Foul ball – Wikipedia
A foul ball is a hit ball in baseball that does one of the following:
- If the ball settles on foul territory between home and first base or between home and third base, or if the ball bounces and then goes past first or third base on or over foul territory, or if the ball has its first bounce in foul territory beyond first or third base, or if the ball touches the person of an umpire or a player, or any object other than the natural ground while on or over foul territory, the ball is considered out. According to this view, a batted ball that comes into contact with a hitter while he is in his batter’s box is foul, regardless of whether it crosses into foul area.
In order for a batted ball to be pronounced foul in the scenarios described above, the whole batted ball must be on or above foul area; otherwise, the ball is deemed fair and the hitter is forced to attempt to reach first base. Rather of judging whether a foul fly is foul or fair based on whether a fielder is on foul or fair territory at the moment he hits the ball, a foul fly is determined by the relative location of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole. If the foul ball is caught, it would be considered an out and recorded as such.
Foliage territory or foul ground is defined as the portion of a playing field outside the first and third base lines that extends up to the fence and perpendicularly to the first and third base lines.
- A hit ball that is judged a foul ball is dead, all runners must return to their time-of-pitchbase without the risk of being put out, and the batter must return to home plate to finish his turn at bat in most cases.
- Assuming that the hitter already has two strikes against him at the time of the foul ball, a strike will not be awarded unless the ball was bunted to become a foul ball, in which case the batter will be called out and a strikeout will be recorded for him and the pitcher.
- It is considered an out if any member of the fielding team captures a foul ball before it reaches the ground or before it lands outside the field perimeter.
- Foul balls and foul tips are distinct in that a foul tip is a ball that makes contact with the bat and goes directly to the catcher’s hands before being caught.
- In baseball, a batter who hits a foul tip with two strikes on the count is automatically ejected.
From the 1920s until the present, Major League Baseball fans were frequently removed from the stadium if they attempted to keep foul balls, with clubs employing security guards to enforce this. Because of negative public reaction during this period, numerous teams modified their foul ball regulations; the New York Giants changed theirs after losing a New York Supreme Court lawsuit (Reuben Berman vs.
National Exhibition Co.) filed by Reuben Berman, who was the plaintiff in that case. Berman, a businessman, was dismissed from a baseball game in 1921 after hurling a foul ball into the seats that he had caught.
Umpire Bill Miller makes the gesture for a foul ball with his hand. A foul ball may be regarded as a positive or bad consequence of a pitch or swing, depending on the circumstances. An intentional foul ball counts as a strike when there are zero or one strikes, which is advantageous to the pitcher. A foul ball, on the other hand, may disclose to the batter that he has timed a pitch correctly and just has to make a little change to the placement of his swing on the next similar pitch; this is referred to as a good cut or simply a good swing.
In addition, foul balls with two strikes raise the pitcher’s pitch count, increasing his/her exhaustion, and thus provide a little edge to the offense in terms of scoring runs.
Outfielders may choose not to catch deep fly balls in foul territory in very specific circumstances, such as the bottom of the ninth inning (or later) of a tie game when a runner is on third base with less than two outs, because catching such a ball would result in a sacrifice fly, which could allow the winning run to score.
- A legal notion developed in a 1913 court decision that typically prohibits spectators from holding baseball teams accountable for injuries caused by foul balls
- Baseball rule
Lee, courtesy of Canva.com Any baseball fan who has spent any time watching the game has almost undoubtedly witnessed this scenario: a hitter swings and connects with a pitch, yet the ball doesn’t seem to move much at all. The ball ends up someplace out of bounds, and nothing occurs on the field as a result of it. You could even have gone to a game and returned home with the outcome of this: a foul ball in your possession. So, what is a foul ball in the first place? Foul balls are balls that are hit outside the first and third base foul lines that count as a strike against the hitter when they are struck outside the first and third base foul lines.
On a foul ball, batters are unable to move to second base, and runners are unable to advance as well.
There is, however, a great deal more to it than this simple statement.
Fair and Foul Balls in Baseball
Baseball, like practically every other sport, has restrictions defined by both regulations and physical barriers. Baseball is no exception. While the outfield fence serves as the natural border of the field of play, there are two foul lines that meet at home plate and run perpendicular to each other (at a 90-degree angle) to the outfield fence to create a third foul line. If a batted ball falls inside these lines, it is either a fair ball or a foul ball. The presence of the foul ball was established by the first set of baseball regulations, which were written by Alexander Cartwright in 1876.
While no one knows for certain why Cartwright inserted the rule, it appears to make sense in retrospect that the rule essentially commanded that the baseball field be divided into four quadrants of a circular shape.
As a matter of fact, the fair territory in modern Major League Baseball stadiums ranges between 105,000 and 112,000 square feet (or 2.4 and 2.72 acres), which is sufficient for nine defenders to cover the whole field.
When Is a Ball Foul in Baseball?
On the surface, the rules appear to be straightforward: a ball that lands inside the 90-degree wedge of fair area is considered a fair ball, and anything that lands anywhere else is considered a foul ball. That is correct, in a nutshell, but there is a bit more to it than that. Balls hit in the infield and outfield are subject to different restrictions than balls hit in the outfield. A ball’s fairness or foulness in the outfield is determined by where it falls. In the infield, the location of the ball when it is touched or the location of a ground ball as it passes either first or third base determines this factor.
- Any ball that takes its first bounce on or within either of the foul lines is considered to be a fair bounce.
- The opposite is true: If a ball hit to the outfield first falls in foul zone before rolling into fair territory, it is still considered a foul ball.
- Any ball that makes contact with the foul pole is considered a fair ball.
- Home runs are an exception to the rule that balls must fall in fair area, but only by a small margin.
- The regulations for playing in the infield are a little more difficult to understand.
- For want of a better expression, it is typical for a hit ball to land in fair area yet roll foul.
- In the outfield, a ball is officially considered fair or foul when it touches the ground, but in the infield, the ball is considered fair or foul when it strikes the ground.
It is normal for a ball to start fair and then spin foul, but it is also possible for a ball to start foul but either strike an item (such as a tuft of grass or a rock) or spin back into fair zone after making contact with the object.
Another location to keep an eye out for is the region between first and third base.
As a result, any ball that strikes the base is considered fair.
The outfield restrictions apply to anything that makes it past first base or third base on the first bounce after those positions.
The foul lines do not literally meet at home plate, but rather finish at the top border of the batter’s box, which is a few feet away from the plate in the middle of the field.
According to the regulations, a batted ball that strikes a hitter while he is in the batter’s box is always considered a foul ball, regardless of where the batter is in the box.
Any ball that is fielded on top of home plate is also considered a fair ball.
What Happens on a Foul Ball in Baseball?
Andrea, courtesy of Canva.com As previously stated, there are a few distinct outcomes that can occur when a foul ball is thrown that can change somewhat. What does not change is that a hitter cannot advance to second base and that a batter is not automatically out for hitting a foul ball. When a foul ball is not caught, a strike is awarded to the hitter, unless the batter already has two strikes against him, in which case the at-bat is extended to the next pitch. If, on the other hand, a hitter hits a fly ball that is caught in foul zone, he is automatically out.
- Along with fair area, all baseball grounds have foul territory that is in play, allowing for foul fly outs, however this zone is far less than the fair territory on the field.
- Because there is less space (and fewer opportunities), there are often fewer foul outs every game.
- In this case, there is one exception to the general rule.
- In order to prevent hitters from intentionally bunting pitches foul in order to tire out a pitcher, bunting a ball foul with two strikes is forbidden.
- As a result of this practice in the early days of baseball, the rule in 1901 was established that permitted the first two strikes to be delivered by a foul ball, a regulation that has been in effect until the present day.
- As previously noted, foul balls have the potential to land both within and outside of the field of play.
- A foul ball that travels over a fence is considered out of bounds.
How Often Do Foul Balls Occur in Baseball?
When it comes to baseball games, foul balls are quite common since they are frequently the consequence of a batter failing to completely square up a pitch when it is thrown. In Major League Baseball in 2019, there were 466,808 strikes thrown, with 28.2 percent of them being foul balls, equivalent to more than 131,000 foul balls thrown during the course of the season. This corresponds to a bit more than 54 foul balls every game, on average. The majority of these foul balls are returned to the game, however it’s a minor amount compared to the 3,355 foul outs that occurred in 2019, or 1.38 foul outs per game in 2019.
So, the next time you’re at a baseball game, keep a look out for foul balls since there will almost certainly be a lot of them this year.
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Baseball Fair Or Foul Ball Rules
It is necessary to grasp what constitutes a fair ball in order to fully comprehend baseball. However, there are some plays that will confound even the finest baseball players, so be cautious when executing them. Continue reading to learn more about the rules that decide which balls are fair and which are foul.
Fair and Foul Territory
What is the difference between fair area and foul territory? What is the significance of these factors in evaluating whether a ball is fair or foul? For the purposes of this definition, fair territory is the region bounded by the first and third base baselines and stretching from home plate to the fences at left and right field. All fielders (with the exception of the catcher) must be in fair area before the ball may be put into play. Everything between the first base and third base lines and all the way to the fence is considered foul territory.
The Foul Lines
Is there a difference between “fair” and “unfair” area. The importance of these factors in evaluating whether a ball is fair or foul For the purposes of this definition, fair territory is the region bounded by the first and third base baselines and stretching from home plate to the fences in left and right field. The ball must be in play before any fielders (with the exception of the catcher) can enter the game. Everything between the first and third base lines, as well as the fence, is considered foul territory.
The Foul Poles
The foul poles, which are towering yellow poles that indicate the point where the foul lines meet the outfield fence, are an important part of the game. They are surrounded by wire netting that runs parallel to the outfield fence. A foul pole is located on either side of the field, one on the left foul line and one on the right foul line. Is it fair or unfair to use foul poles? When the ball strikes a foul pole, it is considered a fair ball. Not only is it reasonable, but it also represents a home run.
What is a foul ball?
A foul ball occurs when the umpire considers the ball to be “dead,” resulting in the game being briefly suspended. The following are some examples of when a foul ball will be called during a baseball game.
- In this case, the ball is struck right into foul zone. After landing on the field between home base and first base or home base and third base, a flyball bounces into foul area without being touched by a fielder. First, the ball hits the ground in fair zone, but it then bounces and settles in foul territory before reaching first base or third base. A fielder makes contact with the ball when it is in foul area.
What is a fair ball?
When the ball is “live” and in play, it is referred to as a fair ball. Listed below are some instances in which a fair ball may be called in a baseball game:
- This occurs when the ball falls and comes to a complete stop rolling in fair area between the bases of first and third base. The ball makes contact with first base, second base, or third base but does not leave fair area. In fair area, the ball comes into contact with a fielder or any other person. The ball crosses the boundary line into fair area. Eventually, the ball lands and rests between the foul lines. While traveling through fair zone, the ball comes into contact with the foul pole. A flyball that lands in fair zone past first base or third base and bounces into foul territory is known as a sacrifice fly. After striking the rubber of first or third base and rebounding into foul area without being touched by a fielder, the ball is considered out.
When the ball touches down in fair territory or foul area, it has an impact on the outcome of the game. When the ball stops rolling, if a fielder touches it, and if it reaches first base and third base while being in fair area, the ball is ruled to be fair or foul, depending on the situation. The foul lines and foul poles will be used by the umpires to quickly determine whether the ball is fair or foul. The ultimate judgment is left to the discretion of the umpires.
Managers can only argue an umpire’s decision on the field in a few specific circumstances.
According to the new MLB Review rules, a manager can only dispute an umpire’s call of a fair or foul ball if the ball falls at or beyond the location of the first-base or third-base umpires, respectively. If the ball comes to rest in front of these umpires, their decision on the call is finalized.
Fair/Foul Ball Statistics
For more sophisticated baseball viewers and statisticians, there may be instances in which a fielder is in fair area but makes a catch in foul territory, and vice versa. This is known as the “fair-foul” scenario. There is only one outcome, and that is an out in any situation. It is possible, though, that it will be reported differently.
The foul poles are in good condition. If the ball hits one of the foul balls, it is considered a home run as well.
Are the foul lines fair or foul?
As long as the ball remains in touch with the foul lines, the call is valid. If the ball crosses the foul lines and enters foul area, it is only considered foul if it does so before reaching first base or third base.
What is fair and foul in youth baseball?
Some regulations, such as fair and foul, are changed at lower levels of baseball, such as Little League, but the majority of them are the same at all levels of baseball.
What happens if a fan grabs a fair ball?
In baseball, if a spectator interferes with a fair ball before it has a chance to be fielded, the ball is regarded to be a dead ball. After that, it is up to the umpires’ judgment to determine what the outcome of the game would have been if there had been no interfering circumstances. They can then appropriately position the baserunners or rule an out based on their observations.
Can a fielder receive an error on a foul ball?
The official scorer may award a fielder an error on a foul ball if the official scorer thinks that the play should have been made in error. In spite of the fact that the ball was still a foul ball and had no influence on the baserunners or outs of an inning, the fielder is charged with an error for extending the inning.
Foul ball – BR Bullpen
A foul ball is a ball that is struck outside of the fair region of the game. According to Section 2.0 of the Official Major LeagueRules, the following is what constitutes a foul ball: 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 while on or over foul territory, or that first falls on foul territory beyond first or third base while on or over foul territory, or that, while on or over foul territory, contacts the person of an umpire or a player, or any object other than natural ground.
- A foulflyshall be determined on the basis of the relative location of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, rather than on the basis of whether the infielder is on foul or fair territory at the moment he makes contact with the ball.
- A fair ball is a batted ball that does not contain any foul balls.
- A player can catch the ball if it is struck in the air and lands in foul area, and the ball does not have to leave the field of play to remain in play.
- When a fielder makes a catch and the ball is no longer in play, the ball is called dead and the batter is not deemed out.
- In certain ballparks, ground rules state that striking a speaker or another item positioned in foul area will cause a ball to go dead on impact, regardless of whether the ball subsequently falls in the field of play.
After a foul ball is declared a dead ball, no further play may be made, and baserunners must return to their starting position. In contrast, if a foul ball is caught before it reaches the ground, runners are free to advance at their own risk, just as they would be if any other fly ball were caught.
The Fair-Foul Ball
The regulations controlling foul balls were different back in the 1870s. Regardless of where the ball rolled or rebounded after being struck in fair area, every ball struck in fair territory was ruled fair. Fair-foul hitting was a specialty of a select players, who hit or bunted the ball with enough backspin to cause it to twist sharply into foul zone, far away from where the defensive players were positioned, making it extremely difficult to field the ball. Ross Barnes, the top hitter in the National Association and the first year of the National League, is credited with inventing this style of hitting, which was popularized byDickey Pearce, one of baseball’s early stars.
- “Hit Probability as a Function of Foul-Ball Accumulation,” Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 47, No. 1 (spring 2018), pp. 60-64
- Jeffrey N. Howard, “Hit Probability as a Function of Foul-Ball Accumulation,” Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 47, No. 1 (spring 2018), pp. 60-64
- Jeffrey N. Howard, “Hit Probability as a Function of Foul-Ball Robert H. Schaefer, “The Lost Art of Fair-Foul Hitting,” The National Pastime, SABR, Number 20 (2000), pp. 3-7
- Robert H. Schaefer, “The Lost Art of Fair-Foul Hitting,” The National Pastime, SABR, Number 20 (2000), pp. 3-7
Foul Ball Rules: How Many Foul Balls Can a Batter Hit?
Generally speaking, a batter can get a maximum of three strikes or four balls in a single at-bat in baseball, according to widely accepted rules. and when one of those numbers is achieved, the batter’s turn is ended for the time being. However, if you’ve spent enough time watching baseball, you’ll be aware that there is one exception to this rule: the foul ball. Many people are perplexed by this exemption to the rule, and they question how many foul balls a hitter may hit in a baseball game. When it comes to baseball, there is no established limit on the number of foul balls a batter may hit.
In baseball, a hitter may be permitted to hit an infinite number of foul balls, but there is also a regulation that states that if a batter bunts the ball foul with two strikes in the count, the batter will be ruled out.
How Many Foul Balls Can You Hit in Baseball?
It is necessary to consider both of the possible methods in which a hitter might hit a foul ball in order to completely comprehend the answer to the issue of how many foul balls can be hit by a batter. Swinging the bat is the first method of hitting a foul ball, while bunting is the second method of hitting a foul ball.
A Batter Can Have an Unlimited Number of Swinging Foul Balls
Each time a hitter hits a foul ball, a strike is added to his or her batting average. However, if a hitter smacks a foul ball while there are already two strikes in the count, the batter is not awarded any further strikes. Because foul balls are nearly always inadvertent, the foul ball regulations of baseball are designed to allow for an endless amount of swinging foul balls. When a hitter swings at a pitch, he or she is aiming to put the ball in play on the field. Furthermore, because they are seeking to put the ball in play, hitting a foul ball is frequently an unintended consequence of the swing.
A Batter Can Strikeout if a Bunt Goes Foul With Two Strikes
When a hitter is bunting the ball, he or she has another opportunity to hit the ball foul. Baseball regulations regard all foul balls the same way during the first two strikes of any at-bat, which is to say that the foul ball results in a strike being granted to the batter. The distinction between the two sets of rules occurs on the final stroke of the at-bat. In the case of a batter who has two strikes and chooses to lay down a bunt, the ball must be played fairly. A bunted ball that falls foul when the hitter has two strikes is ruled dead, and the batter is said to have struck out.
As a result, pitchers were forced to throw a greater number of pitches because hitters were able to foul off pitches with greater ease.
More information on the Foul Strike Rule, as well as when it is advantageous to bunt with two strikes, may be found in my earlier essay on when bunting with two strikes is a smart idea (available in English only).
How Many Fouls Equal a Strike?
In baseball, a foul ball can be a strike, a dead ball, or a strikeout depending on the situation and the circumstances. Because there are so many different ways for a hitter to be called out on a strike, many people begin to question how many fouls are required to be called out on a strike. In most cases, a foul ball equals a strike in baseball. However, if a hitter has two strikes and hits a foul ball while swinging, the strike is not tallied against the batter. Whenever a batsman bunts the ball foul after receiving two strikes, a strike is recorded and the batter is declared out.
In these instances, a strike is signaled, and the hitter is out on the basepaths.
What is the Most Amount of Foul Balls in One At-Bat?
As reported by Business Insider, the record for the most of foul balls struck in a single at-bat is 16. Brandon Belt of the Giants took the mound for this 13-minute at-bat, during which a total of 21 pitches were thrown. If you want to view a brief version of this at-bat, you may watch the video on Major League Baseball.
Why is the Third Foul Ball Not a Strike?
When one considers the various regulations of baseball, it is extremely simple to become perplexed as to where some of these laws came from. The establishment of the Foul Strike Rule in baseball dates back to the year 1901, which is when the third foul ball was determined not to constitute a strike.
What is the Foul Strike Rule in Baseball?
After becoming a regulation in 1901 in the National League and a rule in 1903 in the American League, foul ball strikes became a standard in both leagues. When a batter receives a strike for a foul ball during the first two strikes of an at-bat, this is referred to as the Foul Strike Rule. After two strikes have been thrown in the count and the hitter bunts the ball foul, the batter will be ruled out by the umpire via a strikeout. Prior to the introduction of the Foul Strike Rule, if a hitter hit a foul ball, the batter received no strikes for that hit.
Because there was no penalty for hitting a foul ball, several hitters took advantage of the situation by bunting the ball repeatedly into the strike zone.
The rulemakers believed that this technique provided the hitters an unfair edge, and so they adopted the Foul Strike Rule in 1901 and 1903 to level the playing field for all players.
What Is A Foul Ball? – Here Is How To Determine If A Ball Is Foul
The following are the subjects for today: What is a foul ball in baseball and softball? Is a foul ball considered a strike? Hello there, friends, and welcome back to the site! Given that the Major League Baseball season is coming to a close, I felt we should continue with our Baseball 101 pieces, in which we have explained the laws of the game. This month, we’ve covered a wide range of topics, and I hope you’ve found them to be as interesting as I have found them to be in putting them together.
Never forget that if you ever have a question or need clarification on a certain rule, word or statistic, you can leave a comment at the bottom of any post or visitAsk Jeremyand I will be more than delighted to assist you.
If you’re new to the game, have a look at Simple Baseball Rulesfor an overview of the fundamentals that will get you off to a solid start. So, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road.
What is a foul ball?
A foul ball is any pitch that a batter hits outside of the field of play that does not make contact with a player who is inside the field of play and is called a foul ball in baseball. It makes no difference how the ball is struck. If the hitter is bunting, swinging, or simply ducking out of the path of a wild pitch, the pitcher will strike out. A “foul ball” is a baseball that has been struck by a bat and has gone foul. When a foul ball is thrown, it also signals the end of the game’s play (dead ball).
As far as staying out of the way of a wild pitch is concerned, this is why I educate children right from the start to always bring the bat down while turning away from a terrible pitch.
1st base – 3rd baseThe foul poles.
Consider the white chalk lines that you see on the field as the field’s perimeter. Any ball that is struck inside the limitations of the chalk lines will be considered a “fair ball,” and the defense will have the opportunity to try and get an out of the situation. The boundaries for balls hit in the infield are first, second, and third base. In baseball, a “foul ball” is defined as a ball that is hit on the ground and travels foul before reaching first or third base, respectively. When a hitter smashes a ball into the outfield and it touches the ground within the chalk line, it is referred to as a “fair ball.” When compared to the infield, it does not matter if the ball rolls foul after hitting the ground inside the chalk line; it will still be considered a fair ball.
If the ball makes contact with any player inside the chalk lines before going foul, it will be considered a fair ball, which is a rare occurrence under the rules.
Consider them to be extensions of the chalk lines that you see on the ground.
If the ball passes the foul pole on the inside of the foul pole, it is considered a home run.
Is a foul ball a strike?
Both yes and no. The following is the regulation when it comes to foul balls and strikes: In the course of an at bat, the first two foul balls that a hitter hits will be counted as strike 1. When a hitter hits two foul balls that are recorded as strikes during an at bat in baseball and most collegiate and professional softball leagues, there is no restriction to the number of foul balls he or she can hit throughout the rest of the at bat.
This is true for all levels of baseball, from Little League to Major League Baseball. In certain softball leagues, there is a restriction to the number of foul balls a player may hit during an at-bat, and the amount varies from one league to the next.
Can you strike out with a foul ball?
When you hit a foul ball, there is just one way to get out of a game: you strike out. It is possible for a hitter to be ruled out for a strikeout if they already have two strikes against them and attempt to bunt the ball, but the ball falls foul. In addition, the pitcher will be given credit for a strikeout. “A ball bunted foul while a batter has two strikes against them will be classified as strike three,” the rule states. I will never give the bunt sign to a player who already has two strikes against them.
Foul balls from bunting are common, and I prefer to give my player an opportunity to swing the bat before calling a timeout.
What is a foul ball? – Trivia Time
Let’s go through a few of situations and see how well you do on them. There will be no peeping! Question1:A hitter is attempting to hit a sacrifice bunt in the first inning. In this at-bat, the hitter had already been struck out on two occasions. It is the pitcher’s pitch that is delivered, and it is bunted to 1st base down the first baseline, but the ball rolls foul before it reaches to first base. Is the batter no longer available? Is it possible for the runners on base to advance? Why? Question2: A hitter smashes a deep fly ball to the right field corner of the field.
- The ball lands in foul area without making contact with the surface of the ground.
- Are runners on base able to advance?
- Now, here’s a difficult one for you to solve: A hitter hits a slow-rolling ball in the infield with the end of his or her bat, causing the ball to spin a lot more than normal.
- Because of the spin on the ball, it ends up rolling back into fair area before it can get to the first baseman.
- It strikes the ground after 3rd base in fair area, but it rolls into foul zone before hitting the ground again.
The following foul ball you hit will be considered a third strike if you have previously received two strikes against you while bunting.
When the umpire signals that it is time to play again, the game will continue.
Once a defensive player makes any touch with the ball while the ball is in fair zone, the ball is declared fair regardless of where it goes.
It is possible for a ball to roll foul on many occasions if it first falls in fair territory in the infield (answer 3).
In the event that a player makes contact with the ball when it is in foul area but before it reaches first or third base, the ball is immediately designated as a foul ball.
Answer4: It’s a fair ball, to be honest. The outfield (between first and third base) is considered fair territory if a ball is hit into it and falls in fair territory or makes contact with a player in fair territory. It doesn’t matter how far the ball travels after hitting the ground.
What is a foul ball? – Wrap it up!
A foul ball is any ball that is struck by a batter and falls in foul area, regardless of its origin. When attempting to assess if a ball is foul or fair, keep the following points in mind: In order to advance to first or third base, a ball hit in the infield must either stay fair or make contact with a player who is in fair zone before being thrown foul. Prior to going foul, a ball hit in the outfield (after the first or third baseman) must fall in fair area or make contact with a player in fair territory.
- A defensive player can catch a ball that has been struck in the air, regardless of whether the defensive player is in “fair” or “foul” zone at the time the ball is hit the ground.
- I hope you found “what is a foul ball?” to be informative and entertaining.
- If you have any concerns regarding this or any other regulation, please leave a comment below and I will respond as soon as possible.
Foul Ball / Foul Tip
I have a pet peeve about something. I like watching professional baseball on television, just as you do. Nothing, however, irritates me more than broadcasters who incorrectly refer to a foul ball as a foul tip. Joe Buck is the most egregious offender, but there are others as well, including The term “foul tip” refers to any sharp foul ball that flies straight back over the catcher’s shoulder or over the umpire’s mask, or otherwise goes uncaught but is sharp off the bat, as defined by these dingbats.
In contrast to foul balls, foul tips are two very separate things.
The difference between the two is that one can result in a third strike and the other cannot.
The difference between foul balls and foul tips could hardly be greater.
What is a foul tip
First and foremost, let us examine the definition of a foul tip as it appears in the rulebook. The following will be in boldface and italics for emphasis: “FOUL TIP: A hit ball that travels sharply and directly from the bat to the catcher and is caught in the legal sense. The tip is not considered a foul tip until the ball has been caught, and any foul tip that has been caught is considered a strike, and the ball is in play.” NOTE: The definition of offoul tip was revised in the 2021 version of the OBR.
It is no longer necessary for the tipped ball to make first contact with the catcher’s hand or glove.
As an example, a bounce off the mask or chest counts as a foul tip as long as the ball rebounds directly into the catcher’s hand or glove and is properly caught. (If, on the other hand, the rebound pops into the air, it is considered a foul ball/dead ball.)
Okay, now plainspoken:
- It is illegal to legally catch an errantly thrown ball that slips off the bat and hits the catcher “sharp and straight.” The fact that the ball has been caught is essential to the definition of a foul tip. A ball that is not caught by the catcher does not constitute (and cannot constitute) a foul tip. Unlike a foul ball, a foul tip will always result in a strike, and unlike a foul ball, it can result in a strike three. A foul tip is the same as a live ball. It is at the runner’s own risk to advance (steal). If the catcher fails to catch the ball, it is considered an errant ball (dead ball). Period. For the sake of simplicity, let’s call this an atippedfoul ball. This is a foul tip, according to the rule change described above, if a tipped foul ball is caught by the catcher after the ball touches his mask (for example), his chest, or anything else other than his hand or glove. It is not possible to catch a tipped foul ball once it has struck the catcher or the umpire and (let’s say) popped up into the air for an out. A dead ball is called because the catcher and umpire are both in foul area, and the ball is declared dead as soon as it makes contact with any of them. Similar to a fly ball that makes contact with the backstop or fence. The mechanics of a foul tip are as follows: first, brush the back of your left hand with your right hand, then deliver the strike command. After giving the strike signal, some umpires swipe the back of their left hand two or three times, depending on their preference.
What is a foul ball
It opens with the longest, most badly worded, most painfully convoluted line in the whole rule book, and it also contains a lengthy “comment.” It will not be repeated here, but
First and foremost, there are three foul ball scenarios (as well as one unusual example), and you assess the ball to be fair or foul in each scenario in a different way:
- The ball was batted into the bags. This refers to a bounding or fly ball that remains or falls within an imaginary line drawn around the infield at the front border of the bases, but does not contact any of the bases. As you look at the figure below, imagine the blue line as a sheet of glass surrounding the area referred to as “within the bags.” The location of the ball when(a)it is first touched by a fielder, or(b)the point at which the ball comes to rest, determines whether the play is fair or foul. It is fairly rare for the ball to land in fair area before spinning into foul zone and being touched before being touched by a player (or the other way around). When it comes to balls within the bags, you must wait until the ball is either touched or comes to rest before deciding whether it was fair or foul. It’s nothing till then, so don’t hurry into making that decision
- Bounding ball past the bags. Bounding balls are hit balls that make at least one contact with the ground (bounces) before they reach the blue line that denotes the region “within the bags,” but then continue to travel outside of the blue line after crossing it (breaking the imaginary glass). When it crosses (and breaks) the blue sheet of glass, it is deemed fair or foulby the judge. It is a fair ball if the bounding ball passes over the sheet on the bag or crosses over the bag itself (that is, breaks the glass). A foul ball, on the other hand, is one that crosses the blue sheet in foul area (and does not break the glass), regardless of whether or not it bounced once or twice in fair territory before reaching the blue sheet. The fly ball should be sent beyond the bags. We’re talking about any batted ball that crosses the blue line while still in flight in this context. It doesn’t matter if it crosses the blue sheet in fair or foul zone
- The result is the same. It only counts where the ball initially touches the ground or where it is first touched by a fielder that is important here. The location where the fly ball first reaches the ground or where a fielder first touches the ball in flight is where the fair or foul call is made. If the ball reaches the ground for the first time in fair territory, it is considered a fair ball. If the ball is in foul territory, it is considered a foul ball. In a same vein, if a fielder touches the ball for the first time when the ball (not the fielder) is beyond fair area, it is considered a fair ball. Likewise, if the ball is initially touched outside of foul zone, it is considered a foul ball. A unique situation occurs when a batsman is struck by his own batted ball while still in the batter’s box. Every hit by a batted ball that hits the hitter while he is still in the batter’s box is treated as a simple foul ball (not interference). It happens that the ball travels directly from the bat to the batter’s leg or foot (ouch! )
- At other times, it bounces on or near the plate before striking the batter. That’s still considered a foul ball. Of course, after the hitter leaves the batter’s box, any batted ball that comes into contact with him is considered interference, and he is out. Fair or unfair evaluations are made. The only thing that can be determined is whether or not the batted ball struck the hitter while he was still in the batter’s box. If it did, you’ve got a foul ball on your hands. ” FOUL! FOUL!” yell out quickly, loudly, and clearly. This call is the responsibility of any umpire who sees it. This can be difficult to notice, particularly for the plate umpire, at times. It can also be challenging since a batted ball can occasionally hit off home plate and come out in an unusual manner, giving the appearance that it came off the batter’s foot. This is something that can only be realized via experience. It is only through experience that one has the capacity to deduce certain facts about the batter’s behavior. Keep an eye out for this since batters, particularly at the higher levels, may attempt to influence you with their acting abilities. At lesser levels, on the other hand, the batter’s responses are more accurate.
A few important points about foul balls
- The ball was thrown into the bags. When I say bounding or fly ball, I’m referring to a ball that stays or falls inside an imaginary line that is formed around the infield at the front border the bases but does not contact the bases. Imagine the blue line as a sheet of glass encompassing the area we refer to as “within the bags” in the illustration below. When a fielder touches the ball for the first time, or when the ball comes to rest, the position of the ball is used to determine whether it is fair or foul. Not unusual for the ball to land in fair zone and then spin into foul territory before being touched by a teammate or opponent (or the other way around). The ball must be touched or come to a complete stop before you may determine whether it was fair or foul on the ball within the bag. It’s nothing till then, so don’t hurry into making that call
- Bounding ball past the bags Bounding balls are hit balls that make at least one contact with the ground (bounces) before they reach the blue line that denotes the region “within the bags,” but then continue on past that blue line (breaking the imaginary glass). When it crosses (and breaks) the blue sheet of glass, it is deemed fair or foulby the judges. It is a fair ball if the bounding ball passes through the sheet on top of or over the bag (i.e., breaks the glass). However, if the bounding ball travels through the blue sheet in foul zone (and does not shatter the glass), it is considered a foul ball, despite the fact that it may have bounced once or twice in fair territory before reaching the blue sheet. Outside of the bags, hit a fly ball. Any batted ball that crosses the blue line while in flight is included in this category. What matters is that it crosses the blue sheet, whether it’s in good or bad area. Everything else is irrelevant
- It only counts where the ball initially touches the ground or is first touched by a fielder. When a fly ball first reaches the ground or when a fielder first touches the ball in flight, it is determined if it is fair or foul. The ball is considered fair if it is the first ball to contact the ground in fair area. Whenever a ball is in foul territory, it is considered to be a foul. As with the last example, when the ball (not the fielder) crosses into fair area, it is deemed a fair ball by the umpire. Similar to the previous rule, if the ball is initially touched outside of foul zone, it is ruled a foul ball. Special circumstance: A hitter who is still in the batter’s box is struck by his own batted ball. Insofar as the hitter is still in the batter’s box, every batted ball that strikes him is treated as a harmless foul ball (not interference). It happens that the ball travels directly from the bat to the batter’s leg or foot (ouch! )
- Other times, the ball bounces on or near the plate before striking the hitter. A foul ball, no matter how you look at it! Any batted ball that comes into contact with him after he has exited the batter’s box is considered interference, and the batter is ejected from the game. Fair or unfair evaluations are made in this case. When a hitter is still in the batter’s box, the only thing that can be determined is whether or not a batted ball struck him. A foul ball has been thrown in your direction. ” FOUL! FOUL!” yell out quickly, loudly, and emphatically This call is the responsibility of any umpire who sees it. This can be difficult to notice, particularly for the plate umpire, in some situations, but it is always there. Also, it can be difficult since a batted ball might occasionally hit off home plate and come out in an unusual manner, giving the appearance that it came off the batter’s foot. This is something that can only be understood via experience. It is only through experience that one gains the capacity to deduce certain facts about the batter’s performance. Watch out for batters who use their acting talents to influence you
- This is especially true at the higher levels of competition. When the batter’s responses are more accurate at lower levels, however,
Mechanics for calling a foul ball
In our sections on Umpire Mechanics, we’ll go into great detail about which umpire is in charge of the fair/foul call, when it occurs, and where it occurs. Concentrate for the time being on the technical aspects. You call out a foul ball (” FOUL! “), and then raise both arms with palms facing front. When a foul ball is thrown in the outfield, you must indicate in the direction of the foul ball to be called. A fair ball should never be said aloud. Instead, you merely indicate in the direction of legal territory.
Beyond the basics
Using the fundamentals as a starting point, make the following modifications to your mechanics:
- When making a “stadium call,” you are not required to indicate or verbally announce a foul ball. What exactly is a “stadium call”? The call is one that a fan in the uppermost row of the Yankee Stadium nosebleed section might make with reasonable accuracy. In this case, it is a ball that rockets ten rows into the bleachers or a ball that goes up behind the backstop and hits a car parked in the parking lot. Only one umpire should ever make the first judgment on whether a play is fair or foul. Everyone on the crew (whether there are two, three, or four umpires) should be aware of which umpire is responsible for every given hit ball. This should be discussed in your pregame meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of fair and foul obligations. We’ll go into further detail about this inUmpire Mechanics. Nevertheless, after the initial foul call is made, the other umpires on the field should repeat it as many as required in order to stop play at the base of the batter’s box.
Baseball Fair and Foul Balls with Diagrams
The preceding page provided a straightforward explanation of what is beneficial and detrimental to the offensive. To be precise—and this is not a lot of knowledge for someone who is just getting started in baseball—we must comprehend the words “fair ball” and “foul ball.” Consider the hitter, who is standing at home plate attempting to hit the pitchedbaseball into fair zone, which extends out from him like a slice of pie. As long as the battedbaseball reached fair area at any point during its journey around the bases, he was entitled to continue his attempt to progress around the bases under the previous regulations.
For starters, hitters frequently hit baseballs that bounce from fair zone into foul territory after being hit (and vice-versa, which is much less frequent).
Despite having nine defensive players, they were unable to cover all of the ground.
In order to make the distinction between a fair ball (which may be beneficial to the offense) and a foul ball (which is almost always detrimental to the offense), the baseball must travel through the field in relation to not only the foul lines, but also other markings such as the bases and foul poles.
|Diagram 3: Green representsfair ballsRed represents foul balls|
A (batted) baseball isfairif:
- If a baseball is hit so far that it leaves the playing field between the foul poles, or hits one of them, it is considered to be out of bounds in fair territory. If a baseball is struck so far that it leaves the playing field between the foul poles, or hits one of them, it is considered to be out of bounds in fair territory (both of which types of events are very good for the batter) (E)or
- s the defense touches it as it is going on or above fair area
In all other situations, a (batted) baseball is a foul ball. A fair ball gives the hitter the opportunity to at least attempt to advance to first base or farther. Perhaps he will be successful, but perhaps he will not. However, a foul ball is normally detrimental to both the hitter and his team, however it can be beneficial in specific circumstances as well as detrimental.
The fundamentals of all of this will be covered elsewhere. Let’s go back to the diagram on the previous page, which is a straightforward representation of the areas of the baseball field that the hitter is aiming at.
The reason we didn’t indicate that baseballs hit there are always beneficial to the hitter is now clear to you, Greenandbrown. It is possible that their trajectory will cause them to become foul balls, however this is not usual. A baseball that falls in blue, on the other hand, is almost never a foul ball, making it a suitable choice for batters to wear blue in their uniforms. To put it another way, it could never have crossed across foul territory (i.e., on the foul territory side of a foul pole) and then curled into the blue region.
Red: now you understand why we can’t say unequivocally that a baseball that comes to a complete stop is always a foul ball.
Yellow: We are convinced that a baseball that ends up at that location could not have traveled the path of a fair ball to get there.
As an added bonus, a fair ball that doesn’t fall until it reaches the stands results in an automatic run for the batter and for any other member of the offense who happens to be on base at the time: a homerun.
The hitter is permitted to advance to second base in the first scenario.
Both of these examples are discussed in further detail elsewhere.