What Is a Balk in Baseball?

What Is a Balk in Baseball?

What is a balk in baseballBaseball fans often get to see many unique regulations and statistics. The fundamentals of Major League Baseball are well-known, but pitchers often find the unusual baulk rule annoying. Many people ask one question that what is a balk in baseball

If you turn on any Major League Baseball games today, you will probably see an umpire indicate a baulk against a pitcher. The batter who was hit by the pitch usually takes issue with the decision of the umpire, and all runners on base go to the advanced one base. In this article, we will define baulks, provide some instances, and make sure you learn more so you may enjoy baseball games even more. Let’s discuss a complete answer to question what is a balk in baseball. 

A baulk is…

If the umpire finds that a pitcher’s action on the mound was dishonest towards the runner(s) on base, it is deemed a balf. Each runner advances one base when the umpire calls a pitch, and if the pitcher follows through on the pitch, the referee judges a dead ball. If you are one of the people who ask questions what is a balk in baseball, then keep reading. You are at the right place. 

When runners are on base, pitchers will often try to deceive their opponents on the mound to throw a pick-off or prevent a steal. Whether or not an umpire thinks the pitcher used an unlawful manoeuvre to trick the runner is entirely up to them. Keep reading to know more about the answer to the question what is a balk in baseball. 

How would you describe a baulk?

When an umpire thinks a pitcher deceived a base runner by making an unlawful move while they were on the mound, it’s called a balk baseball. With the help of former pitcher Ryan Dempster, MLB Network offered a video analysis that went into detail on what makes a baulk. Below listed portion below explains the answer to what is a balk in baseball. 

In what thirteen different ways might a pitch fail?

To this day, there are thirteen ways a pitcher may foul out in Major League Baseball. The umpire may call any of the thirteen infractions on the pitcher, who must then promptly provide a base to every runner.

How can I tell whether anything is a baulk?

If no runners are on base, the pitcher cannot be called for a baulk. According to MLB.com, a balk baseball is usually not called if the pitcher doesn’t flinch when setting, doesn’t change their motion from windup to set without stepping off the rubber, or doesn’t attempt to fool the runner by imitating a regular delivery before stopping or altering it.

Intentional baulks have they ever occurred?

On June 14, 2019, Kenley Jansen deliberately baulked. With two outs in the ninth inning and a lead of 5-3 against the Chicago Cubs, Jansen purposely baulked. The call came down hard on him, and Jason Heyward could go to third base because of it. The reason for Jansen’s action was to stop sign stealing, which the Los Angeles Dodgers catcher committed by moving Heyward to third base and blocking his view of the signals. The strategy paid off as Jansen got Victor Caratini struck out for the save and the win.

Am I able to appeal a baulk?

Baulks cannot be reviewed for replay, and players cannot appeal them. But if the umpire thinks it’s needed, they may turn the callback.


MLB’s new regulations imposed restrictions on the number of attempts at pickoffs and step-offs in 2023, which aimed to boost the frequency of stolen bases. A baulk will be called if a pitcher steps off the mound thrice in one at-bat.

If a batter from the hitting side advances a base or an out is recorded on the play after the step-off, then this rule does not apply. The above-listed portion has explained the answer to the question what is a balk in baseball. 

What is the MLB baulk penalty?

The team whose pitcher or catcher calls it gets to advance all runners one base and any pitch thrown is considered a dead ball and doesn’t count towards that at-bat’s total.

Is a catcher able to baulk?

If a catcher is not in the proper position to catch a pitch, they might be called for a baulk. If the catcher is not in the catcher’s box and the pitcher is still holding the ball, the umpire has the authority to call it.

Which pitcher throws the most baulks after the game?

The Major League Baseball record for most baulks in a game is five, set by Bob Shaw of the Milwaukee Braves on May 4, 1963, against the Chicago Cubs.



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