Mike Innis holds one of his 22 Nerf blasters he hopes to rent out to fund the Victoria Nerf Association. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Greater Victoria man thinks a Nerf league could be a blast

Mike Innis targets kids and their parents for goofy sport

From swimming lessons to gymnastics to competitive sports, children’s lives are becoming increasingly busy, structured and scheduled.

But sometimes kids just need to run around, be goofy, and shoot each other with Nerf guns: that’s why Mike Innis is starting the Victoria Nerf Association.

“The rules are kind of silly and that’s kind of the point,” he says. “It’s not for serious at all, and you run around and blast each other with foam.”

There are 22 brightly-coloured Nerf blasters on a table in Innis’s Greater Victoria living room, all used toys he bought from VarageSale and Used Victoria. For ammunition, he has hundreds of dark blue foam darts, and 10,000 more he bought in bulk are on their way from China.

Innis, who by day works at a Victoria-area insurance company, said when he bought a Nerf gun for his three-year-old’s birthday, he remembered how much fun he had playing with the toys when he was younger. He and his friends would duck behind furniture and shoot back-and-forth at each other.

Now 32, he thinks kids and their parents together, and adults, could benefit from a fun, unstructured activity, something more casual and less intense than competitive sports. University of Victoria sometimes hosts an event using Nerf guns– Humans versus Zombies – but there isn’t a regular venue for this kind of play.

“How many kids’ sports are taken wicked too seriously by the time they’re like five and six years old, like hockey, soccer – definitely, on the Island,” he says. “Nerf’s not that. Not even close.”

Nerf isn’t meant to be played competitively, says Innis. The guns fire at an average speed of about 70 feet per second and even when fired at close range, the impact is so gentle you may not even know you’ve been shot. Unlike paintball, there is no visual marking that you’ve been hit, so players rely on an honour system.

“Within the hobby, that’s a big deal. You have to call your own hits,” he says. The hobby is typically so casual there isn’t an official national association or genuine rule set: “it’s kind of the point.”

In November, Innis started Foam Blaster Supply, a company that would supply rental Nerf guns and darts to the association as a way to fund the non-profit league’s insurance and facility rental fees. He also hopes he can rent the blasters out for office and birthday parties.

“Give everyone a Nerf gun and let them go nuts … That sounds pretty fun, actually, right?”

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Mounties raid “extensive” Vancouver Island pot grow operation

Execution of 3 search warrants has yielded 3 arrests and the seizure of 2,000 marijuana plants

Pacheedaht First Nation celebrates return of Jordan River lands

Twenty-eight hectares of land bought from B.C. Hydro

Referendum on Duncan, North Cowichan amalgamation tomorrow

Citizens in Duncan and North Cowichan take to the polls

EDITORIAL: Let’s be great ambassadors of summer

Island people the best sales pitch we can make to visitors

Police call off search for missing kayaker in East Sooke

The investigation is now considered a missing person case

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

10 feet from home: B.C. grassfire offers stark reminder how quickly blazes burn

Kamloops woman among first people in B.C. to be told to evacuate home this wildfire season

Happy ending for orphaned bear cubs

Two orphaned bear cubs were captured in Castlegar and sent for rehabilitation.

Platform chosen for online B.C. cannabis sales

Ottawa-based company to create websites for when marijuana becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17

UPDATE: Police say story of pretend cops ‘arresting’ woman in CRA scam fake

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Almost 2,400 young athletes set to compete at BC Summer Games

Full list of participants was released Friday for the Cowichan Valley event

Family raises money for B.C. man burned in campfire mishap

Harold Duncan-Williams suffered first, second and third degree burns when his shirt caught on fire

Quadra Island not ready for more tourists?

Area Director raises concerns with marine trail network

Most Read