Four Square Game

Kids think you're a square? Prove 'em right and teach 'em this retro game!
Submitted by
Kayla Chong
Remember this old playground favorite? Or are you still playing Four Square in the International Four Square League? (Yes, there is an official Four Square League. For some, recess never ends.) Your kids will love learning this game from an old square pro!
• Standard red kickball ball:
Brings back memories, doesn't it? The official Four Square League Ball is a textured 8½-inch rubber playground ball inflated to 2 pounds. But a plain old ball will do.
• Hard, level playing service:
A blacktop or driveway will do.
• Players:
Does your family look like a modern-day Brady Bunch? Great! The more players the better! You need at least four.
• Sidewalk chalk:
Preferably white, so you can clearly see the boundaries of the playing area.
• Tape measure:
• Referee:
That's you, Mom or Dad. Keep the kids from squabbling over whether or not the ball bounced on the line. If you can't satisfy them with your ruling, it's time for "The Showdown"—a mini-game of Two Square in which the battling parties take each other on one-on-one!
• Whistle and stopwatch:
Every sports official needs them!
• Have the kids draw a large chalk square onto the blacktop or driveway. Each side of the square should be at least 4 feet long.
• Help the kids measure it out with the tape measure.
• Help the children divide the big square into 4 equal squares.
• Dust off the old math skills, Mom! Number the squares 1 to 4.
• Four players stand in (or just behind) their respective squares. The remaining players stand behind Square 1 as bench warmers until one of the starters goes out.
• The object of the game is to move up from the lowest ranking square (Square 1) to the highest ranking square (4) and stay there the longest.
• The King (or Queen) stands in Square 4. You can flip a coin to see who gets to start out as royalty.
• The King serves the ball from Square 4 into Square 1 (otherwise known as the mailbox) by bouncing it on the ground and hitting it with his hand. It should land inbounds and be reasonably returnable.
• The player in Square 1 hits the ball into another square.
• Play continues with each player hitting the ball when it lands in his square.
• When one of the players misses, kicks, carries, fumbles or catches the ball, hits it out of bounds or lets it bounce more than once in his square, he's out. And he's required to leave his square and go to the end of the bench warmers' line.
• When a square become vacant, the remaining players rotate up one square leaving Square 1 available for a new player.
• The player who makes it to Square 4 and reigns there as King the longest, (mom, get out that stopwatch!) wins! You'll want to set a time limit on the game, or you may end up playing Four Squares with flashlights at 4 AM.
• Make it a "hip to be square" day by finishing off the Four Squares tournament with some Oh-So-Good Squares snacks from Nick Jr.
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