From BR Bullpen

This article refers to a pitch; for the equipment also called the baseball, click here

A ball is a pitch that is outside the strike zone and at which the batter does not swing. If a batter receives four balls, he is credited with a base on balls and can go to first base without the defense being able to put him out. The opposite of a ball is a strike.

A ball may also be awarded by an umpire in the following cases:

  1. if the pitcher commits a balk with no runner on base;
  2. if the pitcher brings his pitching hand to his mouth while on the mound without having received prior permission from the umpire; or
  3. if a pitcher takes an excessive amount of time before delivering a pitch.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Christoph Kreinbucher: "Are Baseball Players Superior to Umpires in Discriminating Balls from Strikes ?", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 41, Number 1 (Spring 2012), pp. 28-31.