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Rules to Play the Four Square Game

Vijith Menon
If you thought four square blocks and a ball isn't enough to have fun, this game can prove you wrong. We'll tell you the rules to play four square, as well as a few variations to make it more exciting.

Did You Know?

In 2012, a group of 17 Needham high school students broke the world record by playing the Four Square game for 34 hours straight.
Four Square can be played on an official court, or the squares can even be drawn on any hard surface using chalk. This is a game that's enjoyed by children and adults alike, using a minimum setup. In the following sections, we shall learn how to play the Four Square ball game, through its rules and some variations.
✦ Chalk
✦ Four squares
✦ Four or more players
✦ 8-inch diameter ball

To keep hitting the ball using only your hands, into the opponent's square, without letting it bounce twice or committing a foul, while defending your own.
The Court:
✦ The court should be square-shaped, which measures 16 square feet.

✦ The court is divided into 4 quadrants, with 8 feet on each side.

✦ There should be a clearance area of 6 feet around the court, or a distance of 12 feet between multiple courts.


✦ The squares can be named after celebrities, movie stars, numbers, or anything else just to make it interesting. In this scenario, let's name them with numbers.
✦ The numbers are marked clockwise, from 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest ranking number in the game. The square marked 4 should have a diagonal line across it to mark the server's position. The positions of 3 and 4 are reversed, so that the lowest and highest ranking numbers are diagonally opposite each other.
✦ The person standing in square 4 is the captain, and he makes up the rules. It could vary from closing your eyes after you hit the ball, to spinning in the same spot after you hit the ball. The aim of every player is to be in the highest ranking square.
✦ The person standing in the highest ranking square is the server, and serves the ball after letting it bounce once and hitting it into another player's square.

✦ Players can use any part of their hand to hit the ball, including the wrist, tips of the hand, as well as the back of the hand. The ball can be hit with open or closed fists.
✦ Spinning the ball is not allowed. As long as the ball is hit and it spins because of the force of the hit, it is fine.

✦ The receiver can hit the ball into any of the remaining squares.
✦ Players who strike the ball incorrectly are eliminated. When this occurs, the rest of the players move up one square, and the empty spot is filled by a new player. The play continues till only one player remains.
✦ Hitting the line between the squares with the ball.

✦ Hitting the ball overhand or sidearm.

✦ Stepping into another player's square to play the ball.

✦ Catching or carrying the ball.

✦ Letting the ball bounce in your own square twice.

✦ Failing to hit the ball when it lands in your own square.
You can try these variations to bring the excitement and fun to a higher level in the game.

Upball: Players must hit the ball above their heads.

Underhanded: All the hits must be made underhanded, as suggested.

Players must step outside their square after hitting the ball.
Airball: Players must jump a feet in the air before hitting the ball.

Jedi: Players must close their eyes after hitting the ball.

Flamingo: Players must choose a leg to stand on, and play the entire game on one foot.
Common injuries incurred in this sport are abrasions and bruises to the knees and elbows. So, it's advised to wear knee and elbow pads to prevent such injuries. The game is popular enough, that it has its own world championship, that takes place in Maine every winter.