Basic Kickball Rules: Part 2
Learn How to Play Kickball

Learn how to play kickball with these basic kickball rules. You'll have a backyard kickball game going in no time!

I recommend starting with Kickball Game Rules: Part 1 before continuing with the rest of this page to learn about basic game setup. 

Kickball Rules

  • Runners have to stay in the baselines.
  • Sliding into the base or running into fielders is not allowed. The runner is out if he runs into the fielder. The runner is safe if the fielder initiated the contact.
  • Fielders must stay out of the baseline. Unless they are making an active play for the ball, if they interfere with a runner, the runner is safe at the base they are running toward.
kickball rules
  • No runners may lead off or steal. They can only run after the ball is kicked. A runner who is off the base before the ball is kicked is out.
  • Runners have to tag up after a fly ball is caught before they can advance to the next base.
  • Runners may overrun 1st base, but they must turn toward foul territory once they pass the base. If they overrun any other base, they may be tagged out by a defender with the ball.
  • If the ball is overthrown, the runner may advance only one base.
  • If a runner overtakes and passes a runner on the bases ahead of him, he is out.
  • When the pitcher has control of the ball and is standing on the mound, all of the runners must stop advancing.


A game lasts 6 innings. Each inning is divided into a top and bottom half with each team having a turn to kick. The visiting team kicks the first half (or top) of each inning, and the home team kicks the second half (or bottom) of the inning. A half inning is completed when the kicking team gets 3 outs.

If the game is tied at the end of 6 innings, teams continue to play complete innings until one team is ahead.


A team scores a point every time a player rounds all of the bases and crosses home plate.


batter is out if:

  • he kicks the ball, and it's caught in the air (even if it's in foul territory).
  • he gets 3 strikes, 3 fouls, or 2 strikes + a foul.
  • she bunts the ball (doesn't take a full swing of the leg in an attempt to kick the ball a short distance).

runner is out if:

kickball rules
  • she is hit by a kicked ball while off base.
  • a fielder tags her with the ball while she's not on a base.
  • he runs out of the baseline.
  • a fielder throws the ball and hits him below the shoulders while he's off the base. (Runners hit in the head or neck aren't out unless they were ducking to dodge the ball.)
  • she is tagged by a fielder before reaching the base she is forced to run to or if a fielder with a ball touches the base before she gets there. 
  • she leaves the base before the ball is kicked.
  • he fails to tag up on a fly ball and the ball beats him back to the base he was on.
  • she runs past a runner in front of her.
  • he runs into a fielder who is trying to make a play on the ball.

For more information about how to play kickball, check out the World Adult Kickball Association site for a printable list of the official kickball rules and to find leagues and events in your area.

Kickball Rules

Depending on the number of players, skill level, available equipment, or the size of your playing area, you can modify the basic kickball rules to fit your needs.

Here are some modifications you can make to get a game going:

  • Reduce the size of the field.
  • Reduce the number of bases.
  • Use a bigger ball or a beach ball that moves slower.
  • Don't allow fielders to throw the ball at players.
  • Allow every player on the team to kick before changing sides instead of playing 3 outs.
  • Put a limit on the number of points a team can score each inning. When the limit is reached, teams change sides no matter how many outs there are.
  • Don't call balls or strikes. Give each player 3 chances to kick the ball.
  • On each kick, allow the kicker to run the bases all the way around to home. If she reaches home before the kick is touched by every fielder, she scores a point.
  • Play the game in reverse – run to 3rd, 2nd, 1st, and home.

These are just a few easy ways to change up the kickball rules to fit your needs. Hopefully, they'll give you some ideas for adapting the game to make it more fun for your group.

We've got lots more exciting kids sports activities that include modified kickball games!

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