Fifteen ways to make Four Square more fun for players of varying skill levels.

Four Square is by far my favorite playground game, but it takes a lot agility to be really elite. Sometimes, a few players can come to dominate the normal Four Square game leaving others in line discouraged and frustrated. After years of practice, here are some of the best, field-tested Four Square modifiers that can help level the playing field so that the line keeps rotating!

Brush up on these new rules and get ready to introduce a whole new type of game! These are designed to make the game silly yet challenging.

  • Precision: Anyone who hits a ball on a line is out! Be precise with your hits!

  • Downball: After the ball bounces in your square, you must bounce it back in your square into another player’s square!

  • Upball: Players must hit the ball above their own head. This is good for developing control and touch.

  • Underhanded: All hits that players make must be underhand. This is good to curtail a square that has a case of the slammies.

  • Out-of-pocket: Players must put both feet outside of their square after they hit the ball.

  • Airball: Players must have both feet off the ground when they hit the ball.

  • Jedi: Players must close their eyes every time they hit the ball. Eyes only need to be closed when players are hitting the ball.

  • Spinball: Players must spin around in a circle after they hit the ball.

  • Pirate: Players must close one eye for the entire round and say something a pirate would say every time they hit the ball.

  • T-Rex: Players must play with their elbows on their ribs and cannot extend their arms. Players must roar every time you hit the ball.

  • Zombie: Players must extend their arms completely and cannot bend their elbows. Players must groan like a zombie when they hit the ball.

  • Robot: Players cannot bend their knees while playing and must make robot noises when they hit the ball.

  • Flamingo: Before the round starts, the player in the A square chooses a leg to stand on. Players must play on one foot for the whole round.

  • Handy(wo)man: Players can only play with one hand chosen by the player in the A square at the beginning of the round.

  • Soccer: No hands! This can be used to train juggling skills, but be careful your four square ball doesn’t go over the fence!


What are you favorite Four Square variations?

Guest blogger Sam Mende-Wong is the founder of 4 Square of the East Bay and serves as Lead Facilitator and Creative Director. 4SEB meets every Thursday night from 9pm to midnight and has received many positive reviews on Yelp. Sam works a day job as the marketing specialist for Playworks where he has taped off a four square court in the office.

More Resources

kids playing duck duck goose
kids playing duck duck goose

April 29, 2021

Leveraging Play to Address Learning Loss ›

In order to help kids recover from learning loss, we must ensure their emotional needs are met. We need to prioritize every child’s wellbeing, and that starts with acknowledging that many kids are healing from traumas caused by the pandemic, including social, emotional, and physical impacts of COVID-19.  “When children experience stress and trauma, it…

woman smiling at laptop
woman smiling at laptop

January 5, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Virtually ›

Many educators have risen to the challenge of transitioning their lessons to accommodate virtual education, and Playworks has been helping educators ensure play remains in every child’s day, even online. Kids prioritize play, and with our support educators are leveraging play when teaching virtually in order to keep kids engaged, active, and to build community.…

kids and adult doing yoga
kids and adult doing yoga

October 6, 2020

Using Play to Foster Social Connections and Physical Activity ›

Play isn’t just fun and games – it’s a vital aspect of our health and well-being. When we play, we engage our bodies, minds, and senses, creating opportunities for increased physical activity, learning, and connection with others. Play can even help relieve stress and support the development of important social-emotional skills, including communication and cooperation.…