Battleground returns to campus with Nerf war


Dimitri Silva

Formatted in a bracket, teams advance by eliminating the opposing team. Matched with a new opponent each week, only one team comes out on top.

Michael Vienneau, Staff Writer

Bowie Nerf is a tradition where several teams and players compete in a nerf battle. Formatted in a bracket, teams advance by eliminating the opposing team. Matched with a new opponent each week, only one team comes out on top.

This year 96 teams and over 450 players entered in the nerf battle. The organizers of this year’s Nerf battles are seniors Wesley York and Aaron Gall.

“My role as a Nerf war organizer is to make sure everyone plays by rules,” Gall said. “If there are any disagreements my job is to try and resolve them. We encourage teams to get film so they have proof if anyone is eliminated. There is always an alibi which also makes it easier. If there is a tie between teams or a disagreement between teams it is almost always settled with a coin flip.”

The tradition started in 2019 when Bowie Alumni Riley McIntyre and Teagen Lopez put together the event as a light hearted game for anybody interested. Last year there were only 64 teams compared to this year’s whopping 96 teams.

“I don’t think Nerf war is at all a dying culture at Bowie. The future of nerf is looking great,” Gall said. “I hope that this tradition continues for a long time. I think everyone enjoys it and the teachers and administrators don’t seem to have much of a problem with it.” 

Similar to “March Madness” nerf war is constructed in a bracket style-winner moves on format. Once a team loses, they are eliminated and do not advance to the next round. Junior Jaya Kulkarni is participating in her first ever nerf war for the “Badussy Bombers.”

“Every day is super stressful but also a lot of fun,” Kulkarni said. “My team had several controversial moments which led to tons of drama and arguments.”

There is a long list of rules that take place during Nerf war. There is no shooting allowed on campus for safety and security reasons, but once players leave campus and school property, anything is fair game.

“Me and my team spent hours camping at our enemy team’s house,” Kulkarni said. “Once [they] came out we shot them and got the elimination which felt really good because it would have been a waste of our team’s time.”

Teams contain five players each, and each team is given an opponent to play against each week. As soon as the round ends, whichever team has the most players left moves on to the next round where they face a new opponent. Sophomore Brandon Chou is a part of the team “Cappin and Trappin,” which was eliminated in the second round.

“The younger teams are definitely at a big disadvantage,” Chou said. “Not having a license makes everything more difficult, even though I have friends who drive me, it is way harder to get eliminations when you can’t go after people yourself. When you play against the seniors who can all drive, it makes it easier to get tracked down by any of them.”

With only 16 teams left, tensions are rising as more and more teams are getting eliminated. The competition is bigger than ever and players and spectators alike are anxious to see who wins. The “Sweet 16” started April 9 and the teams are currently battling it out. The schedule for the rest of the war can be found on the “bowienerf23” Instagram page, which is run by Gall and York.  

“I think the “Mighty Fine Men” are going to win,” Chou said. “The whole team is super competitive and I think they want it more than anyone else. But I do think anything can happen, since the time periods are so short really any team can get lucky and win which makes it so fun and competitive.”