Dear Sean. In 4-Square, I hit the ball into another court, albeit too hard and so it would have gone out. However, the player in that court put her arm out and the ball hit her arm before it went out. She called it out, but since she touched the ball, she should have been out. Instead, an argument ensued, and she insisted that I was out since the ball was going out. How would you have settled this problem? Thanks! -Sue in Somerville

I believe that the other player should have been out on that call, and I have two reasons.

First, if a player touches the ball then that player is responsible for the outcome. If that player allows herself to be accidentally hit by the ball then she is the one who made the mistake, whether or not the ball is "headed out". If the ball looks to be going out of bounds then she should just get out of the way and let gravity do its thing.

Second, and less complicated-ly, players aren't allowed to hit the ball with anything but their hands. If it hit her in the arm then she is out - and it doesn't matter where the ball was headed ("Body Language" notwithstanding).

So, very sorry that shook down the way it did. If I had seen it I would have sent that other player packing.