The kicking order, also called the lineup, is the order in which the offensive players on a team go up to kick. The lineup is determined by the field manager and other coaches, and changes with every game depending on strategy and which players are in the game.
The amount of players in the kicking order will vary based on the level of play and the league's rules. Make sure you read the rulebook for the league you are playing in. A typical kicking order may have up to twelve (12) kickers. It all depends on the rules of the league.
How Does It Work?
As each team takes their half-inning to kick, the lineup cycles through. Except for the first inning, the beginning of each half-inning does not necessarily start with the first person in the lineup. Instead, it picks off at whoever's turn was next when the team's previous offensive turn ended. The lineup does not change except in the case of substitutions.
PRO TIP: The team's most powerful hitter usually occupies the fourth spot in the lineup and is called the cleanup hitter. The idea behind this is that the kickers before him will reach base, then he will get a strong hit and advance those baserunners to home plate, in effect cleaning up the bases.
The Written Lineup
The written lineup is written by the manager to list the lineup he has created for the game. Before the game, it is shared with the referees, the opposing team, and spectators. The lineup card also lists potential substitution players.
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.