Baseball Instruction/balk


Had this called a balk, need clarification. Runner on second, pitcher in stretch, he comes set. He then attempts a jump spin move. He spins, doesn't throw the ball, and remains in contact with the rubber. Is this a balk?


There's a little saying in the umpire circuit: "It is impossible to balk to second base." And, in this case, the saying is correct. While faking to a base while in contact with the rubber is a balk in most circumstances, the mere act of spinning 180-degrees means the pitcher's foot moved from its position on the rubber while making the turn.

In your situation as given, I would not have called a balk.

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Andrew Senger


Anything related to baseball rules.


I am a baseball umpire. I am certified for High School (NFHS), and work in Missouri (MSHSAA). I umpire baseball from high school through adults, focusing mainly on high school-aged games.

NFHS - National Federation of High Schools MSHSAA - Missouri State High School Athletic Association GSLAU - Greater St. Louis Association of Umpires

I have attended numerous training lessons on umpiring. Many of these lessons including Rules Interpretations.

Past/Present Clients
Mid-American Umpire Clinic - 2010

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