Kickball: Rules and How to Play

Kickball is an active game played outdoors and is most commonly played among students during school recess or physical education hours. 

How about a summer adults-versus-children kickball tournament or a family kickball game at your next holiday bar-b-que? 

Kickball is a crowd-pleaser that requires minimal equipment and is easy to play at any outdoor event. 

Continue reading to learn the general kickball rules and how to play! 

This Kickball rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is Kickball?
  • A brief history of Kickball
  • What you’ll need to play Kickball
  • Kickball Rules
  • How to play Kickball (Video Tutorial)
  • FAQs

Read on to learn how to play Kickball. 

What is Kickball?

Kickball Game Info image

Kickball is an outdoor game that is played similarly to the game of baseball. It is popular among school athletic and physical education departments because it is an easy game for many to learn to play. 

Kickball follows the same basic playing pattern as baseball or softball, except the batter kicks a ball instead of using a bat to hit the ball. 

Number of Players: 18 total (9 players per team)

Ages: 5+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of Play: 30-60 minutes

Category: Outdoor game, sport

Similar to: baseball, four square, kick croquet 

Main Objective:  The main objective is to complete more runs than the other team to win.

Why We Love It: Kickball is easy to play, and you can learn the rules quickly. It is a great way to get people of all ages moving and interacting with one another. 

A Brief History of Kickball

Many believe that kickball, originally called Kick Baseball, was developed for play in schools by physical education departments. Students and young children could follow the basic rules of baseball, but with less equipment or ability needed. 

Recently, in America, kickball has been an easy outdoor gathering game for players of all ages and fitness levels. More serious athletes can join kickball leagues, while everyone else typically partakes in a fun kickball game at the annual Fourth of July picnic or summer cookout. 

What You’ll Need to Play Kickball

Everything you need to play is included in this boxed set.

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11/28/2023 06:22 am GMT

The complete game box contains: 

  • 4 bases
  • 1 pitchers mound
  • 1 Kickball
  • 1 Air pump 
  • 2 Foul cones

Area of Play

To set up the field, set up four bases, similarly to a baseball field, 15 yards apart in the shape of a diamond. 

The bases go in order, starting with home, first, second, and third. 

Divide the number of players into two equal teams. Flip a coin to decide which team will go first. 

Starting the Game

The first team to play offense will line up behind home plate or sit in a dugout or bench nearby. 

The opposing team must assign one player to stand guard of each base 1st-3rd. The rest of the team can spread out in the outfield. 

One of the defensive team members must act as a pitcher and stand on the pitcher’s mound in the center of the field, about 10 yards away from home plate. Their job will be to roll the ball towards the opponents. 

Another defensive teammate acts as a catcher and stands behind home plate to catch missed balls. 

Kickball Rules

Once all players are in position, the first “batter” or offensive teammate to kick approaches home plate. 

The pitcher will roll the ball towards the batter, and the batter kicks the ball out into the field. Immediately after kicking, the batter will run to first base. 

The offensive team scores a point if the batter can safely run to each of the four bases, making it back to home plate without being caught. This is called a run

If the defensive team catches the kicked ball in the air, the player is immediately out, earning no points. 

Otherwise, players in the outfield work together to quickly get the ball and pass it to the players guarding the bases. If they can get the ball to the base before their opponent reaches the base, the batter is out no points are earned. 

Once a team accumulates 3 outs, the teams switch positions. Now the offensive team will play defense, and the outfielders will come in to take turns batting. If this occurs, it is called an “out.” 

If a batter misses the ball three times, they are out, and the next player from their team approaches home plate. 

A ball that is kicked out of boundaries or not within the field lines of the inner and outer field is called a foul. Too many fouls can send the batter back to the dugout with no points earned. 

How to Keep Score in Kickball

Once both teams have had the opportunity to bat, the first inning ends.

This gameplay continues with teams taking turns batting and playing outfield. After playing six innings, the team with the most runs wins the game. 

A scorekeeper can keep track of each team’s outs and runs. Once a team reaches three outs, they switch playing positions. 

After six innings, the scorekeeper totals the number of runs earned for both teams. Each run is worth 1 point. The team with the most points wins the game. 

How to Play Kickball – Video Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the five rules of kickball?

Depending on the kickball game you are playing, the rules may vary. Typically, the basic kickball game rules require teams to switch offensive and defensive positions after acquiring 3 outs. 

Official tournament kickball rules may vary. The batter must kick the ball, so no hands should be used. If you are playing a game for fun, you can determine the specifics for your game. For example, if you have many players, you may want to play less than six innings. 

Is kickball a real sport? 

Kickball is traditionally played for recreation and physical fitness purposes, but it has grown popular. Kickball is considered a sport to many, and in some areas, kickball leagues gather to play tournaments. 

Is kickball similar to baseball? 

Kickball is very similar to baseball. You can use a baseball or softball field to play kickball because the bases and pitcher’s mound need are used in both games. 

The main difference when playing kickball is that players kick a larger ball instead of using a bat to swing and hit a baseball. Kickball is generally easier to learn and requires less skill than baseball. 

Other Games Similar to Kickball (Our Guides)

Here are some other outdoor games that your family and friends are sure to enjoy:

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