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Guest Kenny king

Fair or foul

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Guest Kenny king

Batter hits a line drive down the line just in foul territory. Fielder lays out for it and while he is in mid air ( no part of his body touching the ground) ball hits his glove and deflects into fair territory.  Foul or fair?  Please provide rule reference

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39 minutes ago, Guest Kenny king said:

Batter hits a line drive down the line just in foul territory. Fielder lays out for it and while he is in mid air ( no part of his body touching the ground) ball hits his glove and deflects into fair territory.  Foul or fair?  Please provide rule reference

It's 100% about where the ball was when first touched.  Nothing else matters.   Definitions of fair and foul.

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Not enough information for us to make a determination.  Unless we assume it was foul when touched since you say “deflects into fair territory”.  In which case, foul ball.  

Feet, bodies, airborne ... none of that matters.

NFHS 

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This game is NOT football.  It does NOT matter where the fielder was, whether his feet, etc. were in fair territory, in the air, etc.  It matters where the BALL was in relation to the foul line.  If it was in foul territory when touched (even in the air -- imagine the foul line extends to the sky infinitely), the ball is immediately dead if not caught and is foul.  

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22 minutes ago, mac266 said:

This game is NOT football.  It does NOT matter where the fielder was, whether his feet, etc. were in fair territory, in the air, etc.  It matters where the BALL was in relation to the foul line.  If it was in foul territory when touched (even in the air -- imagine the foul line extends to the sky infinitely), the ball is immediately dead if not caught and is foul.  

It’s not that simple in certain cases. The fair foul rule in all codes has some conflicting verbiage and there is an MLB interp that adds to the conflict. A newcomer reading the rules could easily rule a certain ball fair or foul depending on which definition he read first. 

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40 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

It’s not that simple in certain cases. The fair foul rule in all codes has some conflicting verbiage and there is an MLB interp that adds to the conflict. A newcomer reading the rules could easily rule a certain ball fair or foul depending on which definition he read first. 

???

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1 hour ago, Jimurray said:

It’s not that simple in certain cases. The fair foul rule in all codes has some conflicting verbiage and there is an MLB interp that adds to the conflict. A newcomer reading the rules could easily rule a certain ball fair or foul depending on which definition he read first. 

WHAT?

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1 hour ago, Rich Ives said:

WHAT?

A recent MLBUM interp makes a ball touching foul territory and not more than half over fair territory a foul ball, ie: daylight between the line and the ball. They don’t cite whether the ball is still moving or not but let’s say it is still rolling 3/4 over foul and 1/4 over fair and a fielder grabs it. Is it fair because the fielders thumb first touched it over fair territory or foul because the fielders other fingers first touched it over foul territory?  The rule can be read either way and the MLBUM interp further adds confusion. 

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39 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

A recent MLBUM interp makes a ball touching foul territory and not more than half over fair territory a foul ball, ie: daylight between the line and the ball. They don’t cite whether the ball is still moving or not but let’s say it is still rolling 3/4 over foul and 1/4 over fair and a fielder grabs it. Is it fair because the fielders thumb first touched it over fair territory or foul because the fielders other fingers first touched it over foul territory?  The rule can be read either way and the MLBUM interp further adds confusion. 

Or that same ball could be rolling parallel to the line, and towards the base when the fielder touches it nearly simultaneously with its upper half touches the base. If you judge that the fielder touched it first, it's foul; if you judge it touched the base first, it's fair. The position of the ball relative to fair territory hasn't changed, however.

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10 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

???

 

10 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

WHAT?

A FAIR BALL is a batted ball that settles on fair ground between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that is on or over fair territory when bounding to the outfield past first or third base, or that touches first, second or third base, or that first falls on fair territory on or beyond first base or third base, or that, while on or over fair territory touches the person of an umpire or player, or that, while over fair territory, passes out of the playing field in flight.

A FOUL BALL is a batted ball that settles on foul territory between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or that first falls on foul territory beyond first or third base, or that, while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground.

 

I think this is what @Jimurray is alluding.

By definition, a ball  over both foul and fair territory when touched can be either fair or foul.  You need other interpretations...on top of the one about a ball resting on the ground in foul territory, only touching foul territory, but the curve of the ball is over the line (which is fair)...apparently that is now a foul ball.

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

 

A FAIR BALL is a batted ball that settles on fair ground between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that is on or over fair territory when bounding to the outfield past first or third base, or that touches first, second or third base, or that first falls on fair territory on or beyond first base or third base, or that, while on or over fair territory touches the person of an umpire or player, or that, while over fair territory, passes out of the playing field in flight.

A FOUL BALL is a batted ball that settles on foul territory between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or that first falls on foul territory beyond first or third base, or that, while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground.

 

I think this is what @Jimurray is alluding.

By definition, a ball  over both foul and fair territory when touched can be either fair or foul.  You need other interpretations...on top of the one about a ball resting on the ground in foul territory, only touching foul territory, but the curve of the ball is over the line (which is fair)...apparently that is now a foul ball.

It is easily resolved.  And  the new interp is wrong. 

Why and how?

Because if a ball touches 1B or 3B or a foul pole it's fair even though it may be 99.9% over foul territory  (and if rolling not touching the line). 

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6 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

It is easily resolved.  And  the new interp is wrong. 

Why and how?

Because if a ball touches 1B or 3B or a foul pole it's fair even though it may be 99.9% over foul territory  (and if rolling not touching the line). 

It's easily resolved by calling any touch of a ball partially over the line as fair as we all did and still do. But what is not easily resolved is what will happen in an MLB game where that fair call is video reviewed and they have to use the 2018 MLBUM interp. The rules define a ball touching the bag or pole as fair. The rules also allow a ball partially over foul territory to be fair or foul and somebody at MLB got his way to make it foul unless touching fair territory which is contrary to what Jim Evans used to show in his clinics. Discussed in 2018: https://www.closecallsports.com/2018/07/ask-uefl-judging-fly-ball-as-fair-or.html 

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Well, Dr. Pym ... quantum physics aside ...

Fair territory extends until a ball is outside the line ... not on it.  My stupid quote to a coach not withstanding: "Coach, it hit the foul side of the line, but it's a fair ball."

Whether that ball lands on the line or is above the line, it has always been accepted as fair until it leaves the vertical plane of line entirely.  Maybe somebody is saying that needs to be cleaned up in the language of the rule?  Easy fix by inserting the word "entirely" into the definition of a foul ball.  Beyond that, it is my judgement where a moving ball in flight was touched.

Back to our quantum physics ... the ball is round.  What if the ball actually touches foul ground at its contact point, but is above the vertical plane of the line with its curvature?  

Back to my soapbox, another reason interpretations are NOT rules.  Quit trying to "fix" rules with interpretations.

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23 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

Well, Dr. Pym ... quantum physics aside ...

Fair territory extends until a ball is outside the line ... not on it.  My stupid quote to a coach not withstanding: "Coach, it hit the foul side of the line, but it's a fair ball."

Whether that ball lands on the line or is above the line, it has always been accepted as fair until it leaves the vertical plane of line entirely.  Maybe somebody is saying that needs to be cleaned up in the language of the rule?  Easy fix by inserting the word "entirely" into the definition of a foul ball.  Beyond that, it is my judgement where a moving ball in flight was touched.

Back to our quantum physics ... the ball is round.  What if the ball actually touches foul ground at its contact point, but is above the vertical plane of the line with its curvature?  

Back to my soapbox, another reason interpretations are NOT rules.  Quit trying to "fix" rules with interpretations.

"Entirely" would be an easy fix but when discussing this interp change/addition on CCS I believe somebody connected with MLB said the interp was an easier fix than having to go through a rule change with the players association. But they were willing this year to do that to change what a foul tip is.

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Just now, Jimurray said:

"Entirely" would be an easy fix but when discussing this interp change/addition on CCS I believe somebody connected with MLB said the interp was an easier fix than having to go through a rule change with the players association. But they were willing this year to do that to change what a foul tip is.

 

:ranton:

Not disagreeing, but pointing out that it is highlighting a MAJOR problem.  Eh, let's not fix it, let's just MSU it and call it good.

:rantoff:

  

Don't get me wrong, I suppose this is fine in a single organization or self-contained bubble (like MLB) where you have a finite number of people (umpires, players, and coaches) that this information needs to get to.  It quickly falls apart outside of that bubble though.  

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1 hour ago, The Man in Blue said:

Back to our quantum physics ... the ball is round.  What if the ball actually touches foul ground at its contact point, but is above the vertical plane of the line with its curvature?  

That's the problem with the latest interpretation...which is calling this a foul ball, for some reason.  Even though the ball in the same position at 1b/3b would be touching the base making it fair...and would be touching the "foul" pole, making it fair...and if the ball was 1/2 inch above that exact position it would be fair.

 

1 hour ago, The Man in Blue said:

Back to my soapbox, another reason interpretations are NOT rules.  Quit trying to "fix" rules with interpretations.

That's a matter of practicality - whether it's sports, corporate policy, or the law.   It's always far easier to change an interpretation, or a guideline, or a practice, than it is to change a rule/policy/law.

 

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Easier ... that's what somebody who doesn't want to follow the rule and wants to MSU says.  ;)

"I don't like that rule.  I don't want to follow that rule.  I am going to interpret it my way."

"Your honor, that sign says the speed limit is 55 mph.  It does NOT say that is the UPPER limit.  I believe it means I have to drive AT LEAST 55 mph as it is the lower limit." 

 

Of course it easier!  It is  easier because a RULE is intended to be a RULE, not your preference.  That is the very definition!  :Facepalm:

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36 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

Easier ... that's what somebody who doesn't want to follow the rule and wants to MSU says.  ;)

"I don't like that rule.  I don't want to follow that rule.  I am going to interpret it my way."

"Your honor, that sign says the speed limit is 55 mph.  It does NOT say that is the UPPER limit.  I believe it means I have to drive AT LEAST 55 mph as it is the lower limit." 

 

Of course it easier!  It is  easier because a RULE is intended to be a RULE, not your preference.  That is the very definition!  :Facepalm:

To your examples - and there are mechanisms in place that don't allow everyone to interpret...there are authorities to interpret items in dispute, and they are held as authoritative to future disputes/questions (in some case you may need an umpire to make a choice, and a coach to protest, for it to come to light)....you need that for a rule book that is full of inconsistencies, or gaps.

In your speed limit example...many signs do say "maximum" or "minimum"...for those that don't, there is usually a companion law book to those signs, pertaining to all the rules of the road, to remove any doubt to the interpretation of what those signs mean...and if there wasn't, then a judge would interpret accordingly, using either common sense, or an understanding of the intent of the signs, and that would be held until affirmed or overturned on appeal - and if you really wanted to bring it to SCOTUS, go for it...and if  you lost, you could wait 50 years and bring it to a different SCOTUS to try your luck again. (although I doubt SCOTUS handles administrative, state-level, rules regarding the privilege of driving.)

The fair/foul definition is the very example of a practical scenario where simply interpreting the rule as written can't be done...by definition, as currently written in black and white, some balls can be both foul and fair...they need to be one or the other...your choice is to take the more arduous, time-consuming, bureaucratic, costly method of changing the rule...or the easier and more efficient method of defining the practice/interpretation (or accepting to currently held practice if there is one...or changing it).   Otherwise, you're left with the very scenario you want to avoid...choosing your preference, because the RULE, as it is, forces you to do so.

 

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3 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

.your choice is to take the more arduous, time-consuming, bureaucratic, costly method of changing the rule...or the easier and more efficient method of defining the practice/interpretation (or accepting to currently held practice if there is one...or changing it).   

 

The question is why, in defining the interp, they did not accept what most of us and Jim Evans ascribed to? This issue came up quite a while ago on a different board when a new rule reader noticed the problem and most every response explained that we all considered it to be a fair ball when any part was over fair, also using @Rich Ives example of the ball hitting the base. But there was one poster who named an MLB (not Jim Evans) umpire that considered a ball settled on and over foul territory as foul even thought part (less than 50%) of it was over fair. That viewpoint appears to have prevailed in MLB. Both definitions have "settles on" or "over" as criteria. Did they decide to use AND instead of or to decide how to call it? In any case I suspect we and even MLB umps will continue to call it the old way. Fair foul is not reviewable in the infield and good luck reviewing the divot a ball leaves in the outfield to decide that even though not half was over fair it compressed the divot enough to touch chalk. 

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I can’t say that I have attended every baseball game in history.  Nor can I claim to know every rule change that has ever happened (I’ll leave that to our beloved resident historian who still amazes me).  Hell, I can’t even claim to know every rule now. 

But I can say that it wasn’t an issue for close to 180 years ... so ... no need to get cute now.

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4 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

The fair/foul definition is the very example of a practical scenario where simply interpreting the rule as written can't be done...by definition, as currently written in black and white, some balls can be both foul and fair...they need to be one or the other...your choice is to take the more arduous, time-consuming, bureaucratic, costly method of changing the rule...or the easier and more efficient method of defining the practice/interpretation (or accepting to currently held practice if there is one...or changing it).   Otherwise, you're left with the very scenario you want to avoid...choosing your preference, because the RULE, as it is, forces you to do so.


I’m confused ... if “simply interpreting it can’t be done” ... why are we doing it?

Do you know why a rule change is “arduous, time-consuming, bureaucratic, [and] costly”?  Because it shouldn’t be done lightly.  If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right ... not by just saying “I have spoken.”

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2 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

I can’t say that I have attended every baseball game in history.  Nor can I claim to know every rule change that has ever happened (I’ll leave that to our beloved resident historian who still amazes me).  Hell, I can’t even claim to know every rule now. 

But I can say that it wasn’t an issue for close to 180 years ... so ... no need to get cute now.

Yes, there was. I'll let you focus on figuring that out. 

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13 hours ago, Jimurray said:

The question is why, in defining the interp, they did not accept what most of us and Jim Evans ascribed to? This issue came up quite a while ago on a different board when a new rule reader noticed the problem and most every response explained that we all considered it to be a fair ball when any part was over fair, also using @Rich Ives example of the ball hitting the base. But there was one poster who named an MLB (not Jim Evans) umpire that considered a ball settled on and over foul territory as foul even thought part (less than 50%) of it was over fair. That viewpoint appears to have prevailed in MLB. Both definitions have "settles on" or "over" as criteria. Did they decide to use AND instead of or to decide how to call it? In any case I suspect we and even MLB umps will continue to call it the old way. Fair foul is not reviewable in the infield and good luck reviewing the divot a ball leaves in the outfield to decide that even though not half was over fair it compressed the divot enough to touch chalk. 

That's I can't answer, and frankly, I think it's stupid...as I said above..."Even though the ball in the same position at 1b/3b would be touching the base making it fair...and would be touching the "foul" pole, making it fair...and if the ball was 1/2 inch above that exact position it would be fair."

 

13 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

I’m confused ... if “simply interpreting it can’t be done” ... why are we doing it?

You're not "interpreting" it...you're picking one and dismissing the other...there's a difference.   There are many rules and laws that can be interpreted in different ways, by genuinely applying context and word definitions, as well as grammatical idiosyncrasies...and reasonable humans can make reasonable arguments to what it really means, and/or how it should be applied, and come to very different conclusions - but both arguments hold water.  

In this case you have an explicit conflict...two opposing statuses hold the same definition.   So, you either have a situation where at any given time any given umpire could rule any given  partially fair/foul ball one or the other, and justify it, and not have any requirement to be consistent...or you can have a uniform practice, which most people thought was in place until this latest ridiculous ruling.

I agree they should just add one word to the definition of foul, and I can't fathom why they don't want to...maybe they're keeping options open...maybe someday they'll determine the ball needs to be entirely fair.

I do know that sometimes these guys just outsmart themselves.

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3 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

In this case you have an explicit conflict...two opposing statuses hold the same definition.   So, you either have a situation where at any given time any given umpire could rule any given  partially fair/foul ball one or the other, and justify it, and not have any requirement to be consistent...or you can have a uniform practice, which most people thought was in place until this latest ridiculous ruling.

I agree and the word 'partially' should not be used when ruling on a fair/foul ball--it is either fair or foul. Fortunately, this situation is only likely to arise on a ball completely stopped at the line, or slowly rolling to a stop. Certainly umps cannot be expected to judge whether a ball hopping down the line or over a base were touched (inside a glove no less, where you cannot see first contact, or where in an 11 inch glove it actually made contact) with 10% in fair territory.

It's easy to draft rules clearly, why don't they? (Lest we not forget the infield fly on the warning track discussion).  

I believe this is a product of instant replay and HDTVs.

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Foul ball. It doesn’t matter where the fielder is, the only thing that matters is the location of the ball when it 

a) Comes to a stop,

b) Comes into contact with anything other than the infield ground, or

c) Passes first/third base after having touched the ground and nothing else.

 

Reference: MLB Rulebook (2018 edition) definition of terms.

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On 7/26/2020 at 10:52 PM, Jimurray said:

A recent MLBUM interp makes a ball touching foul territory and not more than half over fair territory a foul ball, ie: daylight between the line and the ball. They don’t cite whether the ball is still moving or not but let’s say it is still rolling 3/4 over foul and 1/4 over fair and a fielder grabs it. Is it fair because the fielders thumb first touched it over fair territory or foul because the fielders other fingers first touched it over foul territory?  The rule can be read either way and the MLBUM interp further adds confusion. 

Last I checked, the foul line was like the strike zone. A ball that grazes the foul line by a single stitch is just as fair as one that hits the second base bag. 

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