What is A Balk In Baseball


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Baseball is a sport that has been around for years and has a huge fan base, and players use different techniques to win. In this article, we would focus on Balk and give you a breakdown of everything you need to know about this technique. For those who are new to baseball, you should know more about the field. To know the exact size of the field, you can find valuable information here How Many Acres In A Baseball Field

What is Balk

Let me try and explain it in the best possible way. A balk is a technique in baseball that involves the pitcher unintentionally trying to deceive the runner or hitter to gain an advantage. There are different ways this can be done. Some examples include an attempt at a pickup which can be deceiving, a flinch when the picker is set to receive the ball, or the easiest one is dropping the ball once it is set. Although, a balk is also possible when there are runners on a base. No one can read a pitcher’s mind, including the umpire, so a deceptive move is generally termed a Balk.

Balk for left-hand pitchers

We all know that humans are different and tend to use different/opposite body parts for the same function. Just like some people use their right hand for writing, others make use of their left hand. Well, that is also the case in baseball, as there are left-handed pitchers. But, rules are guiding left-handed pitchers to prevent them from committing a balk. Below we will be providing you with the rules and guidelines you need to follow to avoid committing a balk.

  • The first rule starts with the right foot of the pitcher crossing his left knee. When this happens, the pitcher has no choice but to throw home.

If a pitcher at any point wants to come first, then that move will be considered as a balk. Some instances can be confusing, and this occurs when a pitcher crosses his right knee but at the same time doesn’t cross their right foot. This situation can be confusing for some, and in some situations, there is no call for a balk, as the base runner will get confused and allow the possibility of a pick over at the first base.

  • A pitcher needs to come to a stop at a place where he will start making his return back home.
  • The right foot of the pitcher should be in line with the direction he is throwing the ball.
  • There are different ideas of what deceptive moves are, and ultimately it is all down to the umpire to make his decision. Although a great hint of what a deceptive move could look like when some umpires shared their ideas involves the point where a 45-degree line is drawn from the pitching rubber to the home plate, then the 1st base.
  • You take note of the position of your right foot when you are pitching the ball. Your right foot should be on the home plate of the invisible line you have drawn.
  • When you decide to throw over the 1st base, you need to make sure your right foot is on the first base of the invisible line.

Move for right-handed players

  • Before a pitcher can throw a pitch home, he must come stop running to do that.
  • During this process, the pitcher must maintain a straight posture and avoid moving their hands or shoulders. The only way you can move your hands is when you are not stepping on the rubber.
  • In other to avoid a balk, you need to finish your movement.
  • If the pitcher drops the ball on the ground intentionally, then it is regarded as a balk.
  • Also, if the is any unfair play or any attempt to deceive the opponent, then that action will be regarded as a balk
  • If at any point you pick the ball up and try to attempt to get to the first base, and you don’t throw the baseball before stepping off, it will be regarded as a balk.

Although balks are regarded as errors, it is good to know that no player is penalized for the error. Instead, a dead ball is called by the referee. Balking is regarded as an error, but we have seen instances where a player intentionally does it. A great example is an incident involving Kenley Jansen in the 2019 season in a match against the Cubs. At that point, it was a tactical move that earned his team some amazing points.


Baseball is a game that should be enjoyed and fun, but when competition sets in, there tend to be tactical fouls, and balking is one of those. It is still regarded as an unintentional error. There have been instances where players have done intentionall to score cheap points to their advantage because there is presently no penalty for balking. If you are thinking of getting your custom-made baseball gloves, and you need the measurements. Well, you can check this website for hints on how to measure your baseball glove How To Measure A Baseball Glove