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Old 03-15-2012, 09:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thoughts on field safety: everyone's problem, or not?

Had a short conversation at the field last weekend that go me thinking about field safety, and whether or not it's a collective issue, or something players should leave to the refs/field staff. Here's my take:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRoEwhtGVXA

Short version, whether we like it or not, it's everyone's problem.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I haven't watched your video yet but I feel that it is everyone's reponisibility. Somebody who isn't following the rules could do just as much damage to me as any ref/field owner or themselves. I I see somebody without a mask I tell them to put it back on, it happen this past Saturday while I was playing. I do the same thing with barrel bags.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't view the video til later today but, the OP question is worth a lot of thought.

On one hand, I agree that it's everyone should lend a hand to a safe playing environment- i.e. if you see unsafe behavior that the refs are unable/unwilling to address, you should step in.

On the other hand, we do not have any authority and, even further, our assertions may be undercut by the field staff, or gray areas (i.e. dry firing in the parking lot is not allowed at some fields and allowed at others).
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree on all your major points.

My take on what happened in your video clip is the following:
The individual was embarrassed being called out in front of a large crowd and had to try and save face (no pun intended) by returning a smart comment.

Hind sight being 20/20, perhaps things would have turned out differently if someone had put on their mask, jogged over to her and her friend, and said, "Ma'am, I'd hate for your great day of paintball to be ruined by a direct shot to your face. Please put your mask on. Thanks!".

The delivery method is just as important as the message itself.

For some this may seem too "nice" but if the end result is that she understands the purpose of the rule and the concern of her fellow players, then it was worth the forced consumption of one's pride.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with your idea that players are ideally supposed to watch out for each others safety. I don't expect it from any other players, but it is nice to see. I certainly don't expect the under 18 crowd/rental/newbie players to be on top of everyone's safety.

It is important to remember that yelling in a loud voice may feel intimidating/embarrassing to some people and when they realize you are just another player, they might be a little pissed... at first. But, as soon as people realize the reason for your yelling, they should understand the purpose. I can understand that the lady may have been a little annoyed as her initial reaction, but she should have understood your reasons as soon as she processed the content and context of your message. She was out of line and should have been summarily shot in the face. (j/k on the last bit...)

Safety is very cut and dry for me and there are no exceptions or excuses. That being said it is important to remain calm, civil and polite even when interacting with people who are acting foolishly and disregarding safety protocol. Yelling and becoming emphatic about the situation will not impress your point on any dolts who do not understand safety. And there are other times when people forget or make mistakes. So, the best route is often to remain calm, remember you're not a ref (unless you are a ref) and try to kindly and (situation allowing) discretely remind younger/newer players of the rules.

All that being said, sometimes all you can do is yell "Put your mask on!" or "Barrel bag!"
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheapchi View Post
I agree on all your major points.

My take on what happened in your video clip is the following:
The individual was embarrassed being called out in front of a large crowd and had to try and save face (no pun intended) by returning a smart comment.

Hind sight being 20/20, perhaps things would have turned out differently if someone had put on their mask, jogged over to her and her friend, and said, "Ma'am, I'd hate for your great day of paintball to be ruined by a direct shot to your face. Please put your mask on. Thanks!".

The delivery method is just as important as the message itself.

For some this may seem too "nice" but if the end result is that she understands the purpose of the rule and the concern of her fellow players, then it was worth the forced consumption of one's pride.
It wasn't the person with the mask off that made the comment. It was someone in a group beside the OP's group.

Also, I don't think it's a matter of being "nice" or not. It takes a lot longer to run over to someone than it does to shout, and in that time anything can happen. Now, if you wanted to shout then run over and chat up the ladies, that's a different story.

I agree that safety is everyone's responsibility. Even if there wasn't the potential for political backlash, there's just the fact that if someone has to go to the hospital it's going to ruin everyones day.

How people at one moment can take a shot and complain about how much it stings, and at another be walking around without eye protection is beyond me.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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talking in a reasonable manner and a firm but calm voice always works better than yelling. there are times when it is appropriate, like when someone takes their mask off in the middle of a firefight or after being shot. otherwise yelling is usually counterproductive and gives the player a reason to never return after being publicly embarassed.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Injured players cost everyone's time at the very least. Be considerate and do what you can to be safe.

In more involved cases, injured players result in higher insurance premiums nationwide and maybe permanent injury.

More important, that's my eyeball you're pointing at punk.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Safety is everone's responsibility. "You must be your brothers keeper." Ref's and people who work at the field have small numbers. One or two refs can not watch/control 40-50 people very effectively. We have to have the burden of aiding them to keep the place safe. We would all feel pretty lousy if we had a guy we would have helped and a minute later lost an eye for life. A quick reminder keeps everyone safe. If the guy has hurt feelings oh well, he will get over it. If a person in the crowd wants to criticize the way the message was delivered I would ask them how they would feel knowing they could have helped prevent an injury and felt it was below them because they did not work there.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Leaving field safety solely up to staff is like leaving airline safety solely up to TSA. Do you feel safer now that TSA's "on the case" looking at people's genitals on body scanners? Nope.

This is a non-issue. Safety is everyone's responsibility. I can make a much longer argument for this (probably even longer than OP's), but it starts getting into world view.

I try not to "yell" at people for masks unless it's necessary due to distance or lack of intelligence (which unfortunately means I am yelling a lot). If I'm close enough, normally what I will do is step in front of them to shield them from the field, get right in their face, and keep them out of sight from the refs so the refs don't have to make an unpleasant call. And I may actually cap it off with a "I'm telling you this because if a ref sees you, he's going to sit you out, so I'm doing you a favor."



Now, it *does* become an issue is when you have to tell *a ref* to keep his mask on.

Yes, seriously.
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