how to play

How to Play

How to Play CROSSNET

CROSSNET is the world’s most engaging four square volleyball game. Featuring a centrally placed net á la volleyball and a four-quadrant court á la four square, CROSSNET makes you feel like a kid while providing enough of a challenge to engage the grown-up you. If you’ve just picked up your first set and are itching to get into gameplay, you’ve come to the right place!

In this guide, we’re covering everything beginners need to know about CROSSNET, including how to play, how to set it up and how to master the rules so you dominate the competition every time you challenge your pals to a matchup. Planning a backyard tourney? We always recommend shooting this page to your friends in an email or text beforehand so they have an idea of what to expect.

Short on time? TL;DR

How to Set Up CROSSNET

First up: set up.

Before you break out the volleyball, you’re going to need to put your CROSSNET set together. Luckily, it only takes five to ten minutes, and everything you need comes in the set. You don’t need a toolbox or any fancy gear. While CROSSNET is easy to set up by yourself, the process always moves a bit quicker if all four players help with setup. Start by watching our setup video and following the step-by-step instructions below.

CROSSNET measures 13 feet by 13 feet

Tip: When fully assembled, CROSSNET measures 13 feet by 13 feet, so keep this in mind when choosing a spot. Each square will end up measuring 6.5 feet by 6.5 feet.

How to Set Up CROSSNET H2O

How to Play CROSSNET

Here’s a basic rundown of how to play CROSSNET. 

Gather at least three of your friends and designate each quadrant as number one through four. Along with you, there should be one person in each square. You can have additional players too — just have them line up outside square one and they’ll step in when someone is eliminated.

The objective is to make it to the fourth square, where a player can serve and score. When in the fourth square, the player serves diagonally to the second square, who then returns the ball to any other square. Each player is only allowed one hit per return. When the ball lands on the ground, the player who misplays it is eliminated and either returns to the first square or the back of the line. 

The remaining players rotate clockwise. Whenever another player is eliminated, the fourth square receives a point. Players keep their points when eliminated. Play to 11 and win by two!

Designate Your Quadrants

The first thing you need to do before starting a round of CROSSNET is to designate your four quadrants. As mentioned, CROSSNET is a cross between four square and volleyball, so you’ll need, well…four squares. Pick your quadrants and assign them numbers one through four. After you’ve determined where your four quadrants will go, each player is assigned a number one through four and must occupy the corresponding quadrant. 


Gameplay and Rules

During gameplay, players engage in a four-way battle to eliminate each other, with the goal of having the ball land in their opponent’s square. Points are scored each time a player remains in the fourth square without a mistake. Here are the general rules for gameplay:

CROSSNET serve rules

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Points Scored? 

Simple: Don’t get eliminated!

How are points scored in CROSSNET, you ask? It’s all about a magical place called square four. Yep, a point can only be scored when serving from square four, so you want to make sure you get there as many times as possible throughout the game. If you’re in the fourth square and you don’t get eliminated during a rally, you score a point. Games are played to a score of 11 points and you must win by at least two. Players keep their points when eliminated, so don’t underestimate those sneaky early departers.

How Are Players Eliminated?

You’re outta there!

The goal of the game is simple: don’t get eliminated! Easier said than done, right? You’ll get eliminated if you fail to follow the rules listed above. Some of the most common reasons people get eliminated from CROSSNET include hitting the ball into another square, allowing the ball to hit the ground in your own square, hitting the ball out of bounds, hitting the ball with anything other than your hands or hitting the ball out of turn.

How old to play CROSSNET

Who Can Play CROSSNET?

CROSSNET doesn’t discriminate.

How old do you have to be to play CROSSNET volleyball? This is one of those uniquely adaptable activities that’s surprisingly appealing to a broad age range, from 8 to 100+. In fact, we’ve designed it to be height-adjustable so it works for kids and adults. 

What the Heck Is a Showdown?

Go ahead, face-off!

We love a good showdown! And we know that sometimes you need to settle a dispute, especially when the competition is fierce. If you can’t resolve a dispute, you’re going to need to initiate a Showdown! The Showdown is a mini-game of two square where the loser is eliminated. Riff off this as much as you want.

What Do You Mean By ‘Hands?’

This game can get a little handsy.

Hands are your most valuable piece of equipment in CROSSNET. We define “hands” as any area between a player’s wrists and fingertips, including the back of the hands. The rules state that players may not catch, hold or carry the ball at any time during a round of CROSSNET. If your group decides, players can extend play by adding additional touches to each return, such as a bump, set, spike or—our personal favorite—a return with the head, knees or feet. We’re all about breaking the rules.

How Many People Can Play at Once?

It depends…how many friends do you have?

CROSSNET is one of the most unique backyard or beach games for the simple fact that you can involve as many people as you want, with as few as four players. Got a big group gathering on the beach? Looking for a crowd-pleasing activity for your physical education class, brewery or sports complex? This is the game for you.

While playing standard (single) CROSSNET, only four people play at a time, with one person in each quadrant. Additional players can form a line outside of the first square and enter once the volley is over. The player who is eliminated then returns to the back of the line with the remaining three players rotating to the necessary positions. You can let the line get as long as you want, but we’d recommend not going over 10 people per game.

If four people in play at once isn’t enough for you or you prefer to play as part of a team, you might want to consider using a CROSSNET Doubles Net. This add-on lets you turn your standard CROSSNET set into a doubles court, allowing you to play in teams with two people in each quadrant for a total of eight players in the game at once. Another big difference with the Doubles add-on is that, with this format, the game now allows for three hits per team. The Doubles Net is sold as an accessory and pairs with your original CROSSNET set.

Friends playing CROSSNET

Where Can You Play CROSSNET?

Pretty much anywhere — water, sand or grass.

CROSSNET is designed to be played pretty much anywhere, from the backyard to the pool to the gym. For the most part, the ground or flooring on which you play doesn’t really matter. With the right equipment, you can set up CROSSNET at the beach, in the grass or on the gym floor. You could even put it on carpeted floors if you really wanted — CROSSNET in the living room sounds amazing, right? — but we don’t recommend it if you’ve got anything fragile or fancy in the area.

We have the gear to set up CROSSNET indoors, outdoors or in the pool. Want to play indoors and out? If you already have the standard CROSSNET set, you can take it inside with an Indoor Base Set. If you’re starting from scratch, purchase the Indoor & Outdoor Bundle so you have the option to play it anywhere. If you want to set it up in the pool, grab CROSSNET H2O, which comes with floating bases that turn the pool into an aquatic arena for you and your most competitive friends. 

Making the Most of CROSSNET

At the end of the day, we want you to play CROSSNET however you want to play CROSSNET. Keep it regulation and adhere to the rules or make it casual and enjoyable for all-levels, all-ages play. Rules are important, especially if you’ve got a highly competitive group of players, but they’re also meant to be bent and broken. The beauty of CROSSNET is that it’s flexible — to your height, to your group of friends and to your unique style of play. So flex as much as you want and, most importantly, have fun!

Got more questions about playing CROSSNET? You can always reach out to us and we’ll be happy to answer them!


The court is divided into four squares.


Square 4 serves from out of bounds diagonally to square 2.


Whoever misplays is eliminated and returns to square 1.


When a player in squares 1-3 misplays, square 4 gets a point. Games go to 11 points, win by 2.

Rules of the Game

Four players choose a square 1-4. To start, the player in the 4th square serves diagonally to the 2nd. From there, the game is live, and the 2nd square can return the ball to any square. Players protect their square with only one hit. The goal is to get to the 4th square and score 11 points. In order to get to the 4th square, you will need to eliminate your friends by landing the ball in their square and rotating clockwise when a player is out. The 4th square is the only place you can score points and a player keeps their points when eliminated.

Learn the Rules

5 Minute Setup

No engineering degree needed. Our effortless design allows for easy setup within minutes. Please note having a friend help you set up speeds results in the most streamlined set up experience. More of a Visual Learner?

Watch Setup Video


Want a downloadable and printable version of our rules? Well you’re in luck!

Download Instructions

Tips for New Players

1. Quickly designate who will begin in the 4th square. 2. Serve the ball gently to land the ball into the 2nd square (not a time to flex your muscles). 3. It typically makes sense to try to eliminate the player with the most points. 4. Going after the weakest player is a sure-fire way to score some points.