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Old 01-18-2013, 11:05 AM #1
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How would you handle this problem?

Hey everyone.
This is kind of a sketchy question here, but just thought I'd like to get your opinions on it, and you've probably dealt with this problem before at your local field possibly.
There's this kid who has been coming to our field and has been playing for 4 years now ever since he found our field. He's always been scared when playing, like he'll hide in the back or something, but never admits it (when we first got our speedball field 2 years ago, he hid behind the startbox), which is fine. But that's not the issue. Just wanted to give some background on what it was like for him and I'm sure numerous others when they first started playing. He is 16 now, but was 11 or 12 when he first started playing at our field.
Now flash forward to the present. A couple of years ago, he bought a mini, fully padded dye jersey, pants, electronic hopper, etc, after using a tippmann and what not. I like to refer to him now as the "rental pro," because all he does now is play against rentals and goes unnecessarily hard against them. Like he full out ramps upon ramps on these kids, using like 5 or more pods a game in woodsball. But he refuses to play against anyone with experience in speedball, or even woodsball. He claims to be all about the speedball life, even has his cover photo on Facebook as a speedball field, with the caption "this is the life," when he has maybe played 2 or 3 games ever on a speedball field, and it wasn't even a regulation field. As the referee at the field, I always try to encourage him to play against the experienced players, but he always has some bull**** excuse for not wanting to play against them, such as "I don't have enough paint for that," or "I'm not feeling good, I'm going to go take a break," and then suddenly he feels magically better when the rentals are ready to play again. Our policy is if you have at least 15 people in your party, then you can make it private if you want and not allow anyone else at the field that day to play with you, but the first timers who only have 15 or less people in their group and this kid wants to join with them I have no way to say no to him. I've talked to my manager about this a couple of times before, and he's told me that he thinks the kid has a problem at home, which is fine and all, but that does not give him the excuse to go full rambo against rental players. He has been doing this nonstop for the past few years, and I think it's bad for our sport for the newcomers for him to be doing this. Me and the other referees are on the same page, and the best we can do right now is limit him to semi, which is what we've been doing now, but even then he's walking the trigger so fast it's almost like he is ramping. And everytime, I see the fear in the rental players' eyes and how they don't want to play after he steps on the field, and it disgusts me, but what can I do?
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:10 AM #2
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Try pumping him up.. .give him a big head...

You just pretty much gave him his first compliment, he's restricted to semi, he can walk the trigger so fast its like it is ramping. He will come around.....

On your speedball field, is there a big age gap between him and the said speedballers? are the speedballers ego's bigger than his?
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:37 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexisme View Post
Try pumping him up.. .give him a big head...

You just pretty much gave him his first compliment, he's restricted to semi, he can walk the trigger so fast its like it is ramping. He will come around.....

On your speedball field, is there a big age gap between him and the said speedballers? are the speedballers ego's bigger than his?
I know, I was thinking about that when I typed it lol that's not what I meant to say. I meant he's still going around 7-10 bps or even faster on semi that for the first timers it still seems like he is shooting fast haha. And no, we have speedballers of all ages, 10-40+. They are the nicest bunch of guys, and are always willing to help anyone out. He's just too scared to play against decent players for some reason, even the experienced woodsball players. He strictly plays against rentals. He loves our field and has never complained haha.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:02 PM #4
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You might have already tried this, but maybe one of the more experienced groups that plays on the airball field could ask him if they want to play WITH him. Could be a bit of an ego booster. I think he just needs to boost to get on the right track.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:04 PM #5
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You have any buddies that are in that age range that are the speed ballers? Maybe try to get them to get him to come out with them. Maybe he just don't feel welcome. It is intimidating if you are going in alone and not too sure about it, sounds more like a confidence/self esteem issue to me than him just being a dick.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:15 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexisme View Post
You have any buddies that are in that age range that are the speed ballers? Maybe try to get them to get him to come out with them. Maybe he just don't feel welcome. It is intimidating if you are going in alone and not too sure about it, sounds more like a confidence/self esteem issue to me than him just being a dick.
We've tried over and over again, for years, always being polite, and never being condescending or rude. We're all for promoting the sport, and bringing in new players. He just doesn't want to play with us or anyone with experience. He sees someone else like him with an electronic gun, or jersey, etc, he won't play with them.
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You might have already tried this, but maybe one of the more experienced groups that plays on the airball field could ask him if they want to play WITH him. Could be a bit of an ego booster. I think he just needs to boost to get on the right track.
We try this all the time, but it doesn't work. As a referee, it's not like I can tell him "stop beating up on these rentals and go play someone else." But I have said "hey, there are some people playing speedball if you're interested," as well as other experienced players asking him too and it's the same excuse "nah, I don't feel like playing speedball," or "I'm taking a break," or "I'm not feeling good." But if a rental group goes to play speedball, he is there in an instant. I forgot to mention he's overly cocky too about playing, and thinks he is better than everyone else for some reason. I mean, he's a generally nice kid and all, but he's just relentless against these rental players. We always warn him to go easy as referees, and then I'll see him up the field 2 minutes into the game shooting the entire team out, which is fine, but generally if I'm playing woodsball against first timers, I just sit back, use one finger, and most of the time let them shoot me out, so they gain confidence.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:31 PM #7
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Do you allow ramping for walk-ons? If he is ramping, make him play semi. Challenge him to play with only a hopper. Maybe introduce him to pump if you have one he can borrow. If he thinks that he is the best, stroke his ego a little and tell him that practicing with pump is how all the pros play, so if he want to be best, then he has to play like that.

You are right in that he will push people away from your field and the sport.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:39 PM #8
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I ref & play pump at my local field. If someone kept doing this to rentals he'd either be asked to leave or turned into one big welt. He's being a bully plain & simple.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:00 PM #9
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I ref & play pump at my local field. If someone kept doing this to rentals he'd either be asked to leave or turned into one big welt. He's being a bully plain & simple.
I mean it's not like he's running up and bunkering people. He hasn't broken any rules. But at the same time, he's going way too hard against rentals. I remember he tried one other field once, got lit up, and complained that the people at this field shot him at "350 fps" but judging from the welts on his back he posted on Facebook he just got shot close quarters, not at 350 fps.
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Do you allow ramping for walk-ons? If he is ramping, make him play semi. Challenge him to play with only a hopper. Maybe introduce him to pump if you have one he can borrow. If he thinks that he is the best, stroke his ego a little and tell him that practicing with pump is how all the pros play, so if he want to be best, then he has to play like that.

You are right in that he will push people away from your field and the sport.
Yup, we do allow ramping for speedball, but in the woods, we normally only play semi, unless it's a bunch of experienced players playing in the woods, then we allow ramping if they dont' mind, but most of us just play semi in the woods anyways, it's unnecessary to use ramping in the woods. But he still goes hard against them. We just got an sl-68 pump gun in the shop, so maybe I will introduce it to him, but knowing him, he will definitely say no haha. I've explained to him that if you want to get better, play against players better than you. Playing against rentals won't make a difference. But he just doesn't listen.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:14 PM #10
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I've been playing speedball for about 5 years and started when i was 12 and had the same problem as this kid. what really hepled me is when the more experienced players took me under their wing and started teaching me how to snap shoot, then breakouts, and then bumping up. They also told me to hang with them in between games which meant a lot. This sense of ease that the older, more experienced, players give is a great confidence booster. Don't always encourge him to play with the big dogs but to watch them. Have him do break outs, snapping, and diving with no gun during practice and when he does something good acknoweldge it, but when he does something wrong don't be afraid to get on him. I only feel this way because i went from this kid status to d2 in one year. thats how i would handle it, one ref to another
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:46 PM #11
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I've been playing speedball for about 5 years and started when i was 12 and had the same problem as this kid. what really hepled me is when the more experienced players took me under their wing and started teaching me how to snap shoot, then breakouts, and then bumping up. They also told me to hang with them in between games which meant a lot. This sense of ease that the older, more experienced, players give is a great confidence booster. Don't always encourge him to play with the big dogs but to watch them. Have him do break outs, snapping, and diving with no gun during practice and when he does something good acknoweldge it, but when he does something wrong don't be afraid to get on him. I only feel this way because i went from this kid status to d2 in one year. thats how i would handle it, one ref to another
Again, we've tried doing that. And he doesn't feel uncomfortable at our field. He loves our field, he has never complained about us. He's been coming here for 4 years. Me and several others have suggested tips and stuff for him to improve, and are always welcoming to him and anyone who wants to play with us and learn. His response was "Nah, I'm fine where my skills are at right now." Plain and simple, he is a paintball bully. I have no idea what else to do. I've been trying for 4 years with him.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:25 PM #12
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Why dont you as ref's jump in on one of the games... every time he plays, jump in the game. Take him out. Make it not fun for him to beat up on rentals. If you cannot jump in, have some of your buddies that play jump in and them just go "hard" on him. Eventually he won't come back or he'll get the hint.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:33 PM #13
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Why dont you as ref's jump in on one of the games... every time he plays, jump in the game. Take him out. Make it not fun for him to beat up on rentals. If you cannot jump in, have some of your buddies that play jump in and them just go "hard" on him. Eventually he won't come back or he'll get the hint.
I can't play when I'm reffing obviously, but when I'm not scheduled and I'm at the field, if I try to hop on with him, he'll make some b.s excuse and won't play.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:38 PM #14
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I can't play when I'm reffing obviously, but when I'm not scheduled and I'm at the field, if I try to hop on with him, he'll make some b.s excuse and won't play.
Then since you made it your mission to deal with this, jump in every game. He won't sit out all day. Maybe he'll just go home....
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:40 PM #15
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Just tell him he is too good to play with rental players...

Let him sit until he plays with guys his level, and DON'T allow him to play with newbies (ask the field owner for permission to do this, as the field owner would have to be on board). He would get it, probably wouldn't like it, but it is part of life.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:40 PM #16
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This may seem harsh, but try not letting him play against only renters, make something up like "we have an even amount of people" or "we have too many people already". You could also try getting some of the more experienced players to play with him, what I mean by that is get the experienced guys out on the woodsball field to play with and against him. Just so he gets comfortable playing with them.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:47 PM #17
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The field owner is absolutely the one to deal with it. If it requires several rental players complaining about the player over the course of a year, then that's what it takes. Otherwise, anything you're able to do is more likely to get you in trouble over time.

On the other hand, maybe start building him up, "Wow, you smoked those guys!" or "Rad dive, bro!" Positive reinforcement can open the relationship up to get you more of what you want.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:47 PM #18
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I can't seem to understand the fact that the owner sees nothing wrong with this. I mean, I get he is a regular but he is only 1 regular. Not like he's bringing a party every time he comes.

I went to a pretty big field in this area, had an issue with a few people, brought it to the ref's attention, he told me they were regulars and a very big group, I then looked. They had a party of almost 20 and like almost 30+ empty cases of paint. I understood that from a business standpoint... But, 1 person, only 1 time a week...

Why don't you try being blunt to him? Ask him why he likes beating up on people that are only using a rental, ask him if it makes him feel good. Afterall, it is your job to ensure the others have a good experience. It is also your job to step in if they're having a issue with 1 and only 1 player.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:00 PM #19
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Then since you made it your mission to deal with this, jump in every game. He won't sit out all day. Maybe he'll just go home....
I've done that before, and he either sits out, or goes home. But I can't do that every time he comes to play.
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Just tell him he is too good to play with rental players...

Let him sit until he plays with guys his level, and DON'T allow him to play with newbies (ask the field owner for permission to do this, as the field owner would have to be on board). He would get it, probably wouldn't like it, but it is part of life.
I agree, but again, I can't deny him hopping on with a group if they are less than 15. I've told him to go play against better players, he always makes up some excuse as to why he isn't.
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This may seem harsh, but try not letting him play against only renters, make something up like "we have an even amount of people" or "we have too many people already". You could also try getting some of the more experienced players to play with him, what I mean by that is get the experienced guys out on the woodsball field to play with and against him. Just so he gets comfortable playing with them.
Again, tried all of that. But I can't deny him playing with a group that is less than 15. And any experienced players in the woods he won't play against either.
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The field owner is absolutely the one to deal with it. If it requires several rental players complaining about the player over the course of a year, then that's what it takes. Otherwise, anything you're able to do is more likely to get you in trouble over time.

On the other hand, maybe start building him up, "Wow, you smoked those guys!" or "Rad dive, bro!" Positive reinforcement can open the relationship up to get you more of what you want.
I've never said anything negative to him, and I've used encouraging words as well for him.
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I can't seem to understand the fact that the owner sees nothing wrong with this. I mean, I get he is a regular but he is only 1 regular. Not like he's bringing a party every time he comes.

I went to a pretty big field in this area, had an issue with a few people, brought it to the ref's attention, he told me they were regulars and a very big group, I then looked. They had a party of almost 20 and like almost 30+ empty cases of paint. I understood that from a business standpoint... But, 1 person, only 1 time a week...

Why don't you try being blunt to him? Ask him why he likes beating up on people that are only using a rental, ask him if it makes him feel good. Afterall, it is your job to ensure the others have a good experience. It is also your job to step in if they're having a issue with 1 and only 1 player.
I mean, the rentals still have a good experience playing. Just not when he is on the field lol. And I would say that, but I'd probably get in trouble for speaking to a customer like that.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:41 PM #20
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And I would say that, but I'd probably get in trouble for speaking to a customer like that.
Who cares?

Are you really that bad of an employee that speaking your mind would be your last straw? That while looking out for the best interest of the patrons would get you fired? I don't think I'd want to work at a place like that anyway. Or even patronize a field like that.

Is being a paintball ref your "goal" in life?

Maybe the owner wants you to do what you are being paid to do. Ref, be responsible, if you see something that is not right, do something about it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:53 PM #21
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Every field has these people. One of my local field has a kid(maybe 15yr) that comes and talks to us every time we show up which is fine. He has owned every gun ever made and has had everything they have ever produced for paintball and talks a big game. That's fine with me. But he is just like your guy. He will only play versus the renters and always has an excuse why he can't play at a certain time when certain people are on the speedball field. On the off chance that he will go out and play with us(non-renters/experienced players) he only brings a hopper full of paint, plays home, calls him self out, or shoots his hopper and then calls him self out.
It just drives most of us at the field crazy bc he talks a big game and has all the newest stuff but is scared to play with anyone other than renters. Every time he is there he is asked to play with everyone in the speedball field but he will "sit out" and then when the group of new renters is ready to go play in the woods he is magically ready to play. They always let him play where he wants bc he is there every weekend. I don't work at the field but if I did I just wouldn't let him play with the renters. Just tell him he has to play with non renters and if he doesn't come back then I would be ok with that. I wouldn't want him to scare the renters away so that they don't ever come back. He is usually there by himself or with one friend so I would take losing his 4-6 field fees a month over losing a large group not having a good time bc a kid with all the newest technology is painting them all up.
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