Project Description


Overview & Examples

Kickball is a playground game and competitive league game, similar to baseball, invented in the United States. The game is typically played on a softball diamond with a 10- to 16-inch inflated rubber ball. As in baseball/softball, the game uses 3 bases and a home plate. Kickball rules generally follow baseball/softball rules, with the exception that the ball is kicked rather than struck with a bat. The pitcher rolls the ball towards the catcher, the “batter” kicks it with his/her foot, then runs to first base, becoming a runner. Within intramural programs, kickball is often viewed as a nostalgic, recreational game open to participants from a wide range of skill levels.

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Traditional Formats

Kickball is an outdoor game between two teams of between 8 and 10 players. Men’s, women’s, co-rec, and mixed leagues are all popular.


Kickball games can utilize up to two umpires. The two-umpire system often includes a plate umpire and base umpire. A single umpire may be used, positioned either near the plate or behind the pitcher in the center of the infield. Kickball may also be self-officiated by the participating teams.


While kickball has seen resurgence in recent years, there are few sets of standardized rules for the sport. The World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) provides a basic set of rules which may be used as a basis for intramural programs. Individual programs may also create their own rules modeled off of traditional baseball/softball rules.

Notes & Variations

A half-inning of kickball may consist of three outs for a team. Some leagues permit all of the kickers in a team’s line-up to kick each half-inning (unlimited outs but a set number of kickers per inning).

The practice of pegging, throwing a kickball to hit a runner and record an out, may be limited or prohibited for safety considerations.

Co-rec leagues may employ a variety of rule variations to encourage and/or limit participation by particular players including requiring the kicking line-up to alternate between genders and restricting the positioning of fielders by gender.

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NIRSA Intramural Sports Community of Practice