Saturday, June 21, 2008

A blast from the past playing four square

One of my happiest purchases as a kid was my big, red rubber ball. You know, like the kind you used to play kickball and four square during recess? Remember those games?

Kickball may have been my favorite of the two playground games, but I know I logged a lot of hours playing four square.

playing four squareSo, when a group of co-workers found one of those balls laying around the other day, and proposed a lunch-time round of four square, I was all over the idea.

The problem was, all I really remembered about the game was that four people each stand in a square and the each take turns bouncing the ball back and forth. Beyond that, I wasn't so sure of the objective. Not to worry, though, apparently most everyone else had forgotten the rules, too. Fortunately, we have this new-fangled thing called the Internet nowadays and the rules for four square were just a few clicks away.

So, at lunch time Thursday, eight of us went out to a remote part of the parking lot. We used four parking spaces and some chalk to outline our four squares, and had at it.

What amazed me was how much fun we had. The rounds went really fast and no one had to wait for long to rotate back in. I'm happy to say that the game came back to me quickly and I was a competitive player, spending several rounds in the "king" or No. 1 position. Although, I would have done better if I'd been in gym shoes instead of flip-flops. You know, the whole twist an ankle thing.

Before we knew it, our hour of designated play time was up and we had to return to work. I'm thinking that there will be future sessions of four square. Problem is, we had perfect mid-70 degree weather on Thursday. Future days in the summer are likely to be much hotter, and who wants to return to work as a big ball of sweat?


  1. Just a comment on the poll. I clicked on "other". In looking at the top two choices I realized that they didn't quite cover "Historical Fiction". I love the well researched novels of the Michener type or on the factual side the History that reads like a novel such as McCullough.

  2. karina6/23/2008

    4 square at Medinah North...ahh yes, I remember it well. The kids still play it too. At least they have a 4 square set up in the playground at my daughter's school. Now all you need is a tether ball and you'll be having serious grade school flashbacks. We had very low tech fun back then, didn't we?

  3. It's nice to have people you work with who are willing to take a real break and have some fun at lunch. I miss playing pinochle with my co-workers from the insurance company where I used to work. It was a great way to really take a break in an otherwise boring day.

  4. @jamie -- D'oh! I knew I'd leave some genres out. I think I left Horror out, too, come to think of it. I like the well-researched historical fiction novel also, but find it's harder to make time to read them.

    @karina -- Hey, great to hear from you! And you're right. Four Square at Medinah North was exactly what I was envisioning. Low-tech fun is the most durable. It's amazing how these games persist over the years.

    @karen -- This company I work for is surprisingly social. Especially lately now that the company is pushing it's new social committee. It's good for team building.

  5. karina6/23/2008

    Remember that Funnel game on the blacktop? There were numbers on it and somehow we all kept score. I've never seen another one of those except at Medinah North. And no one plays Chinese Jump Rope anymore. "In, out, side by side, in on out." It's the only pattern I remember. Then the ultimate low tech game we made up in 5th grade, boys tackle girls, girls tackle boys. An insane verion of tag. Ahh...the memories.

  6. @Karina -- Oh yeah! I'd forgotten about boys tackle girls and girls tackle boys. That was lots of fun!

    As for Chinese jumprope, I think I'm going to buy one for my niece next month. She was really into Cat's Cradle a few months ago, and nothing makes a better Cat's Cradle rope than a Chinese jumprope.


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