Michiana Nerf Wars grows in numbers

SOUTH BEND The Michiana Nerf Wars started just over a year ago, and in the group’s first meeting, less than 10 people showed up.

Now, every time they get together the number of participants – or what they like to call nerfers – keeps getting larger and larger.

The Michiana Nerf Wars are intense.

“People get real into it,” Michiana Nerf Wars founder Jeff Miars said.

It’s no joke. Some nerfers take it very seriously.

“I tend to get pretty trigger happy I guess you could call it,” nerfer Jonathan Didion said.

Nerfers like Jonathan Didion have taken the Nerf Wars to a whole new level. Didion builds his own guns from scratch with a 3D printer, and then uses them on the battlefield.

“It wasn’t until my friend found my guns in the basement that I all of a sudden had an active interest in working with them and making them better and improving them,” Didion said.

But the Michiana Nerf Wars aren’t just for advanced nerfers. Anyone can play and everyone enjoys it.

“It’s truly an amazing sport,” nerfer Garrett Ellis said. “And it feels like it’s a second sport because you are just running and getting outside and having fun. And I look forward to these wars every month.”

Every month from April to October, members of the Michiana Nerf Wars gather at Pinhook Park to play Nerf games like Humans vs Zombies, freeze tag and capture the flag.

And the rules are simple, if you get hit you’re out.

“it’s just a fun competitive game,” Ellis said.

But don’t tell any of these nerfers they are too old for this.

“As long as you enjoy it you shouldn’t fight that whole niche popularity thing of like I have to do this because I’m older,” Didion said. “The idea is I should do this because it’s fun.”

And having a good time is all that matters.

It’s a great way to just come out and have fun,” Miars said. “I love seeing people come together for something like this. It’s going to get as big as it wants to.”

If you want to join in on the fun, the next Michiana Nerf War will take place on August 19th.