How to play Kickball

How to play Kickball

Your friends just invited you to a kickball game, and you want to know how to play kickball? With this easy kickball guide, you’ll be familiar with the sport in no time.

From the basics of the game to tactics and tips, this guide covers all the essentials in just a few easy steps.

However, learning how to play kickball is only the first step – be sure to review the rules of kickball to ensure you are playing correctly.

What is kickball?

Kickball is a team sport similar to baseball and softball, known by different names in various regions such as soccer baseball, Chinese baseball, and California kickball in Canada, and football rounder in the United Kingdom.

Popular among children and adults, this fast-paced sport enables players to develop skills like teamwork, hand-eye coordination, and quick running.

How to play kickball

Gather, find, or join a group of people who want to play kickball. You need somewhere between 16 and 20 people.
Divide all people into two teams with an even number of players on each one. There are no rules to follow when the two teams are formed.However, each team must field at least 8 and up to a maximum of 10 players, according to the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA).The ideal situation is to have 18 players, which means 9 players per team.
Each team must establish:

  • the position for each player when playing as the defensive or offensive team
  • the kicking order when playing as the offensive or kicking team
When it is clear to everybody what position they will play, it is time to decide which team starts. This can be done by simple agreement or methods like tossing a coin or playing rock-paper-scissors.The team that loses must go into the field and play defense. This team is called the defensive or fielding team.Each player on the defensive team must place themselves in the position established before the game.
The team that wins possession of the ball is known as the offensive or kicking team. All players of the offensive team must line up for their turn to kick the ball.
Once the teams are in position, the first kicker must step up to the home base.
The pitcher from the defensive team rolls the ball toward the first kicker. The pitcher must roll the ball on the ground.
Once the kicker has kicked the ball, they must immediately run towards first base. If the kicker has exceptional running skills, they may be able to make it to second or third base on their first hit.

How many bases are in kickball? In kickball, there are four bases: the first base, the second base, the third base, and the home base.

The kicker must touch a base before the defensive team has control of the ball and steps on the base, or before a defensive player touches the kicker with the ball.

At the same time that the kicker starts running towards the first base, the defensive team tries to catch the ball in the air and quickly passes it to one of their players guarding a base. The defensive team can get the kicker out by either catching the ball and touching a base with it or by tagging the kicker with the ball before they reach a base. Before getting to the next step, let’s define the kickball tag.

So, what is a tag up in kickball? A tag in kickball is when a player of the defensive team touches a runner with the ball before they reach a base safely. If a runner is tagged before reaching a base, they are considered out. Tags can be made by any player of the defensive team who has possession of the ball.

If the defensive team catches the ball in the air and touches a base before the kicker reaches it, the kicker is out.If the defensive team catches the ball in the air and tags the kicker with the ball before the kicker reaches a base, the kicker is out.
If the kicker reaches a base safely, they remain in the game and can continue running towards second, third, and ultimately home base when their teammates kick the ball.
A player can move to the next base when another player from their team kicks the ball.
The defensive team must keep trying to eliminate players on the offensive team by catching the ball and reaching a base or tagging the runner before he/she reaches a base.
The game goes on like this until the defensive team eliminates three players from the offensive team, which is called “three outs”.
Once three players on the offensive team are eliminated, the teams switch roles. The team that was previously on defense will now be on offense and will have their turn to kick the ball. The team that was previously on offense will now be on defense and must guard the bases.
Once both teams complete their turn at bat, the first inning finishes.
The game will carry for 7 innings.

The team with the highest score at the end of those 7 innings wins the game.

How to play slip-and-slide kickball

Kickball also exists in another version, which is played on water, not literally but more figuratively.

So, how do you play water kickball?

Water kickball or slip-and-slide kickball follows the same steps as regular kickball, but it’s a little more slippery.

This type of kickball is played on a field of the same size as regular kickball, with the pathways to the four bases made of plastic sheeting sprinkled with water or supplied with a continuous water source.

Additionally, the four bases are represented by four pools in which the players must land.

Slip-and-slide kickball sounds like a perfect activity for a hot summer day, right?

Kickball Positions

To become familiar with kickball, it’s vital to understand and recognize the players’ positions on the field. Knowing the positions can help you understand the game and how to play it better.

In kickball, there are a total of nine player positions. These are:

  • Pitcher (P)
  • Catcher (C)
  • First Baseman (1B)
  • Second Baseman (2B)
  • Third Baseman (3B)
  • Shortstop (SS)
  • Center Fielder (CF)
  • Right Fielder (RF)
  • Left Fielder (LF)

The center, right, and left fielders are also known as outfielders because they play in the outfield.

Kickball Positions

Now, let’s find out more about these kickball positions.


The pitcher is a defensive player who stands on the pitching rubber, which is located in the center of the field.

The pitching rubber is a rectangular rubber mat. The pitcher must stay behind the pitching rubber when throwing the ball to the kicker. In some cases, the pitcher can be involved in throwing out runners or guarding the first base.


In kickball, the catcher is the player who stands behind the home base and awaits the ball thrown by the pitcher.

Their main responsibility is to catch the ball kicked by the opposing team after the pitcher throws it. The catcher may also help in throwing out runners by passing the ball to one of their teammates at a base.

(1B, 2B, 3B)First, Second, and Third Baseman

All basemen in kickball are responsible for covering their bases.

The first baseman must take care of the first base, the second baseman of the second base, and the third baseman of the third base.

The first base is located on the right side of the field, and the first baseman stands close to it. The second base is located in the infield, and the second baseman stands between the first base and second base. The third baseman stands close to the third base, which is located on the left side of the field.

Apart from guarding the base, the second baseman may also be responsible for holding runners on or making pickoff attempts. Occasionally, the third baseman may be involved in bunting situations.


The shortstop player is located in the infield between the second and third base.

This position is responsible for covering the entire area between these two bases, catching balls hit in that area, and throwing them back to the basemen.


The center, right, and left fielders can be found in the outfield.

They cover the outfield from the center, left, and right. They have to catch the ball hit in their direction and pass it to one of the basemen.

How to kick a kickball?

Kicking the ball is a vital part of playing kickball. To advance around the bases and help your teammates already on base, you need to know how to kick the ball effectively to buy enough time to run.

As a kicker, your main goal is to make it incredibly difficult for the defensive team to catch the ball, allowing you and your teammates to advance to home base.

So, how to kick a kickball? To kick a kickball you have to practice two types of kicks:

  1. bunting
  2. kicking the ball far away

1. Bunting in kickball

Now, you may ask, ok, but what’s bunting in kickball?

Bunting is a kickball technique where the ball is kicked by a kicker in a spot where the defensive team cannot easily catch it.

Bunting is a technique used in kickball where a player kicks the ball in a spot where the defensive team cannot easily catch it.

This technique involves kicking the ball low and hard along the ground, making it difficult for the defense to make a play. This gives time to the kicker to run to first base and for other teammates or runners to advance to home base.

So, how to bunt a kickball?

To bunt a kickball, you must follow a set of step-by-step instructions and practice them until you achieve perfection.

Here are some tips on how to bunt a kickball:

  • Take your position behind the kicker’s box, facing toward the center of the field where the pitcher is situated.
  • As the pitcher approaches the ball, take a small step forward.
    **Tip: try to run toward the ball to improve your speed. This helps you be faster when you make contact with the ball. It is a difficult technique to run toward another object that moves, but it improves your speed.
  • Lean your body towards the ball, keeping your chest over the ball.
  • Raise your kicking leg and lock your angle. Use the inside of your foot to kick the ball.
  • Pay attention to how strong the pitch is. If the pitcher throws the ball with high speed, you might want to pull slightly the foot back.
  • Aim for the upper middle part of the ball to achieve a bunt.

Try to practice as much as you can to perfect your bunting skills in kickball.

2. Kicking the ball really far

Now that you know about bunting, let’s teach you how to kick the ball really far.

To kick the ball really far on the court, you need to take a big swing at the ball and make contact with the top part of your shoe, specifically the area where the laces are.

Your kicking foot should be pointed straight, while your toe should be pointing down. By using the top part of your shoe, you can generate more power and send the ball further down the field.

Be sure your kick is also accurate and try to aim for an open area.

Kickball Tips

Every kickball player wants to know how to be good at kickball. To be good at kickball, it’s essential to learn the basics, such as the correct ball-kicking technique, and to apply different tips and tactics to master this sport.

Kickball is similar to any other sport, where small tricks and techniques can surprise your opponent and give you an edge.

Below are some kickball tips to help you take your skills to the next level. Apply them whenever you’re on the field and gain an advantage over your opponents.

  1. Warm up before the game starts.

    To prepare, you should stretch or exercise to warm up your muscles. Warm muscles are more flexible and agile than cold, rigid ones.

  2. Analyze the field.

    When playing kickball, it’s important to analyze the field and your opponents.

    If you’re in the runner position, take note of where the opposing team has its strongest players and try to kick the ball to a spot where you see a weakness. By doing this, you’ll have more time to run to the base and increase your chances of getting there safely.

  3. Know when to bunt.

    Knowing when to bunt can make a big difference in the game. If you’re in the kicker position and there are no runners on the other bases, it’s a good time to bunt. When bunting, try to kick the ball between the pitcher, catcher, and third baseman.

    Why third baseman? Because they are so far away from the first base they won’t be able to tag you from there.

    However, if you already have runners on third and second base, it’s important to consider them and not use this strategy as it may put them in a disadvantageous position.

  4. Know when to kick high.

    High balls are generally easy to catch by the defensive team in kickball. However, there are certain situations where a high kick can be beneficial.

    One such situation is when you have 2 runners on different bases and maybe 1 out. In this case, kicking the ball high gives your teammates time to advance to the next base and possibly even make it to home base.

  5. Block the kicker from bunting.

    If you are in the pitcher position during a kickball game, it’s important to prevent the kicker from bunting.

    One effective way to do this is by throwing the ball really fast toward the kicker. This decreases the kicker’s chances of achieving a good bunt and increases your team’s chances of getting out players.

    So, if you want to block the kicker from bunting, focus on throwing fast and accurate pitches.

  6. Play as an outfielder if you are a beginner.

    If you are a beginner in kickball, the outfield positions (left field, center field, and right field) are great positions to start with.

    This is because you’ll have the opportunity to observe the game more closely and understand how the basemen guard their bases.

    As an outfielder, you’ll not receive as many balls as the other players, so you have more time to learn by observing others.

  7. Keep your team’s needs in mind.

    When it’s your turn to bat, check what your team is doing on the field. Remember, kickball is a team sport, so your main goal should always be to help your team score points.

    If you notice that your team has a runner in the third base, this means he/she is very close to scoring. In this situation, aim to kick the ball toward the other side of the field, specifically between first and second base.

    This will give your teammate a better chance to run to home base and score a point for your team.

  8. If you have possession of the ball, throw it.

    As an outfielder in kickball, it’s crucial to act fast once you catch the ball. Your main goal is to prevent the runner from making it safely to the base, so make sure to throw the ball immediately to the baseman.

    By doing this, you don’t give the runner any time to advance, and you increase your team’s chances of getting a player out.


How many people are on a kickball team?

A kickball team can have a minimum of eight 8 people and a maximum of 10 for a game to start. This number is in accordance with what the official association of Kickball states.

Can you steal bases in kickball?

No, you can not steal bases in kickball.

According to WAKA, stealing is not allowed. All runners must wait for the ball to be kicked by the kicker before leaving the base.

Can you throw the ball in kickball?

Yes, you can throw the ball in kickball.

The pitcher can throw the ball to the kicker, the fielders can throw the ball to tag runners, and the basemen can throw the ball to other players to get runners out.

Is kickball like baseball?

Yes, kickball is like baseball.

These two sports share some similarities. However, kickball also has some unique aspects that set it apart from baseball.

How many innings are there in kickball?

There are 7 innings in kickball when playing by WAKA rules.

But the number of innings can vary depending on the league and organization. For example, in other leagues, the number of innings can range from 3 to 9.

How to catch a kickball?

To catch a ball, you should position yourself correctly, staying back, keeping your eyes on the ball, raising both hands in a diamond shape, and running to the ball if necessary.

By creating a diamond or basket with your hands, you will cushion the ball when it makes contact with your arms. This will prevent you from dropping it.

How long are kickball games?

Kickball games can last from 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the league and organization.

For instance, the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) specifies that kickball games can consist of up to 7 innings and should not exceed 55 minutes in duration.

Kickball Terms

  • Pitcher – the kickball player that is located in the center of the court and rolls the ball to the kicker.
  • Kicker/ kicker – the kicker is also known as the kicker. This is the kickball player who kicks the ball thrown by the pitcher.
  • Base – one of the four markers that the runners must touch in order (first base, second base, third base, and home base) to score a run.
  • Foul ball – the ball that lands outside the foul lines of the kickball court. The foul line can be marked by cones, flags, or other types of markers.
  • Tag out – when a runner is touched with the ball by one of the players of the opponent’s team while off a base.
  • Bunt – a ball kicked very softly by the kicker.
  • Inning – a unit of play used when each team takes the turn to kick the ball and play defense in the field.
  • Pitch – the act of throwing the ball to the kicker or kicker.
  • Strike – a ball that the kicker misses, or he/she does not kick according to the rules (example: kicking the ball by crossing the home base square-shaped plate)
  • Outfield – the area of the playing field beyond the infield.
  • Lead off – the action of a baserunner in which they prepare to advance to another base by taking a few steps away from their current base before the ball is kicked.

Related video:

Now that you know how to play kickball, simply gather your kickball equipment and enjoy the game.

Have fun!

– World Kickball Association /
– The Playground Book /

About the author: Jackson

I wasn’t always a sporty guy, and for the most part of my life the only exercise I got was walking my dog twice a day.

That wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t enough either and one day I decided I needed to do something about my fitness level, which was pretty lamentable by every standard. Keep reading ...

Leave a Comment