Thursday, April 17, 2008

Four Square according to Wikipedia

Four square requires only a ball and a court made of four squares. With such little required equipment, almost no setup, and short rounds of play that can be ended at any time, it is a popular playground game. Gameplay varies significantly from region to region.

The objective in four square is for individual players to enter the court in the lowest square and move up by eliminating players in higher squares. [1] Once at the top square the player begins to score points, and has the privilege of serving the ball to start each round. Players are eliminated when they cause any number of specific errors. With each elimination, players advance to until the lowest square is available and a new player joins the court in that position. Any number of players may wait in a line outside the court for their turn to play.

Four square is played on a square court divided into four smaller squares of equal size. Different communities or groups use different size courts, ranging from 16 to 24 feet [2]. Court sizes are often adjusted to be appropriate for age or skill level.
The outermost lines of the court are considered fair play and the ball may land on any portion of an outside line and still be in play. The inside lines are designated as out of bounds and balls landing on any portion of an inside line are in error. A popular abbreviation of these rules is known as 'inside out, outside in'. Balls landing outside the court are considered errors as well. [3]

Starting gameplay and service
Each round of the game begins with the player in the top square serving the ball. The server must first drop the ball in their square then serve to another square. The serve is intended to put the ball into play fairly and must be reasonably returnable by the first receiving player. From this point on, regular game play follows until a player is eliminated. You may spike the ball through out the game and not be out.

Regular gameplay
Players must allow the ball to land once in a square, and the occupant of that square must return the ball to any other player's square by hitting or striking the ball with their hands. They may hit with one or both hands but must hit cleanly with no holding, fumbling or catching; or be eliminated. Once the ball lands in a new player's square, that player must return it, and so forth, until a player makes an error and is eliminated.

Errors and elimination
Players may be eliminated for the following errors:
A player hits the ball out of bounds.
A player allows the ball to bounce more than once in their square.
A player fails to hit the ball properly into another player's square.
A player hits the ball more than once before returning it to another square.
A player violates a special rule. Four square is known for its many spontaneous rules.
Eliminated players leave the court, all remaining players move up to the next highest square, and a new player joins in the lowest square.

Officiation and judging
Four square is a fast game and often played by younger children. It is often difficult for children to self-govern a game of four square and it is important to create some form of officiation or judging when appropriate.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thanks to my faithful readers...

Chasity and Melinda - you are so faithful to read and comment on my blog. I love you both so...
Chasity, do you seriously not know what Four Square is?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Parenting flaw realized tonight

Cael and I went to a Bryan College performance at our church tonight. It was an amanzingly beautiful choral arts thing - I enjoyed it so much. He could have passed on it, however, but did enjoy the "dessert social" afterwards with his friends. They had brownies, cookies, cakes, pies, and to top it all off, little bowls of M&Ms on every table (at least every three feet!). He ate his weight in all of the above. I let him play Four Square (please tell me everyone knows about this game - David doesn't have a clue what it is!) with his friends afterwards to make sure he got some of the sugar out of his system before we got home and expected him to to straight to bed.

Anyway, on the way home, we talked about the performance and the desserts and his good time he had playing. But he mostly reviewed ALL of the desserts he had - in order of when he ate them. At the end, he added. "Then I had a big bowl of applesauce know, to make everything I had eaten healthy."

It hit me hard that I do this to my children. If we have for dinner say, grilled chicken with broccoli and brown rice, I'm good. However, if we have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (mostly jelly with a tiny spread of peanut butter since Cael makes them now) for dinner, I'll always throw a banana slice or a bowl of applesauce at them and insist they eat their fruit. I think I'm seriously trying to cancel out the unhealthy dinner by forcing fruit on them.

Obviously, Cael thought he could cancel out all the junk he ate tonight with that applesauce.

Thought it was funny...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I was not ready!

I took the boys the other day with me to Eckerd to pick up some pics. We were having to wait several minutes for the poor little lady to figure out how to put my picture disc in the machine. The boys were being VERY patient with the whole process, actually....going back and forth from the toy aisle showing me cars and such (fortunately, the toy aisle was right next to the photo lab). About 10 minutes into our wait, however, Cael became frozen in place in between me and the toy aisle. I asked him if he was okay and he said nothing. I once again called his name and he ignored me, very fixated on something at the checkout counter.
I looked over to see a little, brown-eyed, ballet-tu tu-clad seemingly six year-ish old girl standing with her mother....looking back at my son. She was strikingly beautiful with dark skin and dark hair in a long ponytail about mid-way down her back. She and her mother paid for their items in a minute or two and left, and Cael came out of his trance. He walked back over to me like he had just seen an angel. I asked him what he was looking at, and he said, "Mommy, she was a very pretty girl. She was really pretty...did you see her?" He had that gleam in his eye similar to that of Mogley from the Jungle Book at the end when he sees the little girl at the know what I'm talking about...

To quote my dear friend, Debra Achenbac...."OH MY COW!!!!!" I have never had feelings like I had after he said that to me. My little boy had just, possibly for the first time ever, appreciated someone else's beauty. He's six years old! I know this doesn't automatically put him in the dating game, but it's got me freaked out for sure.

It's got me thinking....the first time anyone asks him if he has a girlfriend, I just might knock them out! Is that going too far?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Warning: Husband filling in.

I'm best known as "Ginger's husband", but my real name (and the one I use on TV) is David. Ginger is recovering from hernia surgery, and the occasion calls for a comment or two worth putting on record.
First: homemakers are truly AMAZING people. I have a new perspective and appreciation for what my wife does every day: managing our house and raising our children. She has always had my full support, but now I can truly empathize when Tate doesn't nap like he should or Micah goes into meltdown because he's beyond hungry (he's American-starving - my phrase, Ginger can expound later). What amazes me most is how GOOD she is at her job! And I now have futher confirmation as to why men don't have babies: we would have let the race die out in the first generation. Patience and perserverence are not our strong suits...
Second: Children truly are one of the greatest joys of life. While Christ is first and wife is second, the gap between them and my children is EXTREMELY narrow. Sure, they've driven me nuts several times during my tenure as homemaker, but they have truly made me appreciate what a joy and blessing they are. How it comes about that careers, hobbies, plans, whatever get ahead of your chilren is completely beyond my reason and understanding.