How We Play Matball

@ Windy City Fieldhouse

How we get our kick/throw/
matness on!

READ THROUGH THE RULES ONCE TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW WE PLAY!

Sample matball court (red dots are defensive players, green dots are offensive players)

Game Information

  • Each game will run for 7 innings or 45 minutes (whichever comes first).
  • Your team forfeits if by 7 minutes after scheduled game start time, you do not have at least 6 players, including at least 2 of each gender. The score of a forfeit game will be 15-0. Tell your team as soon as you know if you can’t make a game!
  • The maximum number of players in the field at a time is 10, half guys half girls.
  • There will be a home plate area and 3 large floor mats in the gym: one at 1st, 2nd and 3rd. They will be set up in the same way as they would be on a normal kickball field.

Offense

1. All active players will be put into the kicking order. If you will be playing in the field even for 1 inning, you will be kicking all game. You can change fielding positions all you would like, but once the game starts, the kicking order may not be altered for any reason. The kicking order is at the discretion of the team, but must be listed as guy, girl, guy, girl, etc, including bottom to top of the lineup. To keep your lineup going like this, set it up with two independent lists, one for guys and one for girls. Go through until each person has batted, then go back through the list and make tally marks after they go again. This makes sure you keep the order consistent.
2. The pitcher is only allowed to gently roll the ball to the kicker. No bounce AT ALL and not fast. If there is any bounce the ump will call it too bouncy and it will be re-pitched. Just pitch em nice and easy, right down the middle. Let’s call em courtesy pitches. We’re doing this minimize kicking the ball into the ceiling which we don’t want.
3. You must wait to kick until the ball has reached the home plate box. If the ball is kicked in front of this area the ump will yell that it is a strike and it will be re-kicked. BUT, if you kick it from in front of the plate, the fielding team may still catch the ball and you are still out and runners may not advance.

4. A batter has two chances to kick the ball. If you kick the ball playable the first time, you will run to the first base mat. If you kick the ball foul, meaning that the ball failed to go as far as the determined line in the gym, or you kicked it out of play, that’s a strike and you get just one more kick. If you kick the ball foul a second time, you’re out. 2 strikes and you’re out. All balls kicked foul are dead balls and cannot be caught for outs. No runners can advance on a foul ball.

5. Bunting is not allowed, whether on purpose or by accident. This will be called an ILLEGAL KICK at the ump’s discretion. Calling bunts is a tough thing to do, but just know that your league ump will be consistent on how they call em all season. The general rule about what is and isn’t a bunt has nothing to do with how your leg moves when you kick but everything to do with how the ball moves and where it goes after being kicked. Basically the idea is that if the ball was kicked in a way where it’s moving slowly or doesn’t go very far very fast in front of the plate, this will be considered an ILLEGAL KICK. Especially because the fielders need to stay behind the pitcher til it’s kicked. There will be many close ones for sure because there is no exact science to this, SO JUST KICK THE BALL AS HARD AS YOU CAN! ILLEGAL KICKS are counted as a foul ball so a bunt with 2 strikes and you’re out.
6. If the kicked ball hits any part of the ceiling, including the rafters, ducting, etc, it will an automatic out. There are lights up here and we don’t want to cause any damage to them or anything else, which would be VERY BAD. So if you hit one of the lights, it’s an automatic 3 outs and your turn kicking is over. This is also because we don’t want to get balls stuck, so when you’re kicking just don’t kick it that high!

7. Every team is allowed 3 hits to the ceiling per game. But we prefer zero obviously! After this, each hit you lose a run.

8. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO SLIDING OR DIVING ALLOWED. You may not slide or dive to avoid getting hit by a ball or get to a base. If you do you are out. You can definitely still dodge and jump to avoid the ball being thrown at you.

9. You do not have to run to the next mat each time someone successfully kicks a ball in play.
10. You can have as many people as you’d like on each mat, but you must return to home before your next scheduled at bat. If you do not, you will have to come off the base and kick.

11. You are safely on a mat once you have one foot on the mat. Once you step off the mat with even one foot after stepping on the mat with your first foot, you MUST run to the next base, even if you simply overran the base.

12. Both feet must be on the mat until the ball has been kicked, so no leading off and no stealing either. If you do, you’re out.

13. Once the whistle blows and play is dead, runners may not advance bases. If a runner steps off the base accidentally within a few seconds or so of play being whistled dead, they just get back on the base and it’s okay. BUT if a runner steps off the base anytime between when play is whistled dead and the next kicker kicks the ball, they are automatically out. If this happens during a pitch, the runner will come out and the ball will be re-pitched.

14. When on a mat, you can run immediately after a ball is kicked if you want to advance. Even if the ball is caught, you do not have to tag up to advance to the next base.

15. If a ball is caught for the 3rd out, runners crossing home plate before the ball was caught will NOT count as runs scored.
16. If you are a runner and the ball hits you anytime going in between bases, you are out.
17. ​There is a 7 run slaughter rule for all innings except the final inning. There is no slaughter rule in the final inning. If a game is shortened due to time constraints and an inning is declared the final inning of the game, there is no slaughter rule in that inning. If your team is losing by 4 or more runs going into an inning, you are allowed to score up to as many runs as it takes to put your team up by 4 runs. There is no game slaughter rule.

Defense

1. 9 players in the field will play behind the designated fair line. 1 defensive player will play in the catcher position.
2. All defensive players other than the catcher must stay behind the fair line until the kicker has made contact with the ball. Once the kicker makes contact, the defense can run in to retrieve a ball if desired.
3. Because you don’t have to run to the next base once you’re already on first, the only time that there is a force out at a mat is when the kicker is advancing to the first mat immediately after kicking. A defensive player must have control of the ball and at least one foot on the first mat in order for the force play to count as an out.
4. Runners may keep advancing until the defense brings the ball back near the circle at the pitchers mound. At this time the ump will call “time” that the play has ended and runners may no longer advance. Runners already a good distance away from the base they were on and heading toward the next base may continue to run to the base they were headed to. Because there are no force outs at 2nd, 3rd and home, this prevents players from being ridiculous with their running and leaving the base right as the ball is thrown back to the pitcher. If runners have stopped running and the play has stopped, the ref may call time before the ball has physically made it to the circle. When play basically stops, the ump will blow a whistle. This is when play has been determined to be dead and this is the ump’s judgement call.

There are several ways to get players out:

1. Catch a kicked ball on the fly. You may catch the ball off of the walls or net or anything else that’s not the ceiling to get the out. The ball can bounce off of anything at all in fair territory and until it hits the ground can be caught for the out.
2. Touch any runner that is off the base with the ball. Doesn’t matter if you drop it as long as the ball touches them. If the runner tries to hit the ball out of the hand of the defender, that runner will be out and play will be dead.
3. Throw the ball at runners that are off the base and hit them. You must hit them from the shoulders down. Any ball that hits them in the neck or head will result in them automatically being awarded a home run. Only they will get a run, play will be dead and players will be awarded the base they were heading to if they had already left the base. However, if the runner ducks in any way to avoid being hit this rule does not apply. Or if the runner puts their head/neck in the path of the ball on purpose, they will be called out.

Safety is the Most Impotant Thing!

There is a STRICT NO CONTACT RULE in effect that BOTH teams must be aware of. Runners must do everything they can to avoid contact, but fielders also must be aware of where they are in relation to the runners and do everything they can to avoid contact as well. FIELDERS, DO NOT BLOCK THE BASES. If you block the base or impede the runner from getting to the base, interference may be called and the runner called safe.

If you’re playing home, don’t block the base! If you take your last few steps while running home to go around a baseman that’s blocking the base so you don’t plow em over, we’ll likely call you safe. The ump will make the call as to who’s at fault with the contact and make the appropriate call as to whether it is safe or out.

Situations that arise from contact may warrant a player being ejected from the game at the ump’s discretion. It’s always the ump’s judgment call. Just remember that this is a fun league and we’re here to just have fun, so avoid contact AT ALL COSTS.

Sportsmanship

The idea of this league is to have fun. We hope that all participants keep that in mind when becoming involved. Although the games may become intense, you still can be competitive while maintaining good sportsmanship. With this said, any behavior deemed unacceptable by staff may result in suspension and/or ejection from a game or the league. S3 reserves the right to remove a player from a game or a league if they are considered to be bringing down the quality of the league.