Four Square: A Classic Team Sport for All Ages

four boy playing ball on green grass

Four Square is a timeless outdoor team sport that combines strategy, agility, and friendly competition. Played on a square court divided into four quadrants, this engaging game is suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. In this blog post, we’ll provide an in-depth guide to Four Square, covering how to play, game rules, and alternative ways to enjoy this popular activity. Additionally, we’ll discuss where to find essential Four Square equipment on to get you started on your next outdoor adventure.

How to Play Four Square

To play Four Square, you’ll need a flat surface, a Four Square court, and a rubber playground ball. The court is divided into four equal squares, labeled A, B, C, and D (or 3, 4, 2, and 1, depending on the court). You can purchase a Four Square court stencil on or create your own with chalk or tape.

  1. Divide players into two teams, with two players on each team.
  2. Each player stands in one of the four squares, with one team occupying squares A and C, and the other team occupying squares B and D.
  3. The player in square A (or 3) serves the ball by bouncing it in their square and then hitting it into another square.
  4. The receiving player must let the ball bounce once in their square before hitting it into another square.
  5. Play continues until a player commits a fault or is unable to return the ball, at which point the opposing team scores a point.

Game Rules

Four Square has a few basic rules to ensure fair play and keep the game flowing:

  1. The ball must bounce once in a player’s square before they can hit it.
  2. Players must hit the ball with their hands, using an open palm or a closed fist.
  3. The ball must land within the court boundaries after being hit.
  4. A player commits a fault if they hit the ball out of bounds, miss the ball, or hit the ball twice in a row.
  5. The team that reaches a predetermined number of points (usually 11 or 21) wins the game.

Alternative Ways to Play

Four Square can be adapted to accommodate different skill levels or to add variety to the game:

  1. King’s Court: Players rotate positions based on their performance, with the “King” or “Queen” in the highest-ranking square and the lowest-ranking player in the lowest square.
  2. Elimination: Players who commit faults are eliminated from the game, with new players joining as squares become available.
  3. Power-ups: Introduce special rules or abilities that players can earn or activate during the game, such as allowing double bounces or changing the ball’s direction mid-flight.
  4. One-on-One: Play Four Square with just two players, each occupying two squares, for a more intense, head-to-head competition.


Four Square is a fun, engaging, and versatile outdoor team sport that encourages players to hone their strategy, coordination, and competitive spirit. With easy-to-follow rules and numerous ways to adapt the game, Four Square is sure to be a hit at your next gathering or event. To get started, you can find Four Square court stencils and playground balls on, making it easy to set up your very own game. Gather your friends, family, or coworkers, and enjoy the timeless excitement of Four Square!