Ask the Ump!


QUESTION: In high school baseball, runner on second base takes a lead as pitcher comes to a stop in the set position. Runner breaks for third base and pitcher then throws to third without stepping off pitching rubber. Runner is thrown out at third. Offensive coach claims balk due to throwing to unoccupied base. Is this a legal play or balk?
ANSWER: Legal move by pitcher because action was initiated by offensive player in attempting to steal third. This is not considered throwing to an unoccupied base; it is a legal attempt to put out or drive back the runner. (BB- Rule 6, Sec. 2, Art. 4 b).
QUESTION: In high school softball, is it legal for the pitcher to drag her pivot foot away from pitching plate during delivery? Is this considered an illegal pitch?
ANSWER: This is a legal pitching move as long as pivot foot remains on the ground within the 24 inch plate before front (non-pivot) foot contacts the ground. ( Fast Pitch SB- Rule 6, Sec. 1, Art. 2c).

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