Kickball Rules & Regulations

Please ensure that you read and understand the Houston Sports & Social Club General Rules. They can be found here.

  1. Houston Sports & Social Club General Kickball Rules

 

  1. ROSTER/WAIVERS:

There is no maximum number of players allowed on a kickball team roster; however players must be registered with Houston Sports & Social Club and must sign the Houston Sports & Social Club waiver to be able to participate. Please refer to the Houston Sports & Social Club General Rules for rules regarding roster adjustments and additional detail regarding waivers.

  1. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY:

                Please refer to the General Rules for details regarding player eligibility.

  1. SPORTSMANSHIP:

Houston Sports & Social Club expects all participants to play with the highest level of sportsmanship. Rude or demeaning behavior to umpires, the opposing team, and/or your own team members will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Unsportsmanlike behavior may result in that player being ejected from the game. An ejection may result in further suspension from participation in current and/or future Houston Sports & Social Club sports. An ejected player is required to leave the premises immediately. Refusal to leave the premises may result in a team forfeit and/or suspension.

Any disputes or complaints regarding the umpire’s handling of a game or ejection can be addressed with the league after the day of play in which the incident took place. On the day of the incident, the umpire’s decision will be considered final and disputes will not be addressed by the league.

  1. GAME UNIFORMS:

Houston Sports & Social Club t-shirts are your team’s uniforms. All players must wear their current Houston Sports & Social Club uniform to participate and any player not wearing his/her uniform will not be allowed to play in that game. Houston Sports & Social Club staff may require players to verify their eligibility at their discretion. If a player is ruled ineligible, the offending team will be assessed a loss for that game.

All Houston Sports & Social Club uniforms must be worn on the outside of any other garments, including sweatshirts and jackets. The entire Houston Sports & Social Club uniform must be visible to umpires at all times.

                Please refer to the General Rules for details regarding uniform alterations.

  1. FORFEITS:

If a team does not have the minimum number of players by game time, a $50 forfeit fine will be assessed and given to the opposing team in the form of a bar tab, unless the team has enough players to play an officiated exhibition game (minimum of 5 players). The game will be considered a forfeit if, after the team that is short players kicks in the first inning, still does not have enough players to play an official game. The team that is short players will kick first.

If a team e-mails info@HoustonSSC.com by 8am the day of the game for weekday leagues or by 4pm Friday for weekend leagues, stating that they will not be able to field a team, no fine will be assessed. This will allow notifications to reach the opposing team’s members and will allow the opposing coach to inform his team of the impending forfeit.

                Please refer to the General Rules for additional details regarding forfeit fines.

  1. BEVERAGES AT FIELDS:

Houston Sports & Social Club promotes responsible drinking; however some fields do not allow alcoholic beverages. If this is the case, Houston Sports & Social Club staff members will be monitoring to ensure that there are no visible signs of alcohol present. If a fine is assessed against Houston Sports & Social Club for a player’s negligence in following the rules of the field, that player will be responsible to reimburse Houston Sports & Social Club for any fines or additional costs associated with the violation. A player may be suspended for such violations.

  1. POINTS AWARDED:

               The winning team will be awarded 2 points.

               In the event of a tie, both teams will be awarded 1 point.

              The losing team will not be awarded any points.

  1. ATTIRE:

Metal spikes are not allowed.

  1. THE FIELD:

Any ball kicked, thrown, or unintentionally sent out of bounds will result in awarding the batter and all runners the base they were going to when the ball went out of bounds and one additional base. In general, for fields with fence lines, the fence line will be the out of bounds marker and will extend indefinitely. For open fields, an imaginary line extending 20 feet parallel to the base lines will define the out of bounds area. There may be special circumstances that vary from field to field. The referee will make the determination if a special provision is necessary and will declare them before the start of each game.

  1. TEAMS:

There will be a maximum of 10 players on the field at any time for a given team and a minimum of 8 players. There will be no more than 6 males on the field at any time. If a team does not have 4 females available to play, they must play short-handed and designate a position in the lineup for an automatic out where the missing female(s) would have batted. The automatic out does satisfy the requirements for a female at-bat in the lineup. If the team has fewer than 10 players available to play but have at least 4 women, no automatic outs will be assessed. There must always be a player at the catcher position.

All players must kick in the lineup, but no more than 2 males can kick in a row. In order to maintain proper ratios, females may re-kick in the original order of the lineup if needed (assuming a minimum of 4 females). For example, if a team has 9 players and 4 females, the fifth female spot in the lineup would revert back to the first female that kicked.  Males CANNOT kick more than once in the lineup to achieve a 2-1 guy-girl ratio, i.e. males are not allowed to re-kick until all players have kicked at least once. In the instance that a team is short females, automatic outs for the missing females must be assessed each time through the lineup prior to a male re-kicking.

The kicking order is fixed and cannot be changed during the game. However, fielding positions can be changed between and during innings as long as the maximum 6 males on the field rule is met. The only exception is that catchers may not be changed during the inning. The player that starts the inning as catcher must play that position throughout the inning (barring injury).

Each team must maintain two copies of the batting order. One copy must be given to the umpire before the start of the game and the other copy is for the team’s use.

  1. REGULATION GAMES:

Games will last for a maximum of 7 innings, with the game being official after 3 innings (2 1/2 if the home team leads). New innings will not begin after 50 minutes have elapsed from first pitch.

                There are no extra innings, thus the game can end in a tie.

Games will have a 5-minute grace period (with the exception of the first game of the night, which will have a 10-minute grace period). Once the grace period has expired the game clock will start. Any team that is not ready or does not have the minimum 8 players at the start of the game will automatically bat first. If that team gets three outs, and still does not have the minimum 8 players to take the field, that team will be charged with an official forfeit and teams can use the remaining time to play an exhibition game.

If however, the opposing team wishes to allow the team to play with less than the minimum amount of required players, the game may be played as an official game. The opposing team’s captain must notify the umpire that they want to play an official game despite the other team’s inability to field the minimum 8 players. The umpire will assume the game is a forfeit unless there is a specific request by the team captain to this effect.

There is a maximum of 7 runs per inning per team in innings 1-3 (Exception: unlimited runs may be scored if one of the first 3 innings is declared the final inning due to time). Unlimited runs may be scored after the 3rd inning.

The mercy rule will be applied as follows: If a team leads by 15 runs or more after 3 innings, 12 runs or more after 4 innings, or 10 runs or more after 5 innings, the mercy rule will be applied and the game will be declared over.

  1. KICKING / FIELDING:

The count begins at 1 ball, 1 strike. The batter will be out on the 3rd called strike. Once a kicker has 2 strikes, the kicker has one courtesy foul. The second foul after 2 strikes is an out. The batter will be awarded 1st base on the 4th called ball.

An out can be recorded by throwing the ball to the base, hitting the runner below the shoulders with the ball, or touching the runner with the ball.

A count of three outs by a team completes the team’s half of the inning. Hitting the base with the ball does not count as an out. The fielder must hit the runner with the ball or touch them with the ball while maintaining control of the ball.

All kicks must be made by the foot only and can only be struck once. If a knee ball or double-kick occurs, the ball will be ruled a foul ball (strike). Kickers may not stop the ball with their foot and then kick it.

The plant foot must be on or behind the front of home plate. If the line is fully crossed and the ball is struck, it will be treated as a foul ball (i.e. if the ball is put in play on the ground, it will be ruled a foul ball. If the ball is kicked in the air and the fielding team catches the pop fly, it will be ruled an out.)

Males must kick the ball to the base paths (i.e. the line that extends from 1st to 2nd base and from 2nd to 3rd base). Females must kick the ball to the 1st-3rd diagonal line that runs through the pitching mound. Any kick that does not reach the respective line will be considered a foul once it comes to a complete stop. If the ball is fielded before it reaches the respective line or prior to it coming to a complete stop, it is in play and considered a fair ball.

If a fly ball is fielded near the foul line, the ball is declared fair or foul depending on where the ball is touched (i.e. if a ball is touched in fair territory and dropped, the ball is considered fair and the play is live. If a ball is touched in foul territory and dropped, the ball is considered a foul ball.)

Players on the fielding team must throw the ball to their destination. Kicking the ball is not allowed by any member of the fielding team. A kicked ball by a member of the fielding team will result in either (1) all runners being called safe with each runner awarded an additional base or (2) the play stands if the runners advance farther than the one base award.

No more than 6 players on the fielding team may be inside the outfield grass or in the absence of an outfield grass line, within 15 feet of the base paths. This includes the pitcher and catcher.

  1. BATTING OUT OF ORDER:

If a player has batted out of order and the error is discovered while the incorrect batter is hitting, then the correct batter will assume the ball/strike count of the incorrect batter. If the incorrect batter reaches base safely and the error is discovered, the incorrect batter will be called out. All runners will return to their original base. The opposing team must make the umpire aware of “batting out of order” before a pitch is thrown to the next batter. If it is not, then the incorrect batter will stay on base.

  1. PITCHING/CATCHING:

Pitching must be underhand only in the spirit of sportsmanship. A pitched ball must be rolled and must bounce at least twice before reaching the plate to be considered a legal pitch. Illegal pitches will be counted as balls if delivered unfairly due to speed or deception. Players must use one continuous forward motion to deliver the pitch, i.e. no juking motions.

Pitches must be delivered at a safe speed that is consistent with the spirit of the recreational nature of the league. Pitching speed for 10 inch kickball will be allowed at a higher speed than 13 inch kickball, however the ball speed must still be delivered at a safe speed at the discretion of the umpire. Balls rolled at an excessive speed will be determined to be an illegal pitch and will be called a ball.

The strike zone extends to 1 foot on either side of home plate. It is acceptable for a ball to bounce while travelling to the plate as long as it does not exceed 1 ft. high (as measured from the bottom of the ball), however the kicker does have the option of kicking the ball even if it does bounce higher than 1 foot off the ground.

The pitcher must stay within 3 feet of either side of the mound until the ball is kicked. If the pitcher exceeds this pitching area, a ball will be called. The kicker does have the option of kicking it even if the pitcher exceeds the pitching area.

No player may advance past the 1st-3rd base diagonal line running that runs through the pitching mound until the ball is kicked, however anyone can field a bunt if they so choose. If a pitcher or fielder makes a play on the ball by illegally advancing beyond the 1st-3rd base diagonal line prior to the ball being kicked, the runner will be declared safe.

The catcher must be positioned at least 5 feet behind the plate until the ball is kicked. The catcher must not interfere with the kicker. Catcher interference will result in the kicker being awarded first base, and any players on base will automatically advance a base.

  1. RUNNERS:

Runners must always stay within the base path. If a runner steps outside of the base path during play, they will automatically be called out. In the event that a batted ball draws the fielder into the baseline, it is the runner's responsibility to avoid contact with the fielder and may go outside the baseline within reason. Fielders must stay out of the base line unless they are attempting to tag the runner or catch the kicked ball.

Fielders trying to make an out on base may have their foot on base, but must lean out of the baseline. If a fielder physically obstructs a runner from advancing or reaching their base, the runner may advance as many bases as they would have potentially earned had they been able to run unobstructed. This is a judgment call by the official.

There will be an extra first base (aka safety base) placed next to first base for the runner. The fielder must tag the regular base, NOT the safety base, to record the out and may not interfere in any way with the runner’s base path.

It is the responsibility of the runner to avoid a collision. Please help prevent injury to yourself and your opponents by doing everything in your power to avoid a collision. A tie will always go to the runner.

Players on base must not leave the base until it is kicked by the player at bat. Stealing bases is not allowed. Any runner caught leading off or leaving the base prior to the ball being kicked is out. If the runner intentionally hits or kicks the ball out of bounds after being tagged out, the ball is dead and all runners must return to their original bases.

Outs can be recorded by the fielding player throwing the kickball at a player or touching a player with the ball while they are attempting to advance to a base, however hitting a runner with the ball above shoulder level is not allowed, except for the following situations:

–         If the runner intentionally uses the head to block the ball runner is out.

–         If the runner is ducking, diving, or sliding (i.e. attempting to dodge the ball) and is hit in the head because of this, the runner is out.

In any other circumstances where the fielding player strikes the runner above the shoulders with the ball, the runner will be considered safe.

Runners may tag up on all fair & foul balls caught in the air. In a tag up scenario, the runner may leave base as soon as the ball is touched by a member of the fielding team. Any player that leaves base on a caught fly ball prior to the fielding team touching the ball, will be considered out unless they return to the starting base prior to being touched with the ball or the fielding team touching the starting base.

On an overthrow, all players may continue to advance provided the ball is still in play. The ball is dead if it touches sideline players, spectators, equipment, or goes out of bounds. If the ball goes out of bounds or is touched by a member of the fielding team who is not in the game, the runners will be allowed to advance to the base they were running plus one additional base. The player will be considered to be running toward a base if they have made an aggressive and definitive move toward the base prior to the dead ball.

If two runners occupy the same base at the same time, the fielder has the choice of tagging either runner with the ball. The runner who is tagged is out and the other runner is safe and may stay on the base.

If a runner passes the runner on the base ahead of them on the base paths at any time, the player passing the runner ahead of them will be considered out. The remaining runner is still considered a live player.

When the ball is in the infield (inside the base paths) and no runners are advancing bases, time will be called by the umpire. This will signal a stoppage in play in which no runners can advance until the next pitch is put in play. A play is also considered dead once the momentum of the play has ceased. 

There is no Infield Fly Rule, unless the fielder intentionally drops the ball in an attempt to turn a double play.

  1. INJURED RUNNER:

Injured players may receive a pinch runner once they reach a base. If a male player is injured, the last player out will become the pinch runner, regardless of gender. If a female player is injured, the last female out becomes the pinch runner.

  1. OTHER RULES:

If a rule is not otherwise stated here standard softball rules hold.

 

  1. PLAYOFFS
  2. SEEDING

Playoff seeding will be determined by the best overall records. In the event of ties, head-to-head matchups will determine higher seed whenever possible. When head-to-head matchups cannot clearly determine a higher seed, tiebreakers will be determined in the following order:

  1. Head-to-head matchups
  2. Highest team point differentials for the season
  3. Highest team total points for the season
  4. Lowest team total points allowed for the season
  5. Coin Flip
  6. Overtime Rules (Playoffs Only)

If regulation play ends in a tie during a playoff game, both teams will have the opportunity to kick. The player who was at bat during the previous inning when the 3rd out was recorded will start at 2nd base with no outs and a normal pitch count. If the game remains in a tie after the first playoff extra inning, each team will repeat the process but instead will begin the inning with a runner on 2nd and 1 out AND the game will revert to 1-pitch play (i.e. batters will start with a 3-2 count and no courtesy foul will be allowed. A batter that fouls the ball during 1-pitch play will be considered out).