Four Square Variations:
Other Four Square variations include:
- No Returns (a player cannot hit the ball back to the player who has just hit it to them);
- Soft Pass-Back (the ball must be hit softly to the next player);
- Fire Alarm (when called, all players must just out of their square while continuing play);
- Bus Stop (players must stand on the outer corner of their square).
Many of these variations and others are regional variations that may be played in some parts of the country (or the world) but not in others. Regional variations include:
- An 11-foot by 11-foot playing area;
- The King or Queen must always serve to the player in Square 2 first;
- The server must have one foot in the square and one foot out;
- Players get two points for achieving the rank of King or Queen and two points for retaining that rank after each round if they remain King or Queen (only in tournament play);
The power of the King
In addition to determining the rules of the particular round before it starts, the King or Queen has other powers in determining the play of the game as well such as the final say in whether a ball has bounced in another player’s square, whether a ball is in or out or has touched a line. They may call for a “re-play” of a questionable play or protect themselves by declaring a “fault” which are passes awarded the King or Queen at the start of a game.
Four Square Championships
Like many children’s games these days, Four Square has gone “big time” and there are now adult Four Square leagues in many cities in the U.S. In addition, a Four Square World Championship has been held as far back as 1987, when Floyd Fisher of Champaign, Illinois beat more than 140 other competitors to win the title in Oslo, Norway.
The modern Four Square Championships are held each winter in Bridgton, Maine and sponsored by Lakes Environmental Association to raise funds to support their work protecting the lakes of Maine. The annual competition draws competitors from across the U.S. and Canada, as well as players from Bermuda and Israel.
Here is a list of champions from recent years:
World Record Longest Game
In 2011, the world record for continuous Four Square play was set in Indiana when Manchester College students played the game for 30 hours, breaking the previous record of 29 hours set by players from the Buenos Aires International Christian Academy in Argentina in 2008. The Indiana students used the record-setting play to raise money for a church camp.