Illegal pitch

What is the Definition of an Illegal Pitch in Baseball?

The pitcher in baseball has the opportunity to change the course of the game. To keep gameplay running smoothly, a pitcher needs to adhere to a collection of different rules which are designed to keep the game fair and safe for all players.

Any of these rules which are ignored when pitching a ball can lead to an illegal pitch. Therefore, an illegal pitch in baseball is any pitch thrown that does not meet the requirements of Major League Baseball’s Official Baseball Rules.

There are plenty of ways in which a pitch can be made illegal, including the positioning of a pitcher’s feet, whether or not they’re standing on the rubber, or even the time which they choose to pitch. Whilst not considered an illegal pitch, illegalities involving doctoring the baseball to provide an unfair advantage to the pitcher also lead to similar penalties that an illegal pitch would normally lead to, and sometimes harsher punishments.

Penalty for an Illegal Pitch

Oftentimes, when an illegal pitch has been acknowledged, play is stopped. Sometimes, however, play can continue providing the batter faces no disadvantage pertaining to the illegal pitch. This happens rarely, and most of the time play is stopped and resumed.

What is the Difference Between an Illegal Pitch and an Illegal Move?

An illegal pitch is a violation of the rules that occur when the pitcher’s delivery of the ball does not meet certain criteria.

An illegal move by the pitcher is a violation of the rules that can occur when the pitcher deliberately attempts to deceive the batter or obstruct the ball from entering the strike zone.

Is a Balk Considered an Illegal Pitch?

Baseball is an intricate game full of rules and unique scenarios. One situation, a balk, occurs when the pitcher makes an illegal movement instead of throwing to home plate – however it does not classify as an illegal pitch.