8.00 The Pitcher

8.01 Legal pitching delivery. Thereare two legal pitching positions, the Windup Position and the Set Position, and eitherposition may be used at any time. Pitchers shall take signs from the catcher whilestanding on the rubber. Pitchers may disengage the rubber after taking their signsbut may not step quickly onto the rubber and pitch. This may be judged a quick pitchby the umpire. When the pitcher disengages the rubber, he must drop his hands tohis sides. Pitchers will not be allowed to disengage the rubber after taking eachsign.
       (a) The Windup Position. The pitcher shall standfacing the batter, his entire pivot foot on, or in front of and touching and notoff the end of the pitcher's plate, and the other foot free. From this position anynatural movement associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter commits himto the pitch without interruption or alteration. He shall not raise either foot fromthe ground, except that in his actual delivery of the ball to the batter, he maytake one step backward, and one step forward with his free foot. When a pitcher holdsthe ball with both hands in front of his body, with his entire pivot foot on, orin front of and touching but not off the end of the pitcher's plate, and his otherfoot free, he will be considered in the Windup Position. The pitcher may have onefoot, not the pivot foot, off the rubber and any distance he may desire back of aline which is an extension to the back edge of the pitcher's plate, but not at eitherside of the pitcher's plate. With his "free" foot the pitcher may takeone step backward and one step forward, but under no circumstances, to either side,that is to either the first base or third base side of the pitcher's rubber. If apitcher holds the ball with both hands in front of his body, with his entire pivotfoot on or in front of and touching but not off the end of the pitcher's plate, andhis other foot free, he will be considered in a windup position. From this positionhe may: (1) deliver the ball to the batter, or (2) step and throw to a base in anattempt to pick off a runner, or (3) disengage the rubber (if he does he must drophis hand to his sides). In disengaging the rubber the pitcher must step off withhis pivot foot and not his free foot first. He may not go into a set or stretch position_ifhe does it is a balk.
       (b) The Set Position. Set Position shall beindicated by the pitcher when he stands facing the batter with his entire pivot footon, or in front of, and in contact with, and not off the end of the pitcher's plate,and his other foot in front of the pitcher's plate, holding the ball in both handsin front of his body and coming to a complete stop. From such Set Position he maydeliver the ball to the batter, throw to a base or step backward off the pitcher'splate with his pivot foot. Before assuming Set Position, the pitcher may elect tomake any natural preliminary motion such as that known as "the stretch."But if he so elects, he shall come to Set Position before delivering the ball tothe batter. After assuming Set Position, any natural motion associated with his deliveryof the ball to the batter commits him to the pitch without alteration or interruption.Preparatory to coming to a set position, the pitcher shall have one hand on his side;from this position he shall go to his set position as defined in Rule 8.01 (b) withoutinterruption and in one continuous motion. The whole width of the foot in contactwith the rubber must be on the rubber. A pitcher cannot pitch from off the end ofthe rubber with just the side of his foot touching the rubber. The pitcher, followinghis stretch, must (a) hold the ball in both hands in front of his body and (b) cometo a complete stop. This must be enforced. Umpires should watch this closely. Pitchersare constantly attempting to "beat the rule" in their efforts to hold runnerson bases and in cases where the pitcher fails to make a complete "stop"called for in the rules, the umpire should immediately call a "Balk."
       (c) At any time during the pitcher's preliminarymovements and until his natural pitching motion commits him to the pitch, he maythrow to any base provided he steps directly toward such base before making the throw.The pitcher shall step "ahead of the throw." A snap throw followed by thestep directly toward the base is a balk.
       (d) If the pitcher makes an illegal pitch withthe bases unoccupied, it shall be called a ball unless the batter reaches first baseon a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter or otherwise. A ball which slipsout of a pitcher's hand and crosses the foul line shall be called a ball; otherwiseit will be called no pitch. This would be a balk with men on base.
       (e) If the pitcher removes his pivot foot fromcontact with the pitcher's plate by stepping backward with that foot, he therebybecomes an infielder and if he makes a wild throw from that position, it shall beconsidered the same as a wild throw by any other infielder. The pitcher, while offthe rubber, may throw to any base. If he makes a wild throw, such throw is the throwof an infielder and what follows is governed by the rules covering a ball thrownby a fielder.

8.02 The pitcher shall not_
       (a) (1) Bring his pitching hand in contact withhis mouth or lips while in the 18 foot circle surrounding the pitching rubber. EXCEPTION:Provided it is agreed to by both managers, the umpire prior to the start of a gameplayed in cold weather, may permit the pitcher to blow on his hand.
PENALTY: For violation of this part of this rule the umpires shall immediately calla ball. However, if the pitch is made and a batter reaches first base on a hit, anerror, a hit batsman or otherwise, and no other runner is put out before advancingat least one base, the play shall proceed without reference to the violation. Repeatedoffenders shall be subject to a fine by the league president.
             (2) Applya foreign substance of any kind to the ball;
             (3) expectorateon the ball, either hand or his glove;
             (4) rubthe ball on his glove, person or clothing;
             (5) defacethe ball in any manner;
             (6) deliverwhat is called the "shine" ball, "spit" ball, "mud"ball or "emery" ball. The pitcher, of course, is allowed to rub the ballbetween his bare hands.
PENALTY: For violation of any part of this rule 8.02 (a) (2 to 6) the umpire shall:
             (a) Callthe pitch a ball, warn the pitcher and have announced on the public address systemthe reason for the action.
             (b) In thecase of a second offense by the same pitcher in the same game, the pitcher shallbe disqualified from the game.
             (c) If aplay follows the violation called by the umpire, the manager of the offense may advisethe plate umpire that he elects to accept the play. Such election shall be made immediatelyat the end of the play. However, if the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error,a base on balls, a hit batsman, or otherwise, and no other runner is put out beforeadvancing at least one base, the play shall proceed without reference to the violation.
             (d) Eventhough the offense elects to take the play, the violation shall be recognized andthe penalties in (a) and (b) will still be in effect.
             (e) Theumpire shall be sole judge on whether any portion of this rule has been violated.All umpires shall carry with them one official rosin bag. The umpire in chief isresponsible for placing the rosin bag on the ground back of the pitcher's plate.If at any time the ball hits the rosin bag it is in play. In the case of rain orwet field, the umpire may instruct the pitcher to carry the rosin bag in his hippocket. A pitcher may use the rosin bag for the purpose of applying rosin to hisbare hand or hands. Neither the pitcher nor any other player shall dust the ballwith the rosin bag; neither shall the pitcher nor any other player be permitted toapply rosin from the bag to his glove or dust any part of his uniform with the rosinbag.
       (b) Have on his person, or in his possession,any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section (b) the penalty shallbe immediate ejection from the game.
       (c) Intentionally delay the game by throwingthe ball to players other then the catcher, when the batter is in position, exceptin an attempt to retire a runner.
PENALTY: If, after warning by the umpire, such delaying action is repeated, the pitchershall be removed from the game.
       (d) Intentionally Pitch at the Batter. If, inthe umpire's judgment, such a violation occurs, the umpire may elect either to: 1.Expel the pitcher, or the manager and the pitcher, from the game, or 2. may warnthe pitcher and the manager of both teams that another such pitch will result inthe immediate expulsion of that pitcher (or a replacement) and the manager. If, inthe umpire's judgment, circumstances warrant, both teams may be officially "warned"prior to the game or at any time during the game. (League Presidents may take additionalaction under authority provided in Rule 9.05) To pitch at a batter's head is unsportsmanlikeand highly dangerous. It should be_and is_condemned by everybody. Umpires shouldact without hesitation in enforcement of this rule.

8.03 When a pitcher takes his positionat the beginning of each inning, or when he relieves another pitcher, he shall bepermitted to pitch not to exceed eight preparatory pitches to his catcher duringwhich play shall be suspended. A league by its own action may limit the number ofpreparatory pitches to less than eight preparatory pitches. Such preparatory pitchesshall not consume more than one minute of time. If a sudden emergency causes a pitcherto be summoned into the game without any opportunity to warm up, the umpire in chiefshall allow him as many pitches as the umpire deems necessary.

8.04 When the bases are unoccupied,the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 20 seconds after he receivesthe ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpireshall call "Ball." The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays.The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher,and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by thepitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire.

8.05 If there is a runner, or runners,it is a balk when_
       (a) The pitcher, while touching his plate, makesany motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery; Ifa lefthanded or righthanded pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge of thepitcher's rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to secondbase on a pick off play.
       (b) The pitcher, while touching his plate, feintsa throw to first base and fails to complete the throw;
       (c) The pitcher, while touching his plate, failsto step directly toward a base before throwing to that base; Requires the pitcher,while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to thatbase. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually steppingor if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk. A pitcher is tostep directly toward a base before throwing to that base but does not require himto throw (except to first base only) because he steps. It is possible, with runnerson first and third, for the pitcher to step toward third and not throw, merely tobluff the runner back to third; then seeing the runner on first start for second,turn and step toward and throw to first base. This is legal. However, if, with runnerson first and third, the pitcher, while in contact with the rubber, steps toward thirdand then immediately and in practically the same motion "wheels" and throwsto first base, it is obviously an attempt to deceive the runner at first base, andin such a move it is practically impossible to step directly toward first base beforethe throw to first base, and such a move shall be called a balk. Of course, if thepitcher steps off the rubber and then makes such a move, it is not a balk.
       (d) The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws,or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;
       (e) The pitcher makes an illegal pitch; A quickpitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered beforethe batter is reasonably set in the batter's box. With runners on base the penaltyis a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous andshould not be permitted.
       (f) The pitcher delivers the ball to the batterwhile he is not facing the batter;
       (g) The pitcher makes any motion naturally associatedwith his pitch while he is not touching the pitcher's plate;
       (h) The pitcher unnecessarily delays the game;
       (i) The pitcher, without having the ball, standson or astride the pitcher's plate or while off the plate, he feints a pitch;
       (j) The pitcher, after coming to a legal pitchingposition, removes one hand from the ball other than in an actual pitch, or in throwingto a base;
       (k) The pitcher, while touching his plate, accidentallyor intentionally drops the ball;
       (l) The pitcher, while giving an intentionalbase on balls, pitches when the catcher is not in the catcher's box;
       (m)The pitcher delivers the pitch from Set Positionwithout coming to a stop.
PENALTY: The ball is dead, and each runner shall advance one base without liabilityto be put out, unless the batter reaches first on a hit, an error, a base on balls,a hit batter, or otherwise, and all other runners advance at least one base, in whichcase the play proceeds without reference to the balk.
APPROVED RULING: In cases where a pitcher balks and throws wild, either to a baseor to home plate, a runner or runners may advance beyond the base to which he isentitled at his own risk.
APPROVED RULING: A runner who misses the first base to which he is advancing andwho is called out on appeal shall be considered as having advanced one base for thepurpose of this rule. Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk ruleis to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there isdoubt in the umpire's mind, the "intent" of the pitcher should govern.However, certain specifics should be borne in mind:
       (a) Straddling the pitcher's rubber withoutthe ball is to be interpreted as intent to deceive and ruled a balk.
       (b) With a runner on first base the pitchermay make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. Thisis not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.

8.06 A professional league shalladopt the following rule pertaining to the visit of the manager or coach to the pitcher:
       (a) This rule limits the number of trips a manageror coach may make to any one pitcher in any one inning; (b) A second trip to thesame pitcher in the same inning will cause this pitcher's automatic removal; (c)The manager or coach is prohibited from making a second visit to the mound whilethe same batter is at bat, but (d) if a pinch hitter is substituted for this batter,the manager or coach may make a second visit to the mound, but must remove the pitcher.A manager or coach is considered to have concluded his visit to the mound when heleaves the 18 foot circle surrounding the pitcher's rubber. If the manager or coachgoes to the catcher or infielder and that player then goes to the mound or the pitchercomes to him at his position before there is an intervening play (a pitch or otherplay) that will be the same as the manager or coach going to the mound. Any attemptto evade or circumvent this rule by the manager or coach going to the catcher oran infielder and then that player going to the mound to confer with the pitcher shallconstitute a trip to the mound. If the coach goes to the mound and removes a pitcherand then the manager goes to the mound to talk with the new pitcher, that will constituteone trip to that new pitcher that inning. In a case where a manager has made hisfirst trip to the mound and then returns the second time to the mound in the sameinning with the same pitcher in the game and the same batter at bat, after beingwarned by the umpire that he cannot return to the mound, the manager shall be removedfrom the game and the pitcher required to pitch to the batter until he is retiredor gets on base. After the batter is retired, or becomes a base runner, then thispitcher must be removed from the game. The manager should be notified that his pitcherwill be removed from the game after he pitches to one hitter, so he can have a substitutepitcher warmed up. The substitute pitcher will be allowed eight preparatory pitchesor more if in the umpire's judgment circumstances justify.

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