Friendly fire, often called ‘blue on blue’, occurs when friendly forces fire upon other friendly or allied forces during an airsoft skirmish.
Friendly fire is a relatively common occurrence in airsoft due to the nature of airsoft and the players. The majority of airsofters are not trained in combat situations, where training might help you distinguish each team.
Additionally, teams don’t tend to wear coordinated camouflage and this leaves the team identification down to small coloured bands or tags on the player which can be difficult to see during an intense fire fight.
Finally, teams are not as organised as military forces are. The majority of players do not have radios to communicate and do not have a single point of command, resulting in partial communication and little leadership.
Most airsoft sites deter friendly fire by introducing a penalty that seems to contradict the ‘as-realistic-as-possible’ nature of airsoft as a sport. The rule states that, if you are shot by someone on your own team, you are hit/shot/dead/out.
This makes sense and lines up with everything that airsoft represents… until the rule is finished.
If you shoot a member of your own team, you are also dead.
As a sport that expects realism in every aspect in the game, it seems odd that we make an exception here. A more representative rule would be for only the ‘victim’ to be out of the game.
It’s in the team’s best interests to preserve their own players. This means playing as a group, protecting each other and… not shooting each other.
In a sport where we are trusted to act honestly and honourably when it comes to calling our hits, we apparently can’t be trusted to not shoot our own team without some kind of repercussion or punishment.
So, what other ways are there to deal with friendly fire?
Some sites completely ignore friendly fire and run into a number of issues. Players may often be unsure whether they have been hit by a friendly or enemy player and may ignore hits that they are supposed to take.
Some sites choose to lean towards the realism side, where any hit is a hit and, if you shoot a friendly player, there are no repercussions other than the loss of force on your team.