A ground ball hits the dirt in fair territory in front of 3rd base or 1st base, goes over the bag but never touches it, and then lands in foul territory on the other side of the bag.
Fair or foul?
OUR COACHES’ ANSWER
Thanks for the question!
If a batter hits a ball that lands fair in front of the base and then lands foul behind the base, the umpire must decide whether the baseball was fair or foul as it went over the base…
This is a judgement call and it is imperative that the umpire is in good position to see the ball as it goes over the base. If the ball passes directly over the base or on the fair side of the base, he must rule it a fair ball. If the umpire decides that the ball went by the base in foul territory, it should be called a foul ball.
Keep in mind both first base and third base are completely in fair territory, so it is a fair ball if it goes over any part of the base.
If the ball hits the base, it is a fair ball no matter where it lands or where it ends up.
These are tough calls to make during a baseball game for the umpire. In high-pressure games (ie. playoffs and world series), they can make or break the game for a team. That is why professional umpires are trained to get in position for every play.
NOTE: Don’t forget that umpires are human and will make mistakes… Video replays sometimes make umpires look very bad. Believe me, the person that feels the worst when a bad call is made is the umpire. They are trying to do their best, but just like every human, they can make a mistake. Be sure to remember that when your team gets a ball call made on them.
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