Rules for HS pick off?

My son is new to pitching at the HS level so we’re not sure what the rules are for making a pick move towards first base as a right hander. I believe that you are supposed to step behind the rubber and show intent to be moving towards the base.

What are the specific things, either in the rule-book or accepted by most umpires, that govern what you can and cannot do?

I ask because we are working on a quick move that happens right as the pitcher “sets” which is designed to get runners just as they typically lean or take their secondary steps towards second base. It is very effective but not worth a balk and giving the runner the base for free.


For your quick set pick make sure you either pause for a count of one just so long that you come to that pause your fine otherwise you’ll get nailed of the balk or remove your back foot off the rubber and then turn and burn.


To clarify: does your back foot need to move behind the rubber or just off?

Also, is this move legal? (starting at @ 6:20):

Move is just fine, you don’t have to come “set” before making the move to 1st base. The only thing that you have to watch out for with these types of pickoffs is, #1 have to throw the ball, #2 need to progress (even if it’s slightly) toward 1st base.

Move is fine as soon as you disengage from the rubber you’re free to do what you want. A lot of it depends too on how good the umps are.

I can remember being 10 and getting called for a balk just because the imo didn’t know the rules well enough I only remember it because after the game I talked to him about it and asked enough questions that he admitted he had to look it up in the book and later came and apologized to me for his screw up.

This last season I had an ump call me for a “balk” with no one on, I started my windup and stopped when I was distracted by the other team. He called a balk and gave the batter a ball, he came to me later and appologized since the coach on the other team bitched that it should be a ball and that it was a balk, I did it again just to screw with him and that’s when he called a “balk ball”.

That’s Great. :lol: