Ask The Ump?

AllSports12

Moderator
The purpose of the Force Play Slide Rule is to protect the safety of the fielders. The ball becomes dead immediately and the runner is out. If this violation occurs with less than two out, then the batter-runner is declared out as well.

Whether or not the double play would be completed or not is irrelevant.

Rule 8-4-2b (Penalty)

Any runner is out when he:
b) does not legally slide and causes illegal contact and/or illegally alters the actions of a fielder in the immediate act of making a play, or on aforce play, does not slide in a direct line between the bases;

PENALTY: The runner is out. Interference is called and the ball is dead immediately. On a force-play slide with less than two outs, the runner is declared out, as well as the batter-runner. Runners shall return to the bases occupied at the time of the pitch. With two outs, the runner is declared out. The batter is credited with a fielder’s choice.

If a runner interferes with a fielder attempting to make a play, then the umpire can declare two outs if in his judgement, the interference prevented a double play.

SITUATION D:
All bases are occupied with no outs when B4 hits a ground ball to F4. R1 runs into F4 as he is fielding the ball.

RULING:
The ball became dead when the interference occurred. R1 is declared out. If the umpire rules that F4 could have executed a double play, then the umpire shall declare 2 outs (the runner who interfered and the other runner or batter-runner involved). If the umpire rules that only one runner could have been put out, then only R1 is out. No runs may score and all runners shall return to the bases occupied at the time of the interference.
 
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thavoice

Well-known member
The purpose of the Force Play Slide Rule is to protect the safety of the fielders. The ball becomes dead immediately and the runner is out. If this violation occurs with less than two out, then the batter-runner is declared out as well.

Whether or not the double play would be completed or not is irrelevant.

Rule 8-4-2b (Penalty)

Any runner is out when he:
b) does not legally slide and causes illegal contact and/or illegally alters the actions of a fielder in the immediate act of making a play, or on aforce play, does not slide in a direct line between the bases;

PENALTY: The runner is out. Interference is called and the ball is dead immediately. On a force-play slide with less than two outs, the runner is declared out, as well as the batter-runner. Runners shall return to the bases occupied at the time of the pitch. With two outs, the runner is declared out. The batter is credited with a fielder’s choice.

If a runner interferes with a fielder attempting to make a play, then the umpire can declare two outs if in his judgement, the interference prevented a double play.

SITUATION D:
All bases are occupied with no outs when B4 hits a ground ball to F4. R1 runs into F4 as he is fielding the ball.

RULING:
The ball became dead when the interference occurred. R1 is declared out. If the umpire rules that F4 could have executed a double play, then the umpire shall declare 2 outs (the runner who interfered and the other runner or batter-runner involved). If the umpire rules that only one runner could have been put out, then only R1 is out. No runs may score and all runners shall return to the bases occupied at the time of the interference.
Outstanding. So if the ump called inteferance then it's a DP.
I don't believe it was warranted, and it was not called, but it brought this question to my mind because no way a DP was feasible.

Onto an 8am game with a 2 hour drive. 8am games should be illegal
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Allsports, the reading of the rule is confusing. It clearly states “if less than 2 outs the batter is out too”. But then says “CAN declare two outs IF in their judgment it prevented a double play”.

If it’s automatic, then why the need for that statement?

and why then, when I asked a day or two ago about interference on R3 with F5, you said the out on the batter was not automatic?
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Allsports, the reading of the rule is confusing. It clearly states “if less than 2 outs the batter is out too”. But then says “CAN declare two outs IF in their judgment it prevented a double play”.

If it’s automatic, then why the need for that statement?

and why then, when I asked a day or two ago about interference on R3 with F5, you said the out on the batter was not automatic?
The part about can award two outs is I the fielder is interfered with before he even fields, or on the throw to like second base. This keeps a runner from running into the fielder to prevent the start of the DH.
That part of the rule I was aware of as I've seen it called before.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Allsports, the reading of the rule is confusing. It clearly states “if less than 2 outs the batter is out too”. But then says “CAN declare two outs IF in their judgment it prevented a double play”.

If it’s automatic, then why the need for that statement?

and why then, when I asked a day or two ago about interference on R3 with F5, you said the out on the batter was not automatic?

If I recall correctly, the interference that R3 committed against F5 wasn't involving a force play at the base. It was similar to the Situation I posted above.

Violating the Force Play Slide Rule and committing interference against a fielder attempting to make a play on the ball are covered by two separate rules and carry two separate sets of penalties. (one results in two outs, one could result in two outs)
 
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CoachHoversten

Active member
As per usual, I had some goofy stuff today, but only one of which is a question.

1) Batter-Runner laces a triple, missed 1B by a mile. Two runners on base scored ahead of him. Appeal to first, batter is out for third out of inning. I declared runs counted since it’s a timing play and only runs FOLLOWING the out runner wouldn’t count; coach argued since our was at first and he never touched first, it’s same as force out and runs shouldn’t count. I stood firm and I’m 99% sure I’m correct, but have been wrong before on here so figured I’d throw it out anyways.

2) okay, thought of a second question. What is the proper signaling and verbalization of dropped strike three when 1B is not occupied? again, I’m 99% confident as I’ve never once had an issue in any game and I do lots of tournament games, but at a 12U travel game today had a coach question it bc his catcher didn’t know to throw down and apparently I didn’t clue him in enough (my own words, not his)

3) Had two situations where no one, and I mean NO ONE on the field knew the rules except me, so in case it helps anyone else, I’ll share:

— (This also has a question) R2 stealing 3B, batter swings and contacts ball back straight into catchers mitt for strike one. R2 got to 3B without a throw, I signaled foul-tip. Coach starts sending his runner back to second asking “that’s a foul ball right?” I said “it’s a foul tip, live ball, and R2 scampers back. Found out later that the 3B-coach was a minor league outfielder in his day and even he didn’t know the rule, nor did any fans or players. My question though, should I not say anything and just signal it non-verbally? What if R2 is walking back bc he and coach thought foul, should I not say anything? is that a form of coaching by saying “it’s a live ball”? (Again, this is 12-year olds if that makes a difference)

— batter hits a ball down 1B line with my BU in C position, ball goes directly over bag after hitting ground earlier, F3 fields it with both feet in foul territory. I signal fair and F3 makes easy out at 1B to end the inning. Coaches go nuts, screaming that he was standing in foul territory. Tried to calmly explain it is where the ball is, not the player, but they weren’t having it, accusing me of not knowing the rules. Got to the point where I told head coach that if I heard his assistant one more time, he was gone and head coach is restricted to bench. Could care less if you grunt at a ball/strike or a bang bang play, but do not yell for all to hear that I don’t know the rules when you are the one who is clueless about what makes a ball fair or foul
 

AllSports12

Moderator
As per usual, I had some goofy stuff today, but only one of which is a question.

1) Batter-Runner laces a triple, missed 1B by a mile. Two runners on base scored ahead of him. Appeal to first, batter is out for third out of inning. I declared runs counted since it’s a timing play and only runs FOLLOWING the out runner wouldn’t count; coach argued since our was at first and he never touched first, it’s same as force out and runs shouldn’t count. I stood firm and I’m 99% sure I’m correct, but have been wrong before on here so figured I’d throw it out anyways.

You ruled incorrectly.

Anytime the third (sometimes 4th) out of an inning is made via a force out (not what happened here) or when the batter-runner fails to reach first base safely, no runs shall be scored. It is not a time play.

Rule 9-1 Scoring - How A Team Scores

A runner scores one run each time he legally advances to and touches first, second, third and then home plate before there are three outs to end the inning.

EXCEPTION:
A run is not scored if the runner advances to home plate during action in which the third out is made as follows:
a. by the batter-runner before he touches first base; or
b. by another runner being forced out; or
c. by a preceding runner who is declared out upon appeal because he failed to touchone of the bases or left a base too soon on a caught fly ball; or
d. when a third out is declared during a play resulting from a valid defensive appeal,which results in a force out (this out takes precedence if enforcement of it would negate a score); or
e. when there is more than one out declared by the umpire which terminates the halfinning, the defensive team may select the out which is to its advantage as in 2-20-2. Credit the putout to the nearest designated basema
n



2) okay, thought of a second question. What is the proper signaling and verbalization of dropped strike three when 1B is not occupied? again, I’m 99% confident as I’ve never once had an issue in any game and I do lots of tournament games, but at a 12U travel game today had a coach question it bc his catcher didn’t know to throw down and apparently I didn’t clue him in enough (my own words, not his)

When we have two strikes and the put out is completed by a swinging strike, it's common place to announce "batter's out" ( or some form of that). When you have an uncaught third strike on either a swing or a called strike three, a simple "strike three" followed by the "safe" signal is the proper mechanic. The catcher of course won't see the signal, but the coach should.

3) Had two situations where no one, and I mean NO ONE on the field knew the rules except me, so in case it helps anyone else, I’ll share:

— (This also has a question) R2 stealing 3B, batter swings and contacts ball back straight into catchers mitt for strike one. R2 got to 3B without a throw, I signaled foul-tip. Coach starts sending his runner back to second asking “that’s a foul ball right?” I said “it’s a foul tip, live ball, and R2 scampers back. Found out later that the 3B-coach was a minor league outfielder in his day and even he didn’t know the rule, nor did any fans or players. My question though, should I not say anything and just signal it non-verbally? What if R2 is walking back bc he and coach thought foul, should I not say anything? is that a form of coaching by saying “it’s a live ball”? (Again, this is 12-year olds if that makes a difference)

On a foul tip, the proper mechanic is the signal only, nothing verbal. And no, do not indicate to anyone that the ball is live.

I promise you, if someone gets thrown out or returns to a base that they previously occupied because they don't know the rules, it won't happen again.

Sometimes a tough lesson is learned during the game.

— batter hits a ball down 1B line with my BU in C position, ball goes directly over bag after hitting ground earlier, F3 fields it with both feet in foul territory. I signal fair and F3 makes easy out at 1B to end the inning. Coaches go nuts, screaming that he was standing in foul territory. Tried to calmly explain it is where the ball is, not the player, but they weren’t having it, accusing me of not knowing the rules. Got to the point where I told head coach that if I heard his assistant one more time, he was gone and head coach is restricted to bench. Could care less if you grunt at a ball/strike or a bang bang play, but do not yell for all to hear that I don’t know the rules when you are the one who is clueless about what makes a ball fair or foul

More tough lessons learned for some......

Summer Ball....... sigh
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Thanks for all the responses. I’m bummed that I misapplied the rule but glad I was willing to ask so I’ll never miss that again (tough lessons for umpires too I suppose)
 

Peak

Member
Strange situation from a 14u game on Saturday night. We've been told pitchers can't wear white sleeves, or have "light" colored gloves or batting gloves so as to not distract the batters from seeing the ball. In this game, a pitcher was trying to throw hard to impress the PBR guys who were clocking pitches. Every pitch, his white hat comes flying off his head towards home plate as he's going through his delivery. It never failed. Pitcher would go through his motions, start his delivery, and as he releases the ball, he falls forward with his white hat flying off his head as the ball is released.

Is this an issue? The ump never said anything. I asked the coaches after the game, and they didn't know. They said it was a gray area. Has anyone seen this before, or handled this type of situation? I'd have to think two white objects moving towards the batter would make it difficult to focus or pick out the ball.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Strange situation from a 14u game on Saturday night. We've been told pitchers can't wear white sleeves, or have "light" colored gloves or batting gloves so as to not distract the batters from seeing the ball. In this game, a pitcher was trying to throw hard to impress the PBR guys who were clocking pitches. Every pitch, his white hat comes flying off his head towards home plate as he's going through his delivery. It never failed. Pitcher would go through his motions, start his delivery, and as he releases the ball, he falls forward with his white hat flying off his head as the ball is released.

Is this an issue? The ump never said anything. I asked the coaches after the game, and they didn't know. They said it was a gray area. Has anyone seen this before, or handled this type of situation? I'd have to think two white objects moving towards the batter would make it difficult to focus or pick out the ball.

This falls under the duties of the Umpire-In-Chief.

If the umpire deems this distracting, then he can instruct the defensive team's head coach get somehow get F1's hat secured. If the problem persists, the Umpire can have F1 removed as the pitcher.

Baseball has been played for 151 years without this being a problem. Either they fix it or he doesn't pitch.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Strange situation from a 14u game on Saturday night. We've been told pitchers can't wear white sleeves, or have "light" colored gloves or batting gloves so as to not distract the batters from seeing the ball. In this game, a pitcher was trying to throw hard to impress the PBR guys who were clocking pitches. Every pitch, his white hat comes flying off his head towards home plate as he's going through his delivery. It never failed. Pitcher would go through his motions, start his delivery, and as he releases the ball, he falls forward with his white hat flying off his head as the ball is released.

Is this an issue? The ump never said anything. I asked the coaches after the game, and they didn't know. They said it was a gray area. Has anyone seen this before, or handled this type of situation? I'd have to think two white objects moving towards the batter would make it difficult to focus or pick out the ball.
True on the white sleeves and such
 

thavoice

Well-known member
This falls under the duties of the Umpire-In-Chief.

If the umpire deems this distracting, then he can instruct the defensive team's head coach get somehow get F1's hat secured. If the problem persists, the Umpire can have F1 removed as the pitcher.

Baseball has been played for 151 years without this being a problem. Either they fix it or he doesn't pitch.
True.
We had an umpire make sure our pitcher's jersey didnt come untucked years ago. Said either fix it, or take him out.
 

rossford_resident

Active member
When you guys work tournaments, are you responsible for enforcing/knowing tournament specific rules like pitch counts, required rest days, ages, etc.?

This assumes that there is a designated official scorer whose responsible for accurately tracking information that you'd not be expected to know when you arrive at the field.

2nd question. One of the coaches at a tournament this weekend questioned the distance from the rubber to home plate (portable mound in use). Is there a rule re: confirming proper field dimensions? If one of the coaches had complained about the portable mound (14U), can the umpire order it to be removed?
 

Bugsy8875

Active member
When you guys work tournaments, are you responsible for enforcing/knowing tournament specific rules like pitch counts, required rest days, ages, etc.?

This assumes that there is a designated official scorer whose responsible for accurately tracking information that you'd not be expected to know when you arrive at the field.

2nd question. One of the coaches at a tournament this weekend questioned the distance from the rubber to home plate (portable mound in use). Is there a rule re: confirming proper field dimensions? If one of the coaches had complained about the portable mound (14U), can the umpire order it to be removed?

The only thing we have been responsible for is keeping track of time (Coaches help with that too), being aware of run rules (Again, coaches help), speed up rules, enforcing ground rules discussed during pregame and applying the rules once the game starts.

Never worked a field with a portable mound.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
No summer assigner I ever worked for had us charting pitches, days of rest, ages, etc.... Those are all tourney director/administration functions. I would never accept an assignment from anyone who agreed to place that on the umpires.

As far as field dimensions..... this again is the function/responsibility for the tournament director and his/her staff. As an umpire, if this question comes up, simply suspend the game until those in charge can investigate/rectify the situation.
 

rossford_resident

Active member
No summer assigner I ever worked for had us charting pitches, days of rest, ages, etc.... Those are all tourney director/administration functions. I would never accept an assignment from anyone who agreed to place that on the umpires.

As far as field dimensions..... this again is the function/responsibility for the tournament director and his/her staff. As an umpire, if this question comes up, simply suspend the game until those in charge can investigate/rectify the situation.

That makes sense. I didn't mean the umpires had to track pitches - just enforce rules for the tournament. I assume that would be handled just like any other eligibility issue and up to the tournament director. My experience with soccer and baseball is generally that - the higher the quality of the field - the fewer problems there are re: umpires and referees.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Weird situation today...showed up tonight to work a 13U travel game, at a field I’ve worked several times.

the foul lines were the worst I’ve ever seen, I’m not kidding, either a 7 year old did the chalk lines or someone who had a BAC of 0.3

the lines between HP and 1B and 3B were like a snake and both were outside the bags by a good 6 inches, meaning there was a gap between the bag and line as it passed by.

so during the plate meeting, I asked coaches how they wanted to play it, I explained I could either use judgement on balls down the line by eyeballing the base or we could play straight up by the chalk lines. They chose to use the lines as they were.

Sure enough, bottom of 7th and home team down two, guy hits a grounder to 3B that is clearly foul as it passes to the left of the bag but inside the line so I call it fair.

of course I heard some groans and F5 lost his **** over it, and I just said “that’s exactly what we talked about at plate meeting coach” and that ended it.

but it left me wondering if I did what I should do? Did I handle it correctly? I’m hoping so, often times the infield lines are straight but OF lines aren’t and you play the chalk, so hoping bc we covered it at beginning I handled it properly, but I have to admit, it sucked calling a ball fair that I am 100% sure was foul
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Had another one I forgot to ask about from this past weekend:

I was BU and kid was pitching, bases got loaded and he went into windup. 3B coach falls time and asks to speak with me. He points out the pitcher is using the “hybrid” stance and his non-pivot foot (brownie points for using that term correctly) was starting and never breaking the front plane of the rubber.

I told him I’d watch for it, watched 2 pitches where sure enough, he was starting with his left foot (he was a RH pitcher) a full foot-length in front of his right foot which was on the rubber. In the windup he never brought his foot back, he simply spun on it. I told him to make sure to use a legal windup and balked him on the next pitch.

my partner said I should not have called it bc it’s summer ball and he wasn’t deceiving the runners with it.

what say you? Admittedly I’m not astute with the hybrid stance and hadn’t really seen it much, but I do know in a windup the pitcher is supposed to have both feet on the front plane extended, and he was in front...so I think the call was right (I hope), but it set off some fireworks from fans bc they felt I was coached into the call, but I said I’d watch for it, waited 3 pitches, warned the pitcher without coaching him, and do not generallyabide by “call things differently bc it’s summer ball”
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Weird situation today...showed up tonight to work a 13U travel game, at a field I’ve worked several times.

the foul lines were the worst I’ve ever seen, I’m not kidding, either a 7 year old did the chalk lines or someone who had a BAC of 0.3

the lines between HP and 1B and 3B were like a snake and both were outside the bags by a good 6 inches, meaning there was a gap between the bag and line as it passed by.

so during the plate meeting, I asked coaches how they wanted to play it, I explained I could either use judgement on balls down the line by eyeballing the base or we could play straight up by the chalk lines. They chose to use the lines as they were.

Sure enough, bottom of 7th and home team down two, guy hits a grounder to 3B that is clearly foul as it passes to the left of the bag but inside the line so I call it fair.

of course I heard some groans and F5 lost his **** over it, and I just said “that’s exactly what we talked about at plate meeting coach” and that ended it.

but it left me wondering if I did what I should do? Did I handle it correctly? I’m hoping so, often times the infield lines are straight but OF lines aren’t and you play the chalk, so hoping bc we covered it at beginning I handled it properly, but I have to admit, it sucked calling a ball fair that I am 100% sure was foul

For me, when the lines are like that, (I had one that crossed dead thru the middle of the bag) I'm telling to coaches that we are going with my judgment.

That said, since everyone agreed to use the lines, they have to live or die with it.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Had another one I forgot to ask about from this past weekend:

I was BU and kid was pitching, bases got loaded and he went into windup. 3B coach falls time and asks to speak with me. He points out the pitcher is using the “hybrid” stance and his non-pivot foot (brownie points for using that term correctly) was starting and never breaking the front plane of the rubber.

I told him I’d watch for it, watched 2 pitches where sure enough, he was starting with his left foot (he was a RH pitcher) a full foot-length in front of his right foot which was on the rubber. In the windup he never brought his foot back, he simply spun on it. I told him to make sure to use a legal windup and balked him on the next pitch.

my partner said I should not have called it bc it’s summer ball and he wasn’t deceiving the runners with it.

what say you? Admittedly I’m not astute with the hybrid stance and hadn’t really seen it much, but I do know in a windup the pitcher is supposed to have both feet on the front plane extended, and he was in front...so I think the call was right (I hope), but it set off some fireworks from fans bc they felt I was coached into the call, but I said I’d watch for it, waited 3 pitches, warned the pitcher without coaching him, and do not generallyabide by “call things differently bc it’s summer ball”

It's illegal, period. It puts the opposing team at a direct disadvantage and here's why......

You have a coach who has brought it up to you. He brought it up to you because.....

1) He knows and understand the rule
2) Because he knows and understands the rule, he teaches his kids that this is illegal
3) It's called a hybrid because it's a blend of two defined pitching options (set, windup)
4) Because it's a blend, it's designed by nature to be deceiving (not all deception is illegal)
5) This is illegal because it specifically states it in the rule

I'm sick and tired of hearing about umpires that don't enforce rules simply because they don't like them.
 
For me, when the lines are like that, (I had one that crossed dead thru the middle of the bag) I'm telling to coaches that we are going with my judgment.

That said, since everyone agreed to use the lines, they have to live or die with it.

One of my first years as an umpire had a JV game with lines that were "OK" up to the front of the bases and then after the base just radiated off towards out-of-play (player probably didn't know how to shut it off). Covered it in ground rules but as soon as they were over I told my partner to wipe out the 1B side after the bag and I took a moment to trot down to 3rd and did the same. Just didn't want to hear about it from all the umpires in the stands if a line drive hit inside the lines though clearly in what should've been foul territory.

If the lines are as terrible as those described in these messages I'd recommend the same assuming the lines can be wiped out easily (probably a given that the field is a dust bowl when field maintenance is so poor).
 

thavoice

Well-known member
It's illegal, period. It puts the opposing team at a direct disadvantage and here's why......

You have a coach who has brought it up to you. He brought it up to you because.....

1) He knows and understand the rule
2) Because he knows and understands the rule, he teaches his kids that this is illegal
3) It's called a hybrid because it's a blend of two defined pitching options (set, windup)
4) Because it's a blend, it's designed by nature to be deceiving (not all deception is illegal)
5) This is illegal because it specifically states it in the rule

I'm sick and tired of hearing about umpires that don't enforce rules simply because they don't like them.
"Or because it is summer........"
If ya want to want to warn someone, fine...but after that....
 

bucksman

Moderator
If your game is happening under NFHS rules, the hybrid position is illegal - period, end of story. Doesn't matter if it's in-season or out-of-season (aka summer).

It can be a tough one to catch depending on which umpiring position you are in. If it can be caught during a warm-up period, that would be an ideal time to make a person who matters aware of it; same if it can be done during a dead ball time without someone being able to identify that you're doing it.

I'm not going to say don't call the infraction because it's unpopular; however, it's an easier to make the call if the guilty team is aware it is being monitored. That being said, if utilizing the hybrid yields an obvious advantage situation then it has to be penalized with/without warning (or awareness).
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Not quite sure I understand this hybrid y'all talking about. If it's illegal, why would it be taught?
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Not quite sure I understand this hybrid y'all talking about. If it's illegal, why would it be taught?

Makes it hard to determine whether or not the pitcher is in the set or the windup.

It's being taught because guys don't like to call it. (the pros do it)

Proper Pitching Positions

The NFHS Baseball Rules Committee continues to be concerned with pitchers whose feet are not in a proper position prior to starting their delivery. Specifically, certain pitchers across the country continue to place their feet in an illegal “hybrid” stance. This appears to be a result of both coaches who continue to teach improper pitcher positions, and umpires who refuse to enforce the rules as written and apply the proper penalty. Pitchers are required to use one of two positions; the wind-up or the set. In the wind-up position, the pitcher’s non-pivot foot must be in a position on or behind a line extending through the front edge of the pitcher’s plate. If the heel of the pitcher’s non-pivot foot is closer to home plate than the front edge of the pitcher’s plate, then the pitcher is in an illegal “hybrid” stance, unless he is using a proper set position. In the set position, the pitcher’s pivot foot must be on or in front of and touching the pitcher’s plate. The pivot foot must also be parallel to the pitcher’s plate. The non-pivot foot must be entirely in front of the front edge of the pitcher’s plate. If the non-pivot foot is touching (or next to) the front edge of the pitcher’s plate, the pitcher is in an illegal “hybrid” stance, unless he is using a proper wind-up position.
 
Curious, we had an ump tell us this was an illegal pitch, in the first inning. There never was a runner on base in the inning. Is this illegal if there are no runners?
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Curious, we had an ump tell us this was an illegal pitch, in the first inning. There never was a runner on base in the inning. Is this illegal if there are no runners?

jack, yes, the penalty for an illegal pitch with no one on base is a ball being issued to the count. With a runner(s) on vase, it becomes a balk and runners are advanced one base instead of a ball being issued
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Curious, we had an ump tell us this was an illegal pitch, in the first inning. There never was a runner on base in the inning. Is this illegal if there are no runners?
Also have seen it a few times starting around 2016 where they will call an illegal pitch/balk if the pitcher does not pause while going out of the stretch even when no one was on base.

I thought the ump was on crack as I never seen it before but low and behold he was right.....
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
@thavoice, it’s an illegal pitch simply because it’s a “quick pitch”, which is a disadvantage to the batter. People (not you, just in general) always think a balk is the act by the pitcher, but it simply describes the situation.

two exact violations are called different things to distinguish between runners on and bases empty
 
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