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Guest Coach Darryle

Attempted foul ball dropped and lands in fair territory

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Guest Coach Darryle

A fielder is standing in foul territory.  The ball is popped up and clearly going foul.  The fielder doesn't catch it and the ball lands in fair territory.  Is it a fair ball?

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If the fielder touches the ball while the ball is over foul territory then it's foul. If he touches it while over fair territory, then its fair.

OBR's Definition of Terms:

"FAIR BALL is a batted ball that... while on or over fair territory touches the person of an umpire or player.

FOUL BALL is a batted ball that... while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground."

Side note: funny that in both definitions, the book lists the umpire before the player. MLB obviously recognizes who's more important. ;)

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Right: in general, it's the position of the ball, not the position of the fielder, that determines the status of the ball. 

A fielder touching a batted ball is never either necessary nor sufficient for a fair ball.

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You said that the ball was not caught, but was it touched?

If the ball is passed 1st or 3rd base, as it touches the ground, in fair territory, then it is fair.

If the ball is not "passed" either 1st or 3rd then it depends upon where the ball comes "to rest".

However, the above is contingent on the ball not being touched. Wherever the ball is touched makes it fair or foul automatically, regardless. Further be aware the indication of fair or foul depends on the location of the ball (when touched) to the foul line and has nothing to do with the position of the player that touched the ball.

Does this make sense?

I was at a game where the batter hit a ball that was definitely going foul, it was hit sharply half way up the 1st base line toward the fencing. Everyone had given up on the ball.  When the ball hit the ground it had enough English that it spun sharply back to the infield (the ball was untouched).

I indicated fair, and it was a chinese drill after that.

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