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What Is a Balk in Baseball?

One of the more obscure rules in the sport of baseball is the balk.

A balk happens when the actions of the pitcher get restricted or limited because there are runners on base. Usually, a balk is called when a pitcher interrupts his act of pitching. There are a number of situations that an umpire will consider as a legitimate reason to call a balk.

• The pitcher was not able to go into a complete stop while he still standing on the pitching rubber.

• While in the process of the pitch, the ball slips out of the pitcher’s hand and it bounces or rolls into the foul line. If there are no runners on base this is usually considered a “ball.”

• The pitcher commences to start his pitch but stops it when the ball is about to be thrown.

• If the pitcher, as he stands on the pitching rubber, throws the ball to a base before stepping toward that base or even without stepping towards it.

• The pitcher pretends to throw to a base that’s not occupied.

• In a scenario where runners are on base, the pitcher performs a pitch even before the batter has been able to get ready in the batter’s box.

• The pitcher pitches but he’s not facing the batter.

• The pitcher starts his pitching motion but his foot is not on the pitching rubber.

• The pitcher paused while pitching and removes one hand from the ball. It should also be noted that when the ball is dropped on the pitching plate, it is also considered a balk.

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