Foursquare, or Box Ball as it was known in much of Philadelphia, is a popular playground game across the United States. The game has been compared to a miniature version of tennis that originated in Europe centuries ago. The Foursquare that is common today became popular around World War I and World War II. Of course, the rules changed slightly as years passed, and the game spread across the country. Regardless of where it came from, Foursquare is still a favorite playground game.
Here are the rules:
• To play you need a group of friends (more than four), chalk and a ball.
• Step one is to draw the court which is four boxes surrounded by one larger box.
• There is no specific rule about how large the boxes must be, but they should be large enough to stand in with some space to bounce the ball.
• Number the boxes one through four.
• One and four should be diagonal to each other.
• The court should be on a hard surface like wood, concrete or asphalt.
• Usually, the courts are 10 feet by 10 feet.
• The goal of the game is to advance to the highest numbered square.
• Players bounce the ball between each other until someone makes a mistake and is eliminated.
• When a player is eliminated they leave the court and players in the lower numbered squares advance to fill the squares. A new player can come in to fill the empty square at number one.
• To start the game, the player in square four must serve to the player in square one.
• The ball should always bounce once before it is hit.
• Wherever the ball bounces, the owner of that square must bounce the ball into another square.
• The ball can’t be held or caught and it can’t bounce more than once in a square. It must be hit to inside another square. It can’t be hit by anything but hands. It can’t be hit by a person from a different square.
• Anyone who breaks these rules is eliminated.
• Sometimes there are special rules depending on where the game is played, like no hitting with a closed hand.
The person in square 4 must call the rules before each game, so everyone knows how to play.
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