Darts & donations

NHS Nerf Madness to benefit Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Duncan MacKenzie | Staff Writer

nerf madnessSeniors Jackson Brown, Sam Wendell and Carver Nabb co-founded NHS’ next event, Nerf Madness.
Photo by Staff Writer Erin McElhenny

Nerf is no longer child’s play.

On February 21, adults and Mason High School students alike will pack into the Mason Intermediate 45 gym to engage in an epic battle, but not necessarily one of life and death. The first annual Nerf Madness, an event organized by National Honor Society, will bring teams brandishing Nerf “blasters” together to compete in a friendly tournament. Each team will pay an entrance fee of $50, and all proceeds will go to the Pasta for Pennies campaign, a part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Mason High School has ranked among the top high schools around the country for total Pasta for Pennies donations, but senior NHS member and Nerf Madness cofounder Jackson Brown isn’t satisfied until they’ve reached the top.

“The last two years, out of all the schools in the nation, Mason has been the third highest donor through the Pasta for Pennies campaign,” Brown said. “We’re doing pretty well and we’re hoping that we can jump up to the first or second highest spot this year, which is why we added in this new event.”

Despite Nerf Madness being in its introductory year, senior Nerf Madness cofounder Carver Nabb remains very hopeful in its success. Nabb said the idea is truly original, as it combines aspects of both dodgeball and Nerf.

“We knew Nerf Wars was a popular thing with a lot of MHS students, but that wasn’t really school approved,” Nabb said. “We took the whole Nerf idea and we kind of wanted to do something along the lines of that, but we weren’t quite sure what. We got in contact with another group of students that was pitching a dodgeball idea to the NHS administrators, and it became a combination of the two.”

Although the event serves a charitable purpose, Nabb said he thinks the stakes will remain high. The teams will be competing for gift baskets dawning Cincinnati-themed gift cards, tickets to local sports games, and Cincinnati sports memorabilia. According to Nabb, the tournament will be set up competitively; the darts may be foam, but the fight will be real.

“We ended up creating a pool play where teams will play two or three games in a round robin style and that will determine everyone’s seating,” Nabb said. “After the pool play is over, we will format a bracket, similar to the March Madness bracket, and at that point it becomes a single elimination tournament.”

According to Nabb, another similarity March Madness and Nerf Madness share is that they take a lot logistically to put into action. The founders of Nerf Madness have had to work with administration to get the event approved, and many rules have been created for safety. For example, competitors will have to refrain from painting Nerf guns to look real, and special modifications have been banned. The use of PVC pipes as weapons has also been disallowed because of the serious health threats they pose. Nabb, Brown, and the rest of the NHS members will do what they can to keep the event fun, memorable, and safe for everyone.

“We reserved the right to monitor and limit what guns go in and out,” Nabb said. “If we see that someone’s gun is a little too powerful for the event, we would just politely ask them to not use that one and then we’ll get them another one to use.”