Tech Kickball Rookie Road Rulebook

Official Kickball Rulebook 2018

Powered by Rookie Road, Inc.







2018 TAO Annual Kickball Tournament




Prepared by:

Doug Gursha

Founder & Chief Product Officer


Rob Schulberg

Events & Marketing Coordinator



Copyright Information

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Table of Contents

Copyright Information        1

Welcome        4

Kickball Tutorials        4

Kickball Glossary        4

Search        4

Spirit of the Game        5

Tournament Format        6

Eugene/Bend        6

Portland Round Robins        6

Providence Park Playoff Seeding        7

2018 Official Kickball Rulebook        8

Kickball The Field        9

Boundary Lines        9

Fair Balls        11

Foul Balls        11

Kickball Game Structure        12

Tie Games        12

Bottom of the Final Inning        12

Kickball Teams        13

The Home Team        13

The Away Team        13

Team Captains        13

Kicking Order        13

Improper Kicking Order Claim        14

Ejections, Injuries, Substitutions        14

Kickball Strike System        15

The StrikeZone        15

Strikes        15

Balls        16

The Count        16

Outs        17

Kickball Kicking        19

Legal Kicks        19

Kickball Baserunning        20

Scoring Runs        20

Baselines        20

When To Run        21

Deciding To Run        21

Baserunner Interference        21

Leading Off        22

Stealing Base        22

Sliding        22

Tagging Up        23

Ties        23

Overrunning 1st Base        23

Overthrows        24

Running Past Another Baserunner        24

Displaced Bases24

Live Kickball vs. Dead Kickball        24

Head / Neck Shots        25

Kickball Fielding        26

Number of Fielders        26

Player Positions        26

Kickball Pitching        27

Pitching Requirements        27

Proper Field Position        27

Kickball Penalties        29

Interference        29

Quick Rule Lookup        30

Q&A        30

This pitch was unfair, is it allowed?        30

What is proper field position? How is it enforced?        30

Is pegging legal?        31

Can fielders change positions?        31

Is an out recorded if the pitcher holds the ball on the mound prior to the baserunner being safe?        31

What happens if the kickball becomes deflated during play?        31

What happens if a player is injured?        31

Are substitutions allowed?        31


Hi and welcome! We’re excited to have you participating in TAO’s second annual Lyft Kickball Tournament.

Kickball Tutorials

This rulebook is designed to give you an overview of kickball and the rules for TAO’s tournament. If you’d like to learn more about the sport of kickball before playing, you can learn with our FREE tutorial content below:


Kickball Tutorials

Chapter 1: Kickball The Field

Chapter 2: Kickball Game Structure

Chapter 3: Kickball Teams

Chapter 4: Kickball Player Positions

Chapter 5: Kickball Strike System

Chapter 6: Kickball At-Bat

Chapter 7: Kickball Baserunning

Chapter 8: Kickball Fielding

Chapter 9: Kickball Pitching

Chapter 10: Kickball Penalties

Chapter 11: Kickball Summary

Kickball Glossary

In addition, we’ve provided over two-hundred (200+) glossary terms for you to look up if you get confused reading a word or phrase.


Kickball Glossary


We’ve provided a search feature on where you can search anything related to this rulebook and kickball.


Rookie Road Search Feature Image

Spirit of the Game

We want you to have fun during this event. Sportsmanship is very important to TAO and all of its participants. Any issues arising from play will be dealt with by TAO in accordance with the 2018 rulebook.



Rookie Road Kickball Tournament Image

Tournament Format

The tournament format is four (4) innings or thirty (30) minutes in length, whichever occurs first.


Our format for Eugene and Bend is still TBD since we're not sure how many teams will be participating in either region.

Portland Round Robins

For the Portland round robins, there will be four (4) groups of five (5) teams each for a total of twenty (20) teams. There will be two (2) days of this for a total of forty (40) teams competing in the region.


Each team will play two (2) games against two (2) different teams within their respective groups.

Providence Park Playoff Seeding

The top two (2) teams from each group will go on to play in a single elimination playoff round (so 8 teams will compete in the playoffs).


Round 1

Seed 2 from Group 1 vs. Seed 1 from Group 1  

Seed 2 from Group 2 vs. Seed 1 from Group 2  

Seed 2 from Group 3 vs. Seed 1 from Group 3  

Seed 2 from Group 4 vs. Seed 1 from Group 4  


Round 2

Winner of Group 1 vs. Winner of Group 2  

Winner of Group 3 vs. Winner of Group 4  


The lower seeded teams will kick at the bottom half of each inning.  In the event that both teams are the same seed, then the team that scored more runs in the previous match, kicks at the bottom half of the inning.

Championship Round

Winner of Group (1 or 2) vs. Winner of Group (3 or 4  )


Note: The lower seeded teams (based on number of total runs scored in case of record tie, kick at the bottom half of innings).



2018 Official Kickball Rulebook

Below is the official kickball rulebook for TAO’s 2018 tournament.


Please note, that we have chosen to use the pronoun “he” in this document purely for the sake of convenience and clarity, as “he or she” and “him or her”, etc. eventually became too confusing and time-consuming. Absolutely no gender inequality in any form was intended.


At any point, if you’d like to read more about kickball for more in-depth content, check out


Kickball The Field

In order to understand the many rules of kickball, we must first learn about the playing surface where the game is played.

Boundary Lines

The foul lines extend from home plate to the outfield fence and distinguish foul territory and fair territory:


Rookie Road Kickball Foul Line Image


The area in between the foul lines is considered fair territory:


Rookie Road Kickball Fair Territory Image


The area outside the foul lines is foul territory:


Rookie Road Kickball Foul Territory Image


Whenever a kickball is kicked by a kicker it will either be a fair ball or a foul ball. It’s all based on the boundary lines.

Fair Balls

A fair ball will be called if the kickball ...

Foul Balls

A foul ball will be called if the kickball ...


Kickball Game Structure

In TAO’s tournament, each game will last four (4) innings or thirty (30) minutes, whichever comes first.

Tie Games

If the score is tied at the end of the game, the team that scored the most recent run is the winning team.

Bottom of the Final Inning

For TAO’s tournament, the final inning is the 4th inning. The game is over and play will end immediately in the final inning if…


  1. The home team is winning at start of the bottom of the final inning.
  2. The home team takes the lead at any point in the bottom of the final inning.



Kickball Teams

The Home Team

This team will always kick second at the bottom of the inning.

The Away Team

This team will always kick first at the top of the inning.

Team Captains

Each team has a one (1) captain and one (1) co-captain. Only the captains can make an appeal to Head Referee. If a player other than a captain argues with a referee, that player may be ejected.

Kicking Order

The kicking order describes the order of appearance kickers take for their at-bats on a kickball team. In TAO’s tournament, teams are allowed to have twelve (12) kickers in the kicking order. The kicking order is immutable, meaning it cannot change once it is submitted.

Please submit your kicking order, part of the written lineups, to TAO prior to the start of the game.

Improper Kicking Order Claim

If you notice that the opposing team is kicking out of order, you can make a claim to the Head Referee. A claim can be made any time during the kicker’s at-bat, but not after the next kicker is at-bat. The result of an improper kicker is an out and the previous play being invalidated.

Ejections, Injuries, Substitutions

An ejection is an immediate exit of a player, coach, or spectator.


An injury is when a player can no longer play kickball due ro sustaining a physical ailment.


A substitution is the act of replacing a player on a kickball team with another player from the same team.


Any time an ejection, injury, or substitution is made, the kickball is dead and baserunners cannot advance.


The kicking order will remain the same with the player removed. If the player returns to play he must take his original spot in the kicking order.


Pitchers and catchers can only be replaced one time (1) every inning, unless the player is injured.


Baserunners can be substituted only if they are called safe on base. Baserunners can only be substituted two (2) times every game.




Kickball Strike System

The StrikeZone

The strikezone is an imaginary 3D zone extending 1ft in all directions of home plate. It is used to by the Head Referee to determine if a pitch is a ball or a strike. It is up to the Head Referee to create a mental picture of the strike zone in his mind when calling a pitch.


All pitches in kickball result in either a strike, ball, or a foul for the kicker. It's all based on the where the pitch ends up in the strikezone and how the kicker reacts to the pitch.


A strike can happen in two (2) ways:


In TAO’s tournament, fouls are never called as strikes. However, Four (4) fouls during an at-bat will result in an out.


All pitches in kickball result in either a strike, ball, or a foul for the kicker. It's all based on the where the pitch ends up in the strike zone and how the kicker reacts to the pitch. Four (4) balls and the kicker is awarded 1st base and if there’s a baserunner already there he gets to advance to second base. This is called a base on balls.


A ball can happen in two (2) ways:


In TAO’s tournament, foul balls are never called as strikes.

The Count

The count keeps track of the number of balls and strikes for the kicker at-bat. The order always goes the # of balls - # of strikes.

The count will never reach beyond 3-2, which is called a full count.


If you want to learn more about the strike zone, strikes, balls, or the count, check out Chapter 5: Kickball Strike System


Half-innings end when teams reach three (3) outs. At the end of each half-inning, teams switch roles on the field from kicking to fielding and vice versa.


Rookie Road Kickball Tag Out Image


There are lots of ways to get out in kickball:


When performing a force out or catch, the kickball can touch the ground if the fielder is maintaining control of the kickball as determined by the Head Referee.


If you want to learn more about the outs in kickball check out Chapter 8: Kickball Fielding.



Kickball Kicking

An important part of kickball is kicking. Below are the rules you should know. If you want to learn more about kicking in kickball, check out Chapter 6: Kickball At-Bat.



Rookie Road Kickball Kicking Image

Legal Kicks

All kicks made by the kicker must be made below the knee with the foot or leg.


The kicker is allowed to step on home plate, but cannot pass it, when kicking.


Kickball Baserunning

When a kicker successfully kicks the kickball, he becomes a kicker-runner trying to advance to 1st base to become safe. Once a kicker-runner is declared safe on any base, he will become a baserunner with a goal of scoring runs for his team.

Scoring Runs

A run is a successful score worth one (1) point by a baserunner when he completes the circuit of bases by touching 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, and home plate.


Rookie Road Advance Image


The baserunner must touch home plate before the third out is made in the half-inning. If a force out is made or the kicker is put out before reaching 1st base, the run does not count.


The team with the most runs at the end of the kickball game is the winning team.


The baselines are imaginary lines between all of the bases. Baserunners must stay within four (4) ft of these lines when running the bases.


Rookie Road Running Arc Image

When To Run

Baserunners are only allowed to advance to the next base when a kick is made and when fielders are actively trying to make outs.

Deciding To Run

It is up to the baserunner to decide if he should advance to the next base. Base coaches are available to each team at 1st base and 3rd base to advise baserunners when they should run. As a baserunner you should factor in the following when deciding to advance to the next base:


  1. How many outs are there? If there are 2 outs and a force play is not at your base / next base, you should run.
  2. If there’s potential for a force out at your base / next base, you should run.
  3. If the kick is a fly ball, you should remain close to base so you can tag up if the kickball is caught.

Baserunner Interference

Fielders are not allowed to restrict baserunners from running the bases and should remain outside of the baselines. For example, the second baseman can have his foot on second base, but must stay out of the baseline.


In the event of a baserunner interference, the baserunner is safe on the base he was running towards.

Leading Off

Leading off is when a baserunner takes a head start at advancing to the next base by taking a few steps of the bag. In this state, the baserunner is no longer safe and can be tagged out.


Rookie Road Leading Off Image


In TAO’s tournament, leading off is not allowed. You will be called out if you are off the bag when a kick is made.

Stealing Base

Stealing base is the act of a baserunner advancing to a base during a pitch.


In TAO’s tournament, stealing base is not allowed.


Sliding is a technique that baserunners use in order to avoid being tagged out with the kickball. When a baserunner approaches a base, and a fielder near him has the ball, the runner will drop to the ground and -- using his momentum from running -- slide feet-first into the base. Although sliding seems counterintuitive since it actually is slower than running, it is harder for fielders to tag a runner who is sliding.


Diving is a form of sliding, except runners drop on their stomachs and go toward the basehead/hands-first rather than feet-first. For players, diving often hurts more than sliding.

Tagging Up

Tagging up is the act of touching the base with your foot that you were previously safe on. It is only required after a catch is made. After a tag up is made, the baserunner can advance to the next base in the circuit.


Rookie Road Tag Up Image


In the event of a tag out or force out where it is too close to call, the baserunner will be called safe.

Overrunning 1st Base

Overrunning is touching a base and running beyond it. A kicker can only overrun 1st base and still be considered safe. If the runner chooses to advance to 2nd base, he can be tagged out.


Rookie Road Overrun Image


An overthrow is when a fielder throws the kickball into foul territory while trying to make a play.


Result -- The baserunner is allowed to advance one (1) base from the base he was on or traveling towards.

Running Past Another Baserunner

A baserunner is not allowed to run past another baserunner.


Result -- The baserunner is called out.

Displaced Bases

If a displaced base happens during play, a baserunner can step on the location where the base should be to be considered safe.

Live Kickball vs. Dead Kickball

The kickball is live and play begins when the pitcher pitches the kickball to the kicker.

The kickball is dead and play ends when the pitcher gets control of the kickball on the pitching mound.


Baserunners moving towards the next base can continue running. If the baserunner is not moving towards the base, he must return to the previous base.

Head / Neck Shots

A baserunner can be hit in the head or neck with the kickball only when sliding. Baserunners are not allowed to use their head to purposely get hit by the kickball.


Kickball Fielding

Number of Fielders

Each team must have a minimum of eight (8) fielders and no more than ten (10) fielders including the pitcher and catcher.


For TAO’s tournament, players are allowed to switch positions in the field for different innings.


TAO encourages three (3) female fielders to participate.

Player Positions

Kickball is just like baseball and softball in that there are certain player positions for fielders that are recommended, but not enforced. The only required positions in kickball are the pitcher, catcher, and basemen. As long as fielders maintain proper field position, it is up to you how to structure your team. Below is a brief description of player positions you should consider.



There are nine (9) fielding positions you should know:


  1. Pitcher (P)
  2. Catcher (C)
  3. 1st Baseman (1B)
  4. 2nd Baseman (2B)
  5. 3rd Baseman (3B)
  6. Shortstop (SS)
  7. Center Fielder (CF)
  8. Right Fielder (RF)
  9. Left Fielder (LF)





Rookie Road Kickball Player Positions Image


If you would like to learn more about kickball player positions, check out Chapter 4: Kickball Player Positions. For TAO’s tournament each team will be allowed to have a 10th player on the field. This player can roam in any position.


Kickball Pitching

Pitching Requirements

The pitcher must pitch with his hands. All pitching styles are allowed.

Proper Field Position

All fielders besides the pitcher and catcher must be on or behind the 1st to 3rd diagonal and in fair territory to be in proper field position.


Rookie Road 1st To 3rd Diagonal Image


A position warning will be given to a team that does not follow this rule. After the first position warning, all position warnings result in the kickertaking a base regardless of the kick.


The pitcher must be on the pitching mound and have at least one (1) foot on or behind the pitching strip when pitching. The pitcher’s front foot cannot cross the the pitching strip.


The catcher must be in the kicking box behind the kicker and not interfere with the kick.


Kickball Penalties


There are three (3) types of interference in kickball:

  1. Baserunner's Interference
  2. Defensive Interference
  3. Kicker's Interference


Baserunner Interference

The baserunner interferes with a fielder’s ability to field the kickball or touches the kickball.


Result -- play ends, baserunner is out, baserunners return to base.


Defensive Interference

The fielder interferes with a baserunner’s ability to run the bases in the baselines.


Result -- the baserunner is safe at the base he was running towards.


Kicker Interference

Kicker's interference occurs when the kicker interferes with a pitch before the referee can call either a strike or ball. It also occurs when a kicker touches the kickball again after he kicks it.


Result -- Kicker's interference results in the kicker being out and the baserunners returning to base.


Quick Rule Lookup

In addition, we’ve provided the most common rules below as a reference.


Remember, you can search any term on


This pitch was unfair, is it allowed?

The pitcher must keep at least one foot behind the pitching strip when pitching the kickball to the kicker. All pitching styles are legal and there is no limit to the number of bounces. It is up to the Head Referee to determine if a pitch is a ball or a strike.

What is proper field position? How is it enforced?

Proper field position describes where fielders must be during play. The 1st to 3rd diagonal is an imaginary line connecting 1st base to 3rd base. All fielders besides the pitcher and catcher must be on or behind the 1st to 3rd diagonal and in fair territory to be in proper field position.


Rookie Road Kickball Field Position Image

Is pegging legal?

Pegging is when a fielder throws the kickball at a baserunner. If a player is pegged it is considered a tag out. However, it is illegal to peg a baserunner in the head. All pegs must be performed below the neck. How many kickers in the kicking order? Each team can have 12 people kick, but the kicking order must not change.

Can fielders change positions?

Yes, but players can only do so at the start of each inning.

Is an out recorded if the pitcher holds the ball on the mound prior to the baserunner being safe?

No, in TAO’s tournament this is not the case. Outs can only be made through one of three (3) ways:

  1. Tag out
  2. Force out
  3. Strikeout

What happens if the kickball becomes deflated during play?

If the kickball becomes a deflated kickball during play, the previous play is to be repeated.

What happens if a player is injured?

A timeout will be called by the Head Referee.

Are substitutions allowed?

Yes, any player can be substituted depending on the player’s position. If the player is a pitcher or a catcher, that player can only be substituted once (1) every inning. Baserunners can be substituted only if they are safe on base at most two (2) times during a game. The kicking order must remain the same if the player is substituted.





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