The objective of the game of Four Square is to eliminate players in higher squares so that you can advance to the highest square yourself. Players are eliminated if the ball bounces in their own square more than once, or if the player does not successfully hit the ball into another player’s square.
There are 3 Rounds. In Round 1 and 2, players have 10 lives each. Once a player loses all 10 lives they are eliminated from the Tournament. In Round 3, the player who scores 10 points first is the winner. Players score points by causing another player to make a mistake.
Players can hit the ball once with any part of their body, unless a Dictator Card is used and the rules state otherwise. Example: “Double Hits Only” may be a rule initiated by a player with a Dictator Card. Players who strike the ball incorrectly are eliminated.
Players do not need to let the ball bounce into their square before hitting it into another player’s square.
Squares are ranked from highest (A) to lowest (D). Square hierarchy and Player rotation is as follows: D, C, B, A.
If a player hits the ball onto an outside line that is not touching their own square, the ball is still in play. However, if the ball bounces outside of the outside line, it is out of bounds and the player that hit the ball is eliminated.
If a player hits the ball onto the inside lines that are touching their own square, the player is out. If a player hits a ball onto an inside line that is not touching their own square, the ball is still in play. In the event that a ball lands on a line between two players’s square and neither player attempts to hit the ball, the two players must "Showdown."
If there is a dispute that cannot be settled by the officials, a Showdown will be used to settle the dispute. The Showdown is a mini-game of two square between (2) two players with no custom rules and the losing player is eliminated from the game. In the event of a Showdown, the Server is not penalized. In the event of a Showdown in Round 3, the Server will still receive their point.
Serving the Ball
The ball is always served from the highest ranked (A) Square to the lowest ranked (D) Square. The ball MUST hit the (A) Square first before entering into the (D) Square. In order for the serve to be good, the ball must land decisively within (D) Square without touching any inner-square lines. If the ball lands on the outermost lines of (D) Square, the serve is good.
Encroachment vs. Saves
Each time the ball bounces in a square, the owner of that square must hit the ball into another square. Players are allowed to travel into another player’s square to make a play on a ball as long as they do not intentionally try to prevent another player from returning the ball.
If a player “X” chooses so save player “Y” by hitting a ball that player “Y” will not be able to hit back into play, that is a SAVE and the game continues until someone is eliminated. If player “X” tries to save player “Y” but ends up disrupting player “Y’s” ability to make a play on the ball, Player X is eliminated due to ENCROACHMENT. If a player hits a ball that is not anywhere near their square, that qualifies as encroachment as well.
If the ball is touched by an object that is not one of the four players or the ground, the game is stopped and restarted.
In order to use a Power Up card, the card must be presented to a referee before the ball is served. The card must be acknowledged by the four players before it can be activated. Only one card may be active at a time. The player who first calls out the usage of their card will be permitted to use their Power Up.
*As of now, there will be no Power Up Cards allowed in Round 3. This rule is subject to change.
Round 1: Recess
The goal of this round is to eliminate half of the players.
Players can get out up to 10 times before they are ELIMINATED from the tournament. Once a player is eliminated, they become a spectator.
In order to help expedite Round 1's process, Players can advance to Round 2 EARLY by successfully serving and surviving 6 consecutive serves in the Serving Square. This is called going 6 & Done.
Once half of the Players advance due to going 6 & Done or not getting out 10 times, Round 1 is over.
Round 2: The Gauntlet
The goal of Round 2 is to eliminate all Players until the tournament has its Final Four Players. In this round, Players are eliminated, once again, if they get out 10 times. There is no way to advance to the next round other than surviving.
Round 3: The Final Four
The first Player to score 10 points is THE CHAMPION. A Player scores a point by getting another Player out or causing another Player to make a mistake. Players do not have to be in the Servers Square in order to score a point.