This was gonna be the year that I finally conquered balks. I’ve been umpiring big field baseball for 5 or 6 years…a couple of hundred games at least. I read the rule book as much as anyone. I participate in forums and discuss situations ad nuaseum with the few fellow umps that take the craft as seriously as I do. And, with all of that, I am embarrassed to admit, I still don’t have a solid, firm grasp of the balk rule.
I’ve gotten maybe a tiny bit better at calling the no stop. I’m really good at “dropping the ball while on the rubber” – I get that one almost every time. But I still don’t pull the trigger nearly enough when I DO recognize a balk. And I don’t have a strong conviction on several moves that we every once in a while, and am not confident enough to counter an experienced coaches arguments.
One of the problems is that even experienced umpires understand and interpret the rules differently. I visit www.umpire-empire.com daily during the season for its wealth of information and opinion – but I often see conflicting opinions and disagreement on balk situations (one such thread involved a pitcher throwing to a fielder away from 2nd base on a pick off attempt to 2nd and I don’t think there was an answer supported definitively by the rules)
Not sure what the answer is