Rule 6 – Section 2 – INFRACTIONS BY PITCHER
6-2-1 Illegal acts include:
- applying a foreign substance to the ball;
- spitting on the ball or glove;
- rubbing the ball on the glove, clothing or person if the act defaces the ball;
- discoloring the ball with dirt;
- bringing the pitching hand in contact with the mouth without distinctly wiping off the pitching hand before it touches the ball;
- wearing any items on the hands, wrists or arms that may be distracting to the batter;
- wearing or placing tape, bandages or other foreign material (other than rosin) on the fingers or palm of his pitching hand that could come in contact with the ball;
- wearing a glove/mitt that includes the colors white or gray;
- wearing exposed undershirt sleeves that are white or gray.NOTE: Under umpire supervision, the pitcher may dry his hands by using a finely meshed cloth bag of powdered rosin. He may rub the ball with his bare hands to remove any extraneous coating.
PENALTY: For defacing the ball (a-d), the ball is dead immediately. The umpire may eject the pitcher. If such defaced ball is pitched and then detected, it is an illegal pitch. For infraction (e), a ball shall be awarded each time a pitcher violates this rule and subsequently engages the pitching plate. For infraction (f-i), the infraction must be corrected before the next pitch. In (f), the umpire has sole authority to judge whether or not an item is distracting and shall have that item removed.
6-2-2 Delay of the game includes:
- throwing to any player other than the catcher, when the batter is in the batter’s box, unless it is an attempt to retire a runner;
PENALTY: The pitcher shall be ejected from the game after a warning.
- consuming time as the result of the coach or his representative conferring with a defensive player or players after being charged with three conferences (3-4-1);
PENALTY: The pitcher shall be replaced as pitcher for the duration of the game.
- failing to pitch or make or attempt a play, including a legal feint, within 20 seconds after he has received the ball.
PENALTY: The batter shall be awarded one ball.
NOTE: Umpires shall require that the ball be returned promptly to the pitcher.
EXCEPTION: The starting pitchers may warm up by using not more than eight throws, completed in one minute (timed from the first throw). When a pitcher is replaced during an inning or prior to an inning, the relief pitcher may not use more than eight throws. At the beginning of each subsequent inning, the pitcher may warm up by using not more than five throws, completed in one minute (timed from the third out of the previous half-inning) (3-1-2). In either case, the umpire-in-chief may authorize more throws because of an injury or inclement weather.
6-2-3 Intentionally pitch close to a batter.
PENALTY: The pitcher shall be ejected if the act is judged to be intentional. In case of doubt, the umpire may first warn the pitcher.
6-2-4 BALK. If there is a runner or runners, any of the following acts by a pitcher while he is touching the pitcher’s plate is a balk:
- any feinting toward the batter or first base, or any dropping of the ball (even though accidental) and the ball does not cross a foul line (6-1-4);
- failing to step with the non-pivot foot directly toward a base (occupied or unoccupied) when throwing or feinting there in an attempt to put out, or drive back a runner; or throwing or feinting to any unoccupied base when it is not an attempt to put out or drive back a runner;
- making an illegal pitch from any position (6-1, 6-2-1a-d);
- failing to pitch to the batter in a continuous motion immediately after any movement of any part of the body such as he habitually uses in his delivery;
1. If the pitcher, with a runner on base, stops or hesitates in his delivery because the batter steps out of the box (a) with one foot or (b) with both feet or (c) holds up his hand to request “Time,” it shall not be a balk. In (a) and (c), there is no penalty on either the batter or the pitcher. The umpire shall call “Time” and begin play anew. In (b), a strike shall be called on the batter for violation of 7-3-1. In (a), (b) and (c), if the pitcher legally delivers the ball, it shall be called a strike and the ball remains live. Thus, two strikes are called on the batter in (b). If the umpire judges the batter’s action to be a deliberate attempt to create a balk, he will penalize according to 3-3-10.
- taking a hand off the ball while in a set position (6-1-3), unless he pitches to the batter or throws to a base or he steps toward and feints a throw to second or third base as in (b); or
- failing to pitch to the batter when the entire non-pivot foot passes behind the perpendicular plane of the back edge of the pitcher’s plate, except when feinting or throwing to second base in an attempt to put out a runner.
6-2-5 It is also a balk if a runner or runners are on base and the pitcher, while he is not touching the pitcher’s plate, makes any movement naturally associated with his pitch, or he places his feet on or astride the pitcher’s plate, or positions himself within approximately five feet of the pitcher’s plate without having the ball.