Four Square Tournament is a fast-paced, energetic take on a classic game that will keep the competition and interest level sky-high. This game features classic Four Square play at heart, but adding the creation of a tournament will raise the stakes and bring it to a new level of excitement. Additionally, you’ll need nothing more than the basic equipment of a good bouncy ball and something to mark four squares – super simple!
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Setting Up The Playing Area
If you have the space and a large number of players, you can have multiple games going on at once. However, you can also play with simply one 4 Square playing area as well, with multiple teams swapping out rounds.
Each square is 8 feet by 8 feet (or 2.6 meters x 2.6 meters), meaning the total playing area is approximately 16 feet by 16 feet. You can mark the squares with chalk on pavement or use masking tape.
Additionally, each square is assigned a number 1-4. This can either be written down or simply noted.
Game Instructions (Read Aloud)
We’re going to play a Four Square Tournament. In this game, you will battle one another to see who is the best overall Four Square player by advancing throughout a tournament to determine an overall champion. We will go over the basic rules for Four Square in a moment, but first let me explain how the game will work.
In each round of the tournament, 4 players will face off in a four square match that will last for 10 volleys. Each player will be randomly placed in a square and gameplay will begin. All four players will have a score of 0 at the beginning for the first two rounds (this is to ensure a clean slate so everyone gets a fair chance for the best spot). The first two rounds will be played as normal, with players moving after each volley, but no score recorded. However, after the end of the third round of play, each player will receive points based on the square they will be moving to in the next round. For example, if at the end of the third round a player is moving to the #2 square, they receive two points. If they are staying in the #1 square, one point, and so forth. The goal is to score the least amount of points, like in golf, over the course of 10 volleys.
Square 1: 1 point
Square 2: 2 points
Square 3: 3 points
Square 4: 4 points
After ten volleys, each player’s scores are tallied. Players should keep scores individually or a record keeper can be used to tally scores.
Another set of four players takes the court and plays ten volleys, until all players have been included. Note: If you have a number of players that can’t be divisible by 4, have those players play against other players who have already played, but whose scores won’t be counted in that round.
Depending on the size of the group, the top 4, 8, or 16 players can move on to a semi-final where more rounds will be played, again with top players moving on. Player scores are not carried over from previous rounds. Eventually, the 4 top players will face off, to determine the overall champion.
Four Square Basic Rules:
- Game play takes place on a court with four squares marked on the ground.
- Each square has a number between 1-4.
- The player in the #1 square serves the ball.
- To serve, the player drops the ball, letting it bounce once, then hits the ball with their hand to the ground in another square.
- If the serve goes out of bounds, the server gets one more chance. Two bad serves is an out.
- The player receiving the serve hits the ball back with their hand or arm, again aiming to bounce the ball onto the ground.
- The ball must bounce at least once in a receiving square.
- After the player receiving the serve has hit the ball – ANY player can hit the ball.
- In order to score, a player must hit the ball at another player’s square and bounce it off the ground. Hitting a player with the ball and the ball flying out of bounds does not count.
- Hitting the ball out of bounds of the playing court is considered an out by the hitting player.
- After getting out, a player returns to the 4th square and all other players graduate to the next highest square.