Baseball Field Boundary Lines

Are there rules to where baseball players can be on the field? What does fair and foul mean? Get ready to learn about the boundary lines on a baseball field.

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.

Baseball Foul Line

Fair Territory vs. Foul Territory

So what does fair and foul even mean? The area in between the foul lines is considered fair territory.

Baseball Fair Territory

While the area outside the foul lines is foul territory.

Baseball Foul Territory

When the baseball is in play, all defensive players, otherwise known as fielders, (except the catcher) must be in fair 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.

Fair Balls

A fair ball will be called if the baseball ...

Foul Balls

A foul ball will be called if the baseball ...


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?

Baseball Foul Line

If the baseball stops rolling and it is on the foul line, it is a fair ball. The ball must be touching part of the foul line to be considered fair.

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.

If the baseball touches the foul pole, it is not only considered a fair ball, but it is also a home run! We will learn more about home runs in future chapters.

Baseball Foul Pole

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