Dear Sean,
Can a player carry the ball? For example, can a player catch the ball underhand with his or her hands above their waist? Thanks for your response. - Jerry 11/25/2008

Jerry, darned good question. You are asking me if players can carry the ball, and you are asking me if players can catch the ball below the waist. Let me pick these apart.

Normally, players are not allowed to carry, catch or hold the ball between their two hands at any time. Each play should be cleanly hit with either one hand or two hands at the same time. And to reaffirm, players are only allowed to strike the ball with their hands, that is, the part of their arms below the wrists and including all five fingers. Look at this blog for clarity on how to strike the ball:

Now those are the normal rules. But we in four square know that we can add special rules at any time, and two of the special rules we like to play in Boston are the Blackjack rule and the Underhand rule. You can read about those special rules at the bottom of this:

When the blackjack rule and the underhand only rule are played together, the act of catching the ball trumps the underhand only rule. That means, if you attempt to catch the ball for a blackjack play then you can grab it any way you like. You should also note thtat our underhand rule makes no specification as to the waist level or not.

Hope this helps clear things up for you, Jerry. Drop us a line if you have more questions.