Dear Sean, Are smashes allowed? I’m trying to settle a dispute between my classmates and my teachers and nobody can find anything. These are also sometimes called cherry bombs. The reason the teacher is saying we can’t use them is because it’s going over their head and it can hurt the younger kids who are on the playground with us. Please answer this burning question! -Lolo, 9/12/21

Spiking a ball is an important element of many games like volleyball and table tennis. There are times when spiking a ball with certainty is a sure way to get the point. We think it's an important element of our games, too.

When we play at the Four Square World Championships each year we do not set any limitations on how hard a player may hit a ball. We are playing with mostly all adults who have both the skill to spike and defend against a spike - and they have the situational awareness to look at their surroundings when they chase the ball without hurting other people.

If you are playing games with a mixed age group, and especially with younger kids, perhaps a limit on spikes is good for keeping little kids safe and having more fun.

Try talking with your teacher about creating a second court for older kids only. That might help you play with rules that are more appropriate for your age group.

Then maybe you can cherry bomb each other's faces off.