Proper Move or Balk

Runner on first… Pitcher is in contact with the rubber and comes to the set position and pauses at belt level. He raises his hands slightly from belt level, steps and delivers to the plate. The ball is returned to the pitcher and he goes through the same routine. This time, he raises his hand slightly from the belt level, steps toward first and throws to pick the runner. Is this a proper move or balk? I understand the balk rule but cannot find any language to suggest this might be a balk. My son was assessed a balk call for this move. Thanks, Michael

Right hand pitcher or lefty?

If he came to a complete stop and starting moving any part again. He has two choices. Start his pitch or through to first.

The scenario you said sounds like a balk if both actions were separate. If he moved his arms up as he stepping back then that should be fine.

If I had a video that would be much easier to tell if it was a balk or not.

RH… the hands started just before lifting the L/foot to go to the plate and the R/foot to step back off the rubber.

Are these two separate actions?

If they are, the first situation would not be a balk. As long as he delivered the ball to the plate. I might encourage your pitcher to start everything at the same time because that may lead the umpire to call that a balk.

If he lifted his hands and then stepped off, that also should be fine.

A video would be most helpful in this situation, as it seems it is hard to describe/understand what you’re saying.

It sounds like he is not balking, but it depends on the timing of everything and what he looks like when he doing it. It’s boils down to the opinion of the umpire and as an umpire, I would be able to have a definate opinion on this if I saw a video.

Even if you are simply demostrating what happened. It doesn’t even have to be the game film.

Right now, I would say he didn’t balk, but without video I cannot say for sure.

A big thing in determining whether it was a balk or not is if he was trying to decieve* the runner. (*Spelled correctly?)

Depends on the age of the pitcher, league rules, and most of all the personal opinion of the umpire.

Only thing I could add to jimster’s remarks is that because he is lifting his hands this could be perceived as beginning the motion and therefore committing to throw to home. If he is going to lift his hands then the step back would have to occur at the same time otherwise the movement isn’t directly at the base.

If his hands moved to begin his motion, then stepped off the rubber, Balk.
The move needs to be simultaneous. It can be percieved by the ump as the same as a shoulder shrug.

That’s basically what I’m thinking.

Timing is essential to deciding to whether it is a balk or not.

Another thing that helps to is that if it looks weird, then it’s probably a balk. example-twitch, quick jerk, etc.

Balk. Raising his hands after coming set is the start of his delivery to the plate and commits him to going home.

The hand raise thing is actually used as a “balk move” - a move to get runners to jump. Umps know about this.