The Foul Lines
We've learned in past chapters about the foul lines. They extend from home plate to the outfield fence and distinguish foul territory and fair territory, which we'll learn more about later in this chapter.
Fair Territory vs. Foul Territory
Is The Baseball Fair Or Foul?
Whether the baseball lands in fair territory or foul territory influences the result of that play. The baseball is determined to be fair or foul once it stops rolling or when a fielder touches the baseball. There are several rules associated with the foul lines.
- If the baseball lands (stops rolling/is touched by a fielder) in fair territory.
- If the baseball initially lands in the infield between home plate and 1st or 3rd base and remains in fair territory.
- If the baseball initially lands in foul territory then bounces/settles in fair territory.
- If the baseball lands in foul territory.
- If the baseball initially lands in the infield between home plate and 1st or 3rd base, bounces into foul territory, and does not pass the base.
- If the baseball initially lands in fair territory then bounces/settles in foul territory.
- If the baseball hits the pitcher's plate then bounces into foul territory.
For more advanced baseball fans and statisticians, there may be situations where a fielder is in fair territory and makes a catch in foul territory and vice versa. In either case, the result is the same an out. However, it may be recorded differently.
Touching The Lines
What about the lines themselves? Are they considered fair or foul?
The Foul Poles
The foul poles are tall yellow poles that mark where the foul lines meet the outfield fence. They have wire netting attached that is parallel to the outfield fence. Each field has two (2) foul poles, one for the left foul line and one for the right foul line.