Nerf wars: harmful or harmless?

Posted: 6:01 PM, May 02, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-02 22:03:20Z

To celebrate the return of warm weather, some people take long walks, wash their cars and plant spring flowers.

Some students, however, celebrate by shooting their classmates with Nerf guns.

"Nerf wars" are popular at many Tri-State school districts. The point of the game is to not be shot (and get "out"). Some schools play on teams, others are every man for themselves.

The tradition of the annual "war" and the cash prize for the winner are motivating for participants, some students said.

"It's senior-run, but a lot of people think it's really fun," Lakota West sophomore Michael Combs said.

There are also creative ways to avoid getting "out" -- for instance, being naked. This makes players "invisible."

The games aren't sponsored by schools -- in fact, some restrictions of the game purposefully kill the Nerf action out of school, like free zones inside school building or pausing the "war" during school hours.

In a prepared statement, Lakota West High School said the anticipate the war, communicate with parents and students and offer 

"Every year, our high school principals make every effort to communicate with parents and students the importance of making good decisions and the potential consequences of participating in risky and dangerous activities such as this."

Representatives from Mason school district told WCPO that the game is "growing nuisance" in Mason. Dangerous driving and concerned residents who find teenagers asleep on their lawn -- Nerfers who are "camping out" to stalk opponents -- add to concern about the extent of the game.

"I think they have rules," Lakota West sophomore Marta Lee said. "The rules are pretty under control. They'll throw you out if you do something bad. It's just a Nerf gun."

For more on this story, watch the video above.