Mt. Laurel Girls Softball

Fair or Foul

Things to remember:
  • Home plate, the foul lines, and the bases are all part of fair territory!
  • The position of the ball determines fair or foul, not the position of the player’s feet.
  • A foul tip is not a foul ball.
There are 7 different situations:

1. The ball is first touched by a player, or the ball first touches something or someone who is not a player before the ball touches the ground.

  • It is the position of the ball when touched that determines whether the ball is fair or foul.  Is the ball over fair territory or over foul territory?
  • Where the player’s (who touches the ball) feet are has nothing to do with the call.
  • Where the ball goes after being touched has nothing to do with the call.

2. The ball comes to rest on the ground before passing first or third base and before being touched by a player or touching something or someone other than a player.

  • It is the position of the ball when it stops moving that determines fair or foul.  Did the ball come to rest on fair territory or on foul territory?

3. The ball is first touched by a player, or the ball touches something or someone who is not a player before is passes first or third base.

  • It is the position of the ball when touched that determines whether the ball is fair or foul.  Was the ball touched on or over fair territory, or was the ball touched on or over foul territory?

4. The ball hits the ground before passing first or third base and then passes first or third base without being touched by a player or touching something or someone other than a player.

  • It is the position of the ball as it passes first or third base that determines whether the ball is fair or foul.  As the ball went past first or third base, was it over fair territory or over foul territory?
  • Where the ball bounce before it reached first or third base has nothing to do with whether the ball is fair or foul.
  • Where the ball bounces after it reaches first or third base has nothing to do with whether the ball is fair or foul.

5. The batted ball hits the ground for the first time beyond first or third base.

  • It is the position of the ball when it hits the ground that determines fair or four.  If the ball lands (beyond first or third) in foul territory, it is a foul ball.  If the ball lands in fair territory, it is a fair ball.

6. The batted ball hits the batter or hits the batter’s bat a second time while the batter is in the batter’s box.

  • The ball is a foul ball.
  • Whether the ball was over fair territory or over foul territory makes no difference.

7. The batted ball hits a base before being touched by a player or before touching something or someone.

  • This is a fair ball.
  • Where the ball goes after hitting a base makes no difference it determining fair or foul.
Foul Tip:

A foul tip is a batted ball that goes sharply and directly from the bat to the catcher’s glove or hand and is legally caught by the catcher.

  • A foul tip is not a foul ball.
  • A foul tip is a strike.  If strike three, the batter is out.
  • The ball remains alive, so runners may steal and be put out.