Baseball Coaching Digest - Trick Play Alert - Fake Time Call by the Batter
By guest author: Nick Dixon
This offensive baseball trick play is often used by youth baseball teams to confuse young and inexperienced pitchers and to get balk calls. The ploy uses the inexperience and lack of knowledge of a young pitcher to get a balk call.
Here is how the "Fake Time-Out" play is done:
After the young pitcher begins his pitching motion, the batter simply raises his front hand and acts as if he is asking for time to the pitcher instead of the umpire. The player will in most cases, not say anything, but simply raise the front hand as if calling time. This front hand movement mimics the raining of the back hand to the plate umpire to as for time to be called. The action is done to disrupt the pitchers concentration. The very young pitcher will fall for the "prank" and stop his delivery. If the pitcher stops or alters his normal delivery and pitching motion, it is a balk.
How does a youth baseball coach prevent his young pitcher from falling victim to this trick?
Here are 3 recommended coaching points:
1. Coaches must coach their players to always finish the pitch unless one of the umpires calls time. It is recommended that coaches make sure that youth pitchers know that the only person that can call time out is one of the umpires. If a player, coach or fan yells "time", "stop", or anything abruptly, the pitcher should finish the pitching motion. If it is the opposing team, the umpire will rule verbal obstruction and warn the other team.
2. If the batter steps out of the box, raises his hand or verbally calls time out, the pitcher should not hesitate, stop, or change his delivery. The pitch should be thrown.
3. Make sure that your youth pitcher knows that one of the umpires is the only person that can stop play once the pitching motion has started.
In summary, this trick play does not work well if coaches take the time to inform their players of the rules regarding calling time.
I hope that this article is useful to you and your team.
Good luck til next time, Coach Nick
Make sure to visit the Baseball Coaching Digest Blog for daily articles and post on every aspect of coaching baseball.
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