Pick off moves? (confusion)


#1

We are in the process of instructing 11 year old pitchers the fine art of holding runners on base. I have read just about all the threads in this forum as well as the general discussion forum and I still find myself confused as to when a balk will be called. First off, all of our pitchers are right handed. So far I have instructed our pitchers to straddle the rubber then step in/on the rubber and stretch out with their stride leg at which time they can get the sign from the catcher and look at the runner on first base, then bring the stride leg in and come to the set position and hold for at least one second. Here is where the confusion starts, I have told the boys that if they lift their knee up they must throw home, is this correct? Some say yes, some say no! I am also instructing them from the set position to step off/behind the rubber in order to throw to first base, is this correct? The confusion I hear is do they step behind, to the side, or in front of the rubber to make the throw?, and if they choose to step behind with the heel towards second base can their toes be on the rubber to help push towards first base during the throw? Again some yes, some no. The only positive that everyone agrees on is the fact that you can not fake a throw to first base. What should I be teaching these kids? Any help with second /third base as far as foot positions with the rubber would be appreciated also. Thank you in advance for all of your help!!


#2

Since you have 11 year old pitchers, you should show them the simplest (and most legal) pick off move. They can learn the more complicated stuff at higher levels.

After they come set and hold for one second, you need to either complete the pitch or step back off the rubber with your right (back) foot. After stepping off, the pitcher can either look the runner back or make a throw to first. So you step back with the right foot, step towards first (with the left) and make the throw. Pretty simple.

The other way that some people have said is not legal, and so it should be called a balk, but almost never is. Sometimes you get an umpire that is on their toes and they will call you on it. So, in my opinion, it’s better to completely step back off the rubber before making the throw.


#3

You just need to remeber that right handed pitchers can:

  • Step backwards off the rubber and either fake a throw to first base or throw to first base.

  • Pivot on the rubber and throw to first base.

Left handed pitchers can:

  • Step off the rubber ( with their left foot ) and either fake a throw to first base or throw to first base.

  • Throw to first base while on the rubber, whilst striding towards first base with their right foot.

Pitchers can’t fake a throw without stepping backwards off the rubber.


#4

[quote=“kc86”]After they come set and hold for one second, you need to either complete the pitch or step back off the rubber with your right (back) foot.[/quote]I don’t believe this is entirely true.

Rule 8.05(a) states that…“If a left-handed or right-handed pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge of the pitcher’s rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick off play.”

So, by extension, if a lefty lifts his knee but keeps his foot on the home side of that line referenced in the rule, he can step toward first and throw (or toward 3rd for a righty). He doesn’t have to either pitch or step back off the rubber.

All you umps out there, is this correct?


#5

I coach and ump, and you are correct. Actually had a balk call last week when a kid stepped off the rubber sideways instead of backwards.


#6

Guys, this idea that a pitcher has to step back before picking is just a myth. Yes the proper way to disengage is to step back. Teach your kids this. However any time before a pitcher starts any motion that is part of his pitching motion he may step to first and pick. Any umpire will tell you that is a legal move under 8.01 and 8.05 of OBR. Watch a few games at the HS, college or Pro level. Pitchers step back to disengage, they pivot or spin to pick off. :slight_smile:


#7

my balk wasnt on a pickoff, it was simply an incorrect way of disengaging, and it was called when i was coaching, against the opposing team


#8

Thank you everyone for your help[quote=“tribetime1”]We are in the process of instructing 11 year old pitchers the fine art of holding runners on base. I have read just about all the threads in this forum as well as the general discussion forum and I still find myself confused as to when a balk will be called. First off, all of our pitchers are right handed. So far I have instructed our pitchers to straddle the rubber then step in/on the rubber and stretch out with their stride leg at which time they can get the sign from the catcher and look at the runner on first base, then bring the stride leg in and come to the set position and hold for at least one second. Here is where the confusion starts, I have told the boys that if they lift their knee up they must throw home, is this correct? Some say yes, some say no! I am also instructing them from the set position to step off/behind the rubber in order to throw to first base, is this correct? The confusion I hear is do they step behind, to the side, or in front of the rubber to make the throw?, and if they choose to step behind with the heel towards second base can their toes be on the rubber to help push towards first base during the throw? Again some yes, some no. The only positive that everyone agrees on is the fact that you can not fake a throw to first base. What should I be teaching these kids? Any help with second /third base as far as foot positions with the rubber would be appreciated also. Thank you in advance for all of your help!![/quote]