Hasbro is taking its Nerf brand to a new level by introducing what it calls Nerf’s “first-ever official sport” – a game known as Nerfball. This sport features high-tech foam designed to keep track of the score.
During a recent exhibition match in Florida on September 22nd, Hasbro showcased this innovation by recruiting 12 college athletes, although the smart foam pads were not used during the match itself. These pads, originally created by Utah’s XO-Nano to measure impacts in football helmets, are designed to detect dart hits accurately while filtering out other motions. When a successful dart hit occurs, the player’s suit lights up red, marking a point for the opposing team.
While Hasbro has not finalized the consumer version’s features or price point, it aims to make hit detection gear available to consumers by late 2024 or early 2025. This move has generated considerable interest among Nerf enthusiasts worldwide, as it could potentially revolutionize the way Nerf games are played and scored.
Nerfball combines elements of various sports, including football, basketball, soccer, and even the fictional Quidditch from Harry Potter (you can check the rulebook here). The game involves two teams of 5 players each, using Nerf blasters to propel a ball through a hoop. Players can tag out opponents with darts, and the game is played in four four-minute quarters. The inflatable Nerfball is designed for various handling techniques, making it a dynamic and engaging sport.
Hasbro’s decision to include a ball in the official Nerf sport was driven by a desire to provide a focal point for viewers, enhancing the game’s excitement. Players have flexibility in their choice of blasters, with no restrictions on blaster power or firing speed, potentially introducing different strategies and dynamics to the game.
While Hasbro has not committed to organized leagues or televised matches yet, it aims to create engaging content and intends to distribute it widely. They also plan to bring the Nerfball experience to their franchised Nerf action parks, starting with the Nerf Action Xperience in New Jersey.
While the future of Nerfball as a widely recognized sport remains uncertain, Hasbro’s foray into this “official sport” is sparking excitement among Nerf enthusiasts and could potentially reshape the way Nerf games are played and enjoyed.