R1 on first base. F1, in an attempt to deliver a pitch to B1, spikes the ball in front of the mound. The ball rolls a couple of feet and then stops without having crossed a foul line. Is this considered a "dropped" ball and is, therefore, a balk?
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Original Post

quote:
Originally posted by slotty:
R1 on first base. F1, in an attempt to deliver a pitch to B1, spikes the ball in front of the mound. The ball rolls a couple of feet and then stops without having crossed a foul line. Is this considered a "dropped" ball and is, therefore, a balk?

Yes.
This is a fun one, and almost exactly on-point to something we discussed at great lengths in a recent seminar. Here's my interpretation: It's not a 'balk' just because the pitcher drops it (even tho both base coaches will be screaming 'balk' right from the beginning...it's a LIVE ball, and runners are free to advance. It becomes a 'balk' when (after being dropped) it's touched by the pitcher or another defensive player...or becomes a 'ball' when it rolls across one of the baselines. Of course, by the time it rolls that far the runner is probably to 3rd.
quote:
Originally posted by DECK:
This is a fun one, and almost exactly on-point to something we discussed at great lengths in a recent seminar. Here's my interpretation: It's not a 'balk' just because the pitcher drops it (even tho both base coaches will be screaming 'balk' right from the beginning...it's a LIVE ball, and runners are free to advance. It becomes a 'balk' when (after being dropped) it's touched by the pitcher or another defensive player...or becomes a 'ball' when it rolls across one of the baselines. Of course, by the time it rolls that far the runner is probably to 3rd.

With runners on, it becomes a balk when it stops short of crossing the baseline. Your touch theory is interesting but not does not align with the rule.
99.9% of the time, a ball dropped on the mound stops rolling BECAUSE the pitcher picks it up. I just wanted to make the point that many umpires (and almost ALL coaches) shout BALK as soon as the ball is dropped.

As with so many calls, the advise is the same: Wait till you think you've waited long enough, then wait a bit longer.
Last edited by DECK