In airsoft, we have rules on types of “weapons to use”. Apart from airsoft guns, pyro grenades, sound grenades, mortars, foam rockets, powder landmines, and claymores, we allow the use of rubber knives for the “knife/silent kill”. Now, there is something that just came up our radar which I suppose a good number of airsoft and paintball players are getting familiar with: Archery Tag.
Yep, it’s bow and arrow baby! Just imagine yourself as John Rambo in an airsoft game, going for medium to long range silent kills with Archery tag. For airsoft players who also are into Archery, then Archery Tag will be something they will welcome with open arms. After all, they can use their archery skills to actually hunt down the “OPFOR” in an airsoft game.
Archery Tag is basically a young sport, introduced in 2011 by John Jackson, the founder of DeerSpace, Instinct Archery, and Global Archery Products, Inc. when he was working on a new archery product and decided to put a foam tip for the arrows to make them safe to use. Archery Tag is also a registered trademark of Global Archery Products with the Archery Tag’s “Non-lethal Arrow” also patented.
For those who are not familiar with Archery Tag, it is a growing sport, slowly spreading out in the U.S.. the U.K. and other parts of the world. The aim of this sport is simple: tag the opposing team with your foam-tipped arrow just like how you do it in dodgeball, paintball, nerf, and airsoft (we just call it “hit” in airsoft, but it is the same). But strictly speaking, this is what Global Archery Products say how the game is played:
Two teams, consisting of 5 players each playing opposite one another, are separated by a “safe zone.” Each team also has what we call a “5-Spot Knockout Target.” There are two objectives: 1) to tag the opponents, and 2) to knock out the five discs of the opposing team’s target. You eliminate a player by tagging him or her with an arrow, or by catching his or her arrow. The 5-Spot Targets work to save a “life” of one of the players. A “tagged” player can be called back into the game when a target spot is knocked out or when a teammate catches an arrow.
Whilst that’s how Archery Tag is played according to the company, still, no one’s stopping you to add a variety of games to Archery tag. You can make your own game scenarios to make it more fun just like we do in airsoft.
Since it’s a safe projectile to use, why not use it in airsoft too as part of the weaponry that can be used by airsoft players? Thus, for those who want to be sneaky in making their hits, they can resort to Archery Tag when the opportunity arises (or as always say, they want to be Rambo). I actually find it cool and here is a video of it being used in an airsoft game:
But don’t you go out and try to find Archery Tag equipment from your nearest sports or archery store. The Archery Tag and equipment is controlled by Global Archery Products and you have to be a licensee to have access to the equipment and host events. That means you can only play Archery Tag at game sites that have taken a licence from Global Archery Products. For airsoft and paintball site operators, which are usually one and the same, will need to get a licence so they hold Archery Tag games/events and equip their customers with the products.
That’s the problem with Archery Tag, we don’t know if it will grow into a real global sport as envisioned by its owners given that they have total control over every aspect of Archery Tag unlike other sports where various manufacturers and vendors compete to offer better equipment and sponsor teams. Perhaps, if they will license the manufacture of Archery Tag products to interested companies and just allow anyone to put their own enhancements of Archery Tag games, then it may just happen. Just like any other sport that has become global, everyone who has interest in growing the sport gets involved, not just the progenitors.