Hidden Ball Trick

I was browsing Amazon today looking at other baseball books besides RuleGraphics. Spring is an awesome time for new baseball books.

I came across an entire book on the Hidden Ball Trick. I am certainly intrigued by this and will probably pick up a copy at some point.

I love the hidden ball trick.

Here is one example:

This play is tricky for a couple of reasons. One is the ball has to remain alive. If the ball becomes dead (if time is called for instance), the ball cannot become alive again until the pitcher has the ball on the rubber.

The other complicating factor is those pesky balk rules. Where a pitcher can stand without the ball is different depending on code.

  • Pro baseball – pitcher cannot be astride the rubber without ball
  • College – pitcher cannot be on mound (dirt) without ball
  • High School – pitcher cannot be within approximately 5 ft of the rubber without ball

I actually have never seen this done in a game I have umpired.

This type of balk is covered on page 23 of RuleGraphics.