SituationWith no runners on base during a Major Division baseball game, the pitcher is standing on the mound, behind the pitcher’s plate taking the signs from the coach in the dugout. The pitcher then steps onto the pitcher’s plate, and immediately delivers a pitch to the batter. After the catcher receives the pitch, the home plate umpire calls “time,” and awards one ball to the batter’s count, citing a “quick pitch.” Before putting the ball back into play, the umpire visits with the pitcher and explains his ruling. The manager approaches the home plate umpire and asks for an explanation as to why a quick pitch was called?
ExplanationThe ruling is correct, because in the home-plate umpire’s judgment, the pitcher did not come to a discernible (one-second pause or stop) before delivering the pitch. According to the 2016 Little League Baseball® Official Regulations, Playing Rules and Policies - Rule 8.01 – the umpire viewed the sequence as a quick pitch, which is illegal. In the Major Division and below, the resulting penalty to the defense is a ball on the batter regardless of whether there are runners on base or not.
Note: If there are base runners on at the Little League Baseball Intermediate level, or above, this situation would result in a balk being called.