USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘four square’
Childhood
Game

Traps and Doors

When my friend was a kid she played a game at recess on circular four square court.  The game was essentially a variant of tag.  One person would be it and they would chase the other players around the court.  The rules were that the players must stay on the outside of the court and not enter any of the squares.  The court had cracks in it which could be entered from the outside but if a player was on the inside the cracks became a dead end and they had to turn around.  When players were tagged they went into the prison area (the squares in the court) and they could be tagged out.

My friend invented this game and played it with her friends at recess so the game was very close to her.  I think she felt pride that her friends all partook in a piece of folklore that she invented.

The game seems to be at its heart very close to tag but the moderations allow tag to be played in an area that would ordinarily be much too small for tag.  This shows the evolution of a folkloric game into a form that is adapted for the environment it was confined to.  The addition of the cracks as a rule also shows the complexity in the game practice and an incorporation of the environment into the gameplay.

 

 

 

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