What Counts As A Foul In Softball?

What Counts As A Foul In Softball

In softball, similarly to baseball, foul balls are called when the ball hits the ground outside of the foul lines. They can also occur when a batted ball hits a batter. Below, we will take a look at all the situations in which a foul ball occurs in softball.

Softball Foul Ball Rules

In softball, the following types of batted balls count as foul balls:

  • Balls that fall to the ground in foul territory between home and first base or home and third base
  • Balls that bounce past first or third base in or over foul territory
  • Balls that hit the ground first in foul territory beyond first or third base
  • Balls that first contact a player, umpire, or foreign object in foul territory
  • Balls that hit the infield and roll untouched to foul territory before reaching first or third base

Batted Balls

On a softball diamond, much like in baseball, there are two foul lines. These lines extend from the back of home plate, past the backside of the first and third base bags, and finally all the way to the end of the outfield. At the end of each foul line is a foul pole which, despite the name, usually sits in fair territory. The two bases, first and third, are also in fair territory, as is home plate. On fly balls to the outfield, any ball that is batted and lands in foul territory is a foul ball. If the ball lands inside the two foul lines, it is a fair ball.

Like in baseball, in softball, a ball caught in foul territory is an out. A ball that hits the ground in foul territory is dead, and runners cannot advance. With ground balls in the infield, third and first bases are the indicators of a fair or foul ball. Where the ball passes those bases will determine if a ball is fair or foul. A ball that starts fair but bounces outside of the foul line before reaching first or third base is foul. Both bases are in fair territory; a ground ball that hits the base is fair and in play.

Hitting the Batter

The batter’s box is technically in fair territory. However, if a ball is batted and hits the batter while they are still in the batter's box, the ball is then foul. It is fairly common in softball for a batted ball to hit the batter’s leg. That ball is a foul ball. If a pitch hits the batter in the strike zone, it is a strike. If a pitch hits the batter outside the strike zone, they automatically advance to first base.


What is a foul ball in softball?

In softball, a foul ball is any batted ball that first touches the ground, a person, or a foreign object in foul territory. Foul territory is the area outside of the first and third-base lines, extending from home plate and into the outfield. If a batted ball hits the batter’s body, that is also a foul ball.

How many foul balls can you hit in softball?

In softball, there is no limit to the number of foul balls a batter can hit. If the batter has zero or one strike, a foul ball will result in a strike. However, if they have two strikes, foul balls will not count against them, as players cannot strike out on fouls. The exception is slow-pitch softball, which awards a strikeout if a foul ball is hit with two strikes.