Ahh, kickball: the perfect mix of nostalgia and competition.
Kickball started at recess but has become a beloved pastime for adults. It’s a chance to hang out with friends, make new ones, and maybe even get a little exercise. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love the feeling of kicking a ball as hard as you can and watching it soar through the air? It’s like therapy but without the hefty price tag.
Key Dates in Kickball History
We may never know the real history of kickball. It was first documented in 1910 by Dr. Emmett Dunn Angell as “Kicking Baseball.” But history has forgotten the gym teacher who combined baseball with soccer and used a dodgeball.
- 300(+/-): Records trace more than 2,000 years of humans playing football (American soccer).
- 1839: Charles Goodyear patented vulcanized rubber (balls were typically made of pig bladders before).
- 1845: The first published rules of baseball by the New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club.
- 1910: The first known documentation of the game. Dr. Emmett Dunn Angell includes “Kicking Baseball” in Play: Comprising Games for the Kindergarten, Playground, Schoolroom, and College: How to Coach and Play Girls’ Basketball, Etc.
- 1920s: Kickball was used in school to teach children the fundamentals of baseball.
- 1922: First published account of an adult kickball game between Clinton County, New York teachers.
- 1970s: It’s a fuzzy decade, but there are many accounts of it being the genesis of adult kickball games in public parks.
- 1988: World Kickball Association (WAKA) was founded in Washington, D.C.
Nowadays, adult kickball is played in cities all over the world. People gather in local parks and fields to run, kick and have fun. The true spirit of kickball lies in simplicity and nostalgia. It harkens back to when things were less serious and more fun.
Standard Rules of Kickball
Now that we know the rich history of kickball (thank you, recess!), let’s take a closer look at the game’s official rules (according to the World Kickball Association).
Game action is nearly identical to baseball. So when in doubt, refer to the laws of baseball.
Here are the standard rules of adult kickball:
- Each team consists of 10 players (or less, depending on how many folks you can round up—warning: 6-on-6 or fewer means real, actual exercise).
- The game is normally played on a softball or baseball diamond with a large rubber ball. But, you’ll be ready to go with any four “bases” and a ball to kick.
- The pitcher rolls the ball toward the hitter—in a recreational game, teams may limit how much a pitch can bounce.
- A player is out if the ball is caught in the air or they are tagged (or pegged) with the ball before reaching a base.
- Runners must stay on their base until the ball is kicked.
- Games typically last 6-7 innings, 3 outs per inning.
Adult kickball leagues will have a set standard of rules that could differ. Recreational games are always subject to quirky rules to keep things interesting (like kicking with your non-dominant foot during odd-numbered innings).
Play (Kick)Ball this Summer at Cyclone Ballparks
The popularity of our adult kickball leagues and tournaments continues to grow at Cyclone Ballparks. Our Kickball All-Nighter has become one of the most anticipated events each year.
Join us for softball, baseball, or kickball! Our leagues and tournaments are convenient for many West Texas communities: Alpine, Andrews, Crane, Fort Stockton, Kermit, Midland, Monhanas, Odessa, Van Horn, and everywhere in between. Contact us online if you have questions, or call Frank at 432-923-3191.