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How To Play: Four-Square

Four square sports court


Four Square is a ball game played by four players on a square sports court divided into quadrants. The objective is simple: stay in the game by successfully returning the ball to other players' squares and advance to the highest-ranking square. It's a game of skill, strategy, and a little bit of luck.

Equipment Needed:

  • A Four Square sports court: a square divided into four smaller squares, labeled A, B, C, and D or 1, 2, 3, and 4.

  • A playground ball (similar to a dodgeball or volleyball, but softer).

Step 1: Determine the Player Order

  • Decide who starts in each square. Square 1 (or A) is the highest rank, and square 4 (or D) is where new players start. Use a random method like rock-paper-scissors or drawing straws to determine initial positions.

Step 2: Understand the Basic Rules

  • The player in square 1 serves the ball by bouncing it in their square once and then hitting it into another player's square.

  • Players must hit the ball into another's square after it bounces once in their own square. If a player fails to do so, they're out.

  • The ball must be hit with an open hand and can only be touched by the player in whose square it lands.

Step 3: Play Four Square!

four square sports court

  • Continue playing, with each player trying to eliminate the others by making the ball land in their square and creating a situation where they cannot return it.

  • When a player is eliminated, they move to square 4 (or D), and everyone else moves up to fill the empty squares, if applicable.

Step 4: Mastering Elimination

A player is eliminated if they:

  • Fail to hit the ball into another square.

  • Hit the ball out of bounds.

  • Let the ball bounce more than once in their square.

  • Hit the ball before it bounces in their square.

Step 6: Winning the Game

  • The aim is to stay in square 1 (or A) as long as possible. There's no official "end" to the game; play continues until players decide to stop.

Tips for Success:

  • Develop quick reflexes and a strategic mind to predict where the ball will land next.

  • Practice different ways of hitting the ball to confuse your opponents.

  • Stay alert and keep your eye on the ball at all times.


Four Square is an excellent game for all ages, promoting physical activity, strategic thinking, and social interaction. It's a favourite playground sport that's easy to set up and endlessly enjoyable. Whether you're playing for fun or indulging in a little friendly competition, Four Square is sure to keep you moving and engaged.

Our sports court markings can help you get started with Four Square, but remember, the most important rule is to have fun and enjoy the game with friends!


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