How to Play Kickball
Part 1: Basic Kickball Rules

Learn how to play kickball and see why the game is so popular across all age groups. With just a few basic rules you’ll be ready to start your own kickball game in no time! 


A kickball game is played by two teams of 9 players each who try to score more runs than their opponent by rounding the bases and crossing home plate as many times as possible. 

Playing Area

The kickball field is laid out similar to a baseball diamond with 4 bases, a pitching rubber, an infield and an outfield.

The dimensions of the field can vary depending on the age of the players. Here are some recommendations:

  • 4-5 year olds – 40’ base paths and 30’ to the pitching rubber.
  • 6-8 year olds – 50’ base paths and 35' to the pitching rubber.
  • 9-14 year olds – 60’ base paths and 42’ to the pitching rubber.
  • Adults – 70’ base paths and 50’ to the pitching rubber.


All you need to play is a kickball and 4 bases.



kickball bases


Starting Play

The visiting team kicks first while the home team starts out in the field. The fielders line up in one of 9 positions. The first kicker steps up to the plate to kick.

How to Play Kickball - Kickball Rules


Players line up in the following positions:

  1. Pitcher – on the pitching rubber
  2. Catcher – behind home plate
  3. 1st Baseman – a few feet away from 1st base
  4. 2nd Baseman – a few feet away from 2nd base toward 1st
  5. 3rd Baseman – a few feet away from 3rd base
  6. Shortstop – between 2nd and 3rd base
  7. Leftfielder – outfield behind 2nd and 3rd base
  8. Centerfielder – outfield behind 2nd base
  9. Rightfielder – outfield behind 1st and 2nd base


The ball must roll on the ground when crossing over the plate.

The pitcher has to stay behind the pitching rubber until the ball is kicked. Failure to do this results in a "ball."

The strike zone is 1 foot inside and outside of home plate.

kickball game


The ball must be kicked with the foot or leg.

All kicks must be made behind home plate. It’s okay to step on home plate while kicking.

No bunting is allowed (contacting the ball without fully extending the leg). A bunt is called an out.

kickball rules


If a kicker gets 3 strikes, she is out.

A strike is:

  • a pitch inside the strike zone that isn’t kicked.
  • an attempted kick that's missed. It doesn’t matter whether it was inside or outside the strike zone.
  • a foul ball.

How to Play Kickball - Kickball Rules


A kicker gets a free trip to first base after 3 balls.

A ball is called when:

  • a pitch is outside the strike zone, and the kicker doesn’t try to kick it.
  • a pitch bounces across home plate.
  • any fielder, including the pitcher, advances toward home plate before the ball is kicked.

Foul Ball

A foul is a kick that:

  • lands in foul territory.
  • goes out of bounds before passing 1st or 3rd base that isn’t touched by any player.
  • A foul counts as a strike.
  • If a player gets 3 fouls, he’s out.
  • If a player has 2 strikes and then kicks a foul ball, she’s out.

How to play kickball continued...

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how to play kickball


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