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

New marijuana regulations questioned

A smokescreen for opposition to legal pot, say some critics

Sarah Simpson column: The hot and sticky mess that is parenthood in a heatwave

I took my 2-year-old out in just a diaper and her pink sunglasses to hunt for “blue” ice cream

Authorities call for calm as fires burn near Zeballos

Authorities are asking residents not to panic as several wildfires burn near… Continue reading

Esquimalt man faces four charges of sexual assault, investigators suspect more victims

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Last surviving member of Canada’s greatest female basketball team of all time dies

Comox resident Kay MacRitchie MacBeth played guard for the world-champion Edmonton Grads

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

Italy says death toll will mount in Genoa bridge collapse

Authorities worried about the stability of remaining large sections of a partially collapsed bridge evacuated about 630 people from nearby apartments.

Former CIA Director: Trump worked with Russians and now he’s desperate

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, John Brennan cites press reports and Trump’s own goading of Russia during the campaign to find Democrat Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

Church sex scandal: Abuse victims want a full reckoning

Since the crisis exploded in Boston in 2002, dioceses around the country have dealt with similar revelations of widespread sexual abuse.

Baloney Meter: is flow of asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border a ‘crisis’?

“I think any time you have a government that allows 30,000 people over the course of a short period of time to come into Canada illegally, the impact that that has, that is a crisis,” said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

B.C. RCMP say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled today

RCMP say they will enforce a court injunction today and remove Trans Mountain pipeline protesters who have been camped outside a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Most Read