What is a balk?
Baseball is a team sports game with a ball and a bat. Two teams of nine (sometimes ten) players each participate in the competition.
When you think about baseball, the first thing that most people think of is the image of a pitcher serving the ball to a batter who is getting ready to hit. And this is no accident: the confrontation of the pitcher and the batter is the basis of baseball, and the pitcher at the same time is much more than other players combined, “hold the ball” and, accordingly, attracts attention.
In baseball, like in no other sport, there are a lot of obscure terms. Very often, people do not understand what balk is, so in this article, I decided to talk about this process in more detail.
When you hear such a definition as a balk, the first thing you need to know is a judge’s team that means a pitcher’s mistake. In addition, the balk is the wrong actions (error) of the pitcher in relation to runners that are on the bases.
A runner is the player of the attacking team who hit the ball.
How to recognize the balk?
Here is the list of cases when a pitcher can be called for a balk:
- pitcher touched a plate and pretended to make a pitch;
- pitcher imitates his deeds touching the plate;
- pitcher makes an illegal pitch;
- without any reason the pitcher holds back a game;
- pitcher performs any movement similar to a pitch without touching the pitcher plate;
- without a ball the pitcher imitates the pitch;
- pitcher pitches when the catcher is absent in his zone;
- pitcher imitates a ball throw to the first base;
- pitcher makes any move similar to a ball throw;
- pitcher touching the plate performs an illegal pitch. “Fastpitch” is illegal. The judge must consider “quick” such a pitch, which is completed before the striker is ready to repel the pitch. If there are runners at the bases, then this is “Balk,” if the bases are free, then “goal.” “Fastpitch” is dangerous and should not be allowed.
Remember that the reasons for a balk given below are not unique. The variety is wider. The main rule in order not to be called a balk is not to imitate any pitches, but to play according to all the rules of baseball.
Must be remembered
There are two pitching positions: windup and set position or stretch. You can use all the positions, but, as a rule, the windup is used when the bases are free and set position is used when at least one runner is at the base. Each position has its own rules to follow. The pitcher can be called for a balk in any position. A power pitcher relies on the success of its fast pitches. A control pitcher succeeds with accurate pitches, reducing the number of walks.
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