The Ole Ball Game

Fair or Foul ball?

by Tim
(Maryland)

It Is All Relative, Fair Or Foul, To The Location Of The Baseball

It Is All Relative, Fair Or Foul, To The Location Of The Baseball

It Is All Relative, Fair Or Foul, To The Location Of The Baseball The Umpire Says Fair

Tim asked: Recently there was a pop-up in my Grandson's little league game.


The first baseman running for the ball with glove extended over the baseline into FOUL territory, touched the ball on the way down, but dropped it.

It fell on foul ground.

The umpire ruled it a FAIR ball saying that when he touched the ball, although it was on the foul side of the line, it was FAIR because one foot was on the baseline (being FAIR), although the position of the ball was clearly on the FOUL side of the line.

We argued that because the flight (position) of the ball was in FOUL ground when he touched it, the play should have been called a foul ball.


Rick answered: Tim, thank you for your question.

A foul ball is a batted ball that settles on foul territory between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or that first falls on foul territory beyond first or third base, or that, while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground.

A foul fly ball shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the infielder is on foul or fair territory at the time he touches the ball.

It has all to do with the location of the ball at that point, not the location of the player.

There are quite a few myths when it comes to the Rules Of Baseball. Things are not always as they seem, or we think them to be, to include the coaches, players and umpires.

Can lead to some heated discussions, that's why umpires should have a rule book with them at all times.

Yours in baseball,

Rick











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