Roving Teen Reporter: Senior Assassins

You may have recently seen high schoolers crouching behind cars in your neighborhood with a water gun in hand. Or maybe you’ve noticed teens sporting swim floaties while nowhere near a pool. These unusual displays are a part of Senior Assassins, a popular game played by high schoolers across the country. This game typically involves seniors spraying opponents with water guns, though rules can differ between schools. Senior Assassins is currently being played by students from many high schools in the San Diego area, including Torrey Pines High School where the game recently commenced in mid January.


“It’s a really exciting game to play,” Torrey Pines senior Colin Li said. “You get to do it with a friend, you get to use water guns and floaties– how can you say no to that?”


The Senior Assassins competition being played by Torrey Pines students is unaffiliated with Torrey Pines High School itself; rather, a student, who prefers to remain anonymous, organized the game. On an Instagram page dedicated to the Torrey Pines variation of Senior Assassins, the game organizer specified the rules: each senior has one teammate, and the pair is assigned “targets” during each round of the competition whom they must eliminate by spraying them with a water gun. If a player is wearing swim floaties, however, they cannot be eliminated. To play, each senior must pay a fee of $10, which goes toward the cash prize given to the last player standing– around $2,800, according to the game organizer.


The rules also state that seniors must not play during school hours, sports practices, work shifts, places of worship, or club meetings. However, all other times are fair game. This can result in players going to far lengths to eliminate their targets. Even before the competition began, Torrey Pines senior Addison Thomas was made aware of how difficult it would be to avoid who was targeting her.


“Before the game even started I had several people send me my address, my work schedule, my mock trial schedule [and] my swim practice schedule just to show that they had it,” Thomas said. “… It was a little bit scary because I feel like I’m a pretty private person when it comes to what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis.”


Learning your target’s daily whereabouts seems to be common among players. Jacob Pippel, who attends Canyon Crest Academy where a version of the game called “Senior’d Out” is being played, got intel from his target’s friend in order to eliminate her.


“I went to her volleyball practice at Wave [Volleyball Club] in Del Mar… and I staked outside for her to come out at 8pm,” Pippel said.


Despite such tactics, Pippel believes there is no inherent harm in the game, as long as things are not “taken to an extreme.”


As seniors’ high school careers come to a close, Senior Assassins remains a special part of senior year for many students.


“It’s been a traditional game at high schools all around the country for quite a long time now,” Li said. “And it’s senior year, these things only happen one time, right?”