In baseball, a foul ball (often shortened to 'foul') is any ball hit by a batter into foul territory -- that is, out of bounds (left of the left foul line, right of the right foul line, or behind home plate -- hitting a ball over the far wall of the playing field is, of course, a home run). This includes balls which bounce off the pitcher's rubber and enter foul territory, as well as balls which touch a person (player or umpire or an 'object foreign to the natural ground' while in foul territory.1

Foul balls are considered strikes, but a batter can not strike out on a foul ball. If a batter has two strikes and hits a foul ball, the count remains unchanged and the pitcher continues to pitch to that batter.

Should a fielder catch a foul ball before it hits the ground, the batter is out -- this is called 'fouling out'.


1 Official Rules of Baseball 2000 Edition

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