4-Square

Games & Activities for kids & adults of all ages

4+
kids
K-6
grade
7
fives
10+
min.
  • Development Goals: To develop eye-hand coordination and strategic thinking skills
  • Skills: Underhand and overhand ball hitting, balance, agility and spatial awareness

Ready...

Equipment Needed: One playground ball Set Up: A standard 4-square area is one large square, 10’ x 10’ divided into four smaller squares (5’ x 5’), and each box is labeled A, B, C, D or 1, 2, 3, 4. The box labeled A or 1 contains a smaller service box (1.5’x 1.5’) located in the far outside corner of the square.

Before You Start:

  • One student is in each square and the other students wait in line.
  • The student in square A or 1 is the server, and that student controls play of the game.

SET...

How to Play:

  • Play begins when the server drops the ball once into his/her square then hits it into a different square (serves the ball). The server must keep both feet in the service box until the serve is completed.
  • The ball can only bounce once in any square.
  • Each student needs to hit the ball with any part of their hand into an opposing student’s square after it has bounced only once in their own square.
  • If the ball lands on a line, or goes out of bounds before it bounces, the student who hit the ball needs to return to the waiting/cheering line for another try. If a student hits the ball and it bounces again in his/her square, s/he also needs to return to the waiting line.
  • If the ball bounces more than one time before it is hit into another square, the student who let the ball bounce needs to return to the waiting line for another try.
  • If the ball is returned before it is allowed to bounce, the student who returned the ball early needs to return to the waiting line.
  • Anytime a student moves out of the game into the waiting line, a square is left open. The person in front of the line advances to square D or 4, and the remaining students advance to close the gaps between A or 1 and D or 4.

GO!

Variation(s):

  • Two players can cover one square, working as a team.
  • Use two 4-square courts next to each other for 8-square.
  • To focus more on jump rope and hula hoops skills as well as learn the rotation order on the court, put either one jump rope or one hula hoop in each of the 4 squares, have one student step into each square, have the student in A or 1 say ‘go,’ and see how long each student can jump rope or hula hoop.

Indoor Modifications:

  • Use a beach ball, instead of a normal 4-Square ball. The goal of the game is to keep the ball in the air, in the area.
  • If the ball lands in your square or you hit it out of the area, you rotate out. All other 4-Square rules apply.

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