A player who is not it begins the game by kicking the can. All of the players (except the one who is it) run away and hide, as long as they are within the boundry limits. "It", must retrieve the can and place it back onto the base. It may now attempt to find the players. When It finds a player, he must call out that player's name and location. Should that information be correct, a race ensues. The player who is it must run and jump over the can before the (now found) player kicks it. If It wins the race, then the player i caught.
If at any point in the game a player (who has been seen or not) kicks the can, all players are free. This includes when a player out-runs "it" during a "race".
The round ends when all players are caught. The first one to be caught ten becomes "it".
The game ends when too many players quit, or their mothers force them to go inside.
There are various changes of rules in Kick the Can, including, but not limited to: a timed version, a no-race version and a version where more than one player is "it".