College airsoft team gets acceptance on campus

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The Boise State Airsoft Club recently got some great press in a campus publication and we reached out to find out the secret to gaining acceptance on campus and the tricks used by the club to keep the BBs flowing.

College airsoft team gets acceptance on campus - Editor - bsu-airsoft-535.jpg

Boise has a running history with airsoft going back a few years, and the BSU team saw some good exposure in an article earlier this month in the Arbiter, the university's independent student paper.

Dane Johns, a proctor at BSU, spoke with Airsoft Society about his club's efforts.

"The Boise State University Airsoft Club focuses on getting students to apply academic concepts like critical thinking and oral communication in a competitive environment," said Johns in an email."These skills are crucial to getting and maintaining a job or career, and there is no better crucible for making them second nature than with bbs flying at you!"

Below are some tips from Johns that BSUAC learned along the way:

On following in the footstepss of past clubs

"For schools looking to get an airsoft club started, or any combat sport really, it is imperative to have precedent. Luckily, for us there was a paintball club already established at BSU, and they've had medieval combat clubs and martial art clubs before us.

If you don't have that you can certainly point to other schools out there with clubs similar to yours. Paintball was very popular as a school sport and club in the late 1990s and early 2000s so even if your school doesn't have a club, one near you probably did, and paintball serves as the best allegory for what we do."

Its all about safety

"The second is making sure that the governing bodies of the student organizations know that we value safety first, and that we take steps like enforcing eye and face protection, and chrono-ing guns to ensure safety.

Last is being realistic about what a college might fund your group to do. For instance, not even in the reddest state in the nation was our state school able to purchase replica guns for us. Instead, we used our student funding to secure uniforms, play time at local fields, safety gear like masks and a chronometer, and even bbs."

In closing

Finally, Johns warns that terminology can be your friend in gaining acceptance for your team or club.

"Be careful when you're labeling things to use the right wording. They're bbs, not ammo, and it's a flash bang shell, not a thunder-b grenade, etc.," he said.

The group practices and competes at the Close Combat Airsoft Arena

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October 5, 2015  •  10:24 AM
FINALLY!!! Yay Idaho! It's about time my home state began spreading the word :D

And for anyone who is interested in knowing, CCAA is a great indoor field!
October 5, 2015  •  10:50 AM
Secret? There really isn't a secret.
Register as a Student CLUB rather than a team. Most colleges have a charter all clubs have to abide by, make your charter follow the university guidelines.
Check with campus police about replica gun rules. Most will say you have to keep the guns off campus, BUT every so often you can work out a deal to allow your club members to keep them with security/campus police when you guys aren't out playing.
Practicing/Playing is really your biggest "problem". I've only ran into two colleges where the collegiate club was able to play/practice airsoft on college property, the other colleges I assisted in starting these clubs used local fields or privately owned fields. And many local fields would offer the club members a discount.

The ONLY up-hill battle and problem is on college campuses that are totally against paintball. But if the university has/had a paintball team/club, getting an airsoft club started is like finding a fish in the ocean.

Colleges WANT diversity in clubs of various calibers, it makes them more appealing. Generally all you need is a faculty member to be an adviser, 3 individuals to hold board seats, and 10 additional interested people. That's really it in MOST cases.
October 7, 2015  •  06:41 PM
Iowa state Airsoft needed to first establish ourselves as a club, and then apply to be considered a sports team after a few years of proving that we could safely operate within the university rules.

Worked quite well and with the exception of limited funding (the school will not help us pay for events unless another university is present) everything has been wonderful.

I would love to see someone else interested in re-starting a collegiate airsoft league.
October 12, 2015  •  08:28 PM
USC (the original one in SC, not new one in CA) has a school sponsored team.
October 29, 2015  •  12:59 PM
great read, will have to remember this when I go off to college next year.
April 14, 2016  •  09:13 AM
Damn this is a great article, its so cool to see that a group of students are beating back the misconceptions about airsoft and schools.
August 16, 2017  •  11:49 PM
Wow this is great news for Idaho. Anyone other schools doing this?