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Old 03-14-2015, 05:12 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Most people can hear the difference between semi and ramping. Also the difference between 10 bps and 15. Just look for the dude fiddling with his gun like you would for someone trying to change his velocity with an allen key.

Then if they do it you give them 1 warning and kick them off. If they can't follow that simple of rule then you don't want them on your field.
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Old 03-14-2015, 07:06 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I've tried to limit BPS or break them into groups of equal firepower. But it's like velocity, a guy with a multiple setting electric can go on the field in semi and as soon as he feels the need he's moved up to ramping or full auto with the press of a button.
Your Reffs should know the difference. Anyone thats played for any length of time can tell when a marker is ramping or set to a high ROF. I can tell the diffrence between 10 and 12.5 by just the sound. If they don't know the difference teach them.

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If we were a simple speedball field I can agree charging for each fill would be silly, but if I charge you $2.00 to fill a 48 and $3 to fill a 68. would it be better to charge $10 for all day air? Again remember we don't shoot 2000 balls a day my guys shoot 500 to 800 if they go crazy. I can do 500 on a single fill and certainly 800 on 2 fills of a 48.
Yes, by all means charge more but charge me one time.

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The trouble is to establish a price list that works for both speedball and traditional play. They are so different it's almost impossible to do. I guess if speedball fields didn't charge a field fee but added a little to their paint it might bring it close.
Your a woodsball field why would you have different prices. Why are you catering to the people that drive away busness by offering them cheap paint. You should have two kinds of paint. Basic rental package quality and a quality name brand. Offer free air with the purchace of a case of paint and entry. Or however you want to break it down based on your paint volume your customers shoot. Making entry/air cheap and paint more expensive will curb people from wanting to shoot 30BPS while still keeping your profit margin.

Speedball is all about undercutting your competitors they want the cheapest paint that shoots straight as possible. You sell it in volume but make less off the paint. Its important to have the games turn over quickly because if kids are not on the trigger they are not making you money. Establishing a home team to help maintain the field for discount paint is a good way. This kills two birds with one stone. You get the team that everyone wants to play against buy offering paint at cost or discount and have them setup the field and take it down. This will draw local teams and help with maintenance, Because It's a bit of work. If you leave the bunkers out and coverd in paint your bunkers will not last. As the day goes on the air pressure will fluctuate and bunkers will need to be burped and or filled. When fields are setup they need to be as symmetrical as possible. You will need easy axcess to 4500 fills. Speedballers will top off after every game so you're not going to be able to charge them per fill. Reffs the more the better your 1-15 should be 2-10 and with Speedball they cant be afraid to get shot. Because they will a lot.

When setting up your field pay close attention to drainage and use grass that can take a beating because it will. Buy quality netting if you want it to last.

To be honest I wouldent get into Speedball unless you're going to go all in and you have the players to suport it. It's a big expence and risky if you're not experienced with it. They also seem to change the bunkers evey year increcing overhead and up keep. I have seen a lot of fields dump money into it with little return. The few sucessfull ones are located close to large populated areas.

How many teams did your competitors speedball field get?

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Old 03-15-2015, 12:29 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I am not the one to run a speedball field, I'd have to hire a person to deal with it. I don't have the same values that speedball players look for. My best memories of playing on any filed include stalking players through the woods, getting into gun fights and getting a kill in 2-3 shots.
I know speedball has its following, but it's not my style of play. So to do it justice I'd have to give it to someone else to run.

I can tell the difference between 10 bps and 12 bps by ear. Maybe some can, but frankly on a field with a dozen guns running I'd be hard pressed to find the single shooter over the limit if he didn't want to be found. It's simple to ease off the trigger when the refs in sight.

I am certain there is no way to run 2 different kinds of paint safely on the field, unless you can find 2 of the same weight and bore diameter. I've seen to much chronographic proof of the velocity change when the paint is shifted in the guns, and the players will share, beg or borrow paint in the middle of the game. It's just going to happen.

As for charging you only once that's what we do. We run a tab for each player during the day and you can check the balance as often as you like, but we collect the money at the end of the day. This way money doesn't have to be carried on field. Or if a player has a limit, let us know and we can shut them off before they go overboard. We've developed this system over the years and it works great. We built a spreadsheet for the computer that we use. Punch in say a bag of paint it adds it to your total calculates the sales tax and gives us the total for each player as well as a page print out with full description as a receipt.

The one thing I don't understand. We have group discounts at 20 and a bigger one at 50 players. Guys will call me up with a group of 4 and want a group price break. Does anyone have a price for a single player group and how would you play a single player group? Shoot straight up and then try to avoid them when they come back down??? Just a thought.
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:58 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Well folks, let me thank you for your input on this subject. I've found it to be very helpful. Our first staff meeting is the first weekend of April. Every comment has been printed off and we will discuss each of them to see that we are in tune with the needs of the players.
As a field owner it's my duty to put forth the best facility and play possible. I again thank you for helping me do that!
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:36 PM   #35 (permalink)
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As a former field operator back in the day, I must say that I highly respect you for asking for player's advice on how to improve your operation. As a soon to be again field operator, I found the advice given very interesting.

My concerns: cleanliness. Whether it be the field rental equipment, the field, the parking lot or especially the outhouse/sanitary facilities, cleanliness rules. Don't worry about the gf's not wanting to come back, we men are not exactly happy about using the porta-potties, and sooner or later we are all going to have to...

Second, mixing electros with renters or renters with "pros". Simple answer : DON"T. When the first player-owned paintguns started appearing at our field we didn't know what to do (forget about chrono's, they didn't exist). Whenever we mixed them together we lost business. Period. Full stop. Sure, you try to balance things out, but tech is tech and perception is all. I once went on the field with a bolt action Nelspot that had to be banged against a tree to close and the rental players FEARED me simply because I had a different gun. Perception? Damn right. 3 "pros" vs 27 newbies, all armed with the same gun? After 3 wins by the "pros" the newbies had had enough... perception? Yep. Bottom line is that your bread and butter comes from the once a year (hopefully twice) renter. Cater to them. They let you afford to have your regular players come out to play, and that's where you have FUN. With your regulars... If the Speedball field next door is shutting down, there is a reason. It probably isn't bad management, it's probably simple economics. Speedballers want the "cheapest paint that flies straight". They want the choicest playing venues, they want/demand discounts 'cause they deal in volume. They don't pay your rent or buy your groceries... 3 of them show up and you worry about them over the others who become their "targets". Do the math. Provide an opportunity for them to play. On their own field. When there are enough of them buy some inflatables. Sell them paint or let them bring their own. Soon, you will be selling them paint because they are too lazy or it is too expensive for them to go get their own in the volume they want. Retail stores don't let them run a tab, play all day and pay then, and for that privilege they should pay more for their paint.

Third : Field paint; Simple rule. Field gun = field paint. NO exceptions. You chrono them in, you make sure they are safe, you have no problem. THEY switch paint, they are gone. No second warning bull****. Personal paintball guns = player responsibility. Chrono safe or else be turfed. Took us a long time to figure this out, and when we threw the first guy that spot checked hot out, everyone paid very close attention, hell, the opposite team thanked us! Your player's safety is paramount. If some lunkhead with a $2000 "blast-o-matic" thinks he should be able to inflict injury on others your job is to STOP him. Again, Period, Full Stop. Set the limit. ENFORCE IT. Chronographs always available on the range, chronographs always in use at the field entrance, chronographs carried by staff on the field. Use them or get thrown out? Pretty simple for everyone to decide. Play safe or go home.

Fourth : Sell good quality paintballs at a reasonable price. For those who NEED to save the money by buying the cheap stuff elsewhere, they are going to find their overall enjoyment diminished by having to squeegie out the barrel of their fancy marker. These guys are going to be unhappy wherever they are because as you say, "It's all about THEIR wallet"? Worry about yours. If the average guy has a good day with good paintballs at a reasonable price he will come back. Again and again. Remember,70% of all paintball is played at outlaw sites. They want to play where is it safe, clean, and organized. Good parking for their Hummer and a clean porta-potty, that costs money...

Fifth : Free HPA? Sounds good in principle, but buying a 3 stage compressor and running it costs money... build it in or charge a nominal amount. Free CO2? Forget that! 11 cents an ounce cost plus delivery plus staff time equals nominal costs. 12 grams? Stock them! Those of use with sidearms will need them sooner or later, and having them available saves use worrying about it. No real profit, but it really is a necessary service if you expect to sell paint.

Sixth : Group discounts; This is because an organized group means less work for you. Every 15th player free? Free pass for organizer? Extra paint for organizer? It all works because THEY do your work for you. 3 or 4 players is not a group. Set your fees structure to what works for you. Give them something to work towards. The group organizer collects a deposit ( smart if you want to ensure full participation. It sounds good at the bar to say yea I'm in, but putting up the cash is different...) The group organizer does so much to make the day happen and you have to deal with one person rather than 15 or 20. Give him/her a break and your life is easier. We all get the concept of group discounts. 3 or 4 guys? NOT a group. Pay or get some friends. Make it clear on your website. Make a sign. Point to the sign. Collect the appropriate fee.

Now here is the MOST IMPORTANT thing. Free, clean drinking water. I've been to fields that didn't have water to sell me, let alone give me. Water is a necessity of life. Period. Full Stop. Fill up the jugs, bring them to the field. Give it away. Have enough for everyone.

I WILL visit your field this year. I expect free water, good paint and a SAFE playing environment. Take my money!

Cheers,

Third of Five
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:05 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Third of Five thank you for your kind words, I agree with your suggestions, I'll put those forward to the staff as well. If you do get a chance to stop in please do so. Look me up and I'll give you the tour. We are doing construction again this summer. Not only field development but we're adding a second bathroom, a kitchen and expanding the players break area so it will be 45 by 33 now. We will have to add a second AC unit to keep the larger area cool in the summer, but we already have it so that's not a problem.

We do offer free soda and water to our players, at least one and usually 2 after that the beverages are 75 cents. When we gave free ones all day we found way to many 3/4 full on the tables so they were just going to get another after a sip or two. We can be generous but not wasteful. Holding costs down keeps us reasonable in pricing for our players.

Look forward to seeing you.
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:07 PM   #37 (permalink)
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On the free water. Give them a cup, write their name on it. Have a 5 gallon cooler full of water and ice they can use to fill the cups. You will save money on bottled water and most likely generate less trash at the field.
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:11 PM   #38 (permalink)
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We have well water that is fine to drink, I grew up on it and it still provides water for my home. But no one like to drink tap water. We try to do the drinks in the break area or on the field with the golf cart service vehicle which has a trash can for the empty bottles. We do end up doing a lot of clean up anyway. But I'll give the cups some thoughts.
I grew up with great water from a well and buying bottles of it always seemed strange to me. But that's just because I'm old!!!
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:54 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Have set pricing and a functional website with full details, not everyone wants to go to Facebook for information. Since you're an outdoor field consider upping the FPS limit to 285. Players will engage at distance and the lower speed results in less breaks/more bounces and more frustration. Quality fresh paint. Offer fresh food items and bbq at reasonable pricing. I'll buy your food as long as it tastes good otherwise I'm bringing my own. Separate renters from gun toting electro 'pros' but do allow the pumpers to jump in with the rentals.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:30 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Thank you P8ntninga, Good points, we settled on the 260 fps as it hurts the players less. we look for paint that isn't as hard as a rock, that gets us a better break ratio. That means we have to use a better paint then most. The hard cheap paints are always the favorites of those who won't be shot by them! hehe. Our record hit on the field was a 45 degree shot on a player. The shooter was only a few feet away when he said watch this he fired one and went short a few yards, fired a second and went just long. Now the target realized he was being shot at so he turned around to look. The third shot hit him in the goggles and broke. I radioed down and had a ref mark the spot and I marked the one we were at. After the game we taped it. 82 yards. The longest hit we've ever had. It was mostly luck in my opinion, but he 's got the right to brag about it because he called it before he did it. I think he was more surprised then the kid he hit! Marker old school "Air Power Vector". Great gun, I wish they were still around. Those things would shoot straight for a long ways. But then I'm a fan of the old stuff. I still shoot a WGP Ranger with a Dye Boomstick.

Foods, we offer several options, McDonalds is 3 miles away so that's a lunch option. We have a pizza place that will deliver to the field and we do not mark it up. The players pay what the food cost. We also have a 36" stainless propane grill. It's free to use if you want to bring your own food and cook it. Or if you rather just kick back and play we will supply and cook 1/3 pound cheeseburgers for $1.25 each, red hot dogs for a $1.00 each and chili with advance notice at $1.00 per 8 ounce bowl. We don't try to make money on food, we think of it as customer service. We are a paintball field that's what we focus on.

We try not to mix electros with other players but many times they are imbedded in a group. Most of our groups are "purpose" groups now. we have Birthdays and bachelor parties and business outings, but as far as groups made up of walk on, players very seldom do we get those. The few walk ons we do see and can usually find groups that will take them in. But these guys have either watched too much TV paintball or had bad luck on other fields because they don't trust other players. That's a growing issue and it is causing problems in trying to organize anything big. They don't dare mix so a scenario game is impossible. We're doing what we can to overcome this, but everyone should be on the lookout for it.

Thanks again for your input, I'll make sure it makes the staff meeting coming up.
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