KICKBALL AT A GLANCE
Kickball is a simple game consisting of two teams, bases, and a big red ball. Played like baseball, the object is to score more runs than the opposing team. In short, games are played with 8 fielders, 7 innings (if time allows), 2 base coaches, bouncies, no head shots, one base on an overthrow, forced outs, and no ghost men. The following rules will govern all kickball games. For the enjoyment of all, proper respect and civility is required of all participants toward one another. Fighting is not allowed or tolerated.
PLAYING FIELD AND EQUIPMENT
THE PLAYING FIELD
1.01 The kickball diamond is a square with equal sides of 60 feet or about 20 paces with a base at each corner; The distance from home plate to second base and from first base to third base is 84 feet 10 1/4 inches or about 26 paces. The distance between any base and home plate shall be measured from the back corner of each; The pitching strip is in the center of the diamond, 42 feet 5 1/8 inches or about 14 paces from home plate, and directly aligned with the 1st-3rd base diagonal; The kicking box is a rectangle with the front of the box by home plate. The kicker is not required to start in the kicking box, however the kick must occur within the kicking box (see Rule 9.02b). The foul lines are fair territory.
1.02 The strike zone is a three-dimensional irregular pentagon based on the shape of home plate and is one (1) foot in height. The front of the zone aligns with the front of home plate. The sides of the zone extend one (1) foot to either side of the plate. The back edges of the zone are one (1) foot from the back sides of the plate (see Diagram 4). The strike zone may not be marked by cones or other raised objects.
1.03 All participants must respect and obey all rules and regulations pertaining to the field used for games.
1.04 Any player wholly or partly in fair territory is an extension of fair territory. Any live base runner outside the kicking box is fair, even when wholly in foul territory. A player jumping from fair territory is in fair territory while in the air. A player in foul territory does not extend foul territory by jumping or reaching into fair territory.
1.05 If an Extra Base is used by 1st base:
- The Extra Base is only available for runners traveling from home plate (see Rule 10.06);
- Fielders trying to make an out on first base must touch the base in fair territory (the First Base). Runners hindered by a fielder touching the base in foul territory (the Extra Base), will be safe;
- When a play is attempted at first base, a runner who touches the First Base prior to being called safe at the Extra Base shall be called out, except under the exception in Rules 1.05f and 1.05g;
- Once a runner has reached first base safely the runner must start the next play on the First Base. Any runner standing on or touching the Extra Base at the beginning of the next play will be out;
- No additional base may be used at any other base;
- The Runner is permitted to use the First Base if avoiding collision with a fielder in foul territory. In this event, the fielder in foul territory is permitted to tag the Extra Base (see Rule 14.02o);
- The runner may use First Base if attempting to advance to Second Base, or if there is no fielder on First Base. A runner (see Rule 1.05a) using or touching First Base in any other circumstance is out.
2.01 While participating, players must properly wear the official athletic clothing designated for their use.
2.02 Athletic shoes are required. NO cleats are not allowed.
2.03 Players may wear protective equipment providing it does not offer the wearer an unfair performance advantage. Any equipment deemed by the Players Staff (see Rule 3.01) as a performance enhancement must be removed or the player will be removed from play.
2.04 All player attire is an extension of the player.
3. GAME OFFICIATING
3.01 Games must be self officiated with the “for the love of the game” spirit in mind.
3.02 Prior to each game, the Captains of each team meet, to address any ground rules in effect, to exchange team lineups (see Rule 4.01), and to identify the designated Captains who will be authorized to discuss calls during the game (see Rule 5.03).
4. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
4.01 All participating players must appear on written lineups, reflecting that game’s kicking order, to be exchanged between the captains of each team before play begins.
4.02 A claim of improper kicking order must be made to the opposing captain who will make the final determination. Such a claim must contain two parts: 1) that the written kicking order was exchanged in accordance with Rule 4.01; 2) that the claim is made on the field no sooner than the first pitch thrown to the accused “wrong” kicker, and no later than the first pitch thrown to the subsequent kicker. The burden of proof rests with the accused team. Any resulting play is nullified by a finding of improper kicking order, with an out recorded for the “wrong” kicker (see Rule 14.02i). A player removed from the kicking order for ejection, injury, illness, or any reason (per Rule 16.02) does not constitute an improper kicking order.
4.03 Weekly Rosters must include a minimum of 3 female players, 2 must be on the field and all players present rotate into the batting order.
5.01 Each game shall have two (2) participating teams: the Away team, which kicks first each inning, and the Home team, which kicks last each inning.
5.02 While fielding, each team must field at least six (6) and no more than eight (8) players. This must include one pitcher and one catcher at all times during the game.
5.03 For a given game, each team shall have one Captain and one Co-Captain (collectively “the Captains”) who are jointly responsible for the team. The Captains may discuss calls with the opposing Captains. Other players besides the Captains that dispute calls with the Captains are subject to ejection from the game.
6. BASE COACHES
6.01 Two members of the team at kick may coach first and third base, switching as needed with other team members to remain in the proper written kicking order.
6.02 Base coaches may not physically assist runners while the ball is in play (see Rule 14.02h).
7. REGULATION GAMES
7.01 Regulation games last seven (7) innings or no more than 40 minutes.
- In the event of a tie score at the end of the game, the game shall be marked as a tie.
- If the Home team (see Rule 5.01) already leads the game when the bottom of the final inning is reached, that team wins the game instantly and the game is over.
- If the Home team (see Rule 5.01) takes the lead during the bottom of the final inning, that team wins instantly and the game is over.
- No new inning may begin 35-minutes past the scheduled start time of a game. Any inning that has begun before the 35-minute mark may be completed in its entirety as long as it does not exceed 40 minutes. Any game still in progress at the 40-minute mark shall be called due to time and the final score will revert back to the previous completed inning (see Rule 7.02).
7.02 A game that is called off for time, the game score at the end of the last full inning shall determine the winner. Regulation games called off that end in a tie shall be marked as a tie.
8. PITCHING, CATCHING AND FIELDING
8.01 Balls must be pitched by hand. There are no restrictions on pitching style.
8.02 Proper Field Position must be maintained by all fielders while a pitch is in progress, and until the pitched ball reaches the kicker. Failure to be properly positioned will result in a Position Warning to the team that caused the infraction. The team’s second and each subsequent Position infraction by that team that game will result in the kicker being awarded first base regardless of the outcome of the kick.
Proper Field Position is —
- for Fielders: All fielders besides the catcher must remain in fair territory behind the 1st-3rd base diagonal;
- for Pitchers: – The pitcher must start the act of pitching with at least one foot within the pitching mound (see Rule 1.01d); – The pitcher must have at least one foot on or directly behind the pitching strip (see Rule 1.01c) when releasing the ball; – No part of the pitcher’s front foot may be in front of or across the front edge of the pitching strip.
- for Catchers: – The catcher must be positioned within or directly behind the kicking box and behind the horizontal plane of the kicker, parallel to the front edge of home plate. – The catcher may not make contact with the kicker, nor position so closely to the kicker as to restrict the kicking motion. – The kicker may not trigger a position violation through maneuvers to be deliberately tricky or unsportsmanlike.
9.01 All kicks must be made by foot or leg, below hip level (see Rule 13.02e). Any ball touched by the foot or leg below hip level is a kick.
9.02 All kicks must occur:
- at or behind home plate. The kicker may step on home plate to kick, however no part of the planted foot may be in front of or cross the front edge of the home plate (see Rule 13.02g).
- within the kicking box (see Rule 1.01g). The kicker must have at least a portion of the plant foot within the kicking box during the kick (see Rule 13.02g). The kicker may line up outside of the kicking box.
10. RUNNING AND SCORING
10.01 Runners must stay within the baseline. Any runner outside the baseline is out (see Rule 14.02k):
- Runners may choose their path from one base to the next, and may follow a natural running arc;
- Runners are free to change course to avoid interference with a fielder making a play;
- When attempting to avoid a ball tag, runners may move no more than 4 feet out of their established path.
10.02 Obstruction. Fielders may be within the baseline when doing so is necessary to make an active play on the ball, but must otherwise stay out of the baseline. Runners hindered by any fielder within the baseline, not making an active play for the ball, shall be safe at the base to which they were running. Runners may choose to advance beyond this base while the ball is still in play.
10.03 Neither leading off base, nor stealing a base is allowed. A runner may advance once the ball is kicked. A runner off base when the ball is kicked is out (see Rule 14.02g).
10.04 Hitting a runner’s neck or head with the ball is not allowed, except when the runner is sliding. Any runner hit in the neck or head shall be considered safe at the base they were running toward when the ball hits the runner. If the runner intentionally uses the head or neck to block the ball, the runner is out.
10.05 A tag-up is a requirement to retouch or stay on a base until a kicked then caught ball is first touched by a fielder. After a tag-up a runner may advance. A runner failing to tag-up as required is out (see Rule 14.02f).
10.06 All ties will go to the runner. Runners traveling from home plate may overrun first base, and may only be tagged out if actively attempting to advance to second base.
10.07 Base Running on Overthrows;
- an overthrow is a ball thrown, kicked, or deflected into foul territory while making a defensive play toward a player or base;
- a runner may advance only one base beyond the base the runner is on or running toward when the ball travels into foul territory;
- one base on an overthrow is a restriction on the runner – not an automatic right for the runner to advance;
- if any fielder attempts to make an out prior to returning the ball to the pitcher, runners may commence base running.
10.08 Running past another runner is not allowed. The passing runner is out (see Rule 14.02j).
10.09 A run scores when a runner touches home plate before the third out is made, EXCEPT that no run can score when the third out is made during a force play situation, or when the kicker is put out before touching first base. At the end of a game the team with the most runs wins.
10.10 When a base is displaced during play, any runner is safe while in contact with the base’s original and correct location. All displaced bases should be restored at the end of each play (see Rule 1.01b).
11.01 A count of three (3) strikes is an out.
11.02 A strike is:
- a pitch that is not kicked and is not called a ball per Rule 12.03, that enters any part of the strike zone (see Rule 1.02);
- an attempted kick missed by the kicker inside or outside of the strike zone (see Rule 1.02).
11.03 Foul balls never count as strikes.
12.01 A count of four (4) balls advances the kicker to first base, with the exception of four-pitch walks (see rule 12.02).
12.02 During a single plate appearance, if a kicker is walked on exactly four pitches, without being pitched any strikes (see Rule 11) or any resulting foul balls (see Rule 13.02), the kicker will be awarded a walk of two bases. Base runners shall only advance as far as they are forced by the kicker proceeding through 1st base to 2nd base.
12.03 A ball is:
- a pitch outside of the strike zone where a kick is not attempted (see Rule 1.02);
- a pitched ball that does not touch the ground at least twice or roll before reaching the kicking box;
- a pitched ball that exceeds one foot in height from the bottom of the ball as it enters the kicking box;
- a pitched ball that exceeds one foot in height from the bottom of the ball at any time while passing through the kicking box, prior to reaching the kicker;
- a pitched ball that is higher than one foot at the plate.
13. FAIRS AND FOULS
13.01 A count of three (3) fouls is an out. Foul balls never count as strikes.
13.02 A foul ball is:
- a kicked ball first touching the ground in foul territory (see Rule 1.01h);
- a kicked ball first touching a fielder wholly in foul territory, while the ball is over foul territory (see Rule 1.04);
- a kicked ball landing in fair territory, but touching the ground in foul territory on its own at any time before crossing 1st or 3rd base (see Rule 1.01h);
- a kicked ball landing in fair territory, then entering foul territory before crossing 1st or 3rd base, and touching a fielder or Referee wholly in foul territory (see Rule 1.01h, Rule 1.04);
- a ball put into play with any part of the kicker’s body at or above the kicker’s hip level (see Rule 9.01);
- a kicked ball touched more than once or stopped in the kicking box by the kicker;
- a kicked ball first kicked outside of the kicking box (see Rule 9.02);
- a kicked ball first touching a permanent object, such as the net, wall or glass
- a kicked ball first touching a fielder in front of the kicker’s box prior to the ball crossing into fair territory.
- a kicked ball by a male player that comes to a full stop prior to crossing the 1st-3rd diagonal line without first being touched by a defensive player.
13.03 A fair ball is:
- a kicked ball landing and remaining in fair territory (see Rule 1.04);
- a kicked ball landing in fair territory then traveling into foul territory at or beyond 1st or 3rd base (see Diagram 3A, 3B).
- a kicked ball first touching a player in fair territory (see Rule 1.04);
- a kicked ball landing in fair territory, then touched by a participant in fair territory before touching the ground in foul territory (see Rule 1.04);
- a kicked ball that touches a runner before touching the ground in foul territory (see Rule 1.04);
- a kicked ball that touches the kicker once outside the kicking box before touching the ground in foul territory (see Rule 1.04);
- a kicked ball by a male player that touches a defender prior to reaching the 1st-3rd diagonal line.
14.01 A count of three (3) outs by a team completes the team’s half of the inning.
14.02 An out is:
- a count of three (3) strikes or three (3) fouls;
- any kicked ball (fair or foul) that is caught by a fielder. Any part of the ball may incidentally touch the ground during the act of catching and still be ruled an out if the fielder first displays full control of the ball and maintains control after touching the ground;
- a Force Out, being the tag by any part of a fielder’s body of a base to which a runner is forced to run, before the runner arrives at the base, while the fielder has control of the ball. The ball may be touching the ground if the fielder displays full control of the ball while simultaneously tagging the base;
- a runner touched by the ball or who touches the ball at any time while not on base while the ball is in play; no throwing the ball the fielder’s is allowed
- a kicker or runner that interferes with the ball (see Rules 15.02b and c);
- a tag off a base by any part of a fielder’s body, while the fielder has control of the ball (see Rule 14.02c), before the runner originating at that base can tag-up as required due to a caught ball (see Rule 10.05);
- a runner off base when the ball is kicked (see Rule 10.03);
- a runner physically assisted by a team member during play (see Rule 6.02);
- any kicker that does not kick in the proper kicking line up (see Rule 4.02);
- a runner that passes another runner (see Rule 10.08);
- a runner outside of the baseline (see Rule 10.01);
- a runner who misses a base;
- a runner who fails to properly tag up on a caught ball;
- a runner touched by the ball while on a base they are forced to vacate by the kicker becoming a runner;
- a runner coming from home plate who steps on First Base when required to use the Extra Base (while an Extra Base is in use – see Rule 1.05);
15. BALL IN PLAY
15.01 Once the pitcher has the ball in control and retains possession on the mound, the play ends. Runners who are off base at this time and in forward motion may advance only one base. Runners who are off base at this time and not in forward motion must return to the base from which they were running.
15.02 Interference is:
- when any non-fielder or non-permanent object except a runner, touches or is touched by a ball in play in fair territory. This interference causes the play to end, and runners shall proceed to the base to which they were headed;
- when any runner on or off base intentionally touches a ball, or hinders a fielder. This interference causes the play to end, the runner to be out, and any other runners shall return to the base from which they came, unless forced to advance (see Rule 14.02e);
- when any kicker intentionally touches a pitched ball by hand or arm before the pitch is called a Ball or Strike, or intentionally touches a kicked ball to render it foul. This interference causes the play to end, the kicker to be out, and any runners shall return to the base from which they came (see Rule 14.02e).
15.03 During any play where a ball is popped or deflates significantly, that play shall be replayed with a properly inflated ball.
- INJURY AND SUBSTITUTIONS
16.01 In cases of injury or illness, a time-out may be requested for participant removal and replacement with a teammate as a substitute. If the participant later returns to play, the participant must be inserted in the same written kicking order position previously held.
16.02 If a player is ejected, injured, becomes ill and cannot continue, or leaves the game for any reason, the written kicking order will continue in the same formation, less the removed player. A player removed from the kicking order for ejection, injury, illness, or any reason does not constitute an improper kicking order (per. 4.02) and there is no “automatic out” when the removed player’s spot in the order is reached.
16.03 Injured players who do not kick shall not play in the game.
16.04 Any player removed from the game for injury or illness must be noted on both team written kicking orders and mentioned to the Head Referee.
16.05 The pitcher and the catcher positions may only be replaced once per inning each, unless injury forces another substitution.
16.06 Only runners who are injured while traveling to a base, and who successfully make it to a base, may be substituted. There are no other allowable runner substitutions. A runner may be substituted no more than twice during the game. Upon the second substitution, the player will be removed from the game and no longer be allowed to participate.
KICKBALL: Official Rules of the Game
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