OXFORD, Ohio — In January, baseball fields are pretty quiet, usually.
But "Nerf warz" led to police being called to pull a stuck car out of the third baseline at Oxford Community Park and tickets for some teens Tuesday.
The driver was part of the Nerf battle, according to police. The annual six-week competition among Talawanda students isn't school sanctioned, but it doesn't often cause problems.
But on Tuesday, one of the participants drove a car across ballfields, ripping up grass before the vehicle got stuck in the mud. Oxford Police Chief John Jones said some participants reported someone threw rocks at their windshield, breaking it during a foam dart battle.
"Nerf warz is generally a fun little game, and we like to see kids out having fun, but there's some safety issues that we've got to be concerned with," Jones said.
Nerf wars don't just happen in Oxford, they're happening all over the Tri-State. A few months ago, Blue Ash police had warnings of their own. They arrested two teens last year, accusing them of blocking a car in, in the middle of an intersection. They were also seeing participants paint their Nerf guns black to look more real, a potentially dangerous deception.
A team made of Madeira students told a reporter last year that they use common sense rules: can't shoot someone while they're driving, can't shoot someone at a sports practice or anywhere on school grounds.
The Talawanda students' competition has robust rules, which include bans on shooting on school grounds or at a job and prohibits trespassing. They also tell players that they're responsible for their own actions.
But then there's the rule that anyone who's naked can't be shot. Oxford police say they get an increase in calls each year around this time.
"We get calls like suspicious activity calls, because people see someone at night time in their neighborhood running around, and you can't see that it's a Nerf gun, but they think there's a firearm involved," Jones said. "We get reckless driving calls and just general suspicious nature calls."
Police posted a reminder online that participants in the Nerf warz shouldn't engage in any illegal behavior. Jones said parents should also talk to their children about common sense.
"That's it," Jones said. "Again, we're not the 'fun police,' we're not trying to make anybody's day difficult. We just want them to be responsible, be safe and have fun in a safe manner."