A sign that I’m learning
The other night I was out watching a high school softball game (no surprise there) when I ran into an interesting situation. I was watching with some guys I knew from outside the left field fence, pretty much looking down the third base line.
At one point, a bouncing ball was hit down the line, then crossed over into foul territory where it was snagged by the third baseman. “Foul ball” cried the umpire. Then some blowhard parent who was also out there said “That’s not a foul ball. It has to hit the ground in foul territory.” I’m pretty sure he said it because he was rooting for the team in the field and the third baseman made a great play to grab it and make a throw.
Anyway, at that point I decided to correct him for the benefit of everyone out there. “No, it’s foul,” I said. “It doesn’t matter where the fielder is standing. If the ball is touched in foul territory it’s foul.”
A few minutes went by and the guy decided to pipe up again. He again insisted the ball had to hit the ground in foul territory to be foul, and he was pretty belligerent about it.
I was about to argue with him again, but then realized it was pointless. Without a rulebook in my hand there was no way to prove I was right, so I just decided to let it go. A sign of maturity, right? I’m sure Mr. Blowhard Parent was convinced that he’d won the argument because A) he was louder than I was and I didn’t argue again.
But no matter how loudly you proclaim your point, the rules are the rules. When I got back to my car I looked it up, just to be sure.
So to you, Mr. Blowhard Parent, I say look up Rule 1 in the ASA Softball rulebook, the one that’s for definitions. It clearly says that a foul ball is defined (among other things) as a ball that has hit the ground (regardless of being fair or foul) and is then touched by a player when the ball is in fair territory.
Ok, guess I haven’t matured as much as I thought since I felt compelled to address it here. But there’s no doubt I was right – again. So ha!