top of page

Kickball rules

Swamp Sports (color).png

Below is the entire list of our rules. We have some differences between our Wednesday league and our Thursday league. For our Wednesday league, there are the following changes:

  • Number of players: a team must field at least seven (7) and no more than ten (10) players while on defense, with a minimum of 3 females. If you do not have enough females, you still can only play 7 males. You can field more than 3 females, but you can not field more than 7 males.

  • Game length: All games shall be 8 innings or 55 minutes, whichever comes first. 

    • Mercy Rule - The game is final when a team is trailing by 10 or more runs after the losing team has completed their at-kick in the 6th inning, or any inning thereafter. The maximum run differential that will be counted is 10 runs. 

  • Pitching: All pitching must be flat, without any spin, and even-paced (not too fast)

  • Pitch Count: All pitch counts will start at 1-1 (1 strike and 1 ball). Strikes and fouls are still counted separately. 

  • Kicking: All kicks must travel past the defensive line (straight line between 1st base and 3rd base). If the ball stops on it's own before the line, the kick will be ruled a foul ball. If a ball is touched by a defensive player at or before the line, it will be considered live. 

  • Pinch runners: Pinch runners may be used in case of an injury or player issue that results in them needing to leave the game. The substitute shall be the last kicker of the same gender who kicked out. If the player that was substituted is able to return after they have been replaced, they may continue playing but may not take another runner. If the injured player is unable to return, they will be removed from the line up without penalty to the team. 

  • Dead ball / pitcher's circle: The ball shall become dead and all runners shall return to the last base that was legally touched when the pitcher has control of the ball on the pitching mound regardless if the runner has continued their forward motion towards the next base. This call will be at the discretion of the home plate ref only. 

Game Overview

Game Length - All games shall be 6 innings or 55 minutes, whichever comes first. Games will start promptly at their designated game time. At the home plate refs discretion, if teams are taking longer than a few minutes to get onto the field to start the game, between innings, or teams are not getting players up to bat while the other team is waiting on the field, an out will be given as a penalty. If the team penalized is on defense, you will begin your offense with an out. 


Player Eligibility - Only players who have officially registered through Swamp Sports and who have a signed insurance liability waiver on file are permitted to participate. No walk-on or guest players are permitted under any circumstances. Registered players can substitute for other teams during the regular season games, but not during playoffs. 

When utilizing players from another team, teams are not permitted to use pitchers, catchers, or roamers in those respective positions but they may play another position on the field during defense.​


Referee Disputes - The only players permitted to appeal a call with the referees are the team captains. Play is stopped while the team captains appeal a call that had been made on the previous play. The home plate referee will then make a final ruling based on their best judgment, and play will resume.

Attitudes -  We are a social kickball league with the goal of encouraging friendly play while still enjoying the competitive nature of the game. We have a strict, no yelling at the refs policy, particularly the first/third base refs who are volunteering their time help. Your team will be given 1 warning per game. Any subsequent issues will result in that player being ejected from that game by the home plate ref. That player will be asked to leave the field and may return the following week. 


Kicking Order - Team captains may be asked to provide the kicking order to the home plate referee prior to the start of the game. The kicking order may contain more than 11 players. Not all players in the kicking order are required to be fielders but all fielders must kick. Once a team has completed the kicking order one time, no new players may be added to the order. So long as the team has not yet completed the kicking order, kickers may be added to the end of the kicking order.


Injuries - If a player is injured at any point, including during a kick, a substitute player can continue in the injured player's place. Once they are replaced, that player shall not be allowed to return to the game. If there are no substitute players available, the injured player may be removed from the kicking order without resulting in an out in the line-up.


Pinch Runners – Once a player has kicked and they have safely reached their base, they may be replaced by a pinch or substitute runner. The substitute shall be the last kicker of the same gender who kicked out. Teams may only replace a runner twice during a game.


Substitutions - Teams are free to substitute players that are in the kicking line up between innings as they see fit when playing defense. 


Mercy Rule - The game is final when a team is trailing by 10 or more runs after the losing team has completed their at-kick in the 4th inning, or any inning thereafter. The maximum run differential that will be counted is 10 runs. 


Player Equipment - Metal spikes or metal cleats shall not be worn by players participating in game play. Athletic gloves of any kind shall not be worn by players participating in the game.


Weather Cancellations – Games will be canceled on account of weather if lightning strikes are currently within 10 miles of the fields or if there is too much rain/flooding resulting in dangerous fielding conditions. Play will be resumed once lightning is outside of 10 miles. If at any point, a player does not wish to continue due to the weather, they may leave the game; however, if the game has not been officially delayed or canceled and they player is the 4th girl or 11th player, an out will be issued in their spot of the kicking line up.

If the game play has started and is then called on account of weather or if there is an issue with fields and at least 3 innings have been completed, the game will not be rescheduled and the score will be final. If less than 3 innings have been completed, the game may be rescheduled or counted as a cancellation.


Forfeits – If a team does not have enough players to field (8), the game will result in a forfeit and count as a loss with the score being 10-0.


Fielders - A team must field at least eight (8) and no more than eleven (11) players while on defense, with a minimum of 4 females. If you do not have enough females, you still can only play 7 males and however many females your team has available.

Pitching - There is a 10 ft pitchers circle that will be in the center of the field with a line through the center from 1st base to 3rd base. All pitching motions must occur behind the line (including both feet on the follow through). The circle will remain for ensuring the play is dead once the pitcher has control of the ball in the circle. 

  • Quick pitching is not permitted. If the ref determines that the pitcher is taking an excessive amount of time to pitch the ball and appears to be attempting to delay the game, they will be given a warning. If it continues, the kicker will be allowed to advance to first base.


Gentleman’s Pitch - Female kickers will be allowed a gentleman’s pitch. This is a pitch in which the ball must be flat and even-paced (not too fast). Female kickers must ask the referee for a gentleman’s pitch should the first pitch appear too quick or intentionally bouncy.


Foul Ball - A foul fly ball shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, not as to whether the fielder is on foul or fair territory at the time the ball is touched. Any ball that first lands in foul territory past 1st or 3rd base is considered foul. As soon as the ball is foul, it will be called foul. The base is considered fair territory. If a foul ball is caught by a fielder, the kicker will be out. Other fielders may advance on a caught foul ball after first contact.​ Home plate refs have the final say on if a ball is deemed fair or foul. 


Dead Ball - The ball shall become dead and all runners must return to their original base when the ball first contacts an external object (fence, power line, etc.) or a foul ball hits the ground.

  • If the ball hits the ground first, it will be counted as a foul in the pitch count.

  • If the ball hits an external object first in the field of play (power lines), then the foul will not count towards the pitch count.


The ball shall become dead and all runners shall return to the last base that was legally touched when the pitcher has control of the ball on the pitching mound and the runner stops their forward motion towards the next base. If runners have continued their motion or have not retreated back towards a base, they may advance at their own risk. If the ball is in the air on the way back to the pitcher, runners may still advance.


Strike Zone - The strike zone is a three-dimensional irregular pentagon based on the shape of home plate and is one foot in height. The front of the zone aligns with the front of home plate. The sides of the zone extend one foot to either side of the plate. The back edges of the zone are one foot from the back sides of the plate (See Diagram 4). Any pitched ball that does not bounce at least two times before reaching home plate will be considered a ball. 

  • There is no "swinging strike" in kickball. If a kicker attempts to kick and misses, the result of the pitch (ball or strike) will be the call.

Strike Zone Diagram.png

Kicker’s Box - The kicking box is a rectangle with the front of the box aligned with home plate and the back of the box aligned with the sideline cones behind home plate. Lines extending from the sideline cones perpendicular to the front of home plate make up the sides of the kicking box. The kicker is not required to start in the kicking box, however the kick must occur within the kicking box.

Catchers - The catcher must be positioned within or directly behind the kicking box and behind the horizontal plane of the kicker, parallel to the front edge of home plate. The catcher may not make contact with the kicker, nor position so closely to the kicker as to restrict the kicking motion. Catchers must enter into the field of play through the foul lines at the top of the kicker’s box. 

Pitch Count - Balls, strikes, and fouls will be kept at three separate counts. Four (4) balls is a walk, three (3) strikes is an out, and three (3) fouls is an out.


Off-sides - If any fielder steps completely in front of the defensive line (straight line between 1st base and 3rd base) or if the catcher moves in front of the kicker before the is kicked, then that fielder will be deemed off-side. The first offense by each team is a warning and the play will result in a delayed dead ball and a re-kick by the kicker. Each subsequent offense will result in an automatic walk and advancement of all base runners.​


Overthrow - An overthrow is a throw towards a runner or an attempt by the defense towards a base where a force exists, and the ball travels into foul territory. Runners are permitted to advance in the event of an overthrow, and do so at their own risk. A thrown ball that deflects off a runner or is thrown in fair territory shall not be an overthrow.

  • If a ball goes over a fence on an overthrow, the play will be considered dead and the base runners must stop at the base they are going towards.

Tagging a Base Runner - Should a defensive player tag out a base runner by tossing the ball at a base runner or kicking the ball at a base runner, the play is considered dead and all other base runners must stop at the base they were advancing to. Additionally, an out and a dead ball will result if any offensive player kicks a ball. The ball must be tossed at a runner in order for the play to be called dead (i.e. if the ball never leaves the hand of the defensive player, runners are permitted to continue running). The tag must be an out for the play to be considered dead.


Head Shots - A runner not on base that is touched by a live ball is considered out, with one exception. If a live ball thrown, kicked, or deflected by the defense strikes a runner in the head, the runner will be awarded the base they are advancing to and the play will be dead. If the runner is sliding or ducking, the runner will be considered out, even if it hits their head.


Interference - Defensive interference is an act by any fielder which hinders or prevents a kicker from kicking the ball or a runner from advancing to their next base while not in possession of the ball or in the act of making a play on the ball. A defensive player cannot stand in the base path unless they are attempting to catch a ball or make a play. The  ball must be in the immediate vicinity of the defensive player determined at the discretion of the home plate ref. If it is not in your immediate vicinity and there is a collision, play will resume unless there is a concern for an injury which will be at the discretion of the home plate ref.  

  • At first base where there is a safety base placed in foul territory, the fielder may only make a play at first base that’s located in fair territory. Runners hindered by a fielder touching or crossing over the base path of the safety base with their body will be deemed safe

Kicking & Running

Baseline - A runner shall not run more than five (5) feet from their baseline to avoid a ball tag of any kind, unless they are doing so to avoid interference with a fielder that is fielding a kicked ball. The baseline belongs to the runner, and the fielder should be there only when they are fielding a ball or when they are already in possession of the ball.


Base Running - A runner shall not be off base prior to the ball being kicked and is not permitted to steal. A runner shall be required to tag up on a legally kicked fly ball that is caught by a fielder. As soon as the ball is touched by a defense player, a runner may advance to the next base. A runner is entitled to the inside corner of the base that they are advancing to, not the fielder, unless the fielder is making a play on the ball.


Kicking - A kick must travel in front of home plate and between the foul lines in order to be a fair ball. A kick shall be deemed illegal and count as a foul ball if the ball is touched more than once by the kicker (double kick), if any part of the plant foot is in front of home plate, or if the ball is trapped by the kicker. If a kicker makes contact ​with the ball with any part of their body below the waist (intentional or not), the resulting kick is legal. It may be foul or fair depending on where the ball lands on the field.


Safety Base - When running from home to 1st base, the runner must use the designated Safety Base in foul territory (located to the right of the fielder's 1st base) when running to 1st base. The actual first base may only be used when the runner is rounding 1st base and attempting to continue to 2nd base. If a runner overruns 1st base but fails to use the Safety Base, they will be considered to have missed 1st base and will remain alive and eligible for a ball tag or a force out until they return to the proper base.


Sliding - Sliding is permitted as long as players are able to keep their cleats facing down. Should a slide appear dangerous with cleats up, the referee will give a warning on the first offense. If a second offense on the same player occurs, that player will be suspended from the game. Sliding is permitted at any base.

bottom of page