ASHLEY, Ind. (WANE) – It’s a game that’s sweeping the globe. Archery Tag was invented in Waterloo about two years ago and can now be found in 24 countries and six continents. Now Navy ships could be added to the list.
Photo Gallery | Archery Tag
“They just really loved it,” John Jackson, the president and founder of Archery Tag, said. “It’s something different. Everyone’s played paint ball, laser tag, dodgeball, but this was something so different and they can’t have real archery on the ship.”
Archery tag uses real bows and arrows, but the arrows have a foam tip.
“It’s a non-lethal arrow. You know when you got hit, but there’s no pain,” Jackson said.
Jackson also owns Instinct Archery and he said he and an engineer were working with foam for another project.
“He said man that’d be fun to put on an arrow and shoot each other,” Jackson said.
They tested it out, got a patent for the non-lethal arrow and Archery Tag was born. It took off and is growing popularity overseas. There was recently a big tournament in Singapore where 300 teams of four filled 16 playing fields.
“When you can see an eight-year-old kid and an 88-year-old person playing the same game, you’ve definitely hit something there,” Jackson said.
The game is already on four Naval bases, an Army base and a National Guard base in the United States. A few weeks ago, the company demonstrated the arrows on the USS Makin Island in San Diego.
“The Navy was so impressed and the people were so impressed that they Navy is looking at adding this to many of the different ships. The archery tag takes a little more space, but the hoverball [is smaller]. They could actually see that on every ship in the Navy, which would be incredible,” Jackson said.
Archery tag is played like dodgeball. The goal is to hit other players to get them out. People can catch arrows to get “out” teammates back in the game. Each team also has a target that the opponent tries to hit. Hoverball is an inflatable with four cones of air that make balls float on air. People then shoot the balls with the foam-tipped arrows.
“Some people had never shot a bow before, so it gives them a chance to practice and then they go out and shoot each other,” Jackson said.
Negotiations on a contract with the Navy are still in the early stages and Jackson doesn’t know if and when his products would be on the ships.
Archery Tag is renovating the former Old Smokey’s building in Ashley to have an indoor archery tag arena. Jackson hopes to have that open this summer.
NewsChannel 15’s Alyssa Ivanson and Videographer Maverick Atteberry had a chance to use the foam-tipped arrows on Friday. See how they did in the video above.