Abe Nouk

Four Square

Four Square are played on a 3 – 8 meters area, which is divided into four smaller equal-size squares numbered 1 to 4. Each of the four squares has a rank and is occupied by a single player. Four square dates back to at least the 1950s.

Players: 4 players
You need: A ball

How to play:

  • Each player stands in one of the four squares.
  • To start the game, the player in square 4 serves the ball by bouncing it once in their square and then hitting it towards one of the other squares.
  • The receiving player then hits the ball to another player in one of the other squares.
  • The ball must bounce once in another player’s square and they must hit it to another player before it bounces a second time.
  • A player may hit the ball before it bounces.
  • A player is “out” if he hits the ball and misses another player’s square, or he fails to hit the ball before the second bounce in his square.
  • When a player is out, the other players move up to take their place, and that player moves to the last square, or to the end of the line, if there are more than four players.
  • The object of the game is to move up to and hold the server’s position (square 4).

Also known as:

Handball or down ball as well as box ball and King’s Corner. In Sweden, Four Square is called King Out, where players refer to the person in the server square as the king. It is played in schoolyards in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, China and South East Asia.

Four Square - Different Variations

  • Instead of numbering the squares 1 to 4, they can be called Ace, King, Queen, President, or some other ranking order.
  • If you have eight or more players, you can have two players for each square. Each time a player hits the ball to another square, they jump out of the court, and their partner jumps in. The two players will keep trading places each time the ball is hit towards their square.
  • When players bounce the ball, they must also call out the name of a country, a state an animal, a movie star, or whatever the category may be. A player is out if they repeat something that's already been said.

Skill development:
Playing Four Square encourages eye-hand coordination; concentration; flexibility; balance and agility, as well as developing directional awareness and cooperation.