Is this a balk?

I saw this video and the comment section has a lot of conflicting answers on whether this is a balk or not. Thoughts?


Definitely a balk. You need to disengage your foot from the rubber.

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Yes, I believe I had this argument with Kelvin already and I obviously won (who doesnt?). But he must step off the mound in someway, whether it is the hop and twist with his back leg stepping towards third base, or he must step behind the rubber.

I think you meant rubber, obviously unless I am missing something.

ahh yes rubber, mound same thing lol thanks


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Most definately.

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The kid is working hard at his balk move it appears. Too bad I dont think he knows it’s a balk.


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You are all WRONG. IT is NOT A BALK. Before you reply and say what the kid needs to be doing look it up in the rule book and post the rule # that says he HAS to Disengage the rubber. For years coaches have been teaching kids how to position themselves for a better throw to first by doing the hop step or stepping off the back of the rubber and now people think these “moves” are rules. I have sent my video to the professional umpires schools and the coaches listed below and this is their answers to the video…

WSU Pitching coach - Not a balk
KU coach - Not a balk
CEO of Babe Ruth Rules committee - not a balk
LSU coach - Balk
Jim Evans Umprie School - not a balk
Wendelsteldt Umpire School - not a balk

See my post below and that Kelvin was right…


Ill tell you right now that it is a balk and that no umpire will allow this to happen in a game. If this move was legal, EVERYONE would be using it. Why would everyone hop off the mound or step back if all they had to do was twist their hips? Its a balk, the LSU coach wins

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When I was playing, everyone did use it. The coaches that tought their runners to “watch the heel” of the pitcher were getting the runners picked off. All I am asking is that you back up what your saying with the rule book and rule #. Since I posted my video on youtube NOBODY has been able to do that. I even received a reply from MLB Umpire Web site saying the move is NOT a balk…

Send me the rule # and rule book and I will be convinced but I am thinking you WONT be able to do it.

Thanks for the reply in advance as I am only trying to find the truth to the move as the move in the video follows all the rules outlined in the rule book.



I want to know the correct answer if this is a balk or not. But the simple truth is that if you do it in a game 99% of the time the ump is gonna call it a balk and nothing u say will change his mind.

I think a lot of umpires will call it a balk but a lot won’t if they know the rules…

Let look at it this way… Why would an umpire call a “balk” on something that isn’t defined as a “balk” in the rule book and follows all the rules outlined in the rule book?? ??

Yes, it is a balk.

(a) The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery.

By bringing the ball to his glove in the set position the pitcher has made a motion naturally associated with his pitch. For this reason, the pitcher must step off of the rubber before throwing to first.

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are you kidding? By bringing the ball to his glove in the set position?? Does this mean he CAN’T do the HOP STEP after that? Or step off the back of the rubber after that? That is what your saying…

I know he can do all of the above as Long as he makes no motion toward home plate so the point of the ball in the glove is incorrect.

Think about the lefty who picks to first after coming to the set position. A normal pickoff move is for the lefty to look home while his foot raises and goes toward first and throws to first for the pickoff. THIS IS AFTER THE BALL IS IN HIS GLOVE AND HIS FREE FOOT HAS LEFT THE GROUND… and is an accepted move.

PLease post any rule from a rule book that says a lefty can do something a righty can’t.

Rule 8.01 states:

“From such Set Position he may deliver the ball to the batter, throw to a base or step backward off the pitcher’s plate with his pivot foot.”


“After assuming Set Position, any natural motion associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter commits him to the pitch without alteration or interruption.”

Appears to be a catch 22. You can throw to first if you step toward first. But, the first natural motion associated with delivery of the ball to the batter would be to pick up the front foot. If you pick up the front foot first when throwing to first, you just copied your first motion associated with delivery of the ball to the batter. Balk. The only other option is “step backward off the pitcher’s plate with his pivot foot” and then throw to first. At least, that is the way I’m thinking the umpires see it.

By mentioning the lifting of the foot are you saying the lefty needs to stop the common pickoff move of throwing to first without disengaging? I don’t think you are but that would be what has to happen if that is the case and NOBODY thinks the lefty is balking when he comes to the set position then steps and throws to first while while touching the rubber.

But, think about this… I sent this video to Wendelsteldt umpire school (MLB UMPIRE SCHOOL) and they and many others say it IS NOT a balk to do what the kid in the video is doing. They said the kid is following ALL the rules in the rule book… and that there is NO requirement to step off the rubber for a RHP in the set position while picking to first. I can forward you the email they sent me if you would like… Just let me know.