What do folks look for in a commercial field?
I know each of us look for different things when determining whether we will frequent a commercial paintball field. So I thought this might be a good thread to discuss those things and maybe field owners can take a peek….. ;)
For me, I look for a range of things. I like fields that are well maintained and fun to play. I am more of a woods/town kind of player so that is what I look for. And the layout should be even for all players, not weighed more in favor of one side or the other.
I also look for good ref staff. This is important to me since allowing overshooting, playing on, and other things simply bring down the game IMHO. And the staff should be impartial. I don’t care if the one doing wrong is a regular player at that field or not, or if they are friends with the owner or staff. Rules are rules.
This brings me to rules enforcement… on and off the field rules must be enforced. Period. It makes for a safe day of play. While some folks get annoyed at being told to follow the rules, it is MUCH better than losing an eye because the rules were not followed.
Another thing that is important to me is paint and air prices. I think that the better fields should be allowed to sell paint at higher prices, but there IS a limit. I would rather have a higher field fee and reasonable paint prices than a low field fee and outrageous paint prices. I think $60-$80 a case (for standard players, not special member’s prices) is reasonable. Anything above that and I have a real hard time justifying it.
I also like personable staff. We are there to play, not pay homage to the owners. Players should be treated like guests, and WELCOMED guests, not as if they are an imposition and they should be thankful they are even allowed to play.
I am sure there are other things that are important to me, but I think that is a good start……
How about you?
I like good refs and to see the rules ebing enforced. I also enjoy when 500rds don't cost more than $15. I don't normally buy more than that. I like towns, hyperball, air ball. I don't really like big woods fields or attack defend type fields. Oh, it helps if the field is pump friendly too.
i look for a few things. saftey, layout and staffing of course.
also look for price and in general the type of people that play there (snotty kids, or more respectful players)
generally, i go to a field, leave my *good* equipment in whatever friend's vehicle i was able to get a ride in, pay my entry and from there act like a newb.
pods are 'tube thingies', paintballs are 'bullets' and of course, everything better than the POS i'm playing with is an 'Angel' :D and i never forget to put at least one round in my barrel condom before the game :D
i look to how other players behave, then decide weather it's worth my time to keep playing there or not. either way i generally go to the car after the first round or two and grab my good gear.
go from newb holding a spyder clone to guy in stock class gear holding a pump or pistol.
then i notice people's reactions, it will either be.. 'oh s***, shouldn't have given the guy a hard time' or 'wow... good actor'
i find the best way to judge a field is by its staff and the players that frequent there.
-Paint prices, I don't mind paying money for paint if it is fresh. 60-80 is ok for me.
-Also if your gun stops working, do they have someone to help you get it up, are they going to charge you an arm and a leg to do so?
-If its a walk on day, are the teams even? are on the regulars that play every week on one side. (It really sucks being stuck with a 30 on 30, when 20 people on one side never played before)
1. safety and rules being enforced
2. attitude of other players playing
3. Nice facilities
4. staff involvement
1. BYOP!!! I do NOT pay more than $60 a case for paint... ever. :mad:
2. Reasonable walk-on price
3. FRIENDLY staff... at one local field there is this young fat girl ref who is the biggest B-word in the world. Her attitude is poor and she just exudes a negative feeling. She WON'T listen to anyone and power trips all the time with no cause. Really sucks.
4. SHADED PICNIC/EATING AREAS... wow... almost forgot this VERY important one. Essential in the middle of summer.
5. Layout - woods, structures... air fields blow.
1.Decent staff. By that I mean Enforces ALL the rules evenly and consistently while not being a powerhapy dictator. Case in point I hate going to a field with a no Blind Fire rule that the refs ignore becouse either the player is a friend or a newb. If you make a point to say No Blind Firing then enforce it. Above all are they big on SAFETY? I am more then willing to put up with a 14 year old with a bit of an attitude as a ref so long as they and the field rigerously enforce all safety aspects. I would rather go to a field that will kick you out for repeated violations of safety rules then one that will keep cuting you slack becouse your a paying custermure. I like fields with the three strike rule.
2. Reasonable Prices. I understand it cost money to run a field and to eat and I am all for paying my way. However if you charge 20 bucks for a day of play plus 80 for a case of paint and all you have are a couple of Speedball fields and a half acre wood field I wont be playing there.
3.Unique field or unusual lay out. I am primarely a scenareo baller so I like woods and structures. If you have something other then Speed, "Hyperball" ,or just another woods field I will pay a touch more to try it out.
4. Off field set up. Does the field have a decent staging area? Is it shaded? How close is it to the field or fields of play? Will my gear be safe or do I need to bring a chain and lockable case? Is there staff near the staging area at all times? Nothing less fun then hiking your gear a halfmile to the staging area then another quarter mile or more to the field only to come back and find some one ganked your spare paint. Bathrooms? As a guyI dont have a problem finding a tree but what about the lady players? I know some females who wont go anywhere near a portalet. Food avialability or at least something to drink. I feel that EVERY feild should at least offer bottles of water for sell if not have a few of those 5 gallon watter jugs and dixie cups included in the cost of play.
5. Location. How far is it from a place to grab chow or gas on the ride home? Is there a gas station near by where I can go grab a sandwich and something to drink between games if the field doesnt offer such. Do I have to drive an hour off the beaten track to find the field. How easy is it to find in the first place.
6. How are the regular players? I will not go to a field where I feel the regulars are more of a deterant then an asset to having fun. If the field caters to the Leet speek, Ramping, I am so AGG crowd chances are you wont see me there. Its just not my scene. I like a little competition and I am not afraid to mix it up with tuerny style players on a speedball field but I can do with out the wineing and the I am a Paintball God attitude. I go to have fun, not to see some spacegun toting Lord of the Agg lite up the newbies and laugh about it with the refs.
I like an owner that is personable, If I have a problem I like to know who runs the place, know that I can talk to him, get an honest answer (even if it is not the one I want), and know that the problem WILL be delt with.
I like a variety of fields (woods/plywood village) that are used. I hate it when the place advertises that they have 4million acres but when you attend they only use 3 fields. I am not willing to pay any sum of money for a day on the soccer field that has blow up toys on it, I can do that at home.
It doesn't bother me who the reff's are or how old they are, what matters is that they know what they are doing and they are doing it. If the safety of the players is kept by a 13 year old then so be it, but I will say that it is rare that a 13 year old has the ability to do such duties.
I haven't come across any player that is blatently cheating but I don't think I'd be returning to a field that supports that kind of play.
I prefer low field fees and high paint prices as opposed to high field fees and low paint prices. I shoot about 100 rounds a day and if the field owner wants to charge enough to get good fresh paint then so be it. This setup also keeps the over shooting and the spray-n-pray down.
There are a number of things as a paintball consumer I look at in a field...
1. The staff: That's everyone from owner to refs. Do they make me feel like I am interupting their otherwise quiet day or are they happy to help, keeping games even, not rushing us to play but not letting long delays between games. Are the refs out on the field or hanging out by the ends chatting with each other. If I yell paintcheck does someone actually come and check!?! (that's a pet peeve of mine). Are rules on and off the field enforced or are their "buddies" given some extra leeway? I want a safe and friendly environment where I can enjoy my day off.
2. The fields: I'd like a little diversity out there. Anyone can cut down a bunch of trees and make piles to call them bunkers. As far as I'm concerned paintball should be like golf in this case, your not just playing the opponent your playing the field/ course as well! Is the course challenging? Are there key areas to get? Do holding those key areas kill the game or is there a way to still win if the other team has them? I like the fields to be evenly matched, obviously you can't mirror a woods field like you can speedball but you can at least try to make them even. Are boudaries clearly marked? and do you need to take a shuttle to get to the field? I'm not out of shape but I'm not walking 1/2 a mile to get to a wooded area when I'm surrounded by trees already. The fields show the staff's commitment to their customers. If they are well maintained, well thought out, and more then a grouping of brush piles then obviously they care about the players and their staff.
3. Staging area: Atleast 1/3 of your time is spent here in the staging area. Are you cooking in the sun or in the shade somewhere comfortable? What amenities are there? Food and drinks at a reasonable price? Is there an area to go to the bathroom and what kind of shape is that in?
4. Cost: Even though this is the last on my list it's certainly not the least important. Yes, like Shartley mentioned I'd pay a little more to go to a field that offered everything else above but they had better keep offering everthing above. This is my hard earned $$ and I am a consumer before I am a player. I have to buy the field fee, the paint and air before I even step foot on your field so it had better be worth the price of admission! I play paintball with my son, who at 15 doesn't have any income so I have to pay for him too. Economics is a cruel master and I have no problem with you making money, but I want my money's worth or to atleast "feel" like I'm getting it. I understand the need for FPO, but if your hitting me for $60 a case then I don't want to buy a bag of wiffle balls. Also, don't crank up your field fee so much on BYOP days that it's cheaper to play on regular days...
Safety: is my biggest concern. Are the rules adequate and enforced by the staff? What is the normal attitude of the players there? Do most of them play safe, accept correction and mend their ways? Do they give you a safety briefing and do it in a timely manner so you don't have to wait half an hour for someone to show up to talk to you.
-CHRONOGRAPHING:eek: : This is a big one in my book. How can you call it safe when you don't have players chrono often enough? Once for the day is NOT safe at all with any air source(especially CO2):eek: . Let's face it, things happen whether on purpose or not and fps will fluctuate during the day. I like it when they have you chrono at least every few games. Are the chronos easily accessed and is there someone there to check people that are chronoing?
Prices: This is a big one for me and I feel that some fields over rate themselves when setting how much they charge. As stated by others, if I am going to be paying more than $50-60 on paint it had better be on the higher end of the quality bracket and be fresh to boot. Is the field fee decent for regular players(yay for season passes) are thier fields worth it? Air fills reasonable and do they actually give you a good fill? Food available and reasonably priced for field food?
Fields: I like a good variety between woods, castles, urban, and an actual nice speedball field. Are the fields maintained well? Are they large enough for the normal amount of players. Are they well layed out with differing terrain and elevations? How far do you have to walk to get to the field? I don't like having to walk more than a 2-3 minutes to get where I am going. I also like having a good amount of good bunkers on each side of the field. Can you win frome either side? Are the fields challenging? Are the fields always wet or are they typically dry enough for comfortable playing? Are the fields always muddy?
Staff: I like a friendly "How are you doing, need any help, having fun?" kind of staff. Reffs that actually reff. I hate having a paintcheck called and reffs not do anything. Are they impartial? Do they take a hard line against cheating and do they have a good eye for safety violations? Is wiping/ramping looked down on/prohibited? Do they act like they enjoy doing it or are they just doing it for the benefits and don't care about how the game goes. Do they split the teams up evenly 90% of the time(not always their fault)? Are the right amount of people allowed on a particular field? Is the staff knowledgable about most guns? Are they pump friendly for the most part?
Staging area: Is it clean and able to support big crowd? Do they have shaded areas and places to get out from under the rain if necessary?
Local players: Good players that abide by the rules or a bunch of idiots out to shoot noobs? How do they react to pump players. Do they cheat and try to get around the rules? Is there a good blend of older and younger players and do they have good attitudes?
Pump days: Are they interested enough in the pump crowd to have them? This might not make or brake my view of a particular field, but it certaintly helps in my choosing.
All in all, I think I have found a field that has: the field variety I want; safety level I am comfortable with; friendliness I like; paint quality that I can enjoy; pump friendliness; staff that works hard; and all for the price that I am willing/can afford to pay. Some fields may be bigger or maybe cheaper, but in my opinion which I formed from what I saw and experienced at the other fields in my area, I will always support the field of my choice, OSG.:cool:
PS: This is just my opinion stated from what I have seen and experienced, take it as that:D . You may not agree with me, that is fine:) . First impressions go a long way when it comes to a new field.;)
PPS: Don't ever get me started on why or why I don't like a particular field.
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