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|Setup time||30 seconds|
|Skills required|| Manual dexterity |
Four square is a ball game played among four players on a square court divided into quadrants. The objective of four square is to eliminate other players to achieve the highest rank on the court, and this is done by bouncing the ball back and forth between quadrants. A player is eliminated when a ball is bounced in a player's quadrant and the player is unable to touch the ball into another player's quadrant. It is a popular game at elementary schools with little required equipment, almost no setup, and short rounds of play that can be ended at any time.
Four square is played on any hard-surfaced court, such as wood, concrete or asphalt. There is no official court size, but typically courts measure between 10 and 30 feet (3-8 meters) on a side, and divided into four smaller equal-size squares. Each of the four squares has a rank and is occupied by a single player. The ranks may be arranged so that either the highest ranking square is positioned facing the lowest ranking square, or the ranks increase as one moves clockwise (or counterclockwise).
The lines on the court are boundaries. The interior lines separating player squares are out of bounds. The ball may not touch any portion of an inside line or the player who hit the ball is in error. The lines marking the outermost edges of the court are typically considered in-bounds.These boundary rules are often described as "inside out, outside in." In recreational play, and even with a judge in tournament play, it is often difficult to determine if the ball hits the line.
Four square is played with a rubber playground ball, typically 8.5 inches (220 mm) diameter, and inflated to 2 psi (14 kPa). However, other sizes and types of balls can be used.
During regular play, or "classic," the ball must be hit with the player's hands only.
In classic play, carrying, catching, or holding the ball during play is not allowed, although putting spin on the ball is allowed as long as carrying does not occur. Prolonged contact with the ball can give players unfair control over the play. Hitting the ball must create a perceptible change in the ball's velocity (speed or direction).
Players may be eliminated from the court because of errors or fouls they commit. Eliminated players leave the court, the remaining players move up to the next highest square, and a new player joins the court in the lowest square. Eliminated players wait in line for their next turn.
The following actions may result in elimination (although many variations exist):
Four square is a popular game for children and school playgrounds. It is possible to scale the game's difficulty and supervision appropriately for different age groups and ability levels. Schools, churches, and camps often change the size of the court, the type of ball, or aspects of the rules to create variation in play or to suit the players' abilities.
Four square has inspired other similar games. One example is nine square where instead of the grid being two-by-two, it is three-by-three. The king court is in the middle and the ball is served from this position. The rules are similar in how the ball is passed between players by bouncing between squares. Other branches of the game have been popularized in recent years which are played on an aerial grid. It is similar to the original in that four or nine people play in their respective spots, but they must keep the ball off the ground like in volleyball. Rotation and rules are similar to each grounded rendition
The game is also similar to Handball.
Four square dates back to at least the 1950s. A game called "four square" is mentioned in newspapers at least as far back as the 1950s, although the rules are not explained.
Four Square is described with the same rules used today in a 1953 teacher's manual.
The game is known as "King Out" in Sweden, and many players refer to the person in the server square as the "king."
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The Four Square World Championships, is a regional competitive adult four square tournament, which takes place in Bridgton, Maine, USA, each winter season. The Lakes Environmental Association hosts this annual winter fundraiser to support their environment in the lakes region of Maine, USA. The competition draws athletes from the US and Canada, and has registered competitors from Israel to Bermuda. As of February 22,2014 [update] , The results of the February 24, 2018, competition are:
Prior world championships have been held in January or February from 2005 through 2018.
On August 4–5, 2012, a core group of 17 Needham High School students and alumni — assisted by 50 other Needham residents at various times — broke the previous world record by playing for 34 hours,the previous record being held by 15 Manchester College students who played the game for 30 hours. The world record was previously held by eight Argentinean players for 29 hours in 2008, as recognized by Guinness World Records. The Argentinean record was preceded by a group of teens from Youngstown, OH who also played for 29 hours.
Croquet is a sport that involves hitting wooden or plastic balls with a mallet through hoops embedded in a grass playing court.
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong and whiff-whaff, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball, also known as the ping-pong ball, back and forth across a table using small solid rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net. Except for the initial serve, the rules are generally as follows: players must allow a ball played toward them to bounce once on their side of the table and must return it so that it bounces on the opposite side at least once. A point is scored when a player fails to return the ball within the rules. Play is fast and demands quick reactions. Spinning the ball alters its trajectory and limits an opponent's options, giving the hitter a great advantage.
Racquetball is a racquet sport played with a hollow rubber ball on an indoor or outdoor court. Joseph Sobek invented the modern sport of racquetball in 1950, adding a stringed racquet to paddleball in order to increase velocity and control. Unlike most racquet sports, such as tennis and badminton, there is no net to hit the ball over, and, unlike squash, no tin to hit the ball above. Also, the court's walls, floor, and ceiling are legal playing surfaces, with the exception of court-specific designated hinders being out-of-bounds.
Squash is a racket and ball sport played by two or four players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. The players alternate in striking the ball with their rackets onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court. The objective of the game is to hit the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. There are about 20 million people who play squash regularly world-wide in over 185 countries. The governing body of Squash, the World Squash Federation (WSF), is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but the sport is not part of the Olympic Games, despite a number of applications. Supporters continue to lobby for its incorporation in a future Olympic program. The Professional Squash Association (PSA) organizes the pro tour. The sport is infrequently called "squash rackets", to distinguish itself from the related sport of rackets.
Dodgeball is a team sport in which players on two teams try to throw balls and hit opponents, while avoiding being hit themselves. The objective of each team is to eliminate all members of the opposing team by hitting them with thrown balls, catching a ball thrown by an opponent, or inducing an opponent to commit a violation, such as stepping outside the court.
American handball, known as handball in the United States and sometimes referred to as wallball, is a sport in which players use their hands to hit a small, rubber ball against a wall such that their opponent(s) cannot do the same without the ball touching the ground twice nor hitting out-of-bound. The three versions are four-wall, three-wall and one-wall. Each version can be played either by two players (singles), three players (cutthroat) or four players (doubles), but in official tournaments, singles and doubles are the only versions played.
Dead ball is a term in many ball sports in which the ball is deemed temporarily not playable, and no movement may be made with it or the players from their respective positions of significance. Depending on the sport, this event may be quite routine, and often occurs between individual plays of the game.
Whirlyball is a team sport that combines elements of basketball and jai alai with players riding "Whirlybugs", small electric vehicles similar to bumper cars. Because play requires a special court, it is played in only a handful of locations in the United States and Canada.
Extreme Dodgeball is an American television program based on the game of dodgeball that began airing between 2004 and 2005. The series ran for three series and debuted on Game Show Network in the United States. Each series featured six to eight teams of five to seven players. The first series followed gimmick teams, such as sumo wrestlers and jockeys, which changed over time into the third series with teams representing State franchises. All three series are presented by Bil Dwyer and Zach Selwyn.
Pickleball is a racket/paddle sport that was created by combining elements of several other racket sports. Two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated polymer ball over a net. The ball is much like a wiffle ball, with 26–40 round holes. A pickleball court is similar to badminton, with a net similar to tennis, and the paddles are similar to those in table tennis.
Butts Up or Wall Ball is a North American elementary school children's playground game originating in the 1950s or earlier.. It is slightly similar to the game Screen Ball, and began in the 1940s or 1950s as a penalty phase of various city street games. Butts Up is played with a ball on a paved surface against a wall, with a variable number of participants—usually more than three and often likely to exceed ten. Butts Up tends to be played during recess, before or after school.. Popular in New England is another frequent variation of wallball that usually differs a lot from the more widely known 'Butts Up'.
Gaga is a variant of dodgeball that is played in a gaga "pit". The game combines dodging, striking, running, and jumping, with the objective of being the last person standing. Players hit the ball at each other with their hands, and are eliminated if the ball strikes them on or below the knee. The game can be played by a group of individual players or with teams, as well as in one-on-one matches. Rules, ball types, pit surfaces, and pit sizes can vary widely at different venues.
Variations of basketball are games or activities based on, or similar in origin to, the game of basketball, in which the player utilizes common basketball skills. Some are essentially identical to basketball, with only minor rules changes, while others are more distant and arguably not simple variations but distinct games. Other variations include children's games, contests or activities intended to help the player practice or reinforce skills, which may or may not have a competitive aspect. Most of the variations are played in informal settings, without the presence of referees or other officials and sometimes without strict adherence to official game rules.
Several sports related to volleyball have become popular. Indoor volleyball and beach volleyball are both events at the Olympics, and sitting volleyball is an event at the Paralympics. Other varieties are localised, or are played at an amateur or informal level.
Wallball,, is a schoolyard game where players hit a bouncy ball against a wall, using their hands. The game requires the ball to be hit to the floor before hitting the wall, but in other respects is similar to squash. It can be played as a singles, doubles, or elimination game.
Basketball is a ball game and team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules. Since being developed by James Naismith as a non-contact game that almost anyone can play, basketball has undergone many different rule variations, eventually evolving into the NBA-style game known today. Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world.
Handball is a ball game played in schoolyards in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, China and South East Asia. Unlike most types of handball, it does not incorporate a wall, instead of being played on a court consisting of lines on the ground. The game is most frequently played at recess, lunchtime, or before and after school. It can also be played at home or anywhere that has a hard surface and at least one line. The quick set-up time, simple rules and only requiring a tennis ball contributes to the game's popularity.
Patball is a non-contact competitive ball game played in many forms using one's hands or head to hit the ball against a wall – the objective being to get the succeeding player out. The game is popular in school playgrounds during break-time. Patball is played with a tennis ball, or other similar-sized specific patball, and the preferred hand, rather than any form of racquet or bat, similar to wallball. The hand is used to "pat" the ball at the wall or at the opponent with the objective of making the ball un-returnable, similar to squash. Variations of the game include the use of the foot -'footies' or 'Devils' touch'; a semi-contact rule popularised at Coopers Technology College.
Downball is a multiplayer game where players take turns hitting a tennis ball with their hands against a wall until a player misses a shot and is eliminated. The last player left is declared the winner and the next round begins. It is usually played by schoolchildren.
At the playground they play four square, ride on the swings, see-saws, and sliding board, and play on the bars.
Equipment: A large rubber ball, a court marked off into four squares labeled A, B, C, and D in sequence. Action: Four players are chosen to take up a position in each square of the court. The other players line up outside the square marked "A." The player in square "D" is the server. He begins the game by bouncing the ball in his own square and hitting it underhand, with both hands, into any other square. The receiver, in turn, attempts to hit the ball into one of the other three squares.