Kickball was invented in the United States in 1942. As the Sports MatchMaker website explains, American soldiers reportedly played the game during World War II. Primarily a game for kids in its early years, kickball gained a large following among adults starting in the 1990s. Sometimes called soccer baseball, kickball is largely a co-ed recreational game that features lots of beer. However, there is plenty of strategy involved in kickball and some teams take the game quite seriously. The World Adult Kickball Association holds an annual championship called the Founder's Cup in Las Vegas that attracts teams from around the globe.
The pitching position is critical in kickball. A good pitcher can spin and curve the ball, inducing the batter to kick at bad pitches. If a pitcher tosses bouncing balls, they often result in harmless pop-up outs. In addition, pitchers are defenders, so a quick-reacting pitcher is a major asset, especially since the bunt is a big weapon in kickball.
If an opponent can kick a ball into the outfield that isn't caught for an out, it usually results in an extra-base hit. The large and rubbery ball is hard to throw with authority, so it takes longer to throw it back to infielders or the catcher. Although home run blasts are extremely rare in kickball, outfielders never should let a ball get behind them, since an inside-the-park home run or bases-clearing triple is a distinct possibility.
According to Kickball Strategies, this most important aspect of kicking is placement. Where you aim to place the ball will depend on how many of your team members are on a base. How hard you kick the ball will depend on the distance and placement you're aiming for. It's important to kick and run immediately, even if you think the ball went foul.
Bunting is a major strategic weapon in kickball, although some leagues outlaw the tactic. However, if you are allowed to bunt, anything toward third base, that the pitcher or catcher can't immediately pounce on, usually results in a single. However, if you have runners on first and second, a bunt up the third base line often results in a force out of the lead runner. In that circumstance, a kick between first and second base is often the ideal strategy.
The defense has the advantage in kickball. Kicked balls, even high blasts to the outfield or line drives are usually caught. As a result, many teams play smallball, keeping the ball on the ground and moving base runners along. Many batters prefer to kick grounders along the third base line -- if you have any speed at all, you are likely to beat the throw to first base.
- Rich Ellgen/Demand Media