Kickball rules

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Game Overview

  1. Attitudes - We are out here to have fun! We encourage our players to enjoy their time out with us. Some teams may be more about having fun while others are out there to be competitive. We want to encourage both! That being said, we have a zero tolerance for yelling at the refs, particularly the first/third base refs who are volunteering their time to help. Your team will be given 1 warning per game if the home plate ref feels you are unnecessarily yelling at the referees. Any subsequent issues will result in that player being ejected from that game by the home plate ref. We expect the captain’s help enforcing this rule by asking your ejected player to come back with a better attitude the following week. 

  2. Game Length - All games shall be 6 innings or 55 minutes, whichever comes first. If the game play is called on account of weather or if there is an issue with field lights, the game will end. If 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.

  3. 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 participate for other teams during the regular season games, but not during playoffs. 

  4. 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

  5. Injuries - If a player is injured at any point, including during a kick, a substitute player can continue in the injured player's place if the team has a player not in the line-up or may utilize someone from another team if they are available. 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.

  6. Pinch Runners – If a player gets injured during their kick or previously in the game, they may be replaced by a pinch or substitute runner once they reach 1st base. The substitute shall be the last kicker of the same sex who kicked out. 

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 team 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, it will result in a forfeit. 

  10. Forfeits – If a team does not have enough players to field (8), the game will result in a forfeit and count as a loss. Should both teams not have enough players, both teams will receive a loss. 

  11. Delay of Game Penalty - Games will start promptly at 7:15. 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 at the discretion of the home plate ref. If the team penalized is on defense, you will begin your offense with an out. 

 


Fielding

  1. 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.

    • 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.​ 

  2. Pitching - There is a 10 foot circle for the pitcher with a line drawn in the center of the circle. All pitching motions must occur behind the line (including both feet on the follow through). The circle is in place for the play to be called “dead” once the pitcher has control of the ball in the circle. If the pitcher is the first to make a play while off-side (in front of the line) when the player kicks the ball, the result of the play will result in the runners and/or kicker being safe. 

    • 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 current kicker will be allowed to advance or walk 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 slow or fast). Female kickers must ask the referee for a gentleman’s pitch should a pitch appear too quick or intentionally bouncy and the pitch will not count towards the overall count. If a second pitch to the same female is deemed to not be a gentleman’s pitch, it will be called a ball. 

  3. 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 is considered foul. Home refs have the final say in a foul ball. 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.​

    • If a ball is on the ground and starts in fair territory before 1st/3rd base, but becomes foul after 1st/3rd base, the ball is still fair.

  4. Dead Ball - There are a few instances where the ball and play becomes dead 

    • The ball shall become dead and all runners must return to their original base when the ball first contacts an external object (power line). The kicker may reattempt the kick in this instance

    • A foul ball hits the ground in foul territory. Runners cannot advanced

    • 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 in the pitching circle. If runners have continued their motion, have not stopped momentum, or retreated towards their previous base, they may advance at their own risk.

    • Tagging a base runner: Should a defensive player tag out a base runner by tossing 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. 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: 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.

  5. Strike Zone - The strike zone is considered to be one foot (12 inches) to all sides of home plate, including one foot in height over the entire plate. If the ball crosses this area while the ball is even with home plate, it is considered a strike. 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.

  6. Catcher’s Box - There is a box around home plate that is to prevent interference and encroachment of the catcher on the kicker. The catcher must always stay behind or in line with the kicker until the ball is kicked, however, they may stand at the edge of the box if the kicker stands outside of the box. 

  7. 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.

    • Four (4) straight balls is a two-base walk

  8. Off-sides - If any fielder steps completely in front of the defensive line (straight line between 1st base and 3rd base) before the ball is kicked, then that fielder will be deemed off-side. If the catcher moves in front of the kicker before the ball is kicked, they will be deemed off-side. 

    • The 1st offense by each team will result in a delayed dead ball and a warning. Each subsequent offense will result in an automatic walk and advancement of all base runners.

  9. 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 who is out or is thrown in fair territory shall not be an overthrow. If a thrown ball deflects off a runner who is safe, the play shall continue.

    • 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.

  10.  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 on the base or in the base path unless they are attempting to actively make a play. The ball must be in your immediate vicinity to be considered as actively making a play on the ball. If it is not in your immediate vicinity and there is a collision, play will resume unless there is a concern for an injury. Home refs have the ultimate call in if play shall be continued or called interference. 

    • At first base, the safety base will be moved further out to the side to assist in preventing collisions. The first baseman (on defense) may only reach with their hands to make a play on the ball if it goes towards the safety base. If the first baseman blocks the safety base with their body, it will be called an interference and the runner will be safe. 


Kicking & Running

  1. 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. The kick can occur at any place behind home plate and does not have to occur within the catcher's box. 

  2. Kicking Order - 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. Team captains may be asked to provide the kicking order to the home plate referee prior to the start of the game.

    • When utilizing players from another team, they must be at the bottom of the kicking lineup 

  3. 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). The actual first base may only be used when the runner is rounding 1st base and attempting to continue to 2nd base. 

    • Teams will get a warning if runners are failing to use the safety base, however, if they continue to fail to use or overrun the Safety Base, they will be considered to have missed 1st base and will remain live and eligible for a ball tag or a force out until they return to the proper base.

  4. 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.

  5. Base Running - A runner can not stand off base prior to the ball being kicked and is not permitted to steal. A runner is required to tag up on a legally kicked fly ball that is touched by a fielder. 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. Base running may not continue once the pitcher has control of the ball in the pitcher's circle. If the ball is in the air on the way back to the pitcher, runners may still advance. If runners have continued their motion, have not stopped momentum, or retreated towards their previous base, they may advance at their own risk.

  6. 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.