Baseball baselines are the path runners take to reach a base safely, while foul lines mark the edges of the field. Runners can deviate from the baseline to avoid tags, but not by more than 3 feet. The 3-foot line is a parallel line to the first base foul line that runners must stay within to avoid interference. Foul lines extend from the batter’s box to the outfield fence and must be completely out of line for a ball to be considered foul.
In baseball, the baseline is essentially the path of a runner who is attempting to reach a base safely. There are white lines on a baseball field that run from near home plate to first and third base and then extend beyond those bases to the outfield fence, as shown in the photo below. While these lines are often referred to as the first base line and the third base line, they are not technically base lines, they are foul lines. Baselines are not marked on the field at all and are only taken into account when a fielder is attempting to tag a runner out. If a runner goes more than 3 feet (approximately 0.9 m) from his baseline to avoid a tag, he is declared out.
Manage the basics
Base runners, especially when passing more than one base during a single play, typically don’t run in a straight line from base to base. A player going from home plate to second base, for example, usually makes a large circle and “rounds” first base instead of turning at a 90-degree angle, which would be impossible to do at full speed. A runner may also have to avoid an opponent who is attempting to field a batted ball and thus would walk away from an imaginary straight line between the bases. All of these deviating paths to the next base are legal in most cases.
The only time a baseline has to be determined is when a fielder tries to put out a runner. At that point, the baseline becomes an imaginary straight line between the runner’s current position and the base he is trying to reach. The runner must go no more than 3 feet (approximately 0.9m) from this imaginary line to avoid the tag, or he will be called. If the runner leaves his baseline for any other reason, or if the fielder fails to make a tag, the runner will not be out.
The 3-foot line
A runner on base is similarly tethered as he runs from home plate to first base. The back half of the distance from home to first often includes a line that runs parallel to the first base foul line and is 3 feet (about 0.9 m) in foul territory. This line, called the 3-foot line, can be seen in the photo below. When this line is not marked on the field, it is an imaginary line.
A batter who is running to first base will be called out if he is not between the foul line and the three-foot line – except to get on first base – and then interferes with a player who is trying to catch a pitch to first base. basis. Any interference is legal if the runner remains between these lines. The runner may also run outside this area if there is no interference. However, if the batter leaves this area and is hit by a pitched or batted ball while in fair territory, he will be out.
The foul lines on a baseball field extend from the batter’s box near home plate, past the outfield edges of first and third base, then to the outfield fence. These white lines typically are made with powdered chalk or mineral lime, although white paint is usually used on grass and artificial turf. There is no standard width for these lines, but most of them are 2 to 3 inches wide (about 5 to 7.6 cm). Although they are called foul lines, they are actually in fair territory: The baseball must be completely out of line to be in foul territory.