Covid Silver Lining - New Way to Play
Tanya de Hoog and Parveen Loodu

Southridge Junior School parents have likely heard about it, and you may have come across previous social media posts related to it – so we’re answering the question…what exactly is 9 Square in the Air, and why are Southridge students loving it so much?

9 Square in the Air is a fun and addictive group game that combines volleyball with 9 player squares on the ground. Each player must defend their square, and they only get one hit to get the ball out of their square and into another square – if they miss or hit the ball out of bounds, they are out!

Southridge now has three of these popular play structures (two for the Junior School and one for the Senior School). Playing 9 Square has become ‘all the rage’ amongst students (especially Junior School students) because it’s a fast-paced and inclusive game that is not only fun to play, but also fun to watch as you wait for your next turn. Nine people can play together at a time, and because the line moves quickly, additional students are constantly in and out of the rotation of the 9-square formation. 

For Junior School students who spend their recess and lunch times on the grass field areas, it provides a fun and easy new option for play in addition to the soccer and football games that are usually occurring. The structures are rotating amongst grade levels every few weeks so everyone gets their turn to play, and our students are loving it!

We were first introduced to 9 Square at Camp Summit (the trip Grade 7 students typically take every year), and they've always loved it!  Everyone who chaperones always left camp wishing we could find a way to bring 9 Square to the Junior School playground. Over the last couple of years, portable versions have been made instead of fixtures that are permanent structures; so as we faced having to create recess zones that would limit what and where students could play because of Covid, and because we wanted to provide something kids could play that would engage several students instead of just a few, we decided to bring the portable 9 Square structures to campus to try out with various ages and we're sure glad we did! 

Note: this is not a paid ad 😉

Contributed by Tanya de Hoog, Junior School Principal and Parveen Loodu, Communications & Marketing