Baseball Foul Ball
Foul balls are a common occurrence in baseball games, so most people who want to learn baseball should know about them and what happens when a foul ball is hit. What is a foul ball? Is a foul ball a strike? What are the rules of foul balls? Read on to find out.
What Is a Foul Ball in Baseball?
A foul ball in baseball is a baseball that is hit by a batter into foul territory. Foul territory is determined by the foul lines and the foul poles. It does not include the foul lines themselves.
Additionally, if the baseball is hit and initially bounces in fair territory between home plate and the bases, then bounces into foul territory before crossing a base, it is considered a foul ball.
What Is the Result of a Foul Ball?
A foul ball is considered a strike, but only under certain circumstances. If the batter has fewer than two strikes and hits a foul ball, it counts as a strike. If the batter has two strikes and hits a foul ball, it does not count as the third strike; instead, it is considered a dead ball, and the strike count remains the same. If a ball is caught in foul territory by a fielder, the batter is out, regardless of the strike count.
Foul Ball Rules
- Foul balls are batted balls that first contact the field or a fielder in foul territory.
- Balls that land in foul territory between home plate and first or third base but roll into fair territory before reaching that base are considered fair.
- Balls that leave the field to the outside of either foul pole without striking them are considered foul balls.
- Balls caught in foul territory count as an out.
- A foul ball counts as a strike against the batter if there are fewer than two strikes.
- A batter cannot strike out as the result of a foul ball.
What is a foul ball?
A foul ball is a batted ball that first contacts the field or a fielder in foul territory. Balls that land shallow in foul territory but roll into fair territory before they reach first or third base are considered fair. Balls that leave the field outside either foul pole are foul.
Does a foul ball count as a strike?
A foul ball counts as a strike as long as there are fewer than two strikes in the count. If a batter has two strikes and hits a foul ball, it does not count as a strike.
How many foul balls can a batter hit?
There is no limit to the number of foul balls a batter can hit while at a single at-bat. The first two foul balls a batter hits count as strikes, but the batter cannot get his third strike on a foul ball unless it is a foul tip (a batted ball that goes directly to the catcher’s glove). Therefore, once a batter hits two foul balls, they can hit as many more as possible until they either hit a fair ball or get a third strike.
Can fans catch foul balls?
A common hope and dream of baseball fans is to catch an errant foul ball, and it is possible for fans to catch foul balls that fly deep into the stands. However, if a fan tries to catch a foul ball that is considered catchable by the defense, it will result in a call of fan interference, and the ball becoming dead. Doing so can also lead to fans being ejected from the game, so fans should be careful to try catching only those foul balls that are well out of catching range by the players.