In general, baseball rules apply to Kaw Valley kickball rules where not superseded by the Rules herein. If questions arise during the season, the Board will augment the rules and re-post the modified rules.
A. PLAYING FIELD
1. The kickball diamond is a square with equal sides of 65 feet.
2. Distance from home plate to second base, and first base to third base is 91 feet, 11 inches.
3. The pitching rubber is 40 feet from the front of home plate along the home/second base diagonal.
4. No defensive player may enter the defensive diamond (a shape created by measuring 35 feet from home plate along each foul line and drawing a line from each of these points to the pitching rubber) until a ball is kicked.
5. Home plate is considered foul territory.
1. Games shall have 4 referees
a. The head referee, positioned behind home plate looking down the third base or first base foul line;
b. The first base referee, positioned behind first base along the first base foul line;
c. The third base referee, positioned behind third base along the third base foul line; and
d. The official scorekeeper, positioned to get a good view of potential first base interference.
i. The scorekeeper’s primary responsibility is to keep score, check for illegal batting lineups, help ensure teams kick in the correct order, mark start times, make pertinent game notes, and be an extra pair of eyes on the field. Any referee may defer to the scorekeeper for a call if the scorekeeper has a better vantage point.
ii. The scorekeeper should always note on the scoresheet instances where IFUs, ejections, or similar rule issues arise before/during/after a game.
2. Referees shall be provided by the teams scheduled to play before/after on the same field. Each team must provide at least two capable referees. Failure to provide a referee will result in a forfeit for that team. (see rule L.5)
3. In a game with fewer than 4 referees, the head referee shall keep the official scoresheet, while team captains will also keep score on a scoresheet. Referees must ensure there are no discrepancies between their scoresheet and the team captains’ scoresheets between each half-inning.
4. The head referee has jurisdiction over play including delaying or postponing games due to rain or lightning.
a. “Flash-Boom” Rule: Play must be suspended immediately and players should find shelter when a flash of lightning is followed by a boom of thunder within five seconds. Play may resume when 15 minutes have passed since an applicable flash-boom.
b. Play should be suspended due to rain when puddles of standing water have formed within the kickball diamond, or when in the head referee’s discretion play is deemed unsafe.
5. Referees may clearly signal that a play is over (see rule J.1) by calling “time.” If referees consult after a play and change a call that was made, they may take all steps necessary, in their discretion, to eliminate the results and consequences of the overturned call, including placing runners in certain spots had the ultimate call been made initially, disregarding interference or obstruction that may have occurred on the play, mitigating failures of runners to tag up based upon the overturned call, making allowances for runners passing other runners or missing bases, etc.
1. Teams must play between 8 and 10 players in the field. If fielding 10 players, one must play the catcher position. No team may field more than:
a. 7 men, or 7 women, if fielding 10 players;
b. 6 men, or 6 women, if fielding 9 players; or
c. 5 men, or 5 women, if fielding 8 players
d. Failure to meet these guidelines within 10 minutes of the scheduled start-time of a game will result in forfeit (see rule L.5) (see C. 6 .b for “IPA – Tournament Exception”).
e. Any team or individual that believes a modification to this rule is necessary should contact the board immediately to discuss the same. Attempts to circumvent these Rules strictly for the purpose of obtaining a perceived competitive advantage will not be tolerated.
2. Any player who kicks during a game must play at least one inning in the field, and any player who plays in the field must kick at least once, or shall be considered an illegal player. This requirement is inapplicable when a player is injured and permanently removed from the game due to injury.
3. Kicking lineups must be set before the start of the game. The lineup may contain players both present and non-present at the beginning of the game (though a non-present player in the kicking order will result in an “out” if they must be skipped). Any player who has neither kicked nor fielded during a game may be scratched from the lineup without penalty during a game if the lineup remains legal otherwise. Any additions after the first kick of the game must be added to the bottom of the lineup unless it would create an illegal lineup, in which case the late addition may be added to a shared spot in the lineup. The opposing captain and scorekeeper must be notified of all changes to the lineup, and all changes must be approved by the head referee.
4. Kicking lineups must contain between 8 and 12 spots. No lineup may include more than:
a. 8 spots containing men, or 8 spots containing women, if the lineup contains 11 or 12 spots;
b. 7 spots containing men, or 7 spots containing women, if the lineup contains 10 spots;
c. 6 spots containing men, or 6 spots containing women, if the lineup contains 9 spots;
d. 5 spots containing men, or 5 spots containing women, if the lineup contains 8 spots;
5. Any team or individual that believes a modification to this rule is necessary should contact the board immediately to discuss the same. Attempts to circumvent these Rules strictly for the purpose of obtaining a perceived competitive advantage will not be tolerated.
Two players may share one spot in the kicking order as long as:
a. Both players kick and field at least once during the game (provided the exception in Rule C.2 does not apply);
b. The lineup contains at least 10 kicking spots; and
c. The minimum designations in Rule C.4 are met.
d. Any player who kicks out of order shall be called a dead-ball out.
6. If a player is injured and is not able to kick and/or is not able to continue to field while on defense, that player’s kicking spot must be scratched from the lineup, and if necessary the injured player may be replaced on defense immediately. If replaced mid-inning on defense, or scratched from the kicking lineup, the injured player may not re-enter the game at any point. Any player removed from the lineup (for injury or any other reason) has their spot scratched. Other players in the lineup cannot be swapped into that spot, but if the lineup results in an illegal lineup according to rule C.4, player in a shared spot may be moved to the bottom of the lineup to create a legal lineup. If a player is replaced while occupying a base, the replacement runner shall be the individual who was most recently put out. If an injury, emergency, or disqualification causes a team to fall below eight total players, the team must forfeit (see C.1, C.3). If an injury results in non-compliance with Rule C.1 or C.4 strictly as a result of the men/women maximums listed therein, the Injury Play Act may be used.
a. “Injury Play Act” (“IPA”): Teams may play with the following after a game has begun if an injury occurs during the game necessitating the same (but see Rule C.6.b for “IPA – Tournament Exception,” and the additional exceptions listed in Rules C.1 and C.4).
i. When fielding under the IPA, the team must field 9 players, and may not field more than 7 men, or 7 women
ii. When kicking under the IPA, the Kicking lineup must contain 11 or fewer spots (inclusive of the injured player’s spot), must otherwise be maintained, and the injured player’s spot will be an automatic out. No lineup under the IPA may include more than:
A. 8 spots containing men, or 8 spots containing women, if the lineup contains 11 spots
(inclusive of the injured player’s automatic-out spot);
B. 7 spots containing men, or 7 spots containing women, if the lineup contains 10 spots (inclusive of the injured player’s automatic-out spot);
C. 6 spots containing men, or 6 spots containing women, if the lineup contains 9 spots (inclusive of the injured player’s automatic-out spot); or
D. 5 spots containing men, or 5 spots containing women, if the lineup contains 8 spots (inclusive of the injured player’s automatic-out spot);
b. “IPA – Tournament Exception”: If the “IPA” is called upon within a multiple game and/or multiple day tournament, it can continue to be used in following tournament games without forfeit providing that the injured player is not on the lineup. The injured player may not be added back into the lineup during that day of tournament play. However, if an addition of an eligible player allows for the IPA to no longer be applied, the Tournament Exception will not be allowed in subsequent Tournament games.
7. Each player may play for ONLY ONE team throughout the season, or shall be considered an illegal player. Teams found to be using illegal players in this regard shall forfeit any games in question.
8. Each team shall name a captain and assistant captain, who are responsible for turning in a lineup to the head referee each game.
a. Captains and assistant captains (2 total) are the only players on a team that may discuss calls with referees during the course of a game.
i. “Home” teams of the early games (as listed on the schedule) are responsible for picking up the equipment at the YSC concession stands (unless otherwise noted by the board). Equipment will be available 45 minutes to one hour before game times..
ii. The winning teams of the late games are responsible for returning all equipment from their field. The bag of cans can be left by YSC concession stands (unless otherwise noted by the board). Clipboards, brushes, and popups should be returned to Hobbs by 9:00pm. Failure of a team to return the equipment on time may result in a forfeit of their previous victory or an IFU.
iii. Metal cleats are prohibited for all official KVKL events. The use of metal cleats in a game will classify the player as “illegal” (see rule L.5)
D. REGULATION GAMES
1. Games are a full nine innings, with extra innings if necessary.
2. “Enough-Already Rule”: If one team is ahead by 15+ runs after the end of 7 innings OR 60 minutes, the game shall be considered over.
a. During the regular season, if the teams agree, they may continue to play, but any continuation will not be entered on the official scoresheet.
i. During the tournament, teams will not be given the option to continue play after “Enough-Already Rule” has been enacted.
b. Referees are not required to continue reffing a game where the “Enough-Already Rule” has been enacted.
c. In some instances, players may not have had a chance to kick before the “Enough-Already Rule” is enacted. These players will be exempt from kicking for just this instance and the lineup will be considered legal.
d. All players must play at least one inning in the field (see rule C.2)
e. If the “Enough-Already Rule” isn’t enacted, teams must continue to follow rule C.2.
f. Clearly mark on scoresheet when “Enough-Already Rule” is enacted.
3. A game that is called off by the head referee at the end of a full 5 innings of play shall be considered a regulation game. The game score at the end of the last full inning shall determine the winner. However, if both teams wish to continue or re-start the game at another time, then the league will endorse that game. Regulation games that are called off and have a tied score shall be recorded as a tie unless both teams make arrangements to complete the game. Post-season tournament games will be finished to a full nine innings but may be suspended or re-started on a different day due to inclement weather or other conditions as determined by the commissioner or head referee.
E. PITCHING AND CATCHING
1. A pitch that is not bouncing, rolls across home plate and is rolled at a reasonable speed (as determined by the head official) is considered a strike. Referees should use their discretion to make sure that every kicker gets the chance to kick a ball of their liking, but if a kicker is letting kickable pitches go by, strikes should be called.
a. Kickers are out on the 4th strike.
b. Kickers may strike out on a pitch that the head referee calls a 4th strike.
2. Kickers may not be walked. However, if a referee thinks that a pitcher is intentionally rolling poor pitches, he may reprimand the pitcher and encourage him or her to pitch to the kicker’s liking. In VERY extreme circumstances, a referee may ask another player on the fielding team to pitch. In ABSURD circumstances, the head referee may disqualify the pitcher.
3. A legal pitch must begin within a step to either side of the pitcher’s strip.
4. Until the ball is put into play by a kick, defensive players may not enter the “defensive diamond” (See Rule A.4). If a referee witnesses a defender enter the defensive diamond prematurely, the referee shall yell, “Encroachment!” and point to the defender in violation. If encroachment is called, the kicker shall be awarded 2nd base, and all other runners advance as they are forced.
5. Catchers may not interfere in any way with the kicker’s attempt to kick a pitch.
a. Catchers must be positioned behind the front face of home plate, and at least three feet to either side of home plate (“catcher’s box”). Catchers may not position any part of their body across the vertical planes of the catcher’s box during a pitch. This is considered encroachment (2 bases awarded).
b. Catchers must remain stationary from when the pitch is rolled to when the ball is kicked. This is considered defensive interference (1 base awarded).
c. Catchers must yield to a runner on his/her way to first base. If a catcher makes contact with a runner on the way to first base, intentionally or accidentally, the runner will be considered safe at first base, regardless of the play made on the field. A referee may also call catcher’s interference regardless of contact being made on a play. Players who abuse this rule by intentionally running into a catcher will automatically be out.
1. All kicks must occur at or behind the kicking line, which is a line designated by the front of home plate and running infinitely in both directions. A kick in front of the kicking line is considered to be a foul kick. The kicker’s plant foot (non-kicking foot) shall be used to determine whether any part of said foot crossed the front of the plate. If a player kicks a ball in front of home plate, the head referee shall call “foul ball” immediately. As with all foul balls, the kicker may not advance, but, if a kicked foul ball is caught in the air it will result in an out, and any runners on base may tag up.
2. Bunting is legal.
3. Any ball that is pitched and touched by either foot of the player at bat shall be considered a “kick” and ruled fair or foul. (See E.1. for pitching rules)
4. A ball must enter the vertical plane of the kicking line before it can be considered fair.
1. Neither leading off base nor stealing a base is allowed. A runner is out if he or she is off base when the ball is kicked.
2. Tagging up is allowed. Runners may tag up when a fly ball makes contact with a fielder. Runners do not have to wait for a fielder to have full possession of a fly ball to advance. Tagging up is allowed on any kicked ball caught in the air, including kicked balls caught in foul territory.
3. “Headshot Rule”: Tagging or hitting a runner with a ball that first contacts a runner above shoulder level is not allowed. Any runner hit above the shoulder level while running upright shall be considered safe at their target base and all other runners may advance freely. However, any runner sliding, ducking or moving one’s head below normal standing height forfeits this ‘headshot’ safety rule.
a. If a referee rules that a defensive player intentionally or maliciously throws at a player’s head when they are sliding or ducking, the referee should STRONGLY consider expelling the defensive player from the game, and the runner will be called safe.
4. Runners are allowed to over-run first base only.
a. To return to first base safely, runners are reminded to
i. Turn to the right,
ii. Remain in foul territory, or
iii. Not fake or appear to make any clear intent to advance toward second base.
b. Runners that overrun first will be in play and eligible to be tagged out if:
i. They make any clear intent to advance or fake towards 2nd base; or
ii. The base runner’s turn to the left results in the base runner blatantly entering fair territory, but
iii. The referee should always consider the runner’s intent.
5. Avoiding contact between runner and fielder should be a priority for all players:
a. When a defender is making a play on a KICKED ball the runner shall not make contact with the defender or that runner shall be called out, unless the defender does not allow the runner opportunity to touch the base (blocking a base), except in the case of rule E.5.c. (catcher interference)
b. When a defender is making a play on a THROWN ball or not involved with the play they shall avoid the path of the runner and shall not make contact with that runner. If contact occurs and the runner does not reach the next base safely (the base immediately after contact occurs), the runner shall be awarded that base. If the runner does reach the next base safely, the runner will be awarded an additional base unless the runner has already safely advanced to said additional base.
c. Excessive/malicious contact by either runner or defender is grounds for ejection.
6. Running to first base:
a. When there is a play at first base:
i. Defenders should step on the white side of the base.
ii. The runner should run on the foul side of the first-base line and step on the orange side of first base (i.e. safety base).
b. The first base interference zone is in foul territory, will start at the interference line eight (8) feet before first base, extend to the back of the orange safety base lengthwise, and extend to the end of the safety base opposite the white base widthwise.
i. A defender must always leave a clear path to the safety base once the runner has crossed the interference line.
ii. A kicker running to first base is automatically safe if a defender enters interference zone (including the vertical plane) between the runner and the safety base to field a THROWN ball AFTER the kicker has crossed the interference line.
c. If contact is made between the runner and defender in foul territory, including the vertical plane where foul territory begins, the runner shall be safe. If contact is made in fair territory, the runner shall be out.
d. A runner is highly encouraged to get into foul territory as quickly as possible after kicking. A runner determined to be intentionally interfering with a defender’s path to a kicked ball in fair territory may be called out.
7. Once the pitcher gains and retains possession of the ball within the kickball diamond (see rule A.1):
a. Runners who are off base at this time and maintain forward motion may attempt to advance to the next base.
b. Runners who are off base at this time and not in forward motion must return to the base from which they were running unless forced from said base.
i. Returning runners may be tagged, thrown out, or the illegally passed base may be tagged while the ball is still “live.” Refs may safely return runners to their appropriate base after a play is over unless the runner has already been tagged or forced out.
ii. If a runner has passed more than one base illegally, any of the illegally passed bases may be tagged to get the runner out provided the runner has yet to return to that base. If “time” is called and the head referee determines that a runner crossed more than one base illegally, at that point the runner should be out rather than allowed to return to the first illegally crossed base safely.
c. If a pitcher loses possession of the ball while the ball is still “live” runners may continue without returning to the first illegally passed base, but if a runner has passed more than one base illegally they must first return to the second of the illegally passed bases before continuing.
d. Any runner is out when they pass a preceding runner before such runner is out.
8. A runner that is forced from a base by a ball in play is no longer safe on that base until the force is removed.
a. If the runner is hit or tagged with the ball while occupying a base they are forced from, they are out.
b. A runner hit or tagged while occupying an unforced base is safe, except in case of rule I.5. (intentional contact).
1. A count of four strikes/fouls constitutes an out.
2. A foul is:
a. A kick landing out of bounds.
b. A kick landing in bounds, but traveling out of bounds, untouched by a defensive player or runner, before reaching third or first base.
c. Any ball that first hits any object or person in foul territory, irrespective of its consequent path (see “Tree Rule” (I.3.a) for exception).
d. A ball that is kicked in front of home plate.
e. A ball that fails to reach the kicking line before being touched.
f. A kicked ball in foul territory that hits a fence, an umpire, a spectator, or other outside object shall be considered a foul ball and not eligible to be caught for an out (see “Tree Rule” (I.3.a) for exception).
1. A count of 4 strikes. A 4th strike and a recorded out can be recorded on a foul ball or called strike.
2. A runner touched by the ball while not on a base.
a. In the event that a kicked ball hits a kicker after they have moved from behind the home plate in fair territory and are making their way to first base without a defender touching the ball, that player is out. However, if the kicker is still behind the plate or in the act of kicking (i.e. a double kick) and the same situation occurs, it will be considered a foul ball that must be caught in order to be an out.
3. Any kicked ball, fair or foul, that is caught.
a. Tree Rule: A kicked ball that strikes a tree during its course of flight may be then caught for an out.
4. A fielding player in control of the ball and touching a base to which a runner is forced to run, before the runner arrives.
5. A runner that intentionally makes contact with the ball while on base.
6. A runner that makes contact with a fielder making a play on a kicked ball. It is the runner’s responsibility to avoid a defensive player attempting to make a play on a ball (except in the case of rule E.5.c.).
7. A runner who deviates more than two steps to either side of their path to the next base when attempting to avoid a defender with possession of the ball.
J. BALL IN PLAY
1. Once the pitcher gains and retains possession of the ball within the diamond (see Rule A.1) and all runners are on a base without a defensive attempt to get them out, the play ends. Refs may call “time” to end a play but should only do so after these conditions are met. Also, if a fielder has possession of the ball on the infield and asks a referee for time-out and it is granted by a referee, then the play is considered over. Referees are only to give timeout when the play has come to an obvious conclusion.
2. Play stops if an out-of-bounds individual (player or non-player) interferes with the play. The official should determine where runners should be in a case-by-case basis.
3. Ground-Rule Doubles:
a. If a kicked ball becomes unplayable in any landscape in fair territory, on a bounce or in the air, the referees shall rule the play dead and award a ground rule double to the kicker. All runners shall advance 2 bases from their location when the ball becomes unplayable.
b. On a field in which a fence surrounds the area of play, if a thrown ball leaves the area of play each runner shall be allowed to continue to the next base in front of them, and then advance an additional base.
4. Ground-Rule Triples: When a kicked ball hits the ground in fair territory then bounces over the back outfield fence, play stops and the kicker and all runners shall advance three bases from their location at the beginning of play.
5. Home Run: If ball hits the outfield fence or player without hitting the ground in fair territory and goes over the back outfield fence, this is a home run.
6. Deflated or “Popped” Ball : No matter when a “popped” ball occurs during a play, it is an immediate “dead ball.” The play resets, the kicker re-kicks and any runners return to their base from before the play began. No player may pop a ball intentionally, and doing so is grounds for ejection.
7. Defensive team members not currently holding a defensive position and Offensive team members excluding 2 base coaches (1st & 3rd) and the next 2 upcoming kickers must remain out of the playing field (including foul territory) during play
a. Any clear disruption of a defensive play by an offensive team member (allowed on the field or not) is interference and the kicker is Out.
b. Any clear beneficial assistance to a runner by a fellow team member is illegal and that runner is Out.
c. Any clear beneficial assistance to a defensive player by a fellow team member (who is not an active defensive player) is interference, and all runners are awarded 1 extra base (or the next base they did not reach safely) at the conclusion of the play.
K. DISQUALIFICATIONS (SEE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR COMPLETE INFO ON THIS SUBJECT)
1. If a head referee feels threatened by any player, or is repeatedly questioned about calls by non-captain or non-assistant captain players, he or she should warn that team’s captain, assistant captain and all other referees that the player has been given a warning. After a warning is issued, the head referee or any other referee may disqualify that player.
2. Fighting of any sort will result in a disqualification. The head referee has jurisdiction over what is considered fighting.
3. If a player is disqualified from a game, he or she can be disqualified from Kaw Valley Kickball permanently, based on a review of any incident by the commissioner and a vote of the Board.
L. TEAM AND PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
1. The season will consist of 10 regular-season games and a post-season tournament. Games are usually played, but not limited to, Sunday evenings between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
2. The commissioner or acting commissioner may call off an entire week or games due to weather in extreme circumstances. Rained-out games will be either cancelled or rescheduled, depending on field availability.
3. If any team cannot field a team on a given Sunday, that team captain may reschedule that game with the consent of their opponents. Teams who reschedule a game ahead of time are still required to supply referees for games at the originally scheduled time of their game, unless other arrangements are made. The board must approve all rescheduling.
a. No team shall be allowed to participate in any KVKL games until the captain and assistant captain have both signed the Captain’s Waiver.
i. Any team competing before the captain and/or assistant captain have signed waivers may forfeit the game in question.
b. No player shall be allowed to participate in any KVKL games until they have signed the Player’s Waiver.
i. Any person competing before signing a waiver shall be considered an illegal player.
5. Illegal Players
a. Any team that uses an illegal player may forfeit all games in which the player in question has played depending upon board discretion.
b. A player is considered “illegal” when he/she:
i. Has not signed a player’s waiver.
ii. Is using metal cleats
iii. Has already played for another KVKL team at any point in the same season.
iv. Kicks during a game without fielding, or fields during a game without kicking (provided the exception in Rule C.2 does not apply).
v. Is currently suspended by the KVKL.
6. A player must have played at least 3 regular season games for that player to be eligible for playoff games. However, if their captain notifies the Board in advance, an injured player who refs an entire game may accrue up to 2 games towards their playoff eligibility by doing so, as long as each game played/reffed occurs in separate weeks.
7. A list of eligible players will be provided to every team before the playoffs begin.
a. Teams that fail to meet the expectations and responsibilities of all teams in the league can be subject to forfeits and/or loss of “returning team” status.
i. If the behavior in question occurs during a game (i.e., failure to field a full team, use of an illegal player), the forfeiting team can automatically receive a loss for that week’s game and their opponent will automatically receive a victory.
ii. Teams that receive two forfeits will be barred from competition in the post-season tournament and will not receive “returning team” status in the next year’s team registration.
b. If a team forfeits a tournament game, it is out of the tournament. The forfeiting team will not move to a lower bracket, and the non-forfeiting team will advance in the bracket as if it had won the game.