Getting your own league off the ground...

  • Posted on: 1 March 2008
  • By: sean

Dear Sean,
I was at the World Championships and I just want to know where you bought the balls that we used. Also I know that you have league competitions in Boston every two weeks but sadly I can't make it to those games, so I was wondering if there are any other open tournaments during the year. - Keyan, 2/18/08

Hi Keyan, I remember you from the Champs. The first question about the balls is the easiest one to answer so let me give you the details. The balls were bought from the Dick's Sporting Goods website. They are the 8.5 inch diameter inflatable playground balls, they come in tons of solid and pattern colors, and they cost a whopping 2.99 each (plus shipping, so it makes sense to buy like ten at once). I go through balls pretty quickly, about one per month dies on our courts.

The second part, however, is tougher. Four square has traditionally been a pickup, impromptu game on playgrounds and as such it will be hard to find regular four square games that you don't work to create. Your best results will be from your own initiative in starting regular games somewhere and building your own attendance. I have two approaches that might help you get more games going than the ones our league offers:

  • Find yourself three friends and pick a busy part of your neighborhood that has a lot of foot traffic. If you start a game and make yourselves appear friendly and fun then some people will come join in. If you add the broadcasting power of Craigslist and Facebook, you will definitely get yourself a crowd.
  • If this doesn't work, then its time to take greater measures. Approaching your neighborhood schools or clubs (like YMCAs, etc) to start a structured four square time might really be in both of your interests. You get to play the game and the organization or club gets a free supervised activity.

I mean, creating four square opportunities is not easy and one that will undoubtedly be frustrating at some times, but a little bit of work and the right expectations and you will have something soon enough.

Good luck, and write me if you get anything going!

Dear Sean,
Hello, I am planning to start a four square league of my own and want to know what program you used to make the 2008 square four shirt logo. Also what program did you use to make the site? - Keyan, 2/21/08

Hi Keyan, thanks for the follow up. This is pretty much what I hoped you would do.

The quick answers are like this:

The shirt design was made in Adobe Photoshop after a lot of playing and brainstorming. I then made a life-sized file in JPEG format and sent it to our screen printer here in the Boston area. That printer is Expertees, in Stoneham, MA, cause I know someone will want to know - and if you use them be sure to tell them you heard about them from us, it will help us get better rates in the future.

The website is built on the Drupal platform. Drupal is a free, open source content management system and site building framework intended to make site development easy and accessible. Its not something to dive into lightly, but it happens that Drupal is something that I have some expertise in. Some other good starting points might be Blogspot or Wordpress for the start of a new website. (Time traveler's update: Wix.com is a great way to start a website in 2016, and Facebook Groups work really well, too.)

If you have any other questions in getting your league or club rolling, or bouncing, or whatever, just drop me a line. Good luck!