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?


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.

Baseball Situations Quiz

Do you know the essentials of baseball situations with runners on and the ball put in play? Take our baseball situations quiz and test your knowledge!

More Baseball Quizzes

More quizzes here: Baseball Quizzes

Get Coach Dan’s Book With Over 200 Tips

[easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B072F1FRX9″ key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”myyouthbaseball-20″]

Special Offer

Special discount for MYB readers: Get over 200 baseball drills, 100 videos and dozens of practice plans with a Baseball Zone Membership. Use discount code “HOMERUN” for 25% off today. Sign up now.

Get Our Free Baseball Drills & Skills eBook!

Learn More

Essential Equipment for Your Baseball Player

Hitting Mechanics Videos

Teaching Basic Pitching Mechanics

Essential Baseball Hitting Drills

Infield Basics and Fundamentals

All 200+ of Our Articles