by Rian Donahue
Eyes wide, 118 seniors were on high alert while their peers hunted them with water guns as round one of the annual Senior Assassin game began on March 17.
Senior Assassin, the game where students each pay $7 toward the cash prize for the first and second place winners in a water gun assassination game each spring.
This year, the first place reward, adds up to a total of $578 and the second place is $248.
While most students enjoy the adrenaline rush of the game, some students have taken it too far in years past.
“I’ve seen some downright bad kills, people getting shot in moving cars, or ambushed at work,” said Nation Fords Resource Officer Dave Prescott. “I’d really like to see some more rules put in place.”
Recently, SplatRBall guns (full and semi-automatic soft water bead guns with 400 round magazines), have become popular among high schoolers. Rules were added to the game to disqualify players who use SplatRBall guns instead of the traditional water guns.
“We’ve had some problems with the guns on campus until one kid was charged for having one. There hasn’t been a problem since,” Prescott said.
The game puts students on their toes. Each week, assassins are assigned one secret target.
“You’re trying to get your target, and you are also trying to stay away from the person who has you,”
Student Council President Hannah Clark (‘22) said. “So if you don’t get your target within the week round, you’re out. But if you get your person, and you don’t get shot by your target, you move on to the next round.”
While some students take the game more seriously than others, most have developed strategies to move on to the next round.
“I don’t want to give away my strategy, but you really just have to be discreet,” said Ava Padgett (‘22). “You can’t tell anyone your target.”
In order to play, seniors must sign a waiver stating that the game has no affiliation with the school and that parents are aware they are playing.
“[The game] can get too extreme, and it can be sneaky where people are like, ‘Wait, why is this kid in my yard?’” said Clark.
The assassins can play on campus, but they are unable to get their target while school is in session. They are given a five-minute grace period before and after the first and final bells ring.
It is also against the rules for an assassin to shoot their target during any extracurriculars, school events, or while they are working.
“At that point, you’re just harassing someone because they’re on the clock, which is affecting customers and other employees,” Clark stated.
Seniors are able to stay safe by being granted immunity.
“So let’s just say someone’s coming to shoot me, and I turn around and I shoot him first, I get a six-hour immunity, which means they can shoot me for six hours, and I’ll be [still] safe,” Clark said.
Since the game is not associated with the school, the competition is student-run. Organizers are unable to participate, so numerous underclassmen participate in organizing to keep the game fair.
Each round lasts one week, the game is expected to last until April.