early places: the rules

Four Square Court, Lincoln Playground, 2007 © kjm

I've been working like an e-dog for the past days - editing old assignments, searching for files and scanning film for possible inclusion on the new website (to be unveiled any day now!). This is an Early Places picture I scanned today showing the painted line of a Four Square court on my elementary school playground.

I remember that when you advanced to the A square in the game, you were able to call your own set of rules. I'm sure nowdays kids yell something slick, like, "Texas Hold 'Em!," but in my day, the default set of rules (unless you were a young dictator) were "Jenny Noble's Rules." Jenny Noble wasn't a student at our school - but likely some Four Square prodigy from days gone by - and for all we knew, she was married with kids by then. But whether she knew it or not, she still called the shots on a small corner of the playground.


Liz said...

The other day, I was talking to my boyfriend about recess, and I mentioned the all-important four square. You can imagine my horror when he asked, "What's four square?"

theTurtle said...

If I recall, Jenny Noble's Rules stated no bobbling--and This was a good use of the A square. Bobbling had no business in the Game. But when some young buck tried calling "No spiking" as an addendum to Jenny Noble's Rules, then it was on, man, it was on.
I'd love to start an adult 4 square league with you Kev...too bad we live across the country from each other now.

Kevin said...

I'm just surprised that kids would still play it today - it seems so low tech, sans joystick. Hey, thanks for weighing in - i'm a close reader of your blog.

Kevin said...

I think I was unclear because I spent very little time in the A square - mostly bottom dwelling around C and D. But I've tried to make "No Bobbling" a life rule.

Liz said...

Yeah, I don't know . . . maybe they don't play it anymore. This was back in the '80s. I've been on some playgrounds recently, though, and they still have the lines painted on the blacktop, so there's hope.

I love your new Web site, by the way. It's beautiful and functional at the same time, which is rare. Every time I look at it, I want to scrap my site and start over from scratch. Now if that's not a measure of success, I'm not sure what is. ;)