Kickball was developed during World War II by American soldiers as a combination of soccer and baseball. It is similar to soccer in that an offensive player kicks a soccer ball that is pitched by an opposing player; however, the game play and rules more closely mirror those of baseball.
The offensive team has a lineup, and players take turns kicking the ball. The kicker stands behind home plate. The pitcher rolls the ball from the pitcher's mound toward home plate. The kicker kicks the ball and attempts to move as many bases as possible. A player is out when a ball kicked into the air is caught before touching the ground, when he is forced out at a base or when he is touched or hit with a thrown ball by a defensive player while between bases. As with baseball, a kicker gets three strikes before being out. After three outs, the teams swap offense and defense.
The informality of kickball has led to many different rules used by leagues throughout the United States. School yard games are often played with a handful of players on each team. A conventional kickball team, however, has at least nine players involved in the game. Thus, the defensive team has players at positions similar to those used in baseball. Positions include a pitcher and catcher, along with four infielders and three outfielders.