Archive for February, 2010

On to the next one…

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

This was a big week for 4 Square! After a slow start to 2010, this Thursday night got the square cracking again! Not to say that previous games weren’t super fun, but when you’ve only got 3 to 5 people playing the fastest and most furious game to leave the playground, the players get tired. This week, the players got impatient as the line ballooned to over 10 people. Standing in the line gives everyone the opportunity to either chat it up with the people around them or stand awkwardly studying the moves of those fortunate enough to be in the square. 4SEB recommends that people talk to each other because since the car/music source was stolen, it can get oddly quiet in the parking lot. During intense rounds only the sound of bouncing balls, squeaking sneakers and the occasional grunt echo off of the concrete pylons. Thanks to all of the new folks that showed up and we wanna let you know that we noticed that all of your names started with vowels (Adam, Allison, Austin, Emily and Ian). Big shout out to Doug who was the only newbie to have a name start with a consonant.

The play tonight was excellent as veterans threw it down solid, but the new additions shined as they worked out the kinks in their game plan to rock through the bottom squares and claim A square and rule privileges. Good rules this week were the spin rule (10 seconds, 12 seconds, 15 seconds and 20 seconds), the pirate rule, dance square, one-word-story, Olympic sports, countries of the world and the Apology rule, where if one player gets another out they must apologize profusely and sincerely to that player sharing their pain and empathizing with their sorrows. This was taken to the extreme as Allison commanded Sam to drop to his knees after getting her out to complete the rule. Sam then got Allison out in a following round and promptly said “I’m not sorry!” to make up for the humiliation.

At the end of the night (11:30) Caroline called elimination and Uriah out maneuvered Liz to take the win again. Uriah also called and won another 4 Square Challenge. Whoopdidoo! Congratulations Uriah, you’re making this a regular thing!

Also, 4SEB was on the radio this week! Dara came out from Crosscurrents, a show about Bay Area life and culture, to tape sounds and interviews with many players and painted a picture of our square to a larger audience. Listen to the segment here at Crosscurrents website. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention that one of the new players, Emily, also did a story on us for Oakland Local and finally made it to the square to play! And she brought her friends which is the real way to spread the word! Read her insights about our urban game here on Oakland Local’s blog.

Lastly, the Four Square World Championships are happening this Saturday in Bridgton, Maine so we are sending our love and support to all those players who are about to put their bodies on the line for the game that we all hold close to our hearts. Check out the action at squarefour.org and look for Oakland CA to be in the winner’s circle in the future. Until next time, 4 Squares, 1 Love…

You got game? Prove it!

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , on February 21, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

This cold spell has gotta stop soon because it’s freezing out our game. Since the new year the weather has been less than warm prompting thin Californian skin to wrap itself in hoodies, blankets or whiskey and not show up to 4 Square. This puts the game in a weird space where, without 4 people to play, the game becomes 3 square or (even worse) 2 Square.

Jordan and Angela had already started playing as Sam rolled up and the three of them held down a pretty mean 3 Square until Mike showed up to save the night. After playing for a short while, hard rules started to appear like the ‘Keep moving’ rule, the ‘words that start with the letter F’ rule and Karaoke square (where each player picks a song to sing and sings it during the game). Jon showed up and it almost seemed like there was a line and players got a second to catch their breath. The level of the game struggled as players got tired and stopped chasing down stray balls (that’s what she said). Soon the ‘save everyone’ rule was in effect and rounds would go on for much much longer than they should have. The World Championships of Four Square (happening on Saturday, February 27th in Bridgton, ME) would be ashamed. Elimination was called, but luckily Julian and Victoria showed up at the end and most of the remaining players were convinced to play another 30 minutes or so.

It was Victoria’s first time playing 4SEB style but that didn’t matter as her sequins jacket dazzled opponents into submission. Or something like that. The end came as everyone realized that they were fucking tired and another elimination was called. Jon beat out Jordan for the win and now gets to be on the blog. Whoooot!

So in conclusion, 4 Square needs more players. We used to have upwards to 40 folks coming out and now there are only 5. Bay Area stand up! There are avid 4 Square players in Philadelphia, Boston and New York City who would kill to have a 4 Square game during the winter without snow. Why are we so complacent? Stop smoking the green and get active. Also, we gotta bring the music back.

Until next week!

Loving Presidents Square (Year of the Presidential Tiger’s Heart)

Posted in 4 Square East Bay, gorilla square with tags , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

After the regular Thursday night game 4SEB realized that the 2nd weekend of February contained not only Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year, but President’s Day as well. Landing on Monday the 15th, it extended a weekend punctuated by chocolate, firecrackers and more red than the ‘commie rule’ into a full blown 3-day party. Due to recent cold (read: low) attendance at the Thursday Rockridge BART Square, 4 Square of the East Bay has decided that anytime there is a holiday (read: any non Sunday when you don’t have to pay for parking) there needs to be a Gorilla Square. Gorilla squares can happen anywhere, popping up at street fests, birthday parties, after concerts, farmers markets or on the UC Berkeley Campus. The nature of the Gorilla Square is random and is intended to raise awareness of 4SEB and it’s constant need for players.

President’s Day 2010 was the first Gorilla Square of the year and was held at Frank Ogawa Plaza on Monday, February 15th. After a weekend of online activity that plastered facebook, took over the tweetsphere and stumbled back into myspace, 4SEB showed up right in front of Oakland’s City Hall at 5pm.

After getting permission from the skateboarding middle schoolers who were using the area, 4SEB set up the square. We maxed out the roll of tape and completing the boxes with chalk. The game started with the Florendo sisters, Michelle and Arlene (who look like middle schoolers), Sam and fresh-off-the-bike Mickey. They were soon joined by Mike, the mother/daughter team of Michelle and Amina, and Lee and Gabby, who were a little woozy from just having returned to Oakland from SoCal. Big shout to Jordan and Gus who wanted to play the game, but despite their best efforts, just couldn’t get there in time.

The game play was relaxed and fun with lots of silly rules (things you can buy at a gas station, hit the ball with your feet together, animal sounds, don’t touch the ball with your hands) and when the ball bounced into the skateboarders they were totally nice and gave it back. Mickey had to leave early to catch a train but encouraged the group to attend “Singing in the Rain” (from March 6th to March 21st) starring Rich, a 4 Square expert and actor. Check out http://www.berkeleyplayhouse.org for more info!

Unfortunately, no flash mob of players came from the woodwork and the time and location was evaluated. Next time: earlier and maybe in a place that has more visibility/people. It got dark around 6 and elimination was called around 6:15. Due to the small number of players (4 remained) a double elimination was called, which means a player can get out twice before being forced to take leave of the square. After being sliced out in the first round by Sam, Lee revenged himself on Sam, Gabby and Mike for the win. Way to go Lee, you’ve got our vote for Mayor!

It was a great day for gaming and we did just that! Look for more Gorilla Squares and come to the regular Thursday night games!

Who Dat say dey gon play some 4 Square?

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , , , on February 12, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Let’s be honest, no one at 4 Square talked about the Saints historic win in the Superbowl. Most conversation centered around the difficulty of German grammar, Modest Mouse and a slew of ‘that’s what she said’ jokes. But still the spirit of victory ran wild through our veins as a hearty group of at least 8 players duked it out for around 2 hours to claim the coveted spot of A square. Great rules were called such as the famed Pirate rule and the Jump-In-The-Air-As-You-Hit-The-Ball rule, but the new stand out was the Make-Up-A-Bird rule which debuted on the scene with much hilarity. If you are interested, new wonderful birds were discovered like the “Dodorito” and the “Ass Bird.”

At some point in the night Uriah called out the fabled “4 Square Challenge” in which the a player entering D square must make their way to A square in 3 rounds or suffer the ridicule of the entire parking lot. Many have tried only to be laughed at, but Uriah succeeded where others have failed thus cementing him a spot on the blog and internet fame.

After much urging by Angela, elimination was called at around 11pm. The rounds were tough and heartbreaking, but in the end Sam took advantage of an out of bounds hit by newcomer Adam to clinch the win. Congratulations Sam, you’re a winner! Maybe Oakland will throw you a parade. Probably not.

We’ll be back next week with a break down of another 4 Square of the East Bay! Have fun/be safe!

Wet and gross! But we still played…

Posted in 4 Square East Bay with tags , , , , , on February 5, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

You didn’t think we were serious? We are HELLA serious! It was wet, rainy and gross in general tonight at the square but we did as 4SEB does. We played the game. While it wasn’t the longest game of 4 Square ever (ended around 10:30) there was still about 45 minutes of action, around 7 players and a whole bunch of laughs. Part of making this thing a Bay Area staple is the consistency of the square and tonight, we were consistent. Or at least constantly wet. It rained sideways which created mini-lakes in our parking lot, but all in all a good night!

Elimination was called and after some rousing rounds and waiting for cars Mikey defeated Angela for the win! Go Mike!

Check back later for more recaps! Until then, stay warm and dry!

This blog is 4 you!

Posted in 4 Square East Bay, gorilla square with tags , , , , , , , on February 3, 2010 by 4squareeastbay

Just getting this started, but if you have suggestions on what you want to see up here (4 Square related of course) holla at us… at this point, expecting a total of ZERO responses cuz no one knows this exists… let’s get the word out, shall we?

Social media!

facebook.com/4squareeastbay

twitter.com/4squareeastbay

myspace.com/4squareeastbay

Vimeo!

To tide folks over, here is a picture of 4 Square’s own Hardcore Dancing-Queen’s birthday celebration which ended up with a whole crew playing 4 Square in Oakland’s Jack London Square! Enjoy!