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Old 09-03-2017, 08:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tips for Working as a Ref

I was offered a job to work as a ref/gun tech at a field near me. Im probably going to start next week and I would like some advice on what being a ref is like.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wear sunscreen, find your "loud" voice but try not to scream, don't forget bugspray, drink more water throughout the day than you think you need.

I've never been a ref, but these are things I'd try to do.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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A lot to learn....

It will take time to learn how to do this but it becomes important for your value on the field.

Know the the fields you ref on, it will show you the areas that you have to watch in anticipation of needing your ref skills. It will allow you an opportunity to learn where to stand so you can see what is going on without giving away players positions.

Understand the "paint check" rules of your field. Know how to explain it at the beginning of the game. Enforce it fairly.

When splitting the group up, exercise fair distribution of players. It may take a couple of games to see who are experienced, good players, new players, leaders and followers.

Carry a squeegee just in case the newbie needs his barrel cleaned.

Know your rental guns just in case you need to tinker with them on the field to save the newbies game.

Remember that you are there to facilitate having a safe and FUN game. There will be days that it won't be fun for you just to please your customers playing the game.

Good luck, and remember it will take time....to be a good ref.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Be polite and attentive to lady players since they're the ones writing the Google/Youtube reviews for paintball places, they're easy to offend and looking for refunds/discounts so be nice but don't let them boss you around too much

Eelpout covered a lot of what I'm about to say

Run games every 15-20 minutes, or every 30 minutes for games with bigger teams. Monitor for safety first and foremost before taking paint-check requests. Swap games quickly so if any players take a humiliation hit and game loss that it is short-lived and not that serious (will cut down on sore loser whimpering). Referees should split up teams in ways that are challenging first and foremost and then re-balance and tweak the teams on an as-needed basis. Let walk-on groups and friends know not to be surprised if you pit them against each other for fairness purposes and so they aren't together bashing on everyone else or the kiddies.

Give renters three chances to abide by the safety rules before having to eject the offending player from participation, and give self-equipped players only two chances.
Safety mistakes include the following:
- Not shooting below 300 feet per second
- Removing protective mask while in-game or on field
- Firing more than single-shots while bunkering opposing players

Run the players like a drill sergeant in the staging area. The pressure to refill reload and head-out makes the next games more exciting. People who sit and yak and yak and yak at the picnic table, ditch those folk if you can get together a small handful and head out with them. Whether it is a bring-your-own-paintballs field or a field-paintballs-only field, this is good and in the FPO scenario you will drive up sales which will please the field operator.

Wear "pull thru squeegees" around your neck and hand them to players if they need their barrels cleaned. Carry microfiber cloth so like a loving momma bird you can swoop in and wipe peoples' lenses lol

After a while the field operator may give you more creative freedom to decide how to run games, as you gain experience and see what works and what doesn't work. There's a thread on PBNation that gives some ideas on how to run woodsball games: here you go. Some of them are wacky but players really don't mind if you experiment and use them as guinea pigs. If you make one game round less-than-challenging, you can tweak things for the next round and players love it

I just thought of two more things

Extra loaner barrel covers around your neck
if you run out, tell players to remove their barrels if they lose their barrel cover until you can find them a replacement
If the barrel cover has the field's logo on it, maybe offer them as freebies if the field operator will allow it -- kinda like advertising the field I guess maybe
and
This thing The handheld Radarchron
It's a $70 investment but it makes you into a super-professional referee when you check players shots for velocity compliance

When I played with a stock class Phantom, the referees were chill and let me shoot up to 320 feet per second as my first shot lol
But players will be understanding if you are a velocity nazi and are firm with the chronograph rules

Last edited by Pittsburgh Stinkbugs; 09-03-2017 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for all of the great advice!
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Don't badmouth the owner or manager in front of the players.
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I used to carry ski goggle squeegee and a spray bottle in my pocket to clean goggles with out removing them..
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Old 09-03-2017, 05:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i used a smaller size cheap umbrella, it fit in my pocket when collapsed.
At times it provided shade, other times it absorbed stray barrages of paintballs, it once even kept me dry (er) than everyone else who tried to get every last minute of play in before the rain started. I shielded a younger player with it to get him off the field because he was frozen with fear of getting hit again (speedball).

get a stopwatch, use it for timing the game. phones die, or calls come in and then you cant see the game timer you set, which is not fair to the players.

expect to get hit, learn to use it as a training tool for play, walk into areas you would normally try to run through to avoid hits.

learn the ref stance, one hand over your jewels, one up near your neck shielding those hits to the sweet meat right below your ear. you'll learn to alternate hands depending on the lanes of fire you are in.

encourage new players, introduce them to the experienced players that will guide and mold them, grow the sport.

have fun
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Old 09-03-2017, 05:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Take velocity seriously. I got stitched at probably 360 recently, bled from shots through BDUs. A newer player may not have been as comfortable with the idea - took away some of my enthusiasm that day.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by flyweightnate View Post
Take velocity seriously. I got stitched at probably 360 recently, bled from shots through BDUs. A newer player may not have been as comfortable with the idea - took away some of my enthusiasm that day.
That reminds me of something that happened a couple of weeks when I was at a new field. The entrance to access the fields was next to the chrony station, and our ref was chronying in a couple of new players. Unfortunately a player who was new to his Mini happened to be standing near the station and brushed the Mini's trigger accidentally, which then shot the ref in the back of knee from about 4 feet away.

The player almost received a Mini colonoscopy... thankfully the ref cooled off pretty quickly.

In light of that, I would recommend refs tell the players to keep the barrel bags on until the group is physically in the area they're playing in.
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And God turned to Gabriel and said: “I shall create a land called Canada of outstanding natural beauty, with majestic mountains soaring with eagles, sparkling lakes abundant with bass and trout, forests full of elk and moose, and rivers stocked with salmon. I shall make the land rich in oil so the inhabitants prosper and call them Canadians, and they shall be praised as the friendliest of all people.”

“But Lord,” asked Gabriel, “Is this not too generous to these Canadians?”

And God replied, “Just wait and see the neighbors I shall inflict upon them.”

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