In baseball, a pitcher can commit a number of illegal motions or actions that constitute a balk. Most of these violations involve a pitcher pretending to pitch when he has no intention of doing so. In games played under the Official Baseball Rules that govern all professional play in the United States and Canada, a balk results in a dead ball or delayed dead ball. In certain other circumstances, a balk may be wholly or partially disregarded. Under other rule sets, notably in the United States under the National Federation of High Schools (Fed or Federation) Baseball Rules, a balk results in an immediate dead ball. In the event a balk is enforced, the pitch is generally (but not always) nullified, each runner is awarded one base, and the batter (generally) remains at bat, and with the previous count. The balk rule in Major League Baseball was introduced in 1898.[1]

Bob Shaw 1964
Bob Shaw holds the major league record for most balks in a single game, five.

Balk actions

A pitcher is restricted to a certain set of motions and one of two basic pitching positions before and during a pitch; if these regulations are violated with one or more runners on base, an umpire may call a balk. The batter at home plate does not advance on a balk.

With a runner on base and the pitcher on or astride (with one leg on each side of) the rubber, under Official Baseball Rules, it is a balk[2] when the pitcher:

  • switches his pitching position from the windup to the set (or vice versa) without properly disengaging the rubber;
  • while on the rubber, makes a motion associated with his pitch and does not complete the delivery;
  • when pitching from the set position, fails to make a complete stop with his hands together before beginning to pitch;
  • throws from the mound to a base without stepping toward (gaining distance in the direction of) that base;
  • throws or feints a throw from the rubber to an unoccupied base, unless a play is imminent;
  • steps or feints from the rubber to first base without completing the throw;
  • delivers a quick return, a pitch thrown right after receiving the ball back, with intent to catch the batter off-guard;
  • drops the ball while on the rubber, even if by accident, if the ball does not subsequently cross a foul line;
  • while intentionally walking a batter, releases a pitch while the catcher is out of his box with one or both feet
  • unnecessarily delays the game
  • pitches while facing away from the batter;
  • after bringing his hands together on the rubber, separates them except in making a pitch or a throw;
  • stands on or astride the rubber without the ball, or mimics a pitch without the ball; or
  • attempts to throw to a fielder in a spot not directly at a base
  • delivers a pitch during a squeeze play or a steal of home, if the catcher or some other player steps on or in front of home plate without possession of the ball, or touches the batter or his bat. The ball is dead, the batter is awarded first base, the pitcher is charged with a balk, and the run scores. (rule 7.07)

Balk rules under other rule sets vary.

The pitcher's acts of spitting on the ball, defacing or altering the ball, rubbing the ball on the clothing or body, or applying a foreign substance to the ball are not balks; however, it will result in the pitcher's ejection from the game if caught.


A pitcher was allowed to feint toward third (or second) base, and then turn and throw or feint to first base if his pivot foot disengages the rubber after his initial feint. This is called the "fake to third, throw to first" play. However, Major League Baseball classified this as a balk beginning with the 2013 season.[3]

If no runners are on base and the pitcher commits an otherwise balkable action, there generally is no penalty. However, delivering a quick return or pitching while off the rubber (which constitute balks when runners are on base) results in a ball being called with the bases empty. If the pitcher should commit an act confusing to the batter with nobody on, or if he stops his delivery or otherwise violates because the batter steps out or otherwise acts confusingly, time is called and the play restarted without penalty (whether or not runners are on base). If a pitcher repeatedly commits illegal actions without runners on base, he may be subject to ejection for persistently violating the rules.

If, during an attempt to execute the "hidden ball trick" (where the defensive team deceives the runner(s) as to the ball's location while the play is live), the pitcher stands on the rubber prior to the fielder revealing the ball and applying the tag, the runner is not out. Instead, it is a balk, with all runners on base being awarded their next base.

Common misconceptions

"Catcher's balk" is not a term in the official rules, but is sometimes used to describe the infrequent situation when the catcher is not completely within the catcher's box when the pitcher releases the ball in his delivery during an intentional walk.[4] The balk is still charged to the pitcher, because such a pitch is defined as a "Pitcher Illegal Action."[5]

A pitcher is not required to step off the rubber before throwing to an occupied base in a pick-off attempt. With his foot on the rubber in either the windup position or the "set" position, the pitcher may either: 1) deliver the ball to the batter: 2) throw to a base for a pickoff; or 3) step off the rubber.[5]

MLB rules state that: "Pitchers shall take signs from the catcher while in contact with the pitcher’s plate" (the rubber), but the rules do not describe the infraction as a balk.[5]

Major League Baseball balk records

  • Steve Carlton had 90 balks during his major league career.[6]
  • The major league record in a single season is held by Dave Stewart, who had 16 balks in 1988 while pitching for the Oakland Athletics.[7]
  • The major league record for the most balks in one game is held by Bob Shaw, who had five balks in a May 4, 1963, game while pitching for the Milwaukee Braves against the Chicago Cubs.[8] Four of the five balks came when the Cubs' Billy Williams was on base: one in the first inning, then three more in the third inning. In the latter frame, Shaw walked Williams, and then proceeded to balk him to second, third and home.[9] Shaw's balks were blamed on his difficulty adjusting to a then-new point of emphasis in the rules: umpires were told to enforce the section of the balk rule strictly that required the pitcher, when going from the stretch to the set position, to come to a complete stop with his hands together for one full second before pitching. The rule had been virtually ignored before.[8]
  • Knuckleballer Charlie Hough was once called for nine balks in a single major league exhibition game, occurring in March 1988.[10] Hough was called for seven balks in a single inning of the game, as umpires set out to "enforce a full set position" for the coming season.

Notable balks

  • A famous balk came in the first All-Star Game of 1961, when strong winds at Candlestick Park caused pitcher Stu Miller to sway erratically and be called for a balk. This story is often exaggerated in re-tellings of baseball lore, some having Miller being blown off the pitching mound.[11]
  • On June 14, 2019, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen intentionally balked during a game with the Chicago Cubs. With the Dodgers leading, 5–3, and two outs in the top of the ninth inning, the Cubs' Jason Heyward was on second base. Concerned that a runner at second base could possibly steal signs, Jansen intentionally balked, advancing the runner to third base. Jansen then struck out batter Víctor Caratini for the final out of the game.[14]


  1. ^ Baseball Rules Chronology: 1845-1899 |
  2. ^ The Official Site of Major League Baseball: Official info: Official Rules
  3. ^ "Balk! MLB poised to pick off the ol' fake-to-3rd, throw-to-1st pickoff trick move next year". Washington Post. May 10, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  4. ^ Umpires: Feature | Official info
  5. ^ a b c "Official Baseball Rules 2018 Edition" Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 31, 2018
  6. ^ - Steve Carlton
  7. ^ - Dave Stewart
  8. ^ a b Walfoort, Cleon (May 4, 1963). "Shaw Is Balkiest Pitcher of Them All". Milwaukee Journal.
  9. ^ May 4, 1963 Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Braves Box Score and Play by Play -
  10. ^ "Hough Called for 9 Balks". The New York Times. March 8, 1988.
  11. ^ "Candlestick Park, a.k.a. 3Com Park". Baseball Statistics. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
  12. ^ "Dodgers win on Rangers' balk". June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  13. ^ Gilfix, Adam (June 19, 2015), "Talking Balk: All Walk-Off Balks in MLB History", HSAC, retrieved June 15, 2019
  14. ^ Gurnick, Ken (June 15, 2019). "Ever seen an intentional balk? You have now". Retrieved June 15, 2019.

External links

Balk, Netherlands

Balk is a town in the northern Netherlands. It is a village of the municipality De Fryske Marren, province Fryslan, and is located about 17 km southwest of Sneek.

In 2017 Balk had 4,090 inhabitants.

Balkh University

Balkh University (Persian: پوهنتون بلخ‎; Pashto: د بلخ پوهنتون‎) is a public university located in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh Province in northern Afghanistan. Established in 1986, the university has about 5,500 students and is the third-largest in Afghanistan after Kabul University and Nangarhar University. Faculties include medicine, engineering, economics, journalism, literature, law and science.Printing and publishing scientific journal entitled “Balkh Scientific Journal” and “Marafat” which in both of them publish the works and research of lecturers. Balkh University has monthly outlook (News paper, of cultural and analysis of Balkh University) and Balkh Journalistic monthly newspaper (Department of Journalism outlook.

As part of its contributions to the rebuilding of Afghanistan, the government of Pakistan expanded the university by adding the Liaquat Ali Khan Faculty of Engineering, a 10 million dollar separate block, completed in 2012.

Balkline and straight rail

Balkline (sometimes spelled balk line or balk-line) is the overarching title of a large array of carom billiards games generally played with two cue balls and a third, red object ball, on a cloth-covered, 5 foot × 10 foot, pocketless table that is divided by balklines on the cloth into marked regions called balk spaces. Such balk spaces define areas of the table surface in which a player may only score up to a threshold number of points while the object balls are within that region.The balkline games developed to make the precursor game, straight rail, more difficult to play and less tedious for spectators to view in light of extraordinary skill developments which allowed top players to score a seemingly endless series of points with the balls barely moving in a confined area of the table playing area. Straight rail, unlike the balkline games, had no balk space restrictions, although one was later added. The object of the game is simple: one point, called a "count", is scored each time a player's cue ball makes contact with both object balls (the second cue ball and the third ball) on a single stroke. A win is achieved by reaching an agreed upon number of counts.Carom billiards players of the modern era may find it surprising that balkline ever became necessary given the considerable difficulty of straight rail. Nevertheless, according to Mike Shamos, curator of the U.S. Billiard Archive, "the skill of dedicated players [of straight rail] was so great that they could essentially score at will." The story of straight rail and of the balkline games are thoroughly intertwined and encompass a long and rich history, characterized by an astounding series of back and forth developments, akin to a billiards evolutionary arms race, where new rules would be implemented to make the game more difficult and to decrease high runs to keep spectators interested, countered by new shot inventions and skills interdicting each new rule.

Chettisham Meadow

Chettisham Meadow is a 0.7 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest west of Chettisham in Cambridgeshire. It is managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.The site is grassland on calcareous clay, and evidence survives of ridge and furrow medieval farming. Flowering plants include adder's tongue, cowslip and the uncommon green-winged orchid.There is access from Church Farm on the road called The Hamlet, by a track which goes under the A10, and curves to meet the track called The Balk. A footpath from the point where the two tracks meet leads to the reserve entrance.

Choqa Balk-e Alireza

Choqa Balk-e Alireza (Persian: چقابلك عليرضا‎, also Romanized as Choqā Balk-e ‘Alīreẕā) is a village in Chaqa Narges Rural District, Mahidasht District, Kermanshah County, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 257, in 56 families.

Choqa Balk-e Khvajeh Bashi

Choqa Balk-e Khvajeh Bashi (Persian: چقابلك خواجه باشي‎, also Romanized as Choqā Balk-e Khvājeh Bāshī, Cheqā Balak-e Khvājeh Bāshī, and Cheqā Balak Khvājeh Bāshī; also known as Cheqā Balak Qal‘eh, Cheqā Belek-e Qal‘eh, Chīa Balek Khwāja Bashi, and Chīā Malek Khvājeh Bāshī) is a village in Mahidasht Rural District, Mahidasht District, Kermanshah County, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 222, in 55 families.

Choqa Balk-e Kuchek

Choqa Balk-e Kuchek (Persian: چقابلك كوچك‎, also Romanized as Choqā Balk-e Kūchek) is a village in Mahidasht Rural District, Mahidasht District, Kermanshah County, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 70, in 15 families.

Choqa Balk-e Mohammad Zaman

Choqa Balk-e Mohammad Zaman (Persian: چقابلك محمدزمان‎, also Romanized as Choqā Balk-e Moḩammad Zamān, Cheqā Balak-e Moḩammad Zamān, and Cheqā Balak Moḩammad Zamān, Cheqā Balak-e Moḩammad Zamān Khān, Cheqā Balak Moḩammad Zamān Khān, Cheqā Balek-e Moḩammad, and Chia Balek Zamān Khān) is a village in Mahidasht Rural District, Mahidasht District, Kermanshah County, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 117, in 25 families.

Fairuza Balk

Fairuza Balk (born May 21, 1974) is an American actress and musician. She made her theatrical film debut as Dorothy Gale in Disney's 1985 film Return to Oz. Balk also appeared in Valmont, The Craft, The Island of Dr. Moreau, American History X, The Waterboy, Almost Famous, and Personal Velocity: Three Portraits.

Flint Rhem

Charles Flint Rhem (January 24, 1901 – July 30, 1969), born in Rhems, South Carolina, was a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals (1924–28, 1930–32, 1934 and 1936), Philadelphia Phillies (1932–33) and Boston Braves (1934–35).

He helped the Cardinals win the 1926 World Series, 1931 World Series, and 1934 World Series and 1928 and 1930 National League pennants.

He finished 8th in voting for the 1926 National League MVP for having a 20–7 Win–loss record, 34 Games, 34 Games Started, 20 Complete Games, 1 Shutout, 258 Innings Pitched, 241 Hits Allowed, 121 Runs Allowed, 92 Earned Runs Allowed, 12 Home Runs Allowed, 75 Walks Allowed, 72 Strikeouts, 1 Hit Batsmen, 5 Wild Pitches, 1,068 Batters Faced, 1 Balk and a 3.21 ERA.

In 12 seasons he had a 105–97 Win–Loss record, 294 Games, 229 Games Started, 91 Complete Games, 8 Shutouts, 41 Games Finished, 10 Saves, 1,725 ⅓ Innings Pitched, 1,958 Hits Allowed, 989 Runs Allowed, 805 Earned Runs Allowed, 113 Home Runs Allowed, 529 Walks Allowed, 534 Strikeouts, 20 Hit Batsmen, 33 Wild Pitches, 7,516 Batters Faced, 4 Balks and a 4.20 ERA.

Rhem died in Columbia, South Carolina at the age of 68.

Glossary of archaeology

This page is a glossary of archaeology, the study of the human past from material remains.

Hermann Balk

For the World War II general, see Hermann Balck. For the American bishop, see Victor Hermann Balke.

Hermann Balk (died March 5, 1239, Würzburg), also known as Hermann von Balk or Hermann Balke, was a Knight-Brother of the Teutonic Order and its first Landmeister, or Provincial Master, in both Prussia and Livonia. From 1219 to 1227, he served as the Deutschmeister in the Order's Province of Alemannia. Balk led the crusaders during the Prussian Crusade and became Master of Prussia in 1230. From 1237 to 1238, he also served in the additional role as Master of Livonia.

Kirk Balk Academy

Kirk Balk Academy is a secondary school located in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. The school is mainly intended for students living in its immediate area: Birdwell, Hoyland, Jump, Tankersley, Elsecar and Pilley.

The school is an 11-16 academy teaching a wide curriculum in lower School (Y7 and 8) with a variety of qualifications in the upper School (Y9-11), such as GCSE and BTEC.

A new building for the school was finished in late 2011, allowing for the demolition of the old school. This made space for a school field, which is used for Physical Education. Along with the new building, the school changed its name from Kirk Balk School to Kirk Balk Community College, created a new logo, and added a new uniform. In September 2014, the school was renamed Kirk Balk Academy. In March 2015, it was formally converted to academy status, sponsored by the Northern Education Trust. In September 2016 Ms Jo Nolan became the Executive Principal of Kirk Balk Academy and another NET school, Thomas Hepburn Academy. Mr Dean Buckley became the Head of Academy.

Lars Balk

Lars Balk (Dutch pronunciation: [lɑrs bɑlk]; born 26 February 1996) is a Dutch field hockey player who plays as a defender or midfielder for Kampong and the Dutch national team.

Pitching position

In baseball, there are two legal pitching positions: the windup, and the set. Colloquially, the set is often referred to as "the stretch", although this term actually only refers to one part of the pitching motion when pitching from the set.Both types of pitching position have their strengths and weaknesses. Compared to the set, the windup has a relatively slower execution, so therefore is better suited for situations in which there are no baserunners, or when the lead runner is on third base, since it is difficult to steal home plate. Conversely, a pitch from the set, having a relatively faster execution, is preferred when there are baserunners. Faster execution is important to prevent stolen bases.

However, some pitchers, particularly relief pitchers, are more comfortable pitching from the set position, and thus use it regardless of the situation.

A pitcher is in the windup when, with the ball, the pitcher stands on or directly in front of the pitching rubber, located at the top of the mound, with his feet pointing toward home plate. Prior to throwing a pitch, the pitcher has the option of taking one step back toward second base or to either side, using his free leg (left leg for a right-handed pitcher). During the delivery of the pitch, the pitcher must take one step forward, in the direction of home plate. Alternatively, the pitcher may step off the rubber with his pivot foot (the right foot, for right-handed pitchers) or step toward and throw or feign a throw to a base, subject to the balk rules. In the windup, the time of pitch is the instant when one of the following occurs: the pitcher commits to taking a step backward, or he takes a step to the side, or brings his hands together.

A pitcher is in the set when, with the ball, he stands on, or directly in front of—and touching—the pitching rubber, with his toes pointing toward the side (toward third base for a right-handed pitcher) and his arms apart at his sides. This initial part of the set is called the stretch, because the pitcher usually stretches toward home plate to take signs from the catcher. At this point, the pitcher may make any number of preparatory movements necessary for delivering the pitch. Delivery begins when the pitcher brings his arms together in front of his body (a movement punctuated with a discernible pause). This is called coming set. After coming set, the pitcher takes a step toward home and delivers the pitch. Typically, pitchers from the set use a high leg kick, thus lunging toward home in pitching; a pitcher may instead release the ball more quickly by using the slide step, quickly stepping directly and immediately toward home and pitching. In the set position, the time of pitch is that instant when the pitcher makes a move toward home plate after coming set.

As with the windup, prior to the time of pitch, the pitcher may step toward and throw or feign a throw to a base, subject to the balk rules, or disengage the rubber by stepping back (toward second base) with his pivot foot.

Return to Oz

Return to Oz is a 1985 fantasy film directed and written by Walter Murch, co-written by Gill Dennis and produced by Paul Maslansky. It stars Nicol Williamson, Jean Marsh, Piper Laurie, and Fairuza Balk as Dorothy Gale in her first screen role. The film is an unofficial sequel to the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film The Wizard of Oz, and is based on L. Frank Baum's Oz novels, mainly The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904) and Ozma of Oz (1907). In the plot, Dorothy returns to the Land of Oz to find it has been overthrown by the villainous Nome King, and must restore it with her new friends Tik-Tok, Jack Pumpkinhead, and Princess Ozma.

In 1954, Walt Disney Productions bought the film rights to Baum's remaining Oz books to use in the television series Disneyland; this led to the live-action film Rainbow Road to Oz, which was never completed. Murch suggested making another Oz film in 1980. Disney approved the project as they were due to lose the film rights to the series. Though MGM was not involved in the production, Disney had to pay a large fee to use the ruby slippers created for the MGM Wizard of Oz. Return to Oz fell behind schedule during production, and following a change of Disney management Murch was briefly fired from the project.

Return to Oz performed poorly at the box office, grossing 11.1 million dollars in the United States on a $28,000,000 budget, and received mixed reviews. However, it performed well outside the U.S and has since acquired a cult following. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.


The scheitholt or scheitholz is a traditional German stringed instrument and an ancestor of the modern zither. It falls into the category of drone zithers.

The Craft (film)

The Craft is a 1996 American supernatural horror film directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True. The film's plot centers on a group of four outcast teenage girls at a fictional Los Angeles parochial high school who pursue witchcraft for their own gain, but soon encounter negative repercussions, which prove to be the ruin of one of them and a harsh learning experience for the other three, according to the Rule of Three of Wicca, which states that one's actions, whether positive or negative, return to the actor threefold (that is, amplified).

The film was released on May 3, 1996, by Columbia Pictures and it was a surprise hit, earning $55 million with a budget of $15 million. In the years since its release, the film has gained a cult following.

The Waterboy

The Waterboy is a 1998 American sports comedy film directed by Frank Coraci and starring Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Fairuza Balk, Henry Winkler, Jerry Reed, Larry Gilliard, Jr., Blake Clark, Peter Dante and Jonathan Loughran. It was produced by Robert Simonds and Jack Giarraputo.

Lynn Swann, Lawrence Taylor, Jimmy Johnson, Bill Cowher, Paul "The Big Show" Wight and Rob Schneider have cameo appearances. The film was extremely profitable, earning $161.5 million in North America alone.

Baseball concepts
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Base running


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