Kickball (Soccer-Baseball or Foot-base) is a playground game and league game, similar to baseball, invented in the United States in the first half of the 20th Century. Kickball may also be known as kick baseball, base soccer, foot-base, soccer-base, or soccer-baseball. It is similar to baseball where players kick the ball to bat it instead of using bats, making it more accessible to young children. As in baseball, teams alternate innings with one team on the infield attempting to score by having its players circle the bases and the other team it the outfield working to stop runs from being scored. Players in the infield kick an inflated rubber ball to advance players around the bases and thus score runs. The team with the most runs after a predefined number of innings (usually nine) wins.
Kickball is a popular playground sport and is typically played among young, school-age children. The lack of both specialized equipment and highly skill-based positions (like pitcher) makes the game an accessible introduction to other sports. It is less popular among adults, who are more commonly known to play similar games like softball and baseball.
Kickball, originally called "Kick softball", was invented around 1917 by Nicholas C Seuss, Supervisor of Cincinnati Park Playgrounds in Cincinnati, Ohio. Around 1920–1921 "Kick Ball" was used by physical education teachers in public schools to teach young boys and girls the basics of baseball. Around this time, the ball that was used was a soccer ball or volleyball. It was played by ten to thirty players and the field included a "Neutral Zone": an area not to be entered until the ball has actually been kicked. There was no pitcher as the ball would be kicked from the home area, which was a 3 ft circle. The ball must pass beyond the 5 foot line. Base-runners could only advance one base on an infield ball. Teams would switch sides only after all team members have kicked.
During this time, it was played on the same field as baseball except that there was only one base corresponding to a baseball diamond's 2nd base. Multiple players could be on base at a time, but all needed to get home before the last kicker kicked and the kicking order had retired.
There were also two short stop player positions: one between 1st and 2nd and the other between 2nd and 3rd. Home plate was marked by a 3 ft by 4 ft rectangle on the ground.
The game is typically played on a softball diamond with a 8.5- to 16-inch (250- to 400-mm) inflated rubber ball. As in baseball/softball, the game uses 3 bases, a pitcher's mound, and a home plate. Sometimes, in less formal games, the field is not bounded by a fence as in softball or baseball, but is open. This may result in informal rule changes to accommodate the field. Also it can be played on a rectangular blacktop area with chalk or paint outlines.
Little Rock (Arkansas) Kickball 
While kickball is mostly considered a child's game, the sport is well known for its extensive adult involvement in the vicinity of Little Rock, Arkansas. The Little Rock Kickball Association (LRKA) has over 102 teams that compete in four leagues; the LRKA has sanctioned contests for nearly two decades in central Arkansas.
Kickball in other countries 
Kickball is popular among youth in South Korea. Known as balyagu [발야구 (foot-baseball)], it is a staple in PE classes within elementary schools. Kickball is referred to as "Soccer-Baseball" in certain parts of Canada. In Japan kickball is popular among elementary school students and is known as キックベース(Kickbase).
Kickball was introduced as a sport in England at Oxford Brookes University where it was compared to the British game for children called Rounders. A group of Americans led by Victoria "Steel-Toe" Harben taught the game to post-graduate students and it became a regular pastime in the area.
Kickball is also played in Latin America. However, the sport is almost exclusively played by women, as even recreational sports are often gender-segregated in these cultures. The game is not played with a rubber playground ball, but with a soccer ball. For example, thriving kickball leagues for women exist in Venezuela and in Colombia (particularly in the suburbs of Cartagena).
See also 
- The Playground. Playground and Recreation Association of America. 1969. p. 240. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- Mind and Body – A Monthly Journal devoted to Phycical Education Vol 27. The Mind and Body Publish Company. 1921. pp. 205–206. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- University of the State of New York Bulletin, Issue 724. fortnightly. 1920. pp. 131–132. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- School, Church, and Home Games. Association Press. 1922. p. 41. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- Here Is Your War; Story of G.I. Joe. H. Holt, New York. 1943. p. 28. ISBN 9780803287778. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
- "Backstory: The habit Little Rock can't seem to kick". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "What is the LRKA Story?". Little Rock Kickball Association. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "First to Third - Episode 46 - Colombia". Kickball365. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- Parker, Ashley (2006-09-15). "Getting a Kick Out of Kickball". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-09-29.
- Skipp, Catharine; Dishongh, Kimberly (2006-08-21). "Trends: All for the Love of the Game". Newsweek. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
- Beja, Marc (2008-02-05). "Still Kicking". Washington Square News. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- Whirty, Ryan (2009-07-29). "Follow the red bouncing ball". CITY Newspaper. Retrieved 2012-01-02.