Barbadians will get the opportunity to experience a novelty sport come December 18.
The brainchild behind the sport’s introduction to Barbados is Matthew Hinkson and he revealed that foam tag, which is popular in the United States, will be making its debut in the island’s inaugural Nerf Tournament which will be staged in association with the Barbados Soft Dart Gallery.
He explained that foam tag was an offspring of nerf, which is the offspring of Hasbro, one of the largest toy manufacturers in the United states and across the United Kingdom. As from 2009, the brand introduced a nerf dart tag league controlled by Toys ‘R’ Us. With this league, nerf championships were designed and put in place across the United States as a sport.
“Foam tag was brought to Barbados to give kids, teens and adults alike, an activity out of the norm. We also plan to give participants an event to look forward to twice a year, while keeping the team spirits and camaraderie alive throughout each year,” Hinkson stated.
Hinkson explained the playing method of the game.
“Nerf matches are each five minutes long and played like Capture the Flag. A flag is located at team bases, which can be captured by the opposing team. An air horn or whistle signals the start and stop of each match. Players must be in their team penalty box prior to the start of the match.
“Teams win by having the highest score by the end of the match. During play, if a player is tagged, they must go to their team’s respective penalty box and stay there for a ten second penalty before returning to the field. If a tagged player was holding a flag, they must drop the flag where it is and go serve the ten-second penalty. The flag is always played where it lies.”
As to how players can score, Hinkson explained the different methods.
“Tagging opposing players: Firing darts and hitting opposing players will give a team one point. All tags must be seen by arena referees for the hit and point to be acknowledged. After serving the ten-second penalty, the tagged player is allowed to return to the game.
“Capturing flags: Flags are captured by taking the opposing team’s flag back to the player’s base and place it inside the team’s flag stand. Capturing a flag will give a team five points.”
Hinkson said the games had caught international attention and had been deemed to promote team building and social development, in bringing persons from varying backgrounds and social upbringing together.