The Four Square game is a fun family activity that is easy to play. It involves elements of handball or tennis — although no racquets are necessary. Instead, you play with that staple of every recess at school — the good old playground ball, according to Big Fat Tiger Home.

So What Is The Four Square Game?

It’s a game that’s played in different communities worldwide, notes The object of the Four Square game is to oust players from each of the higher squares. Players bounce the ball to each of these squares until someone makes a mistake and is eliminated from the game.Then you get to move up to the next-highest square. To win the game, you must simultaneously move up and keep your position as the server.

Grab some chalk and make a big square that’s approximately 12 feet by 12 feet. Divide it into four squares. Make sure there’s one person in each square. The person in square 4 serves the ball by bouncing it and then hitting it to one of the other squares, Kidzworld reports. And that’s what makes this game fun. It’s entirely hands-on. Since you don’t have to play with a racquet, you use your bare hands instead. And it’s the perfect game for restless kids who have endless energy to burn.

Who Played Four Square Back In The Day?

What Are The 4 Square Rules?

  • The ball. You can only use your hands to hit the ball. You can also hit the ball with the back of your hand, and you can use open- or closed fists. Catching or carrying the four square ball during play is against the rules. And spinning the ball is sometimes allowed, as long as it happens as a result of a player hitting the ball and not catching or carrying it, or practicing any other illegal hit strike the ball incorrectly are eliminated. There are different variations of the game as well that you can include with the general rules. We will go over these variations in just a little bit. Just keep in mind that if you are going to play with a variation, just be sure to go over this with all the players before you play so that there are no arguments once the game starts!
  • The Court. Numbers often label the squares from highest to lowest. In some cases, courts use letters, and some people also like ranking the squares in terms referring to royalty (Ace, King, Queen, etc.). In fact, in some places, the game is called “King’s Court.” But whatever you name this game, the highest and lowest squares should be diagonal to each other. There are two sets of lines to this four corners game — outside lines, which are the outer-most edges of the court, and inside lines, the lines that form and link all of the squares and meet in the center. If you bounce the ball into any outside line, you’re still in play. But if you bounce the ball past this line, it’s out of bounds, and you’ll be sidelined. And if you hit the ball and it lands on an inside line, you’re out.
  • Faults. The player receiving the serve is only allowed one error per round. In Four Square rules, the error is called a “fault.” If the person receiving the serve hits the ball incorrectly, or hits the ball out of bounds, that person is allowed to receive one more serve. Players refer to the fault as “one bad,” meaning one bad return. If the player makes a second mistake and faults again, it’s referred to as “two bad.” In other words, “Too bad for you,” (ha ha). For the most part you might find that playing with numbers or some sort of coding on the court is often used with more experienced players. More often than not a street game of Foursquare will typically not include any sort of numbering or coding with the boxes.

Who played four square?! *K*

In This Four Corners Game Did You Know You Can:

If you’re curious about additional rules, check out the sites listed in the above section. And for all those rules there are plenty of ways to make the Four Square game really fun and imaginative.

  • Play different variations of the game. For instance, you can have up to eight players in the game, which is two players for each square. It works like this: Every time a player hits the ball into another square, that person, that person steps off the court and their partner steps in. The two players trade places every time the ball returns towards their square.
  • Teach your kids. When they bounce the ball, why not have them call out the name of a country. Or a state. Or a movie star or even an animal? This gives them a chance to learn and have fun all at the same time. And if someone accidentally repeats something declared out, well oops! They are out.

The 4 Square Rules Help You Learn Some Really Cool Tricks

Like most games, this one has some slick moves that spice up the game and make it a little more competitive:

  • The Baby Drop. You hit the ball low on the ground to another square. This variation can be used on any game, but it is the perfect one to add to your game if you are playing with competitive players. Also, it is ideal game to play if you are playing when you are playing with adults because the level of difficulty will make the game that much more challenging for them.
  • The Bus Stop. As the ball makes its way to you, you tap it before it bounces into your square, and then you send it on its way to another square. This variation is perfect for adding a little bit more coordination skills into the game. If the players are quick to grab the ball in the regular game, then the Bus Stop variation is a great way to switch things up a bit.
  • Snake Eyes. You keep your eyes on one square, then hit the ball into another. Because the variation takes a little bit more coordination, you’ll likely find success if you play this with older kids. Just be sure that all the players take off their glasses first!
  • The Shoe Shiner. You can also hit the ball towards another player’s feet. You will have to be careful with this variation because nit-picky players will fight you tooth and nail on every round whether or not it was headed towards a player’s feet.
  • War. This happens when two players can’t agree on who is out, so then they play a game of “two square” to determine who’s getting the boot. Again, if you play with competitive players often, then you’re likely going to have to whip this variation out time and time again.
  • Spinner. This simply means applying a bit of spin to the ball when you hit it. Not everyone will be able to play this variation. If you can add a spin to the ball, be prepared for the ball going out of bounds quite often during a round. This is another variation that you might want to play with older kids and adults.
  • Perhaps the best thing about the Four Square game is that you play it outdoors. It’s something your family and friends can do to have fun and get a bit of exercise at the same time.And that’s never a bad thing.

Here is more on the four square game, courtesy of Active Cambridge.

Featured image CC by CC0, WokandapixPixabay

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