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How many different ways can
a pitcher balk?

When the pitcher:
1.switches his pitching stance from the windup position to the set position (or vice versa) without properly disengaging the rubber;

2. when going from the stretch to the set position, fails to make a complete stop with his hands together before beginning to pitch;

3. throws from the rubber to a base without stepping toward (gaining distance in the direction of) that base;

4. throws from the rubber to a base where there is no runner and no possibility of a play;

5. steps or feints from the rubber to first base without completing the throw;

6. pitches a quick return pitch, that is, pitches with the intent to catch the batter off-guard;

7. pitches or mimics a part of his pitching motion while not in contact with the rubber;

8. drops the ball while on the rubber;

9. after a feint or throw to a base from the rubber, fails to disengage the rubber before reengaging and pitching;

10. after beginning to pitch, interrupts his pitching motion;

11. begins to pitch while the catcher is out of the catcher's box when giving an intentional walk;

12. while pitching, removes his pivot foot from the pitching rubber, except to pivot or as a natural consequence of stepping forward to release the pitch inordinately delays the game;

13. pitches while facing away from the batter;

14. after bringing his hands together on the rubber, separates them except in making a pitch or a throw; or stands on or astride the rubber without the ball, or mimics a pitch without the ball In addition, if a pitcher commits any of the following illegal actions, it may result in a balk under certain circumstances: expectorates on the ball, either hand or his glove; rubs the ball on his glove, person or clothing; applies a foreign substance of any kind to the ball; deface the ball in any manner; or delivers a ball altered in a manner described above or what is called the “shine” ball, “spit” ball, “mud” ball or “emery” ball.

More Balk Rules

Clink on the links below to get these rules

MLB BALK RULE

WHAT CONSTITUTES A BALK

Award of Bases

The basic thing to remember is awards are different when the
pitcher throws a ball out of play, versus a fielder:

When the pitcher throws the ball into dead ball territory while he is in contact with the rubber, the runners are awarded one base from where they were at the time of the windup.

If the pitch goes out of play on ball four, the batter only gets first base, but all other runners get one base from the base they held at the time of the pitch (windup). If the pitcher is not in contact with the rubber, he is a fielder.

When any fielder throws the ball into dead ball territory, the runners are awarded two bases.

The complicated part of this rule is deciding from what position the two bases are awarded. There are several exceptions that can affect the award. The award is either from the "time of pitch" (T.O.P.) or the "time of throw" (T.O.T.). The time of throw means at the instant the ball leaves the thrower's hand. Not the time the throw goes into dead ball area.

If the throw is the first play by an infielder, the award is, two bases from where the runners were at the T.O.P. in 99% of the plays. There is an exception that will be described later. The time of pitch is the start of the windup or the moment the pitcher separates his hands from the set position.

If the throw was the second play by an infielder, or any play by an outfielder, the award is, two bases from the time the throw left the fielder's hand (T.O.T.). The moment when the ball enters dead ball territory has no effect on the determination of the placement of the runners. The placement is from where the runners were at the time of the pitch or the time the throw left the thrower's hand depending on whether the play was the first play by an infielder or some other play.

A key thought to remember is: "first play in infield = time of pitch. Second play or outfield = time of release." The award is, always two bases. The only decision is: from where?

EXCEPTIONS: If ALL runners including the batter runner have advanced one base before the first play by an infielder, the award is from time of release. Otherwise, the award is from the time of the pitch. The key word is “ALL.”

PLAY: Runner on second. A high pop-up is hit to the shortstop. The runner holds. The shortstop drops the ball, and then throws to first attempting to get the batter who has already rounded the base before the release of the throw, and the ball enters dead ball territory. This was the first play by an infielder, which means the award is from time of pitch. The exception states that ALL runners must advance a base before the time of release award is used. Because the runner at second held his base, ALL runners did not advance before the throw, therefore, the award is from time of pitch. The runner on second is awarded home and the batter is awarded second. If the runner on second had advanced to third before the throw to first, ALL runners would have advanced before the throw, so the batter would be awarded third base and the runner on second would get home.

A play for purposes of this rule is a legitimate attempt to retire a runner. A throw to a base, an attempted tag or attempting to touch a base for a force out are plays. A fake throw or fielding a batted ball, are not plays for purposes of this rule.

PLAY. (a) Runner on first. Ground ball to SS. The throw to second is too late and R1 is safe. The second baseman throws to first and the ball goes into dead ball area. R1 is awarded home and the batter is awarded second. The second baseman’s throw was the second play so time of release applies. R1 was at second when the throw was made. The batter was not at first at the time of the release.

PLAY. (b) Runner on first. Runner takes off on the pitch. Ground ball to SS. The runner reaches second before the SS releases the throw to first that then goes into dead ball area. R1 is only awarded third because the throw was the first play by an infielder, which makes the award from the time of pitch. R1 was at first at the time of pitch.

Follow the Bouncing Ball


The ballgame is proceeding with no problems. The pitcher winds up and throws a 44 foot pitch (or a 58 foot pitch on the 90 foot diamond.), the ball bouncing in front of the catcher. Lots of things can happen then, and lots of people have different ideas of the implications.

The Little League rule book says:

1. The batter swings and misses the bouncing ball. Ball is alive, umpire calls a strike. Rule 2.00, “Ball”, “In Flight.”

2. The batter does not swing at the bouncing ball, but it goes through the strike zone on the bounce. Ball is alive, umpire calls a ball. Rule 2.00, “Ball”, “In Flight.”

3. The batter does not swing at the bouncing ball, and it does not go through the strike zone. Ball is alive, umpire calls a ball. Rule 2.00, “Ball.”

4. The pitch bounces and hits the batter. The ball is dead, and the umpire awards the batter first base. Rule 2.00, “Ball,” “In Flight,” 5.09 (a).

5. The batter swings and hits the bouncing ball. Ball is alive, play it as if it didn’t bounce. Rule 2.00, “In Flight.”

6. The Junior, Senior or Big League division batter swings and misses, strike three with first base empty or with two outs. The catcher catches the bounced pitch, but the batter can STILL attempt to reach first base on the “dropped” third strike. See Rule 2.00, “Ball,” “In Flight “(Because the pitch hit the ground, it is no longer “in flight” and therefore, no longer a “catch.”)

7. The pitcher accidentally throws the ball straight down; it hits the ground and dribbles to a stop BEFORE crossing the foul line. The umpire calls "time" and on the 60 ft., calls Illegal pitch (or on the 90 foot diamond with runners on, Balk). See Rule 8.01(d).

8. The pitcher accidentally throws the ball straight down; it hits the ground and dribbles to a stop AFTER crossing the foul line. Ball is alive, umpire calls a ball. See rule 8.01(d).

Clarification on Rule 7.14
(the Little League "courtesy runner rule").

Can any player not in the line up at that time be a courtesy runner for another player (not substituting)? Or is it only for a player who has NOT YET BEEN IN THE LINE UP AT ANY TIME TO THAT POINT IN TIME?

We've seen the rule written and explained a couple different ways. The rule seems to be written a little ambigious.

The end of the rule seems to say that this special runner (or any other player) may be a courtesy runner again later in the game, whether they've been in the line up or not to that point, as long as when they are put in as a courtesy runner, that they are not, right then, in the line-up. (This end to the rule implies that, in fact, the rule permits a player NOT THEN IN THE LINE UP to be this kind of runner, and that whether or not the runner has ever been in the line-up or not previsously in the game does not matter.)

So if A and B start the game for the home team and B is substituted for by C on defense in the top of the 3rd inning. Can B run for A in the bottom of the third? What if A bats before B's original place in the order? (This gets to "when is a player 'removed' from the line up?) Can B then go back into the field for C in the top of the 4th? If B does not go back for C in the 4th (and is sitting on the bench), can B then run for D in the bottom of the fourth as a courtesy runner for the second time in the game for a different player? Ok, and the last one: Can B be doing all this courtesy running or not, but at any time run for C on the bases regardless of whether another courtesy runner has been used that inning or not because B, in that case, is a SUBSTITUTE for C, and not a courtesy runner and so not subject to this rule at all?

Explanation:

So if A and B start the game for the home team and B is substituted for by C on defense in the top of the 3rd inning. Can B run for A in the bottom of the third?
Yes

What if A bats before B's original place in the order? (This gets to "when is a player 'removed' from the line up?) [/b] Doesn't matter. A player is removed when another legal player properly replaces the player.

Can B then go back into the field for C in the top of the 4th? Yes

If B does not go back for C in the 4th (and is sitting on the bench), can B then run for D in the bottom of the fourth as a courtesy runner for the second time in the game for a different player? Yes

Ok, and the last one: Can B be doing all this courtesy running or not, but at any time run for C on the bases regardless of whether another courtesy runner has been used that inning or not because B, in that case, is a SUBSTITUTE for C, and not a courtesy runner and so not subject to this rule at all? Yes, as a sub, but subject to reentry restrictions.

 

Infield Fly Situations

INFIELD FLY HANDOUT LINK

1/ With runners at first and second and none out, the batter hits a low pop-up toward second base. But the second baseman, who had been holding the runner on base is out of position. Dashing in at full speed, he dives for the ball and misses. Although the umpire makes no call, the runners feel this is an Infield Fly and hold their bases. The second baseman recovers, throws to the third baseman who relays the ball to the shortstop covering second. What is the proper call?

ANSWER
1/ This is a double play on the outs at third and second. Since the second baseman could not catch the ball "with ordinary effort," the umpire did not call Infield Fly. (2.00 Infield Fly)


2/ With runners on first and second, the batter lifts a one-out pop-up along the first-base line. After the ump declares "Infield Fly, if Fair," the ball lands on foul ground halfway between home and first, then spins into fair territory, where it is picked up by the pitcher. The runner from second tries to go to third but is pegged out by the hurler. What should the umpire rule?

ANSWER
2/ Since no one touched the ball until it went fair, it is a fair ball and the batter is automatically out. The runner who was tagged is out also becuase the runners advance at their peril in such instances. (2.00-Infield Fly, 6.05e, 7.08c)


3/ With the bases loaded and none out, the batter attempting to bunt pops the ball into the air between the plate and the pitcher's mound. The ball strikes the ground and spins back to the catcher, who is standing on home plate. The catcher then tosses to the third baseman, standing on the bag, who relays the ball to the second baseman at second. Fearing the ball would be caught, all runners held their bases. What is the result of the play?

ANSWER
3/ An attempted bunt can never be an Infield Fly. Therefore, this was a triple play, the first out coming on the catcher's touching home plate and the next two on subsequent force outs at third and second. (2.00-Infield Fly-Force Play, 7.08e)


4/ There are three men on base and one out when the batter lofts a high pop fly over second base. As the second sacker drifts out under the ball, the umpire calls "Infield Fly, if Fair". Then the center fielder, who had been playing shallow, races in and tries to make a catch over his teammate's shoulder. However, he drops the ball, retrieves it and fires over first baseman's reach. When the play ends, two runs have scored, and runners are on second and third. What about it?

ANSWER
4/ Even though an outfielder handles the ball, it remains an Infield Fly. Thus, the batter is automatically out and is ordered off second base. But since the ball remains in play on an Infield Fly, the other runners advanced legally. (2.00-Infield Fly, 6.05e)


5/ With men on first and second and none out, the next hitter is expected to sacrifice (wimpy national league ya know...). He shortens up as if to bunt, but at the last moment draws back and swings away. He hits a low looper no more than ten feet off the ground toward the third baseman. The umpire calls "Infield Fly". Is he right in doing so?

ANSWER
5/ There is nothing in the rules defining how high an Infield Fly must go. Since this is neither a line drive nor attempted bunt, the umpire is right in calling it an Infield Fly if he feels it could be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort. (2.00-Infield Fly)

 

 

BESR:
New High School Baseball Bat Standards


The National Federation of State High School Associations has adopted standards for metal bats that limit the diameter of a bat to 2 5/8 inches.
Also, the weight-length differential can be no greater than three (e.g., a 32-inch bat must weigh at least 29 ounces).

Umpires will be checking to ensure players are using bats with BESR certification. Bats that can be used in high school games will be clearly marked with a BESR designation. BESR stands for “Ball Exit Speed Ratio,” an independent and scientific calculation designed to measure the performance of non-wood bats.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) adopted the BESR bat performance standard in June 2001, a move that follows the steps taken by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 1999.

Elliot Hopkins, NFHS liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee, highlighted the reasoning behind the rule change in a July 27, 2001 press release: "Adding the BESR requirement for bats used in high school baseball is a continuation of changes made for the 2001 season to ensure that bat performance mirrors the performance of wood bats."

The Baseball Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) mark ensures a bat will have:

A maximum exit speed on the approved test which limits performance to mirror the best Northern White Ash wood bats
Met the moment-of-inertia requirement (balance point)

A barrel diameter not exceeding a maximum of
2 5/8 inches
A length to weight differential of no greater than
minus 3



 

Item 5 - Baseball Divisions

Rule 1.10 - The bat must be a baseball bat which meets Little League specifications and standards as noted in this rule. It shall be a smooth, rounded stick and made of wood or of material and color tested and proved acceptable to Little League standards.

It shall not be more than thirty-three (33) inches (34 inches for Junior; 36 inches for Big and Senior League) in length, nor more than two and one-quarter (2 ¼) inches for Little League, 2 ¾ inches for Junior, and 2 ¾ for wood-2 5/8 non wood for Senior and Big League in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenth (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30") at its smallest part. Bats may be taped or fitted with a sleeve for a distance not exceeding sixteen (16) inches (18 inches for Junior/Senior/Big League Baseball) from the small end. Senior/Big League baseball a bat shall not weigh, numerically, more than three ounces less than the length (in inches) of the bat (e.g., a 33- inch-long bat cannot be less than 30 ounces).

Note 1: ……………Beginning with the 2009 season, non wood bats used in divisions of Little League (league age 12 years old and younger) shall be printed with a BPF (bat performance factor) of 1.15 or less. Senior and Big League non wood bats shall meet the
BESR (Bat Exit Speed Ratio) performance standard, and such bats shall be printed with a permanent certification mark.

ASA Bat Testing & Certification Program

 

The official bat in ASA Championship Play must meet all of the requirements of Rule 3, Section 1 and: must bear either the ASA approved 2000 certification mark or the ASA 2004 certification mark as shown below, and must not be listed on an ASA non approved list, or must be included on a list of approved bat models published by the ASA National Office; or must, in the sole opinion and discretion of the umpire, have been manufactured prior to 2000 and if tested, would comply with the ASA bat performance standards then in effect.


Beginning January 1, 2004, all bats in ASA Championship Play must pass the ASA 2004 bat standard. All bats having the 2004 certification mark will be allowed in ASA Championship Play. Bats that have the 2000 certification mark will not be allowed in ASA Championship Play unless they are listed on an approved bat list on the ASA website. For convenience, the ASA website has a listing of bats that do not pass the ASA 2004 bat standard.


2004 and Beyond Approved Bats

For a list of bats that have been tested and found to comply with the ASA bat performance standards, and therefore are authorized to bear the ASA 2004 certification mark and/or are authorized for use in ASA Championship Play beginning January 1, 2004, please click on the link below. Manufacturers continue to submit additional bat models for testing, and the ASA will update this list as test results become available.

 

Link to Non Approved Bats