4SEB still wants you!

Posted in 4 Square East Bay, bay area, east bay, four square, games, oakland on July 19, 2012 by 4squareeastbay

So it’s been a looong minute since we’ve posted up on this blog, but there have been recent events that make it necessary to make this thing semi-relevent again. This started out as a general recap of our weekly games, noting the fun rules and interesting people that stopped through the square, but because of increased people at the games and the recent employment of the guy who writes the blog, the recaps have dropped off. Oh well, thus is life on the internet.

But never fear! Just because the blog has been less-than-current does not mean the 4 Square of the East Bay is defunct! 4SEB is still alive and kicking, dolling out great fun for all ages! Cycles of new people have come and gone since our recaps stopped, but we’ve kept up with them on our Facebook profile. Much thanks to all of those who have played, posed for pictures and participated in events. Items of note include the Temescal Street Fair, Bites Off Broadway, Rockridge Out & About, Costume Square, Turkey Square, Sweater Vest Square, Winter Season Square, Bike Away From Work Party, multiple Rain Squares, the 4th Birthday Party, Prince Vs Michael Jackson Square, an Instagram account, news stories in Oakland North and (most recently) being voted Best of the East Bay by East Bay Express. Dang, we’ve been hella busy!

Included with the growth has been a conscious effort to create a culture of welcome for everyone who wanders through the Rockridge BART Parking lot on a Thursday night. Instead of having vets explain to noobs the nuances of our square, we’ve actually settled on some basic rules and a ‘parking lot code’ that will get everyone on the same page.

4SEB RULES!

  1. Enter game through ‘D’ square, advance through ‘C,’ ‘B’ then ‘A.’
  2. ‘A’ Square serves to any square to start the round. No one can get out on a serve.
  3. If the ball bounces in your square, you must hit it into another square, even if that moves you out of your square. If, after you hit the ball, it bounces back in your square or out of the big square, you are out. Do not catch or hold the ball.
  4. If you intercept a ball BEFORE it hits the ground in your square, that counts as hitting your square. Hit it directly in to another square.
  5. If a ball bounce on an outside line, that ball is ‘in’ your square and should be played.
  6. ‘A’ square is KING and must rule on all disputed plays, deciding whether someone is OUT, or if a DO-OVER* or a DUEL** is in order.
  7. Hitting a ball that isn’t yours to hit is considered ‘interference’ (resulting in a do-over or duel).
  8. ‘A’ square can choose to make special rules which apply to all players equally and all players must follow. No discriminatory rules.

*DO-OVER: No one is out, the round is replayed.

**DUEL: A two player round to determine who will be out. Higher square serves and after the serve, three nice hits are counted out loud, then the ball is live. Duels can be side-by-side or diagonal.

CONTINUATION OF PLAY: You can be ‘saved’ if, after you are out, two players continue to play the ball. YOU can be the second player in you own ‘save.’ You are NOT ‘saved’ if only one player continues to play the ball.

PARKING LOT CODE

  • First one’s free! New people going to or coming from BART get to cut to the front.
  • Talk to people. They are friendly.
  • Respect the space!
  • Tuck your drank, stash your trash, control yourself.
  • Smoke away from the square.
  • Don’t be a jerk!
  • HAVE FUN!

So that’s the latest! This blog will be updated when big events happen or something cool is afoot! Again, our main contact is our Facebook page (search 4 Square of the East Bay or FourSquare EastBay) but you are more than welcome to stop by the Rockridge BART Parking lot on a Thursday night between 9pm and midnight to smack balls around. See you around!

Going Green

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2011 by 4squareeastbay

This past Thursday was St. Patrick’s Day, the day when St. Patrick drove all of the snakes out Ireland and is a cultural celebration of the Irish people and of the conversion of pagans to Christianity. But do your really care about St. Patrick’s Day? At 4SEB, we like to think that we do. We even had a couple of Irish people show up… none of them played but there were there. Needless to say, green was worn, those who didn’t have it on were pinched and 4 Square was played. While the details of the night got fuzzier and fuzzier, I’m sure that we had a lot of fun. Oh, we listened to Flogging Molly and danced around too!

Pretty sure a whole lot of people showed up. The quality of conversation was definitely better thanks to some of the trappings of St. Paddy’s Day. Players were: Jessica, Steph, Liz, Angie, Mike, Jerome, Leah, Sanjay, Judy, Anne Marie, Jordan, Sam, Jack, Robert, Uriah, Casey, Lola, Justin, Rasha, Max, Nick, Micky, Eric, Rachel, Vi, Adam, Roxanne, Chelsea and Jimmy. No one had the green to win a 4 Square Challenge but elimination was another story. While it was a battle, Jack stood strong and won a green apple soda. Yum!

A crew of folks chose to enjoy the goodness of Guinness at Ben & Nick’s after and that was super fun too. Maybe you’ll be there next week? Thanks for reading and even more thanks if you played! Usually this blog goes up on Friday, but something about that day is now so so wrong. Learn about it so we can all get it back to the way it was. Have a safe day and stay dry!

 

Back From the Dead

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2011 by 4squareeastbay

CRREEAAAK… the coffin lid opens, the dirt is pushed aside and the 4SEB blog rises again.

So sorry for not reporting on the games from the end of February through early March, but I caught a nasty gross lay-you-out sickness that kept me horizontal for two weeks and not playing 4 Square. But like the undead, you just can’t stop the Square. Even though there have been no blog posts for the past 3 weeks, games have happened. These games have been hard-fought, thrilling and rained upon. For the last two weeks of February, the players who gather in the Rockridge BART parking lot on Thursday nights were joined by precipitation. Undaunted, they played anyway. Wet and dirty hands smacked balls and nimble feet dodged puddles. The square did have to be moved and retaped to avoid being swept away, but what needed to be done got done and fun was the result.

I’d like to take a moment right now to give a big thank you shout out to Robert Wong, who held it down like gravity and made sure the square was set up, that all who showed up were noted and photos were taken. He’s been sending me the info for the past couple weeks, but I’ve been slacking. My bad. Here are photos for you to enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Okay let’s do the run down of who was there when it happened.

2/17/11 players: Uriah, Julian, Jessica, Robert, Lali, Jordan, Judi, Leah, Jack, Justin, Phil, Paul, Vi, Chelsea, Adam (birthday boy) and a couple more! Challenge winner: Jordan. Elimination winner: Vi. This night was very cold, so props to the bodies that showed up and played. Thanks to Uriah and Lali for your rocking music…

2/24/11 players: Robert, Jessica, Max, Eric, Sanjay, Lali, Jerome, Michele, Leah, Jack and Phil. Players who did not play, but went to Ben & Nick’s instead: Lee, Uriah, Gabby, Jordan, Judi, Paul, Adam and Anne-Marie. Again, this night was cold AND wet. Gross. Robert brought the music and though the night started late and ended early, Leah walked away with an elimination win. Way to go!

3/3/11 players: Lee, Robert, Julian, Sanjay, Travis, Liz, Vi, Paul, Brittany, Rachel, Judi, Sam, Jack, Leah, Mike, Adam, Laura, Lisa, William, Elom, Rachel and Charlie. The night was not rainy or even that cold. Win. Speaking of winning, congrats to Mike for winning elimination! What is this, your 50th time as a winner? Whata playa…

3/10/11 players: Robert, Jordan, Sam, Sanjay, Phil, Blake, Anna, Claire, Kevin, Adam, Lali, Judi, Leah, Jack and Leah. Special guest appearance by Sam’s parents. They did not play. The games picked up and went all the way to the end. Elimination was won by Robert who really, really deserves it. High Five!

Daaamn, that’s a wrap! Muy bueno if you read this entire thing. Really I was just expecting people to look at the pictures. Thanks again to all the players who have played. Though it’s been cold (is this the Bay Area winter?) have no fear that the games will pick up as the weather gets nicer. Remember, it’s your job to bring new people! 4SEB could not happen without you.

Big shout out to the folks on the East Coast because Boston’s own Squarefour had their annual World Championships of Four Square in Maine at the end of February. Check this out and see what the tourney looks like. Could we take them? Maybe…

Also, our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by the earthquake off of the coast of Japan. As Californians, we know all too well the dangers of living with the threat of an unpredictable natural disaster. To help victims, you can give to the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.¬† And you should be safe yourself! Are you prepared for a disaster? Check out 72hours.org and put together a plan and go-bag for everyone in your house. I’ve got mine, it’s got water, food, blankets, a radio, a ball and some chalk.

Be safe! It feels so good to be back among the living…

Love is in the Square

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2011 by 4squareeastbay

Why do they put the holiday about love and warmth in the middle of cold winter? Thank goodness 4 Square of the East Bay is located in the East Bay, the sunny side of the bay. Also it helps to have no winter, kinda like the winter we’ve been experiencing. Well, whatever the weather, we’ll be together, whether you like it or not. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, the Square was full of love on Thursday night, but it manifested itself as a whole bunch of smack talk, some beer drinking, yells of frustration and the occasional taunting. It was like middle school love. While the couples cuddled up at the end of the line, the hoards of bitter single people decided to go all out in a frenzy of stunning slams and sickening spins. At the end, everyone was sweaty and feeling good. Isn’t that what love is all about?

Whether single or shackled, everyone at 4SEB loves to play the game. Let’s send hugs and kisses to all our players including Jessica, Mitchell, Vi, Robert, Sam, Paul, Roxanne, Eric, Lali (thanks for the cinnamon buns!), Leah, Jordan, Lee, Jack, Mike, Justin, Julian, Sanjay, Adam, Judi and probably more! At least one of them will be your valentine…

Rules were shown some love and people played like pirates, with elbows, like animals, while shouting out things but play was mostly rough and tumble. Lee made a 4 Square Challenge. And won. Wooooooooooo?

Elimination came to Square 1 first and then swept to Square 2 (like revolutions?) where the love was locked down. When it was all over, all of the losers had no love for Lee. Because he won. Who. Ray.

That wraps it up for this week. If you need some urban gaming organization to be your valentine, 4SEB is there for you. As more than just a friend.

Speaking of friends, the East Bay Bike Party is doing it’s thang tonight! It’s a mustache ride so sport your stache with pride and head down to Lake Merritt BART at 7:30pm. The party will eventually wind up at the Parkway Lounge with beer and food! Wear a helmet.

Lastly, we want to show love to the people of Egypt and the people in another square (Tahrir Square), which is full of the love of the people. When President Hosni Mubarak stepped down this morning, their revolution has been realized, but it is just the first step towards building a truly egalitarian society. The struggle does not stop now so here is to hopes that their momentum carries them to a brighter future for their country and for our world. Stay up to date on what is happening in North Africa by tuning into Al Jazeera English. Be safe world, we’ll play games as long as we can.

Year of the Rabbit

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2011 by 4squareeastbay

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted and are often lucky in 4 Square. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. They spend much of their time standing in line, quietly talking trash about other players, but seldom follow through on their smack talk. They are clever at the business of making rules to suit them, but are very conscientious, never cheating or backing out of an agreement. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig and Dog.

Gong Hay Fat Choy! 4SEB met on Lunar New Year this week! We didn’t have any firecrackers, lion dancers, red envelopes, oranges or any of the traditional New Years accoutrement but we did get loud and have a great time. Players were Robert, Liz, Meira, Justin, Eric, Sam, Mitch, Sanjay, Phil, Jordan, Angela, Paul, Mike, Judi, Laura, Celeste, Vi, Rebbecca, Rachel, Julian and Adam. Thanks to those who brought the food and drink, it made us full and un-thirsty. Yum!

No 4 Square Challenges were won, but the challenge of the game and the prospect of a New Year was enough for those who were playing. Elimination made it’s way around and the final game between Sanjay and Laura resulted in a win for Sanjay. Whoot! See folks, if you hang around 4 Square enough, you’ll eventually win something …

Heads up to everyone out there, February is the month for the World Championships of 4 Square that are happening in Maine. Yeah we wanted to go, but it’s soooo far and soooo cold and expensive. Solution? We are gonna have our own 4 Square tourney, complete with balls and players! Wanna help plan it? Great, show up at the square and we can talk it out. Also, the World Dodgeball Society is launching a league in San Jose on Wednesday, February 16th! Wanna go? Let’s do it! They first hit is free…

Also, we’d be remiss to not say anything about what is going on in Egypt and the Arab world right now, but honestly this is not 4 Square’s area of expertise. Instead, we are just gonna link to a blog post that has been circulating about how not to say stupid stuff about Egypt. Take a read.

Lastly, this Sunday is Superbowl in which the Green Bay Packers face-off against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While you might not follow football, a lot of people do and many have mixed feelings about the Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, who was accused of sexual assault and suspended for the first part of the season for violating the NFL’s code of conduct. Check out this article and have a conversation about how men treat women in our society so that this type of sexism doesn’t continue into the next generation of athletes.

Have a Happy New Year!

State of the 4 Square Union

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by 4squareeastbay

My fellow players, our modern world faces many challenges, but 4SEB stands here today to promise you a brighter future, full of games, laughter and joy. While the past year has not been kind to us economically we take solace in the fact we can gather¬† together underneath the freeway in the Rockridge BART parking lot for no charge other than a smile and friendly conversation. As we work together to draw more squares than in our past, to recruit more players than the week before, to stay in the game longer than our last round, we must remember that this community revolves around the people. While 4SEB seems like a Thursday night staple, it is only this way because of your vigorous participation. From our humble beginnings on myspace, to our now well known presence on facebook 4 Square of the East Bay has cemented itself in the consciousness of the East Bay Area. As we look towards the future, our hopes are to expand the good feelings that we share on a weekly basis to those that need it most. The losers, those at the back of the line, the people who are too scared to play, the people trying to get to their cars. 4SEB opens its arms and say “Welcome, you are part of our 4 Square family!” Thank you, thank you! God bless you, and God bless 4 Square of the East Bay!

Thanks to all the players who showed up: Leah, Lee, Uriah, Rachel, Robert, Mike, Meira, Eric, Gabby, Kendall, Laura, Mike, Paul, Cassandra, Lisa, Mike, Steve, Mika, Anne Marie, Greg, Justin, Judi, Kyle, Adam, Vi, Casey, Jordan, Sam and Rasha! Much thanks to ROBERT for bringing the stereo, setting up the square and taking these new fancy pictures! Big ups to ROBERT and MEIRA for providing yummy snacks for the eating! Shout out to LEE for bringing the ball because no one else had balls (sorry folks for starting so late). And a huge hug goes to JORDAN because it was her BIRTHDAY and she let everyone know!

In other news, Lee won a 4 Square Challenge. Someone should stop him, he’s got too many pictures on this blog. But I guess when you look this good, you deserve to win?

The elimination rounds were super confusing last night. In an unprecedented move, both Square 1 & Square 2 called elimination simultaneously. This was chaos because as soon as someone was eliminated they would walk to the other square where they would be yelled at because the line had been closed. This led to the weird idea that a player could be eliminated in each square once and that the winner of each elimination square would duel each other. This might have worked, but it totally didn’t. There was confusion, yelling, cheating and being cheated. Whatever, it’s just a game. In the end Vi and Mike faced off and Mike won, but due to utter confusion they both get their picture on the blog. It’s just that Mike gets to hold the ball. Yay!

That’s all for today! Enjoy your weekend it’s gonna be a good one. Be back next week for your chance to be awesome!

Fresh 4 2011 … you suckaaahs!

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2011 by 4squareeastbay

That’s right, it a new year and that year is 2011! 4SEB has hella things planned for this year, including sweatshirts, a 4 Square tournament on the West Coast, appearances at many street fests and weekly games! In fact there is so much planning to do, I don’t even have time to write a proper blog post! But, as Rachel described, the blog usually goes like this “Woooo! 4 Square is awesome! People were here! Yay, rules! Yay 4 Square! Lee wins!” Well, that’s semi-accurate, but this time, Uriah won a 4 Square Challenge and the elimination winners for the last two weeks were Paul and Sam! Here are pictures!

Thanks for looking, we wanna have a strong year! Hopefully, the quality of posts and events will pick up as the plan gets put together. Have a safe day!