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Saw something last night that I never saw before.  RHP from the stretch does a jump turn and throw to first.   The thing that was odd... he turned clockwise...doing almost a 360.  Didn't call a balk ... but have been replaying it - and the rule in my head and it just doesn't sit right with me.

I know that looking odd does not make something illegal ... just hoping to get other opinions.


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Here is why I say it isn't a balk.  I re-read Section 1, Art 3 which says, "[n]atural preliminary motions such as only one stretch may be made. During these preliminary motions and during the set position until a delivery motion occurs, the pitcher may turn on his pivot foot or lift it in a jump turn to step with the non-pivot foot toward a base while throwing or feinting as outlined in 6-2-4 and 2-28-5."  Because he made a jump turn, granted in a 270 degree movement, it is not a balk just the same as a jump turn 90 degrees isn't a balk.


The authorization to make a jump move doesn't make all jump moves legal or give give immunity from the list of balk moves:

6-2-4b: Failing to step with the pivot foot directly toward a base when throwing or feinting there in an attempt to put out or drive back a runner.

There is no way that a 270-degree turn can be construed as stepping directly toward a base. 


6-2-4f: Failing to pitch when the entire non-pivot foot passes behind the perpendicular plane of the back edge of the pitcher's plate, except when feinting or throwing to second base in an attempt to put out a runner.

This rule outlaws 270-degree turns to either first or third. Runners on corner bases are entitled to know that the non-pivot foot going behind the rubber means that the pitcher is throwing home.

This is a no-doubter balk on both counts. There's a reason you don't see this move very often. That's because it's illegal.

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