The game of kickball is also known as soccer-baseball or soccer-base. Most of the rules are similar to that of baseball, the major difference being that the former is played by kicking the ball instead of using a bat. Kickball originated as one of the pastime games played by soldiers. This easy-to-play game grew in popularity and became one of the most preferred street games by children. The rules of kickball are very easy to understand.
Teams have 11 players each. The number of on-field players should at least be 8, while the maximum number that can play (on-field) are 11. The scoring team is known as the kicking team; the team which throws (pitches) the ball is known as the pitching team. As per the rules prescribed by the 'World Adult Kickball Association', there are fives innings in a game, and the duration of a game shouldn't be less than 45 minutes. The game can continue at the most for 90 minutes.
- The game of kickball is played on a diamond-square, with each side being 60 feet.
- Baselines are generally 60 feet in length, and can be shortened for children to play easily.
- The distance between the home plate and pitching strip is 42 feet.
- The strike zone is marked around the home plate. It is elevated and 1 foot above ground level.
Playing and Scoring
The home plate acts as a limit or border, beyond which, one cannot step ahead while kicking the ball. The ball is rolled/thrown towards the home plate by the pitcher. If a player steps ahead of the home plate while kicking, it is considered to be a foul. A run is scored when a player completes a round. In the process, he has to touch all bases and get back to the home plate. There are three 'outs' for a batting team, after which, the inning ends.
A batter can get 'out' in different ways. The various ways of getting out are:
- If the batter is unable to strike the ball 3 times consecutively, he is deemed to be out.
- The batter is 'out' also when a player from the opposing team catches the kicked ball. The ball has to be caught directly, i.e., without dropping it.
- When a batter running between bases gets hit by the ball thrown from the players of the opposing team, he is termed as out.
- The batter can also be forced out when a player from the opposing team tags one of the bases while holding the ball.
To play the game of kickball in your backyard, adjustments in the standard rules can be made. It helps in making the game suitable for playing on a smaller scale. In small spaces, the ball should just be rolled instead of throwing. One can also use simple objects like traffic cones instead of the standard material used for bases and home plates.