Kickball Rules : How to Play [ Scoring, Kicking, Faults ] Expert Guide

Kickball is a super blend sport played with precisely formulated rules & regulations. Featuring the  9 players  in each team, it is wonderfully easy how to play kickball even for beginners. This awfully engaging sport is made easy with our super easy how to sport rules guide as follow.

A complete kickball players guide with extensive explanation of each and every rule including; court measurement, team composition, fouls, Skills & essential skills. Moreover, an additional FAQs resource is meant to address the common questions regarding kickball sport. In addition to that, You can Kick ball Rules PDF Guide

Kickball Rules: How to Play Kickball | Scoring, Kicking, Serving, Faults, Skills [ Complete Guide 2021 ]

Kickball is from the family of baseball and softball. Similar to baseball and softball, Kickball is a team sport that needs 9 players in each team.

It is played on a diamond-shaped court with three bases, one home plate, one pitcher and foul lines. It involves sending the ball towards opponents, running towards the bases, catching the ball and tagging the players before they reach their targeted bases.

However, some of the rules of Kickball are different from those of baseball and softball. Unlike baseball and softball, which are played with rod-like bats and small hard balls.

Kickball is played by feet with inflated rubber ball, just like a soccer ball. Kickball is also known as “Kick Baseball”, “Soccer Baseball” or “Foot Baseball” for its playing nature. kickball rules, how to play kickball game

This game emerged out of baseball and was introduced in the United States by Nicholas C. Seuss, in 1917. Kickball is convenient for children and young players because it does not require holding a bat and swing it powerfully against a small hard ball that comes to them, from the pitcher, with sheer speed.

Conversely, they have to rely solely on their legs, particularly their dominant foot to kick a soft inflated rubber ball, coming slowly from the pitcher, to their opponents.

Kick baseball, as it was initially called by its inventor, was aimed at introducing the basics of baseball to the children of public schools, who, in future, might pursue more challenging and risky baseball. Kickball sport, being less risky for kids and youngsters, rose to fame and became an integral part of the sport sessions of every school.

It later made its way to the school clubs and then attracted the attention of adults and elderly people beyond schools. Now this sport is played by the players of every age in countries like the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea and India.

Keeping in account the growing popularity of Kickball, there occurred a need of its governing body and in 1998 its governing body namely; World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) was formed. There are some other organizations such as: American Kickball Association, Alaskan Kickball, German Kickball and Military Spouse Kickball Association (MSKA) which organize Kickball leagues in different regions.

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Brief History of Kickball

Kickball or Soccer baseball was introduced almost a century ago. It was Nicholas C. Seuss, a supervisor of Park Playgrounds in Cincinnati, Ohio, who is credited with the introduction of Kickball sport. He  wrote a book namely; “The Playground Book”, in 1917 and called this game as “Kick Baseball”.

In his ground breaking book, he introduced 12 rules of Kickball, including the replacement of baseball bat and hard ball with feet and soccer-like inflated rubber ball.

He also mentioned the diagram of the playing field of Kick Baseball that lacked pitcher. In the initial stages of the game, this game included less number of bases. Hence, more than one players could occupy one base simultaneously. There used to be two short stop positions between bases.

There was a time when physical teachers (PT) of different schools were given the training of Kick Baseball. Those teachers would later on pass this training to their students. Thus, this game became a crucial part of physical-cum-fun activities in different schools and beyond.

Game Objectives

In Kickball, the object of the players is to score more runs than opposite team at the end of a predetermined number of innings. To achieve this purpose, the players of kicking team kick the large inflated ball to their opponents one by one from the home plate and run to the bases without being tagged or their ball being caught.

If a player, before the end of his team’s innings, manages to pass all the three bases and reach “home plate” from where he first started his journey, his team gets one run. The more players manage to do it, the more runs their team scores.

On the other hand, the fielders of opposing team try to end the innings of kicking team by sending their three players out. This is done either by catching the ball being hit by the kickers or tagging a player, who is running towards the base, with the ball before he reaches his base.

Equipment Used in Kickball

As we have discussed that Kickball does not require rod-like bat as baseball and softball do. So, the first and foremost equipment in Kick baseball is a soccer-like inflated rubber ball.

This Kickball ball is 10 to 16 inches in diameter. It can be of any color but the red color is more common. Players should wear sport uniforms of two different colors to avoid confusion while playing the game. They should wear sport shoes without metal cleats.

In Kickball, your opponent will not come in your way when you kick the ball, so no need to wear shin guards. You do not need any safety kit in Soccer baseball. However, it is up to the players what else they wish to wear. But they should inform the referee before bringing anything harmful inside the field.

How to Play Kickball: 11 Important Rules of Kickball 

Kickball is played indoors as well as outdoors. Kickball indoor rules are similar to Kickball outdoor rules. The only difference between them is one is played on an enclosed court and the other is played outside, in the open sky.

Since this game emerged from the schools, there are intramural Kickball rules and grade schools Kickball rules. All these rules are similar and create negligible confusion. However, the following basic and detailed rules of Kickball will cater your needs to the fullest.

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Rule #1. Court Dimension

The field of Kickball significantly resembles the court of softball. It can be grassy, clayey or artificial turf, but has to be even and smooth. Its court is diamond-shaped and has 3 sequential bases (1st, 2nd & 3rd), a home plate and a pitcher mound in the center.

The distance between each base is 60 ft, while the distance between home plate and the 2nd base is about 84 ft and 10 ¼ inches. As for as the position of the pitcher is concerned, it is in the center and is 42 ft and 5 1/8 inches away from the home plate.

On a Kickball field, the pitcher mound is a throwing spot (an opposing player throws the ball from here) and the home plate is a kicking spot (a kicker kicks from here). Whereas, the bases are safe spots for the players of a kicking team.

All three bases and one home plate collectively make a square shape. Though this square is the tip of the iceberg, it’s the major playing area of Kickball where kicking, running and tagging take place. In addition to this playing square, the court also has two imaginary foul lines.

Both of these lines emerge from the home plate; one goes alongside the first base and beyond, the other foul line goes towards the second base and beyond. When a kicker kicks the ball, it must remain inside these foul lines. In case the ball goes beyond these lines, it is an infringement.

Apart from the square and foul lines, the area that stretches beyond the bases is responsible for giving the Kickball field a diamond shape. This area is also included in the playing field and most of the catching takes place in the area.

Rule #2. Team Composition

Being a team sport, Kickball needs 9 players in each team. However, some of the leagues allow as many as 12 players per team. When it comes to the recreational or informal matches, you can adjust as many players as you like. The players can be males, females or mixed.

Coming to the official matches, where only 9 players take up the field at a time. Both the teams should nominate their captains who will be responsible for controlling their players, assigning roles to them and holding talk with referee in case of any unjustifiable decisions.

Rule #3. Kickball Fielding Positions

The position of players is pivotal in Kickball. The fielding team has to make a judicious field set up to get the players of kicking team out as soon as possible. The recommended positioning is given here under:

A). Five Players should be out of the Playing Square

  • The fielding team should place its 5 fielders in the diamond area just out of playing square.
  • The first player should be near the 2nd base.
  • The second player should be at the right field position that is beyond 1st base.
  • The third player has to be between the 1st and 2nd base but near the boundary.
  • The fourth player needs to be between the 2nd and 3rd base but near the fence.
  • The last fielder has to be at the left field position that is beyond the 3rd base.
  • The basic aim of these fielders is either to catch the ball that is kicked by the kicker or to stop it and send back to the teammates who are inside the playing square.

B). Four Players should be inside the Playing Square

  • Out of remaining 4 players, 1 player has to be inside the pitcher to throw the ball to opposing team’s kicker and 1 player has to stand behind the kicker to catch the ball.
  • The positions of pitcher and catcher are permanently occupied.
  • The remaining 2 players should stand near two important bases.
  • One player should stand near 1st and the other at 3rd base to tag the players of kicking team before they reach these bases.

Rule #4. Kick Ball Kicking Position

The position of the players of kicking team is 4 bases, that includes home plate.

  • A player of kicking team has to kick the ball from the home plate and then run to the 1st base.
  • After him, a new player enters the home plate and does the same and runs to the 1st base.
  • Meanwhile the first player should move to the 2nd base.
  • This process goes on until a player reaches back to the home plate after passing three bases.

Rule #5. Duration of Kickball Match

A Kickball (Kick baseball) match lasts for maximum 55 minutes. It comprises 5 to 7 untimed innings or any other number of innings that is applicable in different leagues of Kickball.

In case the match ends in a tie after 7 innings, it will remain a tie if these innings have already consumed 50 minutes. However, an additional innings is played to determine the winner only if the seven innings have ended before 50 minutes and there is considerable time left.

Rule #6. Starting the Kickball Match

To start a Kickball match and decide which team kicks first, depends on either toss or “rock paper scissors”. The winner of the toss may choose kicking or fielding first.

After the final decision, one team (fielding team) takes position on playing field with all its players. Whereas, the other team (kicking team) stands outside of the playing area except the kicker. The kicking team has to send its one player initially to kick off the game. The game officially commences when the first kicker kicks the ball to his opponents.

Rule #7. Scoring Pattern in Kickball

The scoring pattern in Kickball is similar to that of baseball and softball. You score runs only while kicking the ball. To score runs, players of kicking team, after kicking the ball from home plate, have to pass all three bases and return safely to the home plate.

When a player of kicking team, without getting out, reaches to his home plate, his team scores 1 run. The more players accomplish this task, the more runs their team gets.

To win a Kickball match, you need to score more runs than your opposing team at the end of 7 innings. If a match ends in a draw, you are allowed an additional innings to finalize the winner provided the innings have not consumed 50 minutes. If these innings have wasted 50 minutes, an additional innings is not possible. So, the match remains tie.

Rule #8. Playing Procedure; How to Play Kickball?

There is no rocket science behind playing Kickball. It is really easy to play and digest its rules. If you are unaware of Kickball and willing to playing it, here is a step wise procedure to help you out.

Step 1

Firstly, arrange a big rubber ball (a soccer or volleyball ball will suffice), players to form two teams of equal number and a playing surface that has to be smooth and spacious.

Step 2

After you have managed all the above mentioned things, go for the toss to decide the kicking and fielding team. The team that wins the toss may choose kicking first and the other team enter the playing field with all the players to set up fielding.

Among fielding team’s players, one player should occupy the pitcher to throw the ball and one player must be behind the home plate to catch the ball.

Step 3

After the fielders have been positioned, the kicking team should send its first kicker to kick the ball that is thrown from the pitcher. The pitcher has to throw the ball with his hands by being inside the pitcher areas.

His throw must be low or grounded (without bounces) so that the kicker can kick it. Conversely, the kicker has to kick the ball by his foot or leg just below his hips. He has to be inside the home plate and do not over step.

Step 4

The goal of the kicker is to kick the ball and then go all the way around the bases and get back to home. When you kick the ball, the ball has to be in bounds or in playing area. There are two imaginary foul lines that emerge from home plate.

One line goes all the way to the right, along first base. The other line stretches all the way to the left, along third base. When you kick the ball it has to be in between these imaginary lines, otherwise the ball is out and causes a foul.

In case of such foul, the ball goes back to the pitcher and the person kicking it gets to try again and he gets as many foul kicks as he needs. This kicking goes on until the person kicks it in bounds or inside those imaginary lines.

Step 5

When the ball is thrown and the person kicks it and the kick is in bounds, that person then runs towards first base. The first base is to the right and you are always going to run to the right after you kick the ball. When the kicker successfully reaches the first base without being out, he completes his single.

After that he can now run from first base to second base (double) and then keeps going to third base (triple) and then all the way back around to home base (a run is completed).

If you are able to go all the way around the bases, you score a point. By the way, you do not have to go all the way around the bases in one kick, however, you might only get to first base or a second base and then you need to wait for one of your teammates to kick it and you can come all the way home.

[su_note note_color=”#b8fbc6″ text_color=”#190209″ radius=”0″]Note: a. You score runs only when you are kicking the ball. The fielding team can only send the players out so as to get the chance to kick the ball. Only one player can occupy the base at a time. [/su_note]

Step 6

The fielding team will try to send the players of kicking team out before they try to reach home plate and complete a run. They can send the players of kicking team out in three following ways:

Catching the Ball

If any of the fielders catches the ball, kicked by the opposing player, before the ball touches the ground, he is out. So, if the pitcher throws the ball to home and the kicker kicks it and somebody, from fielding team, catches it the kicker goes out.

When a fielder reaches the base with ball in hands, before kicking team’s player. The next way you can get out is if one of the fielders gets the ball to the base, you are heading to before you reach there. So, if this ball is kicked and that fielding player who gets the ball makes it to the base before the runner of kicking team, he is out.

Tagging

The third and last way that a player can get out is if he gets tagged with the ball while he is not on a base. So, if the ball is kicked and the player of fielding team gets the ball and tags a running player of kicking team with the ball, he goes out.

Note: The players, who has been sent out, should stand in the end of their team line. The fielding team can send two opponents out at a time. One by catching and other by tagging.

Step 7

You cannot neglect the importance of running in Kickball. When you run fast for the first time from home plate to the first base, you are allowed to run through the first base and may go beyond. This is the only exceptional base that is safe as house and offers you safety even if you cross it.

Other than first base, you should run and stop at the 2nd and 3rd bases. In case you step ahead or out, you may be tagged by the opponents. It addition to that, running directly towards the bases is also important.

You have to run from one base to the other in straight direction by imaging a line that runs straight as an arrow between all the bases. You are not allowed to run out of these straight imaginary lines to avoid being tagged.

Note: You can return to the base from where you just ran, after you see a potential threat of being tagged. However, your return depends on the base being unoccupied by your teammate.

Step 8

When the fielding team sends any three players of kicking team out, there ends the half of the innings. Now, the role of teams shifts. Previously fielding team becomes the kicking team and the kicking team acts as fielding team. The game continues in the same fashion until three players are sent out.

Step 9

Generally, a Soccer baseball match lasts for 5 to 7 innings. The team scoring more runs at the end of these innings, wins the match. In case of a tie, an extra innings is played if the time frame of the match permits. Otherwise, it remains as a draw.

Rule #9. Referee in Kickball

Kickball is officiated by one head referee who holds absolute authority and one assistant referee who assist the head referee in case he misses anything worthwhile. Before the start of match, head referee holds a brief meeting with the nominated captains of both the teams to clarify any special rules of the game.

He is also responsible for calling time-outs, calling off games, announcing fouls, penalizing players for malpractices, ruling out any run and keeping record of the final runs.

Rule #10. Fouls & Penalties in Kickball

Just like baseball and softball, Soccer baseball players also fall prey to infringements that lead to their ruin. These infractions sometimes cost them heavily and sometimes do no harm at all.

Let’s discuss those violations of Kickball rules that need to be avoided by players;

  • When a pitcher kicks the ball to the kicker instead of throwing it with hands.
  • Or when throwing the ball, the pitcher crosses the limits of pitcher area and comes half way to the kicker.
  • Or when the pitcher throws the ball in a way that comes directly to the kicker without touching the ground.
  • Or the pitcher throws the ball that comes bouncing towards the kicker and hits him above his hips.
  • When a kicker trespasses the home plate or hits the ball other than with his foot or leg.
  • When a kicker misses the ball and kicks it more than once.
  • A player has to kick the ball in a way that it remains inside the playing area, particularly within the foul lines. In case it trespasses the foul lines, the player is considered to have breached the laws of Kickball. If he does it thrice, he is sent out as result of penalty.
  • When a kicking player is disturbed by the catcher who stands behind him.
  • When a fielder try to prevent the runner from reaching to the base. However, he can tag him with the ball but cannot hold him without having ball in his hands.
  • When the runner runs astray. As per Kickball regulations, the runner has to run in straight direction from one base to the other.
  • When the runner goes beyond the 2nd and 3rd bases in a attempt to reach there as fast as possible.
  •  When two or more players occupy one base. As per Kickball rules, only one player can hold the base at a time.
  • When a player initiates unnecessary arguments with the referee and does not leave the field after being caught or tagged.”]

Rule #11. Strategies and Skills for Playing Kickball

Kick baseball demands less skills as compared to baseball and softball. You do not need to hold a bat and hit a speedy hard ball with fierce power. You also need not be afraid of being hit by the hard ball on your face, ribs, chin, or anywhere of your body, neither you worry of getting seriously injured. All you need is to apply following strategies and skills to beat your opponents.

Skills and Strategies for kicking team

A). Kicking Skills

This is probably the reason why Kickball is known as Soccer baseball. Just like soccer, you need to kick the ball to your opponents who would try to catch it and send you out as soon as possible. Here, you should kick the ball in a way that either it lands beyond the reach of the fielders or it goes grounded.

It is very necessary to be vigilant and have an hawk eye on the gapes where it is safe to send the ball. Another strategy that you can use is to kick the ball to the weak catcher in your opposite team.

B). Running Skills

It is the second most important skill for the kicking team. Remember, you can score runs only if you run from one base to the home. Without running it is absolutely needless to think of scoring. An energetic and fast runner is gem of the team.

He is the one who can steal runs for his team during a match. He runs fast and reaches the safe zones (bases) before the ball comes near to him. In contrast, a slow runner is always considered a weakling and remains on the target of opposite team.

Skills for the Fielding Team

Following are essential skills needed;

A). Catching skills

This skill is the game changer for fielding team. The players of fielding team should practice catching so as to hone this skill.

When they catch the ball of the kicker, he gets out instantly. As per rule, three outs result in the end of half innings and the shift of teams’ roles. To get the role of kicking team is vital since teams can score only while kicking.

B). Coordination & Communication while Tagging

The fielding team has to maintain an excellent communication. In case a fielder drops the catch or the ball falls out of his reach, he should grab the ball as soon as possible and throw to his teammate who is in an ideal position to tag an opponent. This can only be possible when players of fielding team showcase coordinating skills.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many player can play kickball?

In an official Kickball match, 9 players can take part. However, in a recreational or friendly match a team can have up to 12 players.

2. Can you throw the ball at someone in kickball?

Yes, you can throw the ball to your teammates while fielding. You can also throw the ball to running opponents to tag them and send them out.

3. What is continuous kickball?
Continuous Kickball is a variant of Kickball that follows the same rules except one. That one rule is “three outs”. In continuous Kickball, all the players of kicking team should kick the ball no matter how many of them get out. After all the players of kicking team have kicked the ball, the fielding team takes its turn.

4. Why is Kickball court called diamond-shaped?

Because the playing field of Kickball resembles a large diamond. It has a playing square of 4 bases which form the base of the diamond and the rest of the field forms the head of the diamond.

5. How do you score points in kickball?

To score runs, the players of kicking team have to kick the ball from home plate and run towards 1st, 2nd, 3rd and then to home plate without getting out by means of catch or tag. Only the kicking team can score runs.

6. How many innings in kickball?

A Kickball match has 5 to 7 innings.

7. Is Kickball a professional sport?

Kickball started as a sport of school kids and youngster who might, later on, join baseball as their profession. However, it is getting popular by leaps and bounds.

8. Is Kickball an Olympic sport?

No, it is not an Olympic sport.

9. What was Kickball originally called?

Originally, Kickball was called “Kick baseball” by its creator, Nicholas C. Seuss.

10. What is the place of origin of Kick baseball?

It is Cincinnati, Ohio.

11. What is MSKA Kickball?

MSKA is a famous Kickball league that is played by females. MSKA stands for Military Spouse Kickball Association.

12. What is a single in kickball?

When a player of kicking team reaches the 1st base without getting caught or tagged, it is called a single.

13. What is a triple in kickball?

When a player of kicking team reaches the 3rd base without getting tagged in the way, it is called a triple.

Conclusion

Kickball though looks like baseball and softball, its popularity is not overshadowed by these two seemingly dominant sports. Kickball continues to captivate players and audience worldwide. Kick baseball’s being less demanding and risk free, has made it more popular among kids, youngsters and adults alike.

Hopefully, you must have known everything about this fascinating game after going through this equally brilliant article on Kickball rules. Enjoy Kickball!

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