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233 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2017 :  08:57:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
18U Game this weekend.

Player gets caught jumping off 1st heading to 2nd. One coach is yelling Balk, saying the pitcher didn't step off and has to throw to first, he had thrown to 2nd.

Other coach is yelling he did step off.

While the player is in the run down, the home plate Umpire yells "TIME" 3 times. The runner is still jumping back and forth a bit, but the players basically stop what they are doing.

The home plate umpire says Balk and sends player to 2nd. The fielding umpire calls him to confer and says no, he stepped off and calls player out. Handing the defense an out since time was called prior to the runner being caught in the run-down. We all know that errant throws happened and an out in a run-down is not a given.

What should the call have been? Those of us there think they should have either a, awarded 2nd as the home plate umpire is in charge, said balk and had awarded 2nd base, or b, the player should have been returned to 1st in the same way as an inadvertent whistle in football would end a play since time was called and the players stopped trying to make a play.


1989 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2017 :  11:15:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd go ask on the high school board. Most people on this board aren't playing by HS rules, plus way more umps over there.

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117 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2017 :  15:48:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm no ump, but here's what I think should have happened:

First of all: The plate ump should have just let the play continue and not said a word, since he'd obviously missed calling the balk when (if) it initially happened. Calling time to call the balk after coaches are jawing back and forth and a player is in a rundown is just a bad idea. (He should have called time after the play ended, however, and told the coaches not to yell out crap like that onto the field in the middle of a play, or he'll eject them.)

But, since the plate ump did call time and a balk: Field ump should have let that call stand and not initiated a conference with the plate ump.

But, since the field ump did initiate a conference with the plate ump: Plate ump should have told the field ump something like, "Listen, young pup, maybe I missed this one, but I just called it a balk so that's what we're going with ... Got it?"

But, since the plate ump didn't say that in the conference and the balk call was reversed: Plate ump should have made the call on what to do with the base runner -- and if it was evident that he was going to be out if the play had continued, calling him out is probably the right thing to do. (This is where my little game of "I'm not an ump, but ..." ends, I'm afraid.)

By the way, I think it would be OK if an actual ump (Hey Blue?) came on this little ol' forum and responded.
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126 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2017 :  06:57:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
UGH, this was butchered... Once the plate guy kills the play, it's a dead ball. At that point, the plate and field ump must discuss/decide whether it was a balk or not, and then set the 1B runner accordingly. No pitch in that situation, no out can be gained, and then resume play.

If it's HS rules, a balk is an automatic dead ball anyway. If it were pro rules, then it's a delayed dead ball, pending the result of the play.
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1432 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2017 :  10:26:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It also depends on how the pitcher threw to 2nd. Sometimes, even if the pitcher doesn't step off, he can still throw directly to 2nd if the runner is definitely heading there. Now, if he doesn't step off and feints to first, then changes his mind and throws to 2nd, it's probably a balk. However, if the runner takes off and goes to 2nd and the pitcher spins and throws directly to 2nd, it's not a balk since the baserunner is making his move there.

Once the umpire called time in the middle of the play, I really don't know what the rules say happen then. Common sense tells me, just send the runner back to 1st if no balk and start over. Kind of a do-over.
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173 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2017 :  13:11:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by CaCO3Girl

I'd go ask on the high school board. Most people on this board aren't playing by HS rules, plus way more umps over there.


Yes, most travel ball is played under high school rules. As stated before, once time (balk) is called no out should have been called.

Edited by - mikepayne on 10/27/2017 13:33:35
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92 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  08:22:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What rule set was the game being played under? Fed has dead ball balks and OBR has delayed dead ball balks. That said, no pitch was thrown so the live ball part is thrown out. Once time is called only two things can happen: 1) The balk is assessed and the runner advances a base 2) After speaking with his partner the calling umpire can reverse his or her call and the runner would be sent back to first. The base umpire in this situation can not overrule the plate umpire but can offer additional information that could allow the calling umpire to make the change. Under no circumstance after time is called is the defensive team going to get an out here.
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