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Lefty Balk Rule?

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  • Lefty Balk Rule?

    We had a travel game a few weeks ago, 10U, and when we were up to bat with runners on 3rd and 1st, the lefty pitcher stepped towards first and didn't throw it. I was under the impression that if a lefty steps towards first he has to throw it. I said something to the ump and he said no. Between innings I was talking with both umps and they told me that the rule was changed and lefties can now do this. We were going by High School rules, and I can't find anything that says lefties can do this. They even stopped allowing the fake 3rd to first move for righties, so why would this be allowed. To be clear, he didn't step off the mound first, and the umps acknowledged you can step towards 1st and not throw.


  • #2
    It is a Balk if you feint to first from the pitching plate. NFHS Rule 6 Section 2 Article 4 a.
    A feint is a movement which simulates the start of a pitch or a throw to a base. Stepping towards first is the start of a throw to a base.
    It's fine if you step off.
    Last edited by Hammer823; 10-11-2019, 12:04 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Hammer823 View Post
      It's illegal to feint to first from the pitching plate. A feint is a movement which simulates the start of a pitch or a throw to a base. It's fine if you step off.
      Which is what I thought but both of these guys were standing their ground saying he didn't have to throw over. Other coach was dumbfounded too.

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      • #4
        I think you'll find that many people don't really know the specifics of the rules. And that includes umpires.
        It's one thing to read the rules and understand them correctly. Some people get that part wrong. A completely different thing to call upon the correct interpretation at a moments notice, in the heat of a game. Others get that part wrong. And then there's a combination of both; not really understanding it to begin with and remembering/applying it incorrectly.
        Last edited by Hammer823; 10-11-2019, 12:20 PM.

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        • #5
          In NFHS, you can do fake 3rd to 1st I believe, but not that move.
          Last edited by Viking0; 10-11-2019, 07:54 PM.

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          • #6
            At the 10u it’s not uncommon to get rookie umpires who get confused by the rule book. A pitcher can’t stand on the rubber and fake a throw to first. If you look closely when pitchers fake throws to first you will notice they are not engaged with the rubber. For the record NFHS followed MLB and outlawed the fake to third throw to first play.

            https://baseballrulesacademy.com/use...k-regulations/

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            • #7
              Travel leagues and tourneys modify their rules from the Fed or NFHS. That could be permitted in that league/tourney. Still seems kinda silly to permit it

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JettSixty View Post
                At the 10u it’s not uncommon to get rookie umpires who get confused by the rule book. A pitcher can’t stand on the rubber and fake a throw to first. If you look closely when pitchers fake throws to first you will notice they are not engaged with the rubber. For the record NFHS followed MLB and outlawed the fake to third throw to first play.

                https://baseballrulesacademy.com/use...k-regulations/
                Check out rule 6-2-4a with NFHS
                https://baseballrulesacademy.com/use...al-rules/nfhs/

                This is probably where the confusion is, as the pitcher can feint towards second or third without any additional movements. It is more lenient than the old OBR rule. I had an umpire explain this to me when I started coaching older kids (who happened to follow NFHS rules). It is confusing enough without all the different rules sets.

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                • #9
                  Also keep in mind there are not separate rules for lefties and righties. All are bound by the same restrictions and requirements.

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