it was considering changing the rule to make a move that had previously been legal illegal, the committee included the infamous “fake to third and throw to first” play, which is only successful once in a blue moon and is generally considered a waste of time for everyone involved, among other things.

This is perfectly lawful.” The Rules Committee suggested to make this unlawful unless the pitcher first walks off the pitching rubber before attempting to throw (which would make the move useless as an attempt to deceive the runner).

It was implemented in 2013, and it made the fake throw to third and throw to first play a callable balk.

External Link

  • Major League Rule 8
  • An article from USA Today on the idea to broaden the balk rule
  • And a video from the National Football League.

Baseball Shorts: How the Balk got its name

This is the snub. An unlawful pitching motion used by a pitcher on the mound that permits runners to advance up a base without having to make a dash for the base. What are some of the most well-known balks, when was the regulation first implemented, and where did the term “balk” originate? The balk rule was first used in Major League Baseball in 1898. It said that if a pitcher made a move in the direction of a base, he was required to throw to that base. The balk rule was revised the following year to state that a pitcher may not impersonate a pickoff attempt.

  1. 1950: The introduction of a new regulation requiring a one-second pause before delivering a pitch to a batter with men on base.
  2. Following an instruction to umpires to crack down on balks, twenty balks were called in the first twenty games of the year as a result of the crackdown.
  3. The most well-known balk, according to legend, occurred at the 1961 All-Star Game at Candlestick Park.
  4. Giants pitcher Stu Miller was knocked off the mound by a blast of wind, and the home plate umpire labeled it a balk, according to the folklore.
  5. “Before throwing a pitch, I stretched out, and then there was an extra gust of wind, and I just trembled a little bit,” Miller explained.
  6. They were undoubtedly scratching their heads, wondering why the hell those runners moved ahead.” But where did the term “balk” originate from?
  7. From Middle Englishbalke, which came fromOld Englishbalca, which came from or was inspired byOld Norsebálkr (“division, ridge of land”), which came from Proto-Germanic*balkô.
  8. Because of the idea of balk in the fields as a barrier or obstacle, the modern use has taken on a metaphorical meaning.

The latter, in particular, provides an excellent explanation since the balk is a type of barrier. Overall, determining whether or not a pitcher is balking can be difficult to ascertain. All of the balks may be seen clearly in the linked video. My is a good way to bring this blog article to a close.

What is a Balk in Baseball? – MLB Balk Rules and More

Balk! What exactly occurred just now? The baserunner is now going up one base as a result of the umpire’s signal towards the pitching pitcher. Was it a balk because the pitcher threw an illegal pitch towards the home plate or anything else on the mound? If that’s the case, what precisely is a balk in the sport of baseball?

What is a Balk?

A balk (illegal motion) occurs when a pitcher makes a throwing motion or move that deceives the hitter or the baserunner and causes them to strike out. When a pitcher balks (dead ball), it can be anything from a flinch after being in the set position to throwing towards first base without taking a step off the mound. If a pitcher drops the ball during their windup, this is another instance in which a balk might occur. The final point to mention is that a balk may only happen while a runner is on first base, second base, or third base.

What Happens if a Balk Takes Place?

If a balk happens during an at-bat when a runner is on base, the runner is moved to the next base by the umpire automatically. To give you an example, suppose that a balk is called and a runner is moved from first to second base. If there are two runners on the bases at the time of the balk, all of the runners move up one base as a result of the balk. This implies that a runner who is on third base can now return home to score a run if the situation calls for it.

How often Do Balks Take Place in Major League Baseball?

Balks occurred in 153 games out of 4,858 total games played in 2019, according to Baseball-Reference data. It is clear that balks are rare, occurring once in 31.75 games, as evidenced by the statistics. Because there are 30 Major League Baseball teams competing in the game, that would imply that each club commits around 5 balks every season out of a total of 162 games.

Can you Argue a Balk?

As a pitcher, there isn’t much you can do if an umpire calls a balk on your performance apart than disagreeing with him. However, if you disagree with the umpire’s decision, you should use caution in what you say to him or her. Consider the ejection of former Major League Baseball pitcher Mark Buehrle, who did so after expressing his disgust with two balk calls by the famed umpire Joe West. The following video, produced byJomboy Media, provides a more in-depth explanation of the scenario.

The MLB Balk Rule in Greater Detail

In general, pitchers are not permitted to feign a throw to an unoccupied base (i.e., one where there is no fielder) in order to try a pickoff since doing so will result in a balk call. A balk call is made if a ball is dropped from the pitcher’s hand while he or she is on the pitching mound as well. Finally, a balk can occur if the pitcher tries to make a rapid pitch before the hitter is ready in the batter’s box and the batter does not react in time. Some of the most prevalent guidelines that right-handed and left-handed pitchers need to know in order to avoid bringing in a balk are listed below.

For Right-Hand Pitchers

  • A right-handed pitcher must stride behind the pitching rubber with his right pivot foot and throw to the designated base in order to make a pickoff attempt. Before you may attempt to pick off a baserunner, you must come to a complete stop in your throwing stance. If you start in a windup position and then rapidly switch to a pick off attempt, here is an example of what you cannot do.

For Lefty Pitchers

  • The right foot of the pitcher must point in the direction in which the ball will go no matter where they throw. For example, a pitcher must land with their right foot pointed towards first base in order to throw to first base. If you choose to throw to first, there is a 45-degree imaginary angle that your foot cannot cross if you want to throw to second. In order to try a fast pickoff maneuver, a pitcher must step off the pitcher’s rubber with their left foot and fire to first.

Conclusion on What is a Balk

This is one of several baseball rules that players and viewers should be aware of when it comes to the game’s rule book. There are several elements that pitchers must keep in mind in order to avoid issuing a balk. Balks can be caused by a variety of factors, including the way the pitcher walks, how the pitcher pitches, and how the pitcher glides.

A pickoff attempt, on the other hand, is a situation in which pitchers from high school to Major League Baseball are so accustomed to knowing what to do that their muscle memory comes into play.

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