Rule #1- No Whiners!
The first and foremost goal of SportsLink Kickball is to HAVE FUN. Your SportsLink coordinators and umpires are there to provide you with a fair, safe, and fun environment. Enjoy yourself, make new friends, and kick that little ball into the middle of next week! Remember, we are all just a bunch of grown-ups playing a kids game and are probably overcompensating for the fact that all of us at one time or another were picked last as a kid and it sucked.
SportsLink will provide the game ball. Teams are allowed to bring their own kickball to use for the game as long as it abides by the policies set in place. All leagues play with a 10 inch kickball unless other rules apply.
- Any individual who by his/her misconduct (profanity, gestures, physical or verbal abuse toward officials, players, etc.) causes himself/herself to be removed from a contest is automatically ineligible to participate for the remainder of that contest, any other games that day and one full week of games. That person may also be disqualified for future contests.
- Judgment calls made by the umpire shall NOT be contested.
- All games are SEVEN innings or FIFTY minutes, whichever comes first (see below for championship games). This includes the optional warm-up/grace period time.
- The warm-up/grace period is 5 minutes and will be strictly enforced with the exception of a 10 minute grace period for the first game on weeknights. Teams unable to field the minimum roster requirements at 5 minutes after their game’s scheduled start time will forfeit. Also, please remember that this is an optional grace period. Teams with the ability to field a legal lineup will not be permitted to stall the game while stragglers come rolling in.
- All innings once started must be finished.
- No inning will begin with less than 5 minutes remaining.
- If a game is tied at the end of 7 innings, extra innings may be played, at umpire’s discretion. If time expires while the score is tied, the game will end and be recorded as a tie.
- Exception: Playoff games may continue until past the time limit and until a winner is determined. Championship games will always get their full 7 innings of play, unless decided by the run rule.
- Extra-inning games (playoffs only): kicking team will place the last kicker out on 2nd base to start inning with a runner on base. This will only occur at the start of each 1/2 inning in extra innings.
- Teams may score a maximum of 10 runs each inning. Teams may score an unlimited number of runs in the final declared inning.
- If a team trails by 20 or more runs at the end of the 3rd inning, 15 after the 4th, or 10 after the 5th or later, the game will be ended and the final score will be officially recorded. If the time limit of the game has not yet been met, teams may elect to continue the game as a scrimmage, time permitting, but the additional play will not alter the final score of the game.
Duties of a Team Captain
- All teams are required to have at least 1 Captain. Teams are also encouraged to have Alternate Captains to serve in cases in which the Team Captain cannot attend a game.
- Ensure that all of his/her players have filled out the proper SportsLink waivers before ever setting foot on the field.
- Ensure that their team registration is paid in full and on time.
- Team Captains are encouraged to bring a list of league rules to all games.
- Ensure that all of his/her players fully understand all league rules.
- Ensure that all of his/her players adhere to the defensive and offensive lineup requirements (listed below).
- Ensure that only 1 captain disputes a call with the coordinator/umpire. Players other than the team captain who engage in arguing calls, unsportsmanlike conduct, whining, and/or being a general nuisance are subject to immediate ejection from the game.
Game Set Up
Offensive Lineup Requirements
- Teams must kick their fully attended roster, but not everyone has to play defense if they do not want to. Teams must also have their lineup written down and present to the other team. There are no “Designated Fielders.”
- Teams can kick as many as they want, but must maintain at least a 3/2 ratio of guys/girls in the lineup. If you have 6 guys, you need 4 girls, 7 guys/5 girls, 8 guys/6 girls, 9/6, 10/7, 11/7, 12/8, 13/9.
- Teams cannot kick more than 2 males in a row. Men can only kick once per top-bottom of the lineup. All players must kick in the same designated order as the initial lineup.
- The minimum number of players to begin a game is 7 (5 males, 2 females). In this situation, the defense can pull their catcher to play in the field. The standard lineup is 6 males & 4 females. When only having 2 females, each must kick twice. When there are 3 females, 1 must kick twice. If there are 12 players and only 3 of them are girls, two girls must kick twice.
- If the female batting twice is on base and her turn comes up to bat, she is entitled to one courtesy runner (the last female out). If the courtesy runner’s turn comes up to bat, she must vacate the base, take an out and take her turn at bat.
- One female can bat twice before another female bats once.
- All teams must exchange batting line ups before the start of each game.
Defensive Lineup Requirements
- A normal kickball defensive lineup consists of 10 players in some cases there are less.
- The minimum number of defensive players with which a team can take the field is 7.
- The minimum number of female players with which a team can take the field is 2.
- If a team fields the minimum number of female players (2), they may field no more than 8 total defensive players (6 males, 2 females).
- All teams must field a catcher (unless playing with 7). Catchers must stay within arms length of fence or appropriate distance behind kicker until ball is kicked.
- All defensive players must stay in same position that they started the inning playing. No switching infielder/outfielder due to kicker gender.
- Outfielders must stay on grass or designated area of turf until the ball is kicked.
- Outfielders cannot play in the infield, but infielders can play in the outfield.
- There is NO INFIELD FLY RULE IN KICKBALL!
How the Game is Played
Kicking and Bunting
- All kicks must be made by the foot (below the knee).
- All kicks must be made on or behind home plate. Any kick made in front of home plate will result in a dead ball situation and a foul will be assessed to the kicker’s strike/foul count. If the ball is caught in the air, the kicker is out.
- “Double kicking” the ball in foul territory will result in the kicker being assessed a foul.
- “Double kicking” the ball in fair territory will result in the kicker being called out.
- Allowing an excessive number of reasonable pitches go by may result in a warning from the coordinator/umpire, a strike being assessed, or the kicker being called out.
- Three strikes and you’re out. Three fouls and you’re out. (See: Strikes and Foul Balls below)
- Defensive players cannot intentionally drop a ball. If the umpire determines the defensive player intentionally dropped a ball, the kicker is out and THE BALL IS DEAD. RUNNER’S WILL RETURN TO THEIR BASE.
BUNTING IS LEGAL, but…
- Only FEMALES can bunt
- All bunts must be originally kicked from on or behind the plate.
- All bunts must travel at least 1 foot forward and into fair territory.
- Any runner struck by a ball, intentionally or unintentionally, while that runner is not safely on a base results is an out.
- If the runner is in foul territory while running to first base and a kicked ball accidentally strikes him/her, the ball will be considered a foul and will be assessed to the kicker’s strike/foul count.
- Runners may safely overrun 1st base provided that they come straight back to the base after turning either direction and do not indicate any intention to run to 2nd base.
- Runners hindered by a fielder NOT making a play on a ball shall be safe and will be awarded the base to which he/she was running.
- Runners must make every effort to avoid contact with a fielder trying to make a play on the ball, otherwise they will be called out if interfering.
- Runners may run out of the baseline in this case (No. 4), but within reason (3 feet to either side of a direct line between bases).
- Tagging up on caught fly ball is legal provided that the runner tags his/her base of origin after the ball is touched. Runners may advance at their own peril. If a defender touches the ball, then bobbles it, the runner is allowed to leave his/her base once the ball was touched originally.
- On most fields there is an orange safety bag at 1st base or there is a second base place in foul territory next to 1st base. That base is used for the kicker running to 1st base and the white bag is for the fielder. If the fielder blocks the orange bag even if attempting to catch an errant throw and interferes with the kicker’s ability to reach the base, the kicker will be awarded 1st base
DEFENDING THE BUNT
- The Pitcher’s Strip: an imaginary line extending from 1st to 3rd base and crossing the pitcher’s rubber. No player may cross in front of the Pitcher’s Strip before the ball is struck by the kicker. The 1st violation of this rule will result in a warning. Further violations will result in the kicker being offered 1st base, all base runners being allowed to advance to the next base, and a warning being issued to the offending defensive player. Multiple violations of this rule may result in a player being ejected from the game.
- The Catcher’s Zone: The catcher must remain within arm’s length of the backstop until the ball is kicked. The first violation of this rule will result in a warning. Further violations will result in the kicker being offered 1st base, all base runners being allowed to advance to the next base, and a warning being issued to the offending defensive player. Multiple violations of this rule may result in a player being ejected from the game.
Balls and Walks
- There are FOUR (4) balls in SportsLink Kickball.
- Walks may be awarded by the coordinator if pitches are consistently and excessively bouncy and/or out of the strike zone. SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS ON STRIKE ZONE.
- There are no intentional walks in kickball.
- AFTER THE 2ND OUT: If a male is walked and a female follows him in the batting order, the male is given 2nd base and the female has the choice to take a walk or bat.
- A walk may be awarded if any member of the defense passes the Pitcher’s Strip (See: Kicking and Bunting above) before the ball is kicked.
- Pitchers who repeatedly throw un-kickable pitches may be removed from pitching at the request of the coordinator/umpire.
- A pitcher must pitch from the mound. He/she cannot get a running start.
- Excessively slow or fast pitching is not allowed (umpires discretion).
Strikes and Foul Balls
- A strike is any pitch that is attempted at and missed by the kicker.
- A foul also counts as a strike.
- Two tall cones will be placed 1 foot from each side of the plate – this is the STRIKE ZONE. A strike is any ball that doesn’t bounce higher than the cones and is pitched between the cones and over the plate.
A foul ball is:
- Any ball that is kicked out of play.
- Any ball that lands to the left of the 3rd base line, to the right of the 1st base line or out of play.
- Any ball that lands inside the 1st/3rd base line, but crosses outside the line before passing over any portion of the actual 1st or 3rd base.
- Any ball that is kicked by the kicker in front of home plate.
- Any ball that is “double kicked” by the kicker while that kicker is still in foul territory.
- If a “double kicked” ball should hit the kicker while he/she is in fair territory, the kicker is OUT, play is stopped, and any runners must return to their base(s) of origin.
An Out is:
- Any 3rd strike or 3rd foul is an out.
- Any ball, fair or foul, that is caught on the fly (within the field of play) before touching the ground is an out.
- On any caught fly ball, if a base runner fails to “tag up” or return to his/her base of origin before the defense can touch said base of origin, the runner is out.
- If the defense, while in full possession of the ball, tags a base to which a runner is forced to run before the runner gets to said base, the runner is out.
- Any runner who interferes with a fielder trying to make a play on a ball is out. This includes unsportsmanlike conduct, yelling, heckling, or anything else a player might do to try to intentionally distract a fielder and may be grounds for ejection from the game.
- Leading off of base and/or stealing of bases is illegal. Players caught leading off of base or attempting to steal a base will be called out.
- Any ball that strikes a runner, intentionally or unintentionally, while that runner is not safely on a base results in an out.
EXCEPTIONS: If the runner is in foul territory while running to first base and the ball accidentally strikes him/her, the ball will be considered a foul and will be assessed to the kicker’s strike/foul count. Also, if the runner is hit by a ball upon overrunning first base, the runner is safe provided that he/she has made no effort to advance to second base.
Yes, this is that same glorious playground game that allowed you to throw the ball at your friends in order to get them out! However, keep the following guidelines in mind when doing so:
- Sportsmanship ALWAYS comes first. Throwing the ball at your opponents with the full force of your existence when a simple tap or tag would have sufficed will not be tolerated and may be grounds for immediate ejection from the game.
- Runners must be hit ABOVE the knees and BELOW the neck.
- Intentional Head Shots: Intentional head shots will result in immediate ejection, if not, worse.
- Accidental Head Shots: If a player is accidentally struck in the head by a thrown ball, the runner will be considered SAFE. This will result in a dead ball situation, and all runners will be allowed to advance to the bases that they were attempting to achieve at the point of the foul.
- If the runner intentionally uses his/her head/knee to block the ball, or is struck in the head/knee as a result of ducking, diving, sliding, jumping, etc, the runner is OUT. This will be left to the discretion of the coordinator/umpire on duty.
- Any overly reckless, aggressive, or dangerous conduct may result in the player being ejected from the game.
- Any excessive delays on the part of the offense or defense and the umpire may award the kicker a base or the kicker a strike.
- Where applicable, kickball rules will mirror those of softball.
- Additional rules and policies may be added or amended by SportsLink before or during the season. In the event they are, they will be communicated to players.
ADDITIONAL RULES FOR REVOLUTION KICKBALL LEAGUES
- Catchers must stay on the designated white lines between the cones until the ball is kicked. No running starts are allowed and foot must be on the line and the person must be behind the line.
- A ball kicked into the soccer net is a ground-rule double.
- A ball kicked into the soccer field is a ground-rule triple.
- The outfield is marked by the line that is 5 yards behind the 1st –2nd baseline to the far hash marks and down to the 3rd base foul line.
ADDITIONAL RULES FOR INDOOR KICKBALL LEAGUES
- Catchers must stay behind the goal line, in the goal, until the ball is kicked. No running starts are allowed and foot must be on the line and the person must be behind the line.
- A ball can be kicked off the wall and nets in fair territory.
- A fair kick is a kick placed between the blue lines marked on the walls behind 1st and 3rd base.
- A (first) ball kicked into the ceiling is a foul and is ruled dead. The 2nd ball kicked into the ceiling will result in an out.
- If the ball gets stuck in the net in fair territory, it is ground rule double. If it gets stuck in the net in foul territory, it’s a foul.
- If the ball is kicked over the wall where there is no net, in fair territory, it is a ground rule single. If it is kicked over the wall in foul territory, it is a foul.
- When on defense, you must have a catcher, pitcher, 1st, SS, 3rd, and 3 outfielders. Outfielders may not come into the infield until the ball is kicked.
- The pitcher must stand on the red tape marked between 1st and 3rd base.
- No infielder (except catcher) may step beyond the imaginary line connecting 1st and 3rd base until the ball is kicked.