QUESTION: In high school, baseball only, runners on third and first; while in set position, pitcher fakes a throw to third, spins and throws to first in an attempt to pick off runner. Is this (31 move) legal?
ANSWER: This is a legal move if pitcher, in contact with pitching plate, gains ground with a step toward third and a step toward first. The stepping action during a feint or throw makes the movement legal. Balk would be called if no step is taken. (BB- Rule 6, Sec. 1, Art. 3; Rule 6-2-4, b).
QUESTION: Pitcher assumes legal position on pitching plate and ground; pitcher then removes ball from glove hand, takes a step backward off pitching plate, comes forward, steps and throws. Legal pitch?
ANSWER: Illegal pitch; delayed dead ball as batter maintains opportunity to hit pitch. In legal position with hands together, once hands are separated the pitcher is required to take a step only forward toward batter (SB- Rule 6, Sec. 1, Art. 2, b).