image derived from original work created by &y

Squareball the lawn game

To start playing check out the Getting Started section to the right.

Monday, April 12, 2010

More 3 vs 3 scoring

My good pal Jeremy has inquired about scoring. He asked:
Let's say White makes a big Triangle that surrounds 3 black balls. That'd be worth 9, right? Or are there other points being added? I saw someplace on this site that 15 would be the max score for a round... is that true?

The simple answer is: it depends how the black balls are positioned. To illustrate I have included 3 diagrams

1. Here is how to score 15 points in a single toss. White has captured all 3 black balls. You'll notice that black hasn't scored any points because he didn't capture any white balls in his triangle or Vs and he hasn't escaped from white's capture :( A very bad day for black.

2. In this example white has captured all 3 black balls in his triangle but black has captured all 3 white balls in Vs. Doing this subtracts 3 points from white's 9 points. White wins 6 points this round.

3. Now onto a more complicated setup. You can see that white has still captured all 3 black balls. In addition white has also escaped black's Vs with 1 white ball on top. Black has only captured 2 white balls in Vs but that still subtracts 2 points from white's 11 points. White wins 9 points this round.

Ok, let us know if you have more questions or feedback. Happy Squareballing!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


There are six ways to score. The six ways to score are summarized on the Quick Reference sheet and listed below:

1. Capture your opponent's balls in your triangle
2. Capture your opponent's balls in one of your Vs
3. Escape capture from your opponent's Vs and triangle
4. 2 vs 1
5. 2 vs 1 exception
6. Only player with balls in the square

Once both players have tossed all of their balls the round is scored. The round is scored by each player adding all his or her points for that round. The player with the most points wins the round. The winning player adds the difference in scores to his or her total score. If both players scored the same number of points that round it is considered a tie and neither players adds points to his or her total.

For example: In a given round Player A scores 5 points and Player B scores 2 points. Player A will add 3 points to his or her total score.

In addition to the six ways to score there are also several ways not to score. In each of the three cases below neither player adds any points to his or her total score:

1. Neither you nor your opponent land any balls in the square
2. Both you and your opponent land 1 ball each in the square
3. Both you and your opponent land 2 balls each in the square

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tip 1

Make the biggest triangle possible. The bigger your triangle the more likely your opponent will land inside of it. If you can throw your balls in different corners as show below you can make a triangle that will cover half of the square.

The other advantage to landing your balls near the corners is that it makes it very difficult for your opponent to capture you balls inside his or her triangle.

Indoor Squareball

Ok, so it isn't exactly indoor Squareball but Outside In Games makes BoHo Bocce sets that are totally compatible with Squareball!

Jake and I have tried playing Squareball with bean bags but you simply can't get true to life bowling from a bean bag (especially the square bean bags). It looks like a BoHo Bocce set will solve all my indoor Squareball problems. I've already put BoHo Bocce on my birthday/Christmas wish list.

Visit their website at:

*photo courtesy of Outside In Games

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rule 6

If your ball does not land in the square it is out-of-bounds and out-of-play for that round.

That means you can use it for scoring. So don't cheat!

Rule 5

The player that won the previous round must toss first.

The better looking player tosses first on the first round or whoever wins the ensuing fist fight to determine who the prettiest player really is. Alternatively, and surprisingly less bloody, a coin toss may be used to determine who should toss first on the first round. Of course you still have to decide who tosses the coin...

Rule 4

Once all six balls have been tossed, the round is over and the points for that round are tallied.

The player with the highest score for that round subtracts his or her opponent's score for that round from his or her score and adds the difference to his or her total score. Only one player earns points each round. If both players score the same number of points neither player add points to his or her total score.

Rule 3

Each round each player alternates tossing/throwing/bowling/rolling 1 ball from the standing area into the square.

Rule 2

The game is played in rounds.

Well it's not exactly a rule but it's important information.

Rule 1

There are two players or two teams.


Trap your opponent's balls in a triangle formed by your three balls and/or generally score more points than your opponent.

The first player to reach or exceed 15 points wins the game and is declared the winner. The player that does not achieve 15 points first loses and is declared the loser.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Ok, ok. I know everybody is dying to know what is required to play this game. Here is a list of the necessary equipment. The most necessary of the necessary equipment is the balls. I recommend using Bocce balls ( because they are designed for tossing in the grass and knocking your opponent's balls out of the way.

If you do choose to buy Bocce balls remember that you need 3 balls of one color and 3 more balls of a different color. Some Bocce ball sets come with 2 balls of each color and that wouldn't be sufficient.

I have also used softballs but they aren't good for bowling. They're too light.

Under no circumstances should you use meatballs to play Squareball. That would be a criminal waste of delicious meatballs punishable by 4 years of forced vegetarian diet.

Items required to play:

3 - balls of one color They should all be the same color

3 - balls of another color I recommend they be a different color than the first 3 balls--it's easier to keep track of who has thrown what.

1 - grassy field (at least 10' x 25') You'll probably want more space than that especially if you have poor aim. A dirt field will also work if no grassy field is available. Under no circumstances should this game be played in a field of dreams. You'd likely get hit in the soul with a ghostly ball and be stuck playing baseball for the rest of your afterlife.

4 - 7' ropes/strings/straps You will use these to create the square that you will relentlessly throw your balls at.

1 - 13' rope/string/strap You will use this rope/string/strap to mark the throwing box.

8 - stakes To hold down the rope/string/strap to the ground.

You should arrange your rope/string/strap as shown below. If you can't figure out how to use the stakes and rope/string/strap to make the layout below you might have more fun playing Candy Land. I highly recommend it.

Quick reference

This quick reference sheet fits on normal sheet of paper. Print a couple copies of this reference sheet and put it with your Squareball equipment. It's a whole lot easier to explain the rules when you have this sheet with you.

The reference sheet it also available in PDF: Squareball Quick Reference

The Original Squareball

Squareball is the name of a lawn game invented by the brothers Jenne in the year 2005. It's official birth date is 4/15/2005, which is the date of the earliest record describing the initial concepts of the game.

Squareball will turn 5 this year. And to commemorate this momentous occasion I have decided to document this game on the web. Stay tuned for the complete rules and discussion on game play. Please feel free to comment or ask questions in the comments.