Many summer afternoons were spent trying to gather enough neighborhood kids to make two teams large enough for a game of kickball. It didnâ€™t matter how old you were â€“ as long as you could kick the ball and run, you were in.
Kickball is very similar to baseball but does not require the hand eye coordination needed for hitting a ball with a bat. Because of this, it makes a great game for a mixed age group â€“ one in which everyone can have a good time and even score a few points.
It is best played in a field or a large yard. We used to play in the middle the street in our suburban neighborhood, but you would be taking your life in your hands to do so now. That is certainly not recommended!
How in the world those of us who grew up in the 1960s survived childhood is a mystery to me.
You will need to decide if you are playing just a casual game or a regulation game. It was a surprise to me to discover there is an actual World Adult Kickball Association and rules for everything. Silly adults.
For the purposes of this article, a casual game is assumed. You’ll need a rubber ball and something to mark bases with.
- Set up the â€œfieldâ€ with four bases exactly like baseball. You can use stepping stones, Frisbees, or any marker that is easily seen for base. The bases should be at least 40 feet apart if possible – regulation play calls for 60 feet between each base.
- One team chooses a pitcher and the other players cover the bases, the infield, and the outfield. The other team lines up behind home plate. A team gets one point every time a member gets to home plate.
- The pitcher stands roughly halfway between home plate and second base and rolls the ball toward the first kicker. The kicker attempts to kick the ball and then make it to base without getting tagged by the opposing team. The kicker can be tagged by a touch from one of the other team members or by being hit with the ball.
- The next player comes up to kick and run to base. The first player runs as many bases as he thinks he can make without getting tagged.
- If the ball is kicked into the air and caught without having touched the ground, it is an automatic out.
- If the ball is kicked sideways rather than on to the playing field, it is foul and will need to be pitched again. Three foul balls equal an out.
- When the first team has three outs, the teams trade places and a second inning is begun.
- Play is continued until four innings have been played. The team with the highest score at the end of four innings wins the game. If the score is tied, then a fifth inning should be played to break the tie score.
Kickball is a simple game, or it can be. It is great for family reunions, church picnics, and other large gatherings where you might have a large number of people of different ages. At the next family reunion put Great-grandpa at the scoreboard and break everyone up into teams for a game of kickball.
Do you remember playing kickball as a child?
photo credit: wooden mask