Kickball is a playground game and competitive league game, similar to baseball, invented in the United States circa 1942.

American World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle reported it being played by U.S. soldiers during the Tunisia Campaign, 1942-1943.

The game is typically played on a softball diamond with a 10- to 16-inch (250- to 400-mm) inflated rubber ball. As in baseball/softball, the game uses 3 bases and a "home plate."


Rules for kickball vary based on the officiating body (a school or a league), but most follow general baseball/softball rules, with a few common variations.

The pitcher rolls the ball towards the catcher, the "batter" kicks it with his/her foot, then runs to first base, becoming a runner. A runner is out if any one of the following conditions are met:

*The ball is caught on the fly from the kick, without hitting the ground first, then the batter is out (a fly out).
**In the case of a fly out, any runner already on base who attempts to advance before the ball is caught may themselves be counted out if the ball is returned to the base they were on before the ball was kicked.
*A defensive player with the ball touches the base ahead of a runner who is forced to go to that base, because of an advancing runner behind him (a force out).
*A defensive player touches the runner directly with the ball while holding it (a tag out).
*In some variations, a defensive player may throw the ball and hit the runner on the fly with it (often called "Indian Rubber").
**In informal games, it is often decided ahead of time whether to allow "Indian Rubber" in all or some situations (for example, hitting a runner in the head is often considered illegal even if "Indian Rubber" is otherwise legal). Some rules only allow for thrown balls that hit the runner on the fly to count as an out, while other rules may count any contact by a runner at any time with a ball (such as a kicked ball, or a thrown ball that bounces) as an out by "Indian Rubber".

Most versions also allow for balls and strikes, with a strike defined as any pitch which crosses the plate below the knees of the batter (and which is thus reasonably kickable), though each league may define balls and strikes differently. As with baseball, a fixed number of balls defines a "walk" (usually 4, though sometimes only 3), for which the batter gets a free trip to first base, and a fixed number of strikes (usually 3, though sometimes 2) will get a batter an "out".

Foul balls (those kicked outside of the line through home plate and either first or third base) may be handled in several ways, depending on local rules.
*They may be handled like baseball, with each foul counting as a strike, except that one cannot strike out on fouls (any foul hit with 2 strikes does not garner a third strike)
*They may be counted as strikes, and a foul on a third strike still counts for an out
*Every foul ball may count as an automatic out
*Some versions count fouls separately from strikes, and call the batter out after a fixed number of fouls (usually either 3 or 4), or sometimes limit the number of "2-strike" fouls which may be counted before fouling out.

Adult kickball

Adult recreational kickball leagues operate throughout the United States, offering an alternative to adult softball and soccer leagues. Adult leagues can be organized by local municipalities, colleges, non-profit associations, and for-profit businesses.


* cite news
last = Parker
first = Ashley
title = Getting a Kick Out of Kickball
publisher = The New York Times
date = 2006-09-15
url =
accessdate = 2006-09-29

* cite news
last = Dreazen
first = Yochi J.
title = Playing kickball is much less fun with adults
publisher = The Wall Street Journal via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = 2005-07-06
url =
accessdate = 2006-09-29

* cite news
last = Skipp
first = Catharine
coauthors = Dishongh, Kimberly
title = Trends: All for the Love of the Game
publisher = Newsweek
date = 2006-08-21
url =
accessdate = 2007-03-19

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kickball — (englisch: kick = stoßen) ist ein Ballsport, der vor allem in den Vereinigten Staaten betrieben wird. Es ähnelt dem Baseball und wurde von US amerikanischen Soldaten im Jahr 1942 erfunden. Es wird auf einem Softball Feld mit einem 250 bis… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • kickball — ☆ kickball [kik′bôl΄] n. a children s game with the general rules of baseball, but using a large ball that is kicked rather than batted …   English World dictionary

  • Kickball — Este artículo o sección sobre deporte necesita ser wikificado con un formato acorde a las convenciones de estilo. Por favor, edítalo para que las cumpla. Mientras tanto, no elimines este aviso puesto el 10 de abril de 2008. También puedes ayudar… …   Wikipedia Español

  • kickball — /kik bawl /, n. a children s game, similar to baseball, in which a large inflated ball, as a soccer ball, is kicked instead of being batted. [1970 75; KICK + BALL1] * * * …   Universalium

  • kickball — noun a) A sport similar to baseball, where a ball is kicked rather than hit. b) The ball used in the above sport …   Wiktionary

  • kickball — kick|ball [ˈkıkbo:l US bo:l] n [U] an American game for children, similar to baseball, in which you kick the ball …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • kickball — kick|ball [ kık,bɔl ] noun AMERICAN 1. ) uncount a children s game similar to baseball in which players kick a large ball and run around bases 2. ) count the ball used in this game …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • kickball — noun N. Amer. an informal game combining elements of baseball and soccer …   English new terms dictionary

  • kickball — noun (U) an American children s game, similar to baseball, in which you kick the ball rather than hit it …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • kickball — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ noun : a children s game that resembles baseball and is played with an inflated ball which is kicked instead of batted …   Useful english dictionary

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