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Old 06-18-2011, 12:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Are tourney players good for paintball? v. wall of text

Let me start out by saying that I am not really schooled on the ins and outs of field ownership nor do I know EXACTLY how the numbers crunch. Which is why I made this thread, to get the knowledge of you guys that do.

I had originally intended on posting this on pbnation, but something tells me it would spin wildly out of control because there aren't enough people who have been playing for long enough it would take to look at this issue and see the bigger picture.
It seems there is a lot of talk about how paintball is shrinking as a sport, there are a lot of people leaving it and few regulars to replace it, but is that truly what we want?
I'm sure there are several field owners who browse this forum and even more who know their field owner to understand. Which does a field make more money on? A birthday party or business party where everyone buys their paint at the field, everyone rents markers, and hardly complain; or does it make more money off the kids who bring their own cases of paint they bought online or from the store, pay basic entry, and shoot gobs of paint scaring groups to not want to come back.
I believe people who go out and play every weekend like to believe they are the backbone of the sport; for gun and paint manufacturers this is true, but for the life blood of the sport, the fields, they are a detriment.
In recent years the paintball gun technology has become more advanced and for only a couple hundred someone can get a proto matrix rail, Envy, G4 or other electropneumatic guns that perform well above what was available a few years ago. (you can get a used ego 06 for $200)
So, you've got a bunch of new players who can shoot tons and tons of paint but whether they go through 2 bags or 2 cases the field doesn't see a dime. However, any new player sporting a rental wants nothing to do with the sport, so even though he has paid 2-3 times what the other guy did, he feels he is being bullied and wants nothing to do with the sport.
Then to compound the problem, the player who is scaring the rentals and parties wants the newest Xball setup, 4500psi fills, and wants to decide what game is being played and what the teams will be.
So, where is the incentive for fields to even want to open their doors to tourney players?

The issue was brought to my attention by a field in Arkansas, while I was on vacation with my family I called the local field to see if I could go out. He told me that he was tired of walk-on players and will now only let parties of 10 or more play and no walk ons. He said since he stopped letting walk-ons come his business has tripled. This shattered my paradigm of what I believed the backbone of the sport to be.
So, while we all like to think we are helping the sport, maybe we are doing more harm than good.

Last edited by UR A DEAD MAN APPLES; 06-18-2011 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Realistically, those are all valid points. I think the best run field would be one that will only let players use field gear. Sure, you can bring your own mask, and body protection if you'd like, but really, to even the fire-power out, they should all have the same markers.

That being said, I think a field should cater to the tourney players, as well. Maybe have one day a week, say, Sunday night, where the tourney players can walk on, and beat the crap out of each-other.

Also, I've never heard of a field mixing BYOP and walk-on/rental crowds.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A lot of this was covered Here

In short a great deal of that depends on the field and the clients around it. As well as how the field owner runs the field. IMO the field you hit in Arkansas was not running his field right to begin with because he did not do anything to foster good play...and instead he opted to eliminate a segment of his market that he failed to control to begin with. While his business tripled, he may miss out on a great deal of potential in the future as well. But again that is my opinion based on fields where I live or have lived, this place may grow to have regular turn out of several hundred each weekend. It is not the first field I have heard that did that, Bear Claw up in TN did the same thing when new owners took it over a couple of years back...don't know how they are doing or if they changed that back...just thought it odd.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RAZRBAKK View Post
Realistically, those are all valid points. I think the best run field would be one that will only let players use field gear. Sure, you can bring your own mask, and body protection if you'd like, but really, to even the fire-power out, they should all have the same markers.

That being said, I think a field should cater to the tourney players, as well. Maybe have one day a week, say, Sunday night, where the tourney players can walk on, and beat the crap out of each-other.

Also, I've never heard of a field mixing BYOP and walk-on/rental crowds.
I like my field, it's a FPO but he offers PMI premium for $60 a case and diablo heat for $50 and since everyone must buy from the field, it's always fresh.

Personally, I think instead of field gear they should cap the guns. Maybe 10bps cap on ramping and 12bps on semi, or something like that.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's not tourney players specifically that are the problem for paintball. It's the technology that was created over the past 30 years that has changed the game and has made it more difficult for field owners to keep everyone happy. As Brother Jerry indicated, it's up to the fieldowners to figure out how to handle the problem and make sure their customers are happy.

More and more field owners are getting rid of their tournament type fields and replacing them with more rec friendly fields to keep the tournament players away, but that alone doesn't solve much (unless the presence of the tourney players in general is seen as a problem). Having just private rental parties as the field the OP speaks of is one way for a field to handle the problem created by technology, I don't think it's the only way or necessarily the best way. The field has seen an increase in business and I would assume an increase in profits, but I think there is still a viable market of gear owners that can be catered to as well. I know for our field, gear owners constitute a decent amount of income.

It's something fieldowners will be struggling with for a while yet. The fieldowners with the most difficult job are the ones in relatively small populated areas where the number of players makes it difficult to have a decent sized game by separating the renters from the own gear players. But even separating them does not solve all the problems. There are many gear owners that don't like the high intensity and high volume play they endure when they are lumped together with all the other gear owners. i think one of the biggest misconceptions in our industry is making the assumption that once a relatively new player has chosen to commit themselves to playing regularly and buy their own gear, that they automatically also want to play high intensity paintball. I for one prefer to play in a relatively low paintball environment where movement is a little easier and when people get eliminated, usually they are only hit once or maybe twice, rather than 5 or 6 times.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Personally, I think instead of field gear they should cap the guns. Maybe 10bps cap on ramping and 12bps on semi, or something like that.
That's fine for experienced gear owners, but still much too fast for playing with renters and in my opinion too fast for even many gear owners. In the end, it's all based on Supply and Demand and works itself out based on the laws of economics. If a field were to do as you suggest, by supplying that type of paintball it will attract those that desire to play in that environment and those that don't want to, will either stay home or go somewhere that is supplying something closer to what they want (Demand). Fieldowners that are running their business to make a profit (unlike those that are running a field for themselves and their buddies to play on) will provide some version of paintball (or several versions) that has a high Demand. It seems keeping the affect that modern technology coupled with low cost paintballs has created in check, is a worthwhile endeavor for these fieldowners.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My home field is FPO, and unless OKed by the party, they wont mix with walk ons. The walk ons are typically the same usual guys who know how to tone it down so that everyone has fun. When tourny style players do show up and ruin the day for everyone, they get asked to leave. But that in itself is generally rare due to the fact that they'll pretty much stay on the speedball field all day, stepping off only to let the rec players when it's their turn. Ramping is not allowed, and if there is one electro on a field full of rentals the ref staff will tell the guy to just roll with one finger and will watch to make sure he plays it back a bit.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Not sure what you mean by 'tournament' players.

Many of the folk in here are now, or have been in past, tournament players, some of them professional.

Most of the real tournament players I've played with understand the difference between hosing one of their own and hosing a rental walk-on.

And most of the rotters I've played with have never actually played competitively.

So it sounds like the problem is one of attitude, and field controls.

A wise field owner will encourage all types of players, but will also know that regardless of who shows up, everyone has to abide by rules and good sportsmanship.

Some fields have roped off sections, rather like public swimming areas. I've played at a few segregated fields, and have enjoyed the experience very much, since it gives everyone the option of going at whatever speed they feel comfortable with.

Probably others here have similar experience.

But in any case, you don't improve the sport by chopping out big sections of it. You improve the sport by teaching more people how to play the sport properly.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i would say that the incentive would only come if they were required to use field paint. sure they may not come back, but maybe they will. its a risk youd have to take. a paintball field is hard to run if youre trying to please everyone.

another idea would be split the tourney guys into a separate group rather than mix them in with the renters and such. they can still waste paint, and the renters can take it easy and still have a good time
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i would say that the incentive would only come if they were required to use field paint. sure they may not come back, but maybe they will. its a risk youd have to take. a paintball field is hard to run if youre trying to please everyone.

another idea would be split the tourney guys into a separate group rather than mix them in with the renters and such. they can still waste paint, and the renters can take it easy and still have a good time
The FPO field has some of the best paint I've ever used in terms of cost to quality.
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