The Rules of Kickball

The Rules of Kickball
For all new and intermediate players, I have created a quick guide to the rules of kickball to help you understand them quickly.

In case you are not familiar with this game but want to learn more, you can go through my previous article where I show you how to play kickball in a few steps.

I suggest you also take a look at the short and simple definitions of terms specific to this sport so that you can navigate easily through the rules.

Now let’s see where the kickball rules are.

Kickball Start Game Rules

  • There should be a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 20 people to start a kickball game.
  • The people need to be divided into two equal teams.
  • The game starts with a coin toss to determine which team gets to kick first.
  • The team that wins the coin toss gets to choose whether they want to kick first or defend first.
  • The offensive team lines up on the kicking line, while the defending team covers the entire field.

Kickball Field Rules

  • The field must be situated in a safe and appropriate area.
  • The kickball field has a diamond shape with two equal sides.
  • The sides of the square-shaped diamond are 60 feet in length.
  • Between home base to second base and first base to third base must be a distance of 84 feet.
  • The pitching strip must be situated in the center of the diamond, approximately 42 feet away from the home base and in line with the first and third base diagonal.
  • The sidelines are defined by two lines that are parallel to the foul lines and located 10 feet beyond them.
  • The area between foul lines and sidelines is considered a sideline area.
  • The corners of the first, second, and third base can be marked with cones. The cones should not touch the base.
  • The front of the kicking box must be aligned with the front of the home base: the back of the kicking box must be aligned with the sideline cones behind the home base.
  • The kicker is not obligated to start in the kicking box, but he/she can kick the ball within the kicking box area.
  • The strike zone has a pentagon shape: its front zone must be situated in front of the home base;

Extra base on the kickball field

  • It is allowed to set up an optional extra base next to the official first base.
  • The optional extra base can be used by runners starting from the home base.
  • The fielders must touch the first base in the fair part of the field to get a player out of the game. If the fielder toucher the extra base and prevents the runner from touching the official first base, the runner is considered safe.
  • When a player tries to get to first base and touches the Extra Base before being called “safe,” they will be called out.
  • When a runner touches the first base, then he/she is safe. The runner must start the next play from the first base. If the runner stands or touches the extra base at the beginning of the next play, he will be out of the game.
  • No optional extra bases can be used for the other bases on the field.
  • No one is allowed to stay on the sideline when the kicker prepares to kick the ball.

Kickball Equipment Rules

  • All players must wear athletic clothes.
  • All players must wear athletic shoes. Players are not allowed to wear metal cleats.
  • Players are allowed to wear protective equipment, as long as it doesn’t offer them an unfair performance advantage.
  • All kickball games must be played with the official kickball. The official kickball is the red WAKA Kickball that has a 10-inch diameter.

Kickball Referee Rules

  • Each kickball game must have at least one authorized official, who is known as the head referee.
  • When possible, the game can have two officials: a head referee and a first base referee.
  • The head referee can take final decisions and has complete control over the game.
  • The referee can call a timeout.
  • The referee can call off a game due to weather conditions.
  • The referee can penalize a player that does not follow the rules.
  • The referee keeps the record of the game score.

Kickball Teams’ Rules

  • Each kickball game must have two teams – a fielding team and a kicking team.
  • Each team must have at least eight and no more than 10 players. This number includes one pitcher and one catcher.
  • Each team must have a captain and one co-captain.
  • The captain is the one that can discuss with the head referee. The captain must respect the head referee’s final decision.

Kickball Base Coaches’ Rules

  • Two players from the kicking team must supervise the first and third base.
  • Base coaches are not allowed to offer physical support to runners during live gameplay.

Regulation Games

  • Each kickball game can last 7 innings or no more than 55 minutes.
  • If the score is a tie at the end of the game, then the game is marked as a tie.
  • If the home team is ahead at the end of the last inning, the game is over and that team wins.
  • If the home team takes the lead during the last inning, the game ends and the home team wins.
  • All innings that begin prior to the 50-minute mark must be completed before the 55-minute mark.

Pitching, Catching, and Fielding Rules

  • The ball must be pitched by hand.
  • All players must be situated in the right positions on the field during the game. If the team’s players are not properly positioned, the team will receive a warning called a Position Warning.
  • Fielders must be situated behind the first, second, and third diagonal.
  • The pitcher must throw the ball with a least one foot within the pitching mound.
  • The front foot of the pitcher cannot go beyond the front edge of the pitching strip.
  • The catcher should be positioned behind the kicker and within or behind the kicking box, parallel to the front edge of the home base.
  • The catcher must not make physical contact with the kicker. The catcher is also not allowed to stand in a position that may impede the kicker from hitting the ball.

Kickball Kicking Rules

  • All kicks must be made by foot or leg.
  • A ball hit by any part of the body below the hip level is considered a valid kick.
  • A ball must be kicked only at or behind home base. The kicker is allowed to step on the kicking box when hitting the ball.
  • The kicker must keep their foot behind the front edge of the home base at all times.

Kickball Running and Scoring Rules

  • All runners must stay within the baseline.
  • If a runner is not on the baseline, they are considered out.
  • When running between the bases, the runners are free to choose their own route.
  • Runners are allowed to change their route to avoid obstructing a fielder who is trying to make a play.
  • Fielders are allowed to enter the baseline when necessary
  • Fielders should not enter the baseline if not making an active play for the ball.
  • Runners hindered by a fielder within the baseline who is not making an active play for the ball shall be safe at the base they were running to.
  • Runners can advance beyond the base they were initially running while the ball is still in play.
  • None of the teams have the right to steal a base. Stealing is not allowed in kickball.
  • In kickball, it is not allowed to hit a runner in the neck or head with the ball, except during a slide.
  • If a runner is hit in the neck or head, they are considered safe at the base they were running toward when the ball hit them.
  • Runners are not allowed to use their head or neck to block the ball. If this happens, the referee will call the player out.
  • Runners who run from the home base can go beyond first base, and will only be out if they try to go to second base and get tagged.
  • If a runner tries to pass another runner, they will be called out.
  • A team scores when a runner touches the home base before the third out is made.

Kickball Strikes Rules

  • A strike is defined as a pitch that is not kicked or an attempted kick missed by the kicker.
  • Foul balls are not considered strikes.

kickball Fouls

  • Foul balls are not considered strikes, but three fouls will result in an out.
  • A foul ball is:
    • a ball that lands outside the field of play in foul territory
    • a kicked ball that touches a fielder or referee in foul territory, while the ball is still in foul territory
    • a kicked ball that touched the ground in foul territory before crossing 1st or 3rd base, even if it lands in fair territory
    • a kicked ball that lands in fair territory, but then touches a fielder or referee in the foul territory
    • a ball that is hit with a part of the body above the hip level
    • a ball that is touched more than once or stopped in the kicking box
    • a ball that is kicked by the kicker outside the kicking box

Kickball Out Rules

  • Any runner who is off base and either touches the ball or is touched by the ball while the ball is in play is out.
  • Any runner or kicker that interferes with the ball is out.
  • A runner who has left the base before the ball is kicked is considered out.
  • A runner help physically by a team member is out of the game.
  • A kicker who does not start from the correct position is automatically out.
  • A runner that passes another runner is out.
  • A runner touched by the ball while outside a base is out.

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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 ...

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