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RULES OF THE KICKBALL SOCIETY
Rule #1 -- HAVE FUN! Yeah, it’s more fun to win than lose but this is not the place to make up for that unclaimed glory from your high school days. It’s about getting together with friends, meeting new people, and having a good time. And Rule #1A -- NO WHINING! It’s kickball, for crying out loud!
Each team has between 16 and 24 players. All team members must be at least 21 years of age and can only play on the team with which they are registered.
Teams can have a maximum of eleven players on the field at a time, with a minimum of five women. If a team is playing with less than 10 players, they are not required to have a catcher. While there is no minimum number of players required in the field, a team may not field more than one more male player than female player at any time.
Each team needs a Captain, who will be the ‘Person in Charge” (PIC). The PIC is responsible for the following:
- Designating someone to take his/her place if they cannot be at a game,
- Ensuring that everyone playing is eligible,
- Setting the kicking order for the game and ensuring it stays the same,
- Disputing a call on the field,
- Remaining cool, calm and collected at all times,
- Certifying game results,
- Making sure the team understands the rules,
- Communicating with team members as necessary,
- Communicating with the league and attending league Captain meetings,
- Taking care of anything else that needs to be done.
Field and Equipment
The kickball field resembles a softball field. Bases are about 60 feet apart and the pitcher’s strip is located in the middle of all bases. There is also an imaginary line between first base and third base. The strike zone is two feet on either side of home plate and will be designated by cones, as are the foul lines. Kickball Society will provide equipment, including bases, cones and kickballs.
- Referees will have the final say on any disputes. The referee’s authority is granted by a higher power and referees have the right to penalize or eject players who exhibit unsportsmanlike conduct.
- Only the captain or his/her designee can dispute calls with the referee.
- In the event of any situations not specifically addressed in the rules, the referee will make the calls. Whatever their call, that’s how it is. Refer to Rule 1A above.
General Game Rules
- Team players must wear their official Kickball Society team shirts for games. After all, that’s why you have them! Teams are encouraged to be creative and may modify shirts as long as they do not change the Kickball Society logo or other logo preprinted on the shirt. Nothing offensive, however!
- All team players present must be placed in the kicking order prior to the start of the game and the kicking order remains the same for the entire game. If players arrive after the game is started, they are added to the end of the kicking order.
- Each team may have up to eleven players when they are in the field position, including a catcher. Fielding positions are set at the beginning of the inning and must remain the same for the entire inning.
- If a player is injured during play, the captain may make a substitution for the injured player. The injured player may later return to the game if they are able but can only return once in any game. If the injured player is a base runner, the person of the same sex who made the last out must replace them.
- Games will be at least 45 minutes in length. At the end of 45 minutes, the game will continue until each team has had the same number of 'at bats' unless the home team is ahead, in which case the game is over.
- If a game is tied at the end of the allotted time period, it will be recorded as a tie unless it’s a tournament game. In a tournament, teams will start with the person who made the last out on second base and play will continue. The team with the most runs after both have kicked wins the game. If the game is still tied, additional complete innings will be played until a team is ahead.
- If a team is unable to field a complete team, the game may be delayed up to 10 minutes from the scheduled start time to allow additional players to arrive. If a team does not have more than eight players by that time, they have an option to forfeit the game. Forfeit games shall be recorded at a 7-0 score.
- The captains of each team will determine who are the home team and visiting team by using “Rock-Paper-Scissors.” Home team takes the field first and kicks last.
- If a game is delayed due to weather and cannot be completed, 30 minutes will constitute a complete game. If the game is not completed, it will be made up under the rainout rules.
- If league play is cancelled or games are not completed due to weather, best efforts will be made to adjust the schedule for the remaining league nights to make up the games. Captains will be informed of any future schedule changes.
- If league games are interrupted by weather, team members should stay in the area as the game may continue after a delay. Games that are delayed will pick up at the same point that they were suspended. If a team leaves and is not available to continue a game as the referee indicates, that team will forfeit.
- If a team is behind by twelve or more runs at the end of any inning, their Captain may choose to end the game.
- The pitcher may take one step prior to releasing the pitch and must have their forward foot on or behind the pitching strip when the ball is released. The pitcher must start with both feet completely on the mat and finish on the mat or on top of the pitching rubber. The pitcher must stay on the mat until the pitch is released. No running starts and no overhand, sidearm or windmill pitches. All pitches must be underhand.
- All pitches must roll on the ground in a straight line from the pitcher's release to home plate and must roll across home plate. Bouncing pitches are balls as are any pitches that curve rather than going straight. If a ball bounces slightly as it crosses home plate and the referee feels the intent of the pitcher was not to bounce the ball, it will be called a strike.
- The ball may not hit the pitcher’s mound rubber. Doing so will be called a ball. It can touch the very front edge of the pitching mat, but no part of the pitching rubber strip.
- The Pitcher must stay behind the pitching strip until the ball is kicked. All infielders must stay behind the imaginary line between first and third base. Failure to do so will result in the referee calling the pitch a ball.
- The catcher must field directly behind the kicker. The catcher may not cross home plate or be in front of the kicker before the ball is kicked. Catchers cannot position themselves so closely that they interfere with a kicker's motion. Failure to do so will result in an automatic advance to first base.
- The kicker must wait until the ball reaches home plate before kicking. If the player kicks the ball ahead of the plate, it’s a strike. The player can kick the ball behind home plate if they choose.
- Kicks must be made with the foot but any contact with the foot or lower leg counts as a kick, and therefore a strike, a hit or a foul.
- Bunting is only allowed for women! Guys have to kick. If the referee determines that the player did not make an honest effort to kick the ball the player will be assessed a strike. If the referee determines that the player again does not make an effort to kick the ball in the same 'at bat' the player will be called out.
- Runners cannot leave the base until the ball is kicked. That means no stealing or leading off. Leaving early is an automatic out. Runners cannot pass the runner in front of them. That’s also an out.
- Runners must stay in the baselines. The baselines are a straight line between two bases that’s about five feet wide. If a runner goes outside the baseline to avoid being tagged, they’re out. Not so if they need to go outside to avoid a fielder blocking the baseline. See next rule.
- Fielders must stay out of the base lines unless they’re trying to tag a runner or making a play. If a fielder unfairly hinders a runner, they are safe at the base to which they’re headed.
- A runner cannot be hit with the ball above shoulder level. Any runner hit above their shoulders advances one base. However, if a runner deliberately uses his head to block the ball, the runner is out. If the runner gets hit above the shoulders while ducking, diving or sliding in an attempt to avoid the ball, the runner is out.
- Runners must tag up for a fly ball before they can advance. A runner may advance on a pop fly once the ball is actually touched by a fielder attempting a catch.
- If the ball is thrown or deflected out of the field of play, the referee will call the play dead and runners will be awarded the base that they are actively running toward when the ball goes out of the field of play. If the runner is headed towards first base when the ball goes out of bounds, the runner will be awarded first base and second base because of the overthrow. This is the only time a runner will get a base past the base they were running towards. The call is based on when the ball physically goes out of play. Balls thrown or deflected into foul territory but not out of the field of play are playable.
- Each player gets three balls. On the fourth one, you’re off to first base!
- A roll that touches the cones or is outside the cones is a ball.
- If the ball does not roll in a straight line from the pitcher to home plate and does not roll across home plate, it’s a ball.
- If during the pitch the ball touches the rubber strip plate on the pitchers mound it will be called a ball.
- If any player crosses that imaginary line between first and third base before the ball is kicked, it’s a ball.
- Three strikes and you’re out!
- The strike zone is between the strike zone cones but does not include the cones. If the ball goes between the cones without touching them, it's a strike. If the ball touches or goes over a cone, it's a ball. The strike zone is about 12” as measured from the bottom of the ball and at the front of home plate.
- If the kicker attempts to kick the ball and misses, it’s a strike.
- If the kicker kicks the ball in front of home plate, it’s a strike. That’s unless the ball is caught as a fly, in which case it’s an out.
- Foul balls are strikes but the third strike cannot be a foul. However, if you foul again, you’re out!
- If a ball lands in foul territory without being touched, it’s a foul.
- If a ball hits a tree or other object in foul territory it’s a foul. No catching the ball on the rebound.
- If a ball is kicked and lands in fair territory but goes into foul territory before it passes first or third base, it’s a foul. However, if a fielder touches it before it goes out of bounds, it’s in play.
- If a ball touches the kicker but continues past him, it’s a foul.
- If a foul ball is caught as a fly, it’s an out.
- Three strikes is an out.
- If a ball touches a runner while they are not on base, it’s an out, unless they’re hit above the shoulders.
- If a kick is caught before it hits the ground, it’s an out. However, a fielder may not intentionally drop a catchable ball to make a double play. If a referee determines that the ball was intentionally dropped, all players are safe at the next base and the kicker is safe at first. If the referee determines the drop was unintentional, play continues. And the referee’s decision is the law!
- If a runner leaves the base before the ball is kicked, it’s an out.
- If a player kicks out of order, it’s an out.
- If a fielder touches the base where a runner is forced to run to, it’s an out.
Ball in Play
- When any player has the ball in control in the infield and the lead runner is not in forward motion, the play ends unless the referee determines that a play is being made.
- If the ball hits a wire in fair territory, the ball is dead and the player kicking the ball will re-kick.
- Interference happens when any non-fielder or other object touches the ball while it’s in play. That stops the play and runners will proceed to the base where they were headed. If a runner intentionally touches the ball, the pay ends, the runner is out and any other runners return to the base where they started.
- Keep the game moving and no stalling! If the pitcher doesn't deliver a pitch within ten seconds of the referee calling for it, the referee will award a ball to the kicker. If a kicker isn't ready to kick within ten seconds of being called to the plate by the referee, the referee will call a strike on the kicker.
- Talking smack is permitted as long as its witty and clever and not cruel, racially motivated or a personal attack on another team or player. Referees are empowered to issue warnings and captains are responsible to make sure team members behave themselves. Refer to Rule #1.
- Players should not have intentional or unwelcome contact with opposing team members. A player should inform the referee if they feel they are subject to any unwarranted contact and the referee will inform the team captain of the complaint. Referees are empowered to issue warnings or ejections if necessary. If a player is ejected, they are automatically suspended for the remainder of that game plus the following game. Again, refer to Rule #1.
- All team members are expected to comply with field rules, which may vary depending on the location of league play. Captains are responsible to ensure their team is familiar with field rules.
- Kickball Society reserves the right to suspend any player for unsportsmanlike conduct, violation of rules, failure to pay dues or for being a pain in the butt. No refunds. Team captains may appeal the suspension of a player but Kickball Society has the ultimate say. If any team wishes to suspend one of their players, they must provide Kickball Society an explanation of their reasons in writing.
Portions of these rules are copyrighted by WAKA LLC and are used here by permission and are available at kickball.com.