High School Tradition Has Students Reaching For Super Soakers with “Assassin”


Sophie Birkholz

Birkholz and her partner posing with their water guns.

Sarah Hudson, Reporter

It’s 9:55 on night one.

We made sure to park a block away so my black Chevy Tahoe was invisible from the restaurant. I open the car door quickly and quietly.

My partner and I peek around the corner before walking swiftly behind the back of the building. Every now and then I get a text from an inside source updating me on her movements.

Finally, she gets off her shift. The back door of Crust opens as she makes her way to her car, and we drench her with our neon green super soaker water guns.

This is Cambridge Assassin 2019.

The game is $10 per person, and everything is kept top secret.

Players start by finding a partner. Then, the game masters, who are chosen by last year’s winners, assign each player and his or her partner to another duo, who become their targets.  

Players have a week to shoot their targets with a water gun while also avoiding the people who are hunting them. There are extensive rules that include not shooting people on school property and “inappropriate” places like churches or nice restaurants.

For example, I know of a few people who were shot at Chick-fil-a, but places like Ichiban would not be the ideal setting for assassin to take place.  

When my partner and I got our first target in week one, we found her work schedule through a mutual friend. She works at Crust which borders the boundary for acceptable settings to be shot in, so just in case, we waited for her to leave the building before our attack.

If a player stays “alive” the whole week and successfully shoots his or her targets, he or she moves on to the next round, and the game masters will send the winning team a new set of targets to hunt over the next week.

The winners get a portion of the money as a prize. The team that wins first place will receive 800$ and the team that comes in second will get 400$. The rest of the money will go to the game masters.

Assassin is not unique to the school. It is played at many other high schools and even universities. Different schools use different methods and rules, but the basis of the game is the same.

After talking to one of the two-game masters, senior Sophie Birkholz, I learned a lot more about the game and what is a game master entails.

“I was expecting assigning targets and keeping track of everyone who’s in the game to be hard, but it really isn’t. The hardest part is communicating with all the players,” said Birkholz.

“Sometimes random people call me like seven times in a row, and I get so many text messages with questions that are answered in the rules. Most of the time it’s just people complaining about another player cheating.”

Birkholz said one student asked to be added back into the game after they were shot because they claimed their partner was in the hospital and would not able to get their targets.  The game master said she could not grant the player the ability to continue pursuing their targets since the team was unable to provide any evidence that the partner was in the hospital.

The game masters have to monitor the game to ensure there is no cheating going on. However, it can be hard to tell which players are cheating because most of the time it’s just one person’s word against the other.

Birkholz said, “It’s hard to deal with those types of situations because I don’t want to be the ‘bad guy’ who kicks people out of the game, but it’s almost impossible to find out whos telling the truth.”

It is now the third round of the game. The game started with a total of 124 teams, and now, only about 50 teams are left in the competition.

Now that the game has gone on for so long, the attitude of the players has changed a lot. Most teams have gotten a lot lazier with their commitment.

“I really liked playing the game at first but after the first two weeks I got kinda bored with it just because the time commitment is so long,” said junior Shelby Harber.

I personally got out of the game for a similar scenario. My partner and I were sent a set of targets whom we did not know or had ever heard of.

At first, we began to research them by asking around. We ended up finding their Instagram and learning that one of the team members ran track. However, due to procrastination and a lack of serious commitment, we never made a real effort to pursue our targets resulting in automatic elimination.

Whatever attitude you have towards the game, it gives students something to do, takes their mind off school for a little, and it creates some friendly competition throughout the student body.

I really enjoyed the competition and excitement that the game provided. It felt like a movie. Anyone at any time could jump out of the bushes and shoot you.

For some, it may be a slight distraction to school, however, it’s an optional time commitment. The game is just for fun and not required by the school.

Overall, it’s a fun activity to participate in, and usually generates a lot of funny stories.

I would recommend this to anyone for next year because of the excitement it adds to your everyday life and the friendly competition it sparks within the school.