Kickball has been played and enjoyed by many since 1917. It was used to teach the rules of baseball, but without all of the extra equipment. So instead of bats players used what they had-- their feet. But there are many pieces of equipment that make the game unique.
Three bases, a pitching strip, a home plate, and a kickball are needed to play the game. A kickball is made of rubber and pressurized with air. The size of the kickball and pressure vary based on the level of play and the rules of the league. You should expect a kickball with a radius of 5 in and pressure of 1.5lbs per square inch.
Here's a complete list of everything you'll need to play some kickball:
You can play kickball recreationally with just about any bouncy ball or dodgeball you can find, but at higher levels of play the regulation balls are 10 inches in diameter at a pressure of 1.5 lbs per square inch. It's important for gameplay to make sure that the ball is properly inflated, so investing in an air pump might be a good idea as well. Kickballs come in all colors, but players are most likely to use the iconic red ball as it's easy to identify on any field.
Kickball uses three square bases and a five-sided home plate to play ball. These bases are typically made of rubber and are not reinforced into the playing field, so it's important for runners to be careful not to move the bases when playing.
Each team's pitcher will alternate standing on a rectangular pitching strip while in the field. The strip is also typically made of rubber and lies on a mound if the field allows. It's important for this piece of equipment to stay in place, as where a pitcher stands is vital to gameplay.
Kickball can be played almost anywhere as long as it's safe; on grass, on dirt, or indoors. Using rubber bases that can easily be moved, players can make a diamond and create their own field wherever. Each base is 60 ft apart and the distance from home to second is about 84 ft, with the pitching strip right in the center. To help outline the field, there are often cones placed behind each base including home plate.
Unlike many other sports, kickball tends to have very loose rules on the players' uniforms. Most players stick to athletic wear: shorts or athletic pants, a jersey or t-shirt and shoes or cleats. It's important that kickball players wear moisture wicking, breathable clothing to allow them to run around the bases and in the field with ease.
Team jerseys are how kickball players can identify each other on the field and differentiate themselves from other teams. Jerseys are usually made of polyester, cotton, or a blend of the two and can be short or long-sleeved. Each jersey will be in the team color, including a player's number, the team name, and possibly the player's name as well.
Pants or leggings can be a go-to for a cold Fall kickball game. A good strategy is to wear shorts underneath your pants, so if it gets too hot you can change into shorts more easily.
Shorts are great for a Summer kickball game. Additionally, you can match the color of your shorts to your jersey and socks to complete the uniform. There are many types of shorts, but feel free to get creative with the style. Kickball is a fun game, go out and find a pair of throwback shorts.
Footwear is extremely important in a game that's all about kicking. Outdoor players wear cleats in order to best grip into the ground when running. Most athletic cleats will do the job, but metal cleats are not allowed, plastic or rubber-spiked cleats are worn. Indoor players can use just about any athletic sneaker that fits comfortably. It's important to make sure shoes and cleats are on snug to make sure that the shoe doesn't go flying with the ball.
Most kickball players wear socks to keep their feet comfortable during gameplay. Since there will certainly be a lot of kicking going on, this extra layer on the feet can be very helpful with preventing injury and wicking sweat. Teams might have matching socks as a part of their uniform.
Aside from the uniform basics you may also see players wearing a few accessories. Those outside might wear sunglasses and a hat to protect/avoid the sun during the game. Some wear sweat bands to keep sweat out of the eyes. Players are allowed to wear any protective gear as long as it doesn't put them at an advantage over their opponent.
Sunglasses are a great addition to your equipment list for kickball. Sunglasses help to keep the sun out of your eyes when pitching, batting, coaching, and being the referee. A good pair of sunglasses will balance utility and design.
Whether you're playing kickball indoors or outdoors, it's important to stay hydrated during such an active sport. To do this, most players have water close by. Teams can invest in a jug that the whole team can share or players can bring their own.
Kickball is a sport you can have fun with, so why not add music? Bringing music speakers can take the game to the next level. Players can have their own custom walk up music before they kick and music can play while teams transition from the field to kicking to keep things interesting and fun.