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RULES

Rules for Spring 2019 season (subject to change at anytime). Edited 2/19/19 – These are the current rules

Any rule or situation not explained here will default to Major League Baseball rules. These calls will be made at the discretion of the head umpire. Their call is final and cannot be disputed.

REMEMBER, THIS IS A SOCIAL SPORTS LEAGUE
The only players allowed to communicate with the referees are the captain and co-captain. Any abuse (verbal or otherwise) of the referees or other players will constitute an immediate ejection from the game. Repeated offenders will be banned from the league. No exceptions.

PLAYER WAIVER & RELEASE FORM
Every player must complete the Waiver & Release Form and give it to a RI Kickball official before he or she can play. If a player fails to submit their online player waiver & release waiver form, all liability and legal issues will be the responsibility of the team captain. RI Kickball will not be responsible for players that do not submit an online player waiver & release form.

Players may be listed only on one team’s roster per season throughout the league. For a player to be considered “playoff eligible” (eligible to participate in the playoffs (if playoffs are scheduled that season)), he/she must be listed on a team’s roster and must have played in a minimum of two regular season games for that particular team.

THE PLAYING FIELD
Field of play will equal the dimensions of a standard softball field (i.e., with the bases being about 60 feet or 20 paces apart).

EQUIPMENT
RI Kickball will provide field equipment. This will consist of a 10-inch playground ball, bases and cones. The field will also deploy the use of strike zone bases in the vicinity of home plate. These bases are only to be used as a visual aid and are not intended to have runners tagged out at them. Out’s must be made at the home plate.

OFFICIALS
Games will be officiated by at 4 umpires from two teams. Each team shall provide 2 umpires each night. Umpires will umpire on the same field that they are playing on just in the other time slot. The home plate referee issues all final rulings and has the ability to over turn any call made by another umpire. Only a team captain or co-captain may dispute a call with the referee. The referee has jurisdiction over the play and may penalize a player, including game ejection, for un-sportsman like conduct. Ejected players may not return to the game and if necessary may be asked to leave the premises.

The head umpire has the to issue a warning to any team (player), that has a non-captain player arguing a call. If that same player raises issue again during the game the umpire can eject that player from the game if warranted. That player is then required to leave the field and not attend the after party. The team will be forced to play with 8 players instead of 9 for the remainder of the game.

UMPIRE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Home plate umpire calls balls and strikes, watches for “foot fouls” (kicking past the plate). This is the head umpire for the game and has the ability to overturn/change any ruling made by a base umpire.
  • First base umpire calls plays at first base and fouls on the first base line. First base ump is positioned 15-20 feet behind first base on the foul line.
  • Third base umpire watches the pitcher’s feet to make sure that the pitcher’s lead foot does not go pat the rubber until the ball is kicked, calls foul balls on the third base. Third base ump is positioned 15-20 feet behind third base on the foul line.

PARTICIPANTS
All players must be 21 years of age or older. Players may only play on a team on which they are registered. Exception: You may function as a substitute player for another team if they are short a man or woman. This is ONLY valid during the regular season play and you must be a registered player in RI Kickball. If a team uses a substitute player from another team, then they will forfeit the game as a loss. The game will still be played just for fun. Teams can play with a minimum of 6 players (including 2 females).

RI Kickball reserves the right to suspend any player at any time for unsportsmanlike conduct, violation of any rules, for failure to pay appropriate dues or for being disruptive, without any refund what so ever. Any team wishing to suspend any member for just reasons must do so on their own and provide RI Kickball a written reason as to why. Again, no refunds. At the discretion of RI Kickball, any member suspended may not in the future be allowed to participate in any further RI Kickball events.

TEAMS
Each team must consist of a minimum of eighteen (18) players and no more than 25 players. A team may not play more than 9 players at a time in the field (defense)and are required to have one of those 9 players play the catcher position, but 15 are allowed to kick (offense). Each team is required to have at least 3 women in the field in each inning, and 3 women in the kicking lineup. Teams must play a player in the position of catcher at all times.

Only in the case of an injury that occurs during a game with a pinch runner be allowed. This will only be allowed for 1 inning, after 1 inning if the player can not resume to full activity then they must step out of the game entirely.

Every player present is required to be in the kicking line up. Every player present is required to play at least one (1) inning in the field. If a team does not have the required minimum number of female players in the fielding lineup, then the team must forfeit (unless agreed by the opposing team captains).

If a team can only field 2 females, then a total of 6 players can only play in the field and you must have a catcher.

Each team shall have one Captain and one Co-Captain who are charged with:

  • Making sure that only players registered on their team are participating on their behalf in a game.
  • Insuring that their players kick in the same order throughout the game (if necessary, teams can exchange kicking lineups prior to the game).
  • Disputing a call on the field and remaining cool at all times.
  • Making sure everyone on their team understands the rules.
  • Turning in the game results to the appropriate person.
  • Staying in contact with RI Kickball and attending all required league meetings.
  • Communicating any changes in regards to scheduling or rules with his/her team.
  • Ensuring that everyone on his/her team is eligible to play (made payment and turned in waiver).
  • Contacting the other team and the league in the event of a forfeit by 2:00 pm.
  • Providing the referees as they are scheduled (given the league’s size, expect this to be every evening). A referee doesn’t have to be a team captain but your assistance in judging/umpiring another game while your team isn’t playing will be requested.

Any team that forfeits three or more games will be removed from the remaining schedule and not be allowed to participate in any playoff situations, unless other arrangements have been made with RI Kickball. No refunds will be given and a team dropped by the league may, at RI Kickball’s discretion, not be allowed to rejoin the next season.

Players on a team must wear their team shirt provided by RI Kickball during all games, chosen before the season begins. Teams are encouraged to be creative with names and designing their teams’ shirts. Any name or design must not interfere with the RI Kickball logo or the Sponsor’s name or logo as specified on the RI Kickball registration page of RIKickball.org Custom matching team gear that is ordered through RI Kickball’s vendor will also serve as approved team uniforms.

Players will not be allowed to wear any sort of metal cleats, plastic cleats are allowed.

*All games will start within 1o minutes of the scheduled start time. This applies to both the regular season and the playoffs. For example: games that start at 6 p.m. will only be held to 6:10 p.m. and games that start at 6:30 p.m. will only be held to 6:40 p.m.

REGULATION GAME
Games will be 5 innings, depending on the season and sunset times. Games that have gone past the 5th inning and are tied in score will be scored as a Tie Game. There are no Extra Innings in the Regular Season.

The game will be called in the event of uncooperative weather. The rules for game cancellation are defined by the parks in which we play. RI Kickball will attempt to reschedule any canceled games. If a game is called due to weather and less than 3 complete innings have been played, the game is canceled and will be rescheduled (and replayed starting at 0-0, top of the 1st). If 3 full innings or more have been played, the final score will be the score at the end of the last complete full inning.

If a team scores 8 or more runs in one inning a mercy rule to move on to the next inning can be asked for. Both captains and the head umpire must agree.

PLAYOFFS
Playoff games will be 5 innings in length. A Playoff bracket will be published in advance. All players must be of the team, no subs from other teams shall be allowed for post-season games. Lineup sheets must be handed in to refs for each playoff game. Players playing in the playoffs must have played in at least 2 regular season games.

SPORTSMANSHIP
Players should have no intentional or unwelcome physical contact with opposing players. Doing so will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and it will be at the discretion of the referee to issue warnings or eject offending players. A player must make the referee aware if he or she feels any contact was unwarranted.

Trash talking is permitted as long as it is not cruel, racially motivated, hateful, or a personal attack on another player. The trash talking should only be good natured and shall not be allowed to get out of hand. Threats of physical violence are in no way allowed. The team captain shall ensure that their players behave themselves.

Due to Rhode Island regulations, consumption of alcohol on the fields is strictly prohibited. If a person is seen consuming alcohol on the field, that person’s team immediately forfeits that day’s game and may, at the discretion of RI Kickball be removed from the league.

PITCHING/CATCHING
The pitcher must plant their foot on the pitching strip as they wind-up to pitch. No running up to the strip to launch a pitch. Pitches must be underhanded. Any side-arm or over-hand pitches will be considered a ball at the discretion of the head umpire. Any portion of the ball must cross within 11.9 inches of the plate to be considered a strike. The ball may not be more than 6 inches off the ground as it crosses the plate (bouncy). This is at the discretion of the umpire.

The pitcher must stay behind the pitching strip until the ball is kicked. Failure to do so results in a ball. All infielders must stay behind the imaginary line stretching from designated cones lined on the field until the ball is kicked. The cones will be approximately 10 feet from home plate. Failure to do so results in a ball.

The catcher must start behind the kicker until the ball is kicked. The catcher shall not interfere with the kicker in any way. Failure to abide by this rule results in a ball.

The position of catcher and pitcher are required positions. Teams maybe disperse there rest of the their team throughout the field as they see fit.

KICKING
All kicks must be made by the foot. Any lower leg contact while attempting to kick the ball will be considered a kick regardless of where it strikes the leg or foot.

All kicks must occur at or behind home plate. Both feet must be on or behind home plate at the time the ball is kicked. If one or more feet are in front of home plate at the time the ball is kicked, it is a strike and the runner is called back unless it is his/her third strike. If the ball is caught it is an out and base-runners may tag up. A kick must remain within bounds until it crosses past first or third base.

Bunting is allowed.

Kicking order. Maximum 2 male then 1 female at the beginning of the lineup.

RUNNING
Runners must stay within three feet the base line. Fielders must stay out of the base line unless they are attempting to tag a runner out or catch the ball. Fielders trying to make an out on base may have their foot on base, but must lean out of the base line. Runners unfairly hindered by any fielder within the base line shall be safe at the base to which they were running.

Neither leading off base, nor stealing a base is allowed. A runner may only move off his/her base after the ball has been kicked and you can’t pass the runner in front of you. These are outs. If a runner leaves the base early, the opposing team must signal an umpire for judgement. The penalty is the runner must tag up at the original base before advancing. Umpires will not call out runners for leaving early without an objection from the opposing team.

Hitting a runner with the ball above shoulder level is not allowed. Any runner hit above the shoulders (neck or head) is safe and advances one base. Exceptions: If the runner intentionally uses his head to block the ball. The runner is out. If the runner is ducking, diving or sliding (i.e. attempts to dodge the ball) and is hit in the head or neck because of this, he/she is out.

If a kicked ball is caught on the fly, runners must tag their originating base (on or after the moment the ball is first touched by a fielder) before running to the next base. There is no infield fly rule.

Only one base on an overthrow is allowed to the runner. If there is an overthrow at second base, then this rule does not apply because the ball is still in play. The one base is not automatic and the runner must take the risk of being made out. The one base is only available before the play ends.

In the event it is too close to determine whether an infielder with the ball or the runner tagged the base first, the runner will be considered safe (“tie goes to the runner”).

STRIKES
The ball must travel over home plate and bounce below 6 inches. As long as any part of the ball passes through the strike zone, the ball is a strike. A kick occurring in front of home plate is a foul (if such a kick is caught on the fly, it is an out). No tag up on advancement.

BALLS
A ball is defined as:

  • a pitch outside the strike zone
  • the catcher playing next to or in front of the kicker before the ball is kicked
  • any player crossing the “line” from the defense that runs from the designated cones on the field
  • Four (4) balls will get you to first base

FOULS
A foul is defined as:

  • a kick landing out of bounds. The foul is determined by where the ball lands not how it travels to get there. Remember that if such a kick is caught on the fly it is an out
  • a kick landing inbounds, but traveling out of bounds on its own before reaching first or third base. (Any ball touched by an in-bounds fielder is automatically in play)
  • a ball that is tipped while being kicked but continues to travel behind the kicker; but if such a kick is caught on the fly it is an out
  • a kicker touching (or kicking) the ball twice while on or behind home plate (i.e., in foul territory); but if such a kick is caught on the fly it is an out
  • Any foul that hits a tree or other outside object is a dead ball and not illegible to be caught for an out. The ball remains a foul.
  • A foul is a strike.
  • Three fouls is an out. (just like in baseball, you can’t foul out, unless it is your third foul).

OUTS
An out is defined as:

  • a count of three strikes
  • a count of three fouls
  • a runner touched by the ball at any time while not on base (unless a head shot)
  • any kicked ball (fair or foul) that is caught before it hits the ground
  • a ball tag on a base to which a runner is forced to run
  • kicking out of order
  • a runner leading off the base or stealing
  • a count of three outs completes the team’s half of the inning

Example of Scenario:

You can foul out if you get three fouls. Just like in baseball a foul is also strike, but you can’t foul out unless it’s your third foul in the pitching count. here some examples of what would or wouldn’t be considered an out.

three strikes: obviously an out.
foul, foul, strike: out
foul, strike, foul: not out but your next strike or foul will equal an out.
strike, strike, foul: not out. haven’t fouled out yet.
strike, strike, foul, foul: not out. haven’t fouled out yet until the third foul.

BALL IN PLAY
Once the pitcher has the ball in control and is within 5 feet of the pitching strip, the play ends. If the runner has passed a base and is moving, they may continue to the next base but are not guaranteed that base.

UMPIRING GUIDLINES

Home plate umpire has the final call and is responsible for calling fouls, balls, strikes, action at the plate, and the pitching count. First base umpire left side from the obvious is also responsible for watching the pitcher and making sure he/she doesn’t cross the strip before the ball is kicked.  The third base umpire, is responsible for watching the kicker and making sure that he/she has both feet behind the front of home plate when the ball is kicked.

Each team is required to provide 2 umpires for the game at the same field as theirs either before or after their game, which ever is applicable. An additional incentive will be given to those who volunteer.

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