In the beginning Kickball had no rules. Then, after no one could figure out what was going on, a few simple ones were installed. The basic rules of the game derive from baseball, softball, what-have-you... you know, like running around the bases, tagging runners who steal, not having to tag runners who must advance (only tagging the base), etc... NOT ALL BASEBALL RULES ARE KICKBALL RULES. We play by common sense “Playground rules”. If you really need them written down, we’ll do it next year.
We have 9 kickball-specific rules, handed down for generations from Stan McNabb, PKL High Kommisioner (in exile):
- Games are 5 innings or 59 minutes long.
- Mercy Rule: To keep games moving, if a team scores 10 runs in one inning, the inning is hereby OVER no matter how many outs there are.
- No hitting people in the head. If someone is intentionally tagged in the head in an attempt to make an out, they will not be out, but instead, will advance as if you missed them by a mile.
- No “real” pitching. The pitcher’s job is to roll the ball over the plate.
- At the plate, four foul balls and you’re out. It’s OK to swing and miss and it’s OK to not swing at all. There are no “balls” or “strikes”, but hit the ball into foul territory four times in a row, and you’re out. End of story.
- No stealing. If you lead off, you gotta tag up (touch the base again) if the ball is caught, then you can run (this is an important rule and a lot of people forget it).
The Umpires are the law.*
- No fighting. If any member of any team gets involved in an on-field physical altercation, that team will be placed at the bottom of standings, regardless of record.
- Bribery is encouraged. Open corruption is the only fairness Providence has ever known.
- Every team must have at least 1 female player for games.
- oh, yeah, and one more... NO WHINING. (And no whining about how we said there were 9 rules and now there are ten.)
* The umpires may deem neccesary to enforce what are referred to as “beer” rules. This is, however, completely up to the discretion of the Ump. Such “beer” rules include penalties for spilling a beer, knocking over someone else’s beer, and the like.
For all you WAKA people...
No, we are not affiliated with WAKA. We won’t pay the dues, we won’t deal with all the extra rules, we won’t buy the WAKA-branded merchandise.
The major difference here is that we use a standard playground ball... 8 and half inches. NOT a ten inch ball, those are horrible. We play by playground rules, but we drink like adults. So, don’t be a hero, and don’t go WAKA, and most of all, don’t be a jerk... play Providence Kickball.
Kickball is sort of a sport. We have a few rules, sure, but let’s not get carried away. THIS IS KICKBALL, PEOPLE. And we are adults playing the game... a game devised to kill time in elementary school gym class. A game so simple that you don’t need enough coordination to hit a ball with a bat, just enough to be able to kick an 8.5 inch red target. Does anyone else think this is funny?
To top it off, we encourage – nay, we demand – kickball theatre. Teams need a theme, and they need to carry it out. If you are a team of Medical Professionals, then you better aid in the birth of a kickball on the field. If you have a team name like the John Barleycorns, well, then you better do something Barleycorney to win the fans love. The whole idea is to have a bunch of silly fun on a sunny summer Saturday, hang out with some friends, have something to talk about the following week and something to look forward to. Let’s all try to remember that.
So, in an effort to state what should be obvious, here are our additional hopes, dreams, and aspirations:
NO WHINING... we’ll say it again. No one likes a sore loser, especially if you are mad about losing a game of KICKBALL.
Respect the field... pick up your garbage, clean up after yourselves, and support the local businesses.
Try to respect the standing laws of the state... this includes the Open Container rule as well as the public nudity and lewd conduct rules currently in place.
If any member of any team gets involved in an on-field physical altercation, that team will be placed at the bottom of standings, regardless of record.
Your kickball “character” can be a jerk, but keep it directed at other kickball players. Kickball theatre should not involve the public when possible. Like a train wreck, some people are drawn in by the spectacle, but they would be pretty upset if they got smattered with fake blood or hit in the head with a kickball in the process.
Mad Dog and Pedro will always have a place in kickball... as initiation for new teams. They have much to teach, and we want to be sure that they continue to play as long as Kenny can continue to afford the countless knee surgeries.
Have fun, and remember, NO WHINING
End of Season / Eliminator Procedure
Ok, so we like to have fun, but the league still has to have its winners and losers. Luckily, we have plenty of both. Here is how it goes down in the final weeks:
Championship Saturday: First games of the day will be the Division Championships, decided in tournament style half-hour games, with the 5th place playing the 2nd place, 3rd place playing the 4th place, the winners of each playing each other, and then those winners playing the 1st place. Pretty simple. The winner is the Division Champ.
There is usually a break of sorts to let the two winning teams catch their breaths. During the last few years this has been an open battle of the ...
Festival of Losers: affectionately named the "loser's cup" The last place team from each Division face off for the overly complicated Festival of Losers. The game can be played in other eclectic ways, at the discretion of the commissionor.
PKL Championship: This game is much anticipated, but not complicated in any respect. The two best teams square off to determine who shall reign supreme until the following season.