August 26, 2011

Fan Rulebook: The Foul Ball

     I am inviting you, my readers, to be a "Fan Congress" for my upcoming project.  I will randomly bring up subjects relating to fan behavior in an attempt to make an "official" rule for fans.  Those will be collected in the Fan Rulebook on the left.
     I will start the process by writing out the rule I would make.  Then you can vote on it using the "reaction" buttons below the post.  A click on Funny or Interesting counts as "yes", and a click on Boring or Confusing counts as "no".  By doing it that way, you don't have to make the effort to comment, and I don't look like I'm begging for comments.  If you have a counter-proposal for a ruling, please feel free to leave it in the comments for consideration.
     I'll wait a week or so for each ruling before deciding whether or not to put each item in the Rulebook.  My decisions will be overruled by a 2/3 vote for no, with a minimum of 2 votes.

First on the docket:  Baseballs landing just out of play

     You're sitting in the front row, to the right of first base.  An opposing batter hits a pop-up in foul territory.  It's coming right at you, but so is your first baseman.  Do you go for the ball, a souvenir you'll never have a chance to get again?  Or do you support your team by letting the first baseman grab it and get an out?
     I tend to side with the fan on this one.  You are not obligated to help your team in any way.  You're actually paying the team so they will entertain you.  And that gives you the right to keep anything thrown or hit at you.  Your team could have avoided the situation by throwing better pitches.  The first baseman should be able to win the fight for the ball.  Otherwise he doesn't deserve it.

Ruling:  Fans at a baseball game have the right to reach for any ball hit toward them, regardless of whether or not a player is also reaching for it, provided that the reaching action does not put the fan onto the playing surface or any into any other dangerous situation.

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