Is Softball Actually Just Kickball?? We Debate

Last updated on April 26, 2023

Kickball and softball are two classic American sports that have been enjoyed by generations of players. While some may argue that they are similar due to their shared use of a ball and a field, you might be surprised to learn how they’re actually quite different. Let’s dig in!

Is Softball Similar to Kickball?

Yes, softball and kickball share some similarities. Both games are team sports that involve throwing and catching a ball. However, there are some key differences between the two.

These differences include the type of ball used, the pitching method, the positions and more.

Differences between Softball and Kickball

softball balls, bat, glove, and helmet in front of home plate


While softball and kickball share some similarities, they are fundamentally different games. Softball is played with a bat and ball, while kickball is played with only the feet and a large rubber ball.

In softball, the pitcher throws the ball to the batter, who attempts to hit it with the bat and then run around the bases. In kickball, the pitcher rolls the ball to the kicker, who attempts to kick it and then run around the bases.

Another key difference is the number of players on each team. Softball is typically played with nine players per team, while kickball can be played with any number of players, though it is usually between five and fifteen.


The equipment used in softball and kickball is also different. In softball, players use a bat and a ball. The ball is hard and small, while the bat is long and thin. In kickball, players use only their feet and a large rubber ball. The ball is soft and can be kicked easily, while the players wear no equipment other than athletic clothing and shoes.

Another difference can be the field. Softball is typically played on a diamond-shaped field with bases at each corner. Kickball can be played on any surface, but typically uses a baseball field with four bases in a diamond shape.

Similarities between Softball and Kickball

baseball kickball or softball diamond


Both softball and kickball are team sports that have similar objectives. The main goal of both sports is to score runs by hitting or kicking the ball and running around the bases. In both sports, the team with the most runs at the end of the game wins.

Team Dynamics

Softball and kickball both require a team effort to be successful. Both sports have positions that players must play, and each position has its own responsibilities. For example, both sports have a pitcher who is responsible for throwing the ball to the batter. Both sports also have outfielders who are responsible for catching balls hit into the outfield.

Another similarity between softball and kickball is that both sports require communication and teamwork between players. In both sports, players need to communicate with each other to make plays and avoid errors.

Both sports also require strategy and skill to be successful. In both sports, players need to be able to hit or kick the ball accurately and with power. In addition, players need to be able to field the ball and throw accurately to make outs.

Which is Easier to Play?

When it comes to playing sports, some people prefer games that are easy to learn and play. In this section, we’ll compare kickball and softball to determine which is easier to play based on the difficulty level, accessibility, and equipment required.

Difficulty Level

Kickball is often considered easier to play than softball because the rules are simpler and there are fewer skills to master. In kickball, you kick a ball and run around the bases, while in softball, you need to hit a ball with a bat and catch it with a glove. Additionally, kickball has a larger ball that is easier to kick and catch than a smaller softball.

However, this doesn’t mean that kickball is always easier than softball. Depending on the level of play, kickball can require more strategy and teamwork than softball. For example, in competitive kickball, there may be specific rules about how many players can be on each side of the field, or how many times a player can kick the ball before they are out.

Compare this with a “beer league” style of softball league, for example.

Accessibility and Equipment

Both kickball and softball can be played by people of all ages and abilities, but kickball may be more accessible to those who are new to sports or have limited mobility. Since kickball doesn’t require a bat or glove, it can be easier for beginners to jump in and start playing. Additionally, kickball can be played on a variety of surfaces, including grass, pavement, and gym floors, making it a versatile game that can be played in different settings.

Softball, on the other hand, may require more specialized equipment and facilities. In addition to a bat and glove, players may need cleats, helmets, and other protective gear. Softball fields also need to be properly maintained with bases, backstops, and pitching areas, which can make it more difficult to organize a game on short notice.

Can You Play Kickball on a Softball Field?

Playing kickball in the grass

If you’re wondering whether you can play kickball on a softball field, the answer is yes! In fact, playing kickball on a softball field is one of the most common ways to play the game, especially in organized leagues.

While the rules of kickball and softball are different, the fields are very similar. Both have four bases arranged in a diamond shape, and both have a pitcher’s mound in the center of the diamond. The only major difference is the size of the field.

A regulation softball field is much larger than a regulation kickball field. In softball, the distance between each base is 60 feet, while in kickball, the distance between each base is only 30 feet. This means that if you’re playing kickball on a softball field, you’ll need to adjust the game accordingly.

One way to do this is to use cones or other markers to indicate where the kickball bases should be.


Both games require teamwork and strategy, and both can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you prefer the fast-paced action of kickball or the more strategic gameplay of softball, there is a game out there for everyone.

Of course we’re probably biased here, but we think Softball is the best sport.

Leave a Comment