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Old 12-30-2012, 08:18 PM #1
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Getting back into paintball (my first's days experience)

Disclaimer: its a rant disguised as a story

My two friends and I decided to play paintball for the first time in five years. I bought some new equipment because I really want to make this a semi-regular thing. We drove an hour out of town to a field we had never played before because they were having a free equipment and air day (which was awesome and I didn't mind paying 65 bucks for a case field paint because it was such a good deal)

The fields were awesome. They will well designed, had a ton of props, and were surprisingly well manicured. The staff at the registration desk and the air fill station were super nice. When my friend's aged Spyder Pilot broke they let him borrow a Proto Rail for the day which he ended up buying from them because they were so cool about it.

However, the field experience was less than desirable. For the first game we had one fifteen year old kid as a ref for 70 players. The teams were unbalanced, players were bonus balling kids like crazy, and at one point I literally watched a guy walk up to a table that was left unattended, look around, and grab a bag of 500 rounds out of a case and walk back to his crew.

Unfortunately, even though the staff was great and it had by far the best field layouts we had ever played at, we won't go back. I partly blame the refs for not policing the games better (At one point, I watched a guy call himself out. The ref instructed the guy shooting at him to let him out. The moment he stood up, the opponent started shooting at him again. The ref watched this happen and and didn't say a word). Our real issue, however, was with the other players. I do understand that on a free play day you are bound to get a wide variety of players with skills, abilities and attitudes, but it wasn't the walk-ons who were being obnoxious- it was the guys paling around with the refs.

I realize that there are going to be jerks at every field. After lurking on this forum for 6 months, I understand a certain level of cheating, bonus balling, and unsportsmanlike conduct is something that we are going to have to learn to deal with no matter where we play at, but I would like to think this is something that people (players and refs included) wouldn't be so blasť about at other fields.

There are two other fields in our area. We are going to try them out. I really hope the paintball community at these fields are a little better. If not, we will find another hobby. Its too bad because I really want to enjoy paintball, but I feel like the game is as only as good as the people who play it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:23 PM #2
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Very true. Many paintball places are filled with jerks and understaffed. You just have to find the field for you. Good luck with your next experience, hope it isn't as bad as this one.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:35 PM #3
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Originally Posted by ElJefe13 View Post
Very true. Many paintball places are filled with jerks and understaffed. You just have to find the field for you. Good luck with your next experience, hope it isn't as bad as this one.
Get to know the owners and staff. I know we always want to talk with our customer to know what we can improve on.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:29 PM #4
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It's just the field man. Search around, until you find the right one. Customer service has a lot to do with how much I enjoy my day, and the other players. I gave up Soccer, Basketball, and Baseball for this sport. There are jerks everywhere. It's not the sport that's the problem. Just some of the people, and the facility you chose to play at.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:23 PM #5
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What state is this field located?
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:31 PM #6
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I'm sorry your first day out in a long time was like that. It's definitely the field -- most fields aren't like that. I'd give that place another chance, because a handful of douchebags can ruin a day of paintball for everyone, but they won't necessarily be there every time. I recommend teaming up against them. Take 'em out early so they hardly get to play. If you can't take care of them, ask an upstanding veteran player to "educate" those players for you. Personally, I jump at the chance to make those kinds of players' days a living hell. I WANT them to quit paintball and never come back.

As for theft, word to the wise: don't give people a chance to steal, and things won't get stolen. I've been robbed at least 4 times in my life (some very high-dollar items too) and now I lock everything up whenever my back is turned. It's a pain in the *** but you'll have a better day if your stuff is there when you get back.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:47 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJefe13
Very true. Many paintball places are filled with jerks and understaffed. You just have to find the field for you. Good luck with your next experience, hope it isn't as bad as this one.
Thanks guys. I do appreciate the encouragement. Despite the negative experience, I am excited to go give it another shot. There are some smaller fields closer to where I live.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyR62
What state is this field located?
It's in Florida. I'd prefer not to say which field since I know there are a few people on these forums that regularly attend and/or work there (which was one of the reasons I was so excited about checking it out) and I don't want to ruffle any feathers, but apparently they do a lot of big scenario games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loneassassin
As for theft, word to the wise: don't give people a chance to steal, and things won't get stolen. I've been robbed at least 4 times in my life (some very high-dollar items too) and now I lock everything up whenever my back is turned. It's a pain in the *** but you'll have a better day if your stuff is there when you get back.
That's very good advice. While I do feel sympathy for the guy, , they had a huge group and they probably could have left someone at the table to watch their stuff between matches. I guess what really shocked me was that the guy who swiped the bag of rounds was palling around with the refs all day. It wasn't some random sleaze-ball but one of the regulars.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:08 AM #8
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Did you say anything to anyone such as a manager or owner? Local fields around here, the owners love feedback from older players. Maybe if you spoke up while at the field you would of had a better experience?

Did you say anything to the guy taking another guys paint? Did you say anything to the guy who got his paint taken? If not, you're just as guilty or a sheep of a man.

Seems weird to blow a field off because of one ref chumming around with his friends. Not defending the kid, just saying.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:25 AM #9
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Did you say anything to anyone such as a manager or owner? Local fields around here, the owners love feedback from older players. Maybe if you spoke up while at the field you would of had a better experience?

Did you say anything to the guy taking another guys paint? Did you say anything to the guy who got his paint taken? If not, you're just as guilty or a sheep of a man.

Seems weird to blow a field off because of one ref chumming around with his friends. Not defending the kid, just saying.
I think you absolutely bring up some good points. I did not say anything to anyone about the guy stealing paint, but I absolutely should have. The reason why I didn't was because there had already been another altercation with the individual.

The first game of the day that same guy (I'll call him Pirate Dave because he had gold hoop earings and looked kind of like a Dave) pinned a walk-on up on a tower and bonus balled him whenever he tried to leave the play area. We could hear the kid screaming that he was out from the dead area. The guy couldn't get down until right before the end of the match. When the guy confronted Pirate Dave, Pirate Dave literally tried to pick a fight with him. The ref didn't say anything to Pirate Dave about shooting up the guy. He didn't say anything about him trying to start a fight. He just shrugged and told the kid he shouldn't play paintball if he didn't want to get shot.

By the time the paint stealing incident happened, I had already soured on the place and I just wanted to blow through the rest of my paint and go home. While I don't believe it would have have resolved anything as it was my word against his, I should have done something for the sake of my own conscience. I was absolutely part of the problem, and I accept the criticism for my own inaction.

I don't think my issue was with the refs palling around the regulars. I think that's to be expected at any field. Howevever, most businesses don't let their repeat customers bully and steal from new customers. It's a great way to kill off all new business. One of the guys I went with had talked to the indoor staff about holding a private work party on their fields. Instead, he's going to send them a letter letting them know that he's decided to hold it at a different venue because the issues we experienced. Honestly, it may not make a difference, but the owners do have a right to know what is going on at their fields even if they choose not to act on it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:50 AM #10
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By the time the paint stealing incident happened, I had already soured on the place and I just wanted to blow through the rest of my paint and go home. While I don't believe it would have have resolved anything as it was my word against his, I should have done something for the sake of my own conscience.

I strongly agree with you
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:01 PM #11
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Blast this field on the field reviews and yelp. I would be pissed if I paid $25 in field fees, $20 in stolen paint and other dollars spent to have a crappy time. Demand a refund from the field manager. Poor field reviews do get people's attn when done in a mature fashion online. Saying his field sucks does nothing, but your well written points would have me visiting another field rather than giving my $$$ to this one. I reviewed all star paintball in Hawaii on mcarterbrown.com after going there on vacation, being comped a field fee due to mutual friends, getting to play with the local pump crowd and Brandon loaning me his personal tank even though he just met me. I want everyone to know about my good experience to get him business, as much as I would like to warn others of poorly run fields.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:37 AM #12
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Sorry to bump an old thread. Just wanted to thank everyone for their encouragement. We did eventually play again at a different field and it was a much better experience. Even though the facilities weren't as nice (no pro shop, the picnic tables and chairs were in rough shape, less elaborate fields), it was a much better experience.

It was a much smaller, more intimate crowd. Most of the day we played with a group of high school seniors who played on a semi-regular basis. They kept us separated from the other walk-ons (which I thought was great because I had little urge to spend my day trying not to shoot up little kids and their moms).

Our referee had an active presence on the field. He was taking pictures for their facebook page so he was out in the middle of everything behind bunkers and dodging paint with the rest of us. Once he got nailed in the side of the neck (by my friend unfortunately) and developed a massive welt, but was good spirited about it.

Everyone seemed to play fair. I didn't get the impression that there was any paint wiping going on. Nobody claimed they got overshot (this may be because only a few us had electro guns).

Things felt safe. I only noticed one guy with a bad attitude and he left after a couple of hours. Nobody seemed worried about their gear getting messed with (although I wasn't about to test it myself).

We are going back next weekend. Assuming everything goes as smoothly as the time before, I think its safe to say we found our field.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:47 AM #13
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Sorry you had a ba experience but I would not let one time make your mind for good.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:17 AM #14
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you'll get alot of players that think they are gods gift to the sport and its obnoxious but at the same time there are alot of players that pal around with the refs and the owners with high talent levels that are actually really nice people. I could the oppurtunity to play with one of pennstates better X ball players and he was one of the friendliest people i have ever met. he sort of took me under his wing when i was a shoobi and showed me the ropes. But hey the only thing worse is playing with a bunch of drunks.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:40 AM #15
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Sorry you had a ba experience but I would not let one time make your mind for good.
Bad days happen, maybe some of their staff called in or they were not expecting that large of a crowd.

Go again in a month or so and try again.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:02 PM #16
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Bad days happen, maybe some of their staff called in or they were not expecting that large of a crowd.

Go again in a month or so and try again.
Yeah, maybe we will try it again one day. Now that we have found a closer field that we like better, though, we'll probably keep going there for now.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:42 PM #17
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Sounds like your *****ing for the sake of it. Do you have a gash? But like you stated bonus balling happens. And if you witnessed a theft why didn't you do anything about it? And if you witnessed bad reffing why didn't you confront the reff about it? Just crying on pbnation isn't going to make that feild more appealing to you.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:45 PM #18
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Bad days happen, maybe some of their staff called in or they were not expecting that large of a crowd.

Go again in a month or so and try again.
I completely agree.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:59 PM #19
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It's just the field man. Search around, until you find the right one. Customer service has a lot to do with how much I enjoy my day, and the other players. I gave up Soccer, Basketball, and Baseball for this sport. There are jerks everywhere. It's not the sport that's the problem. Just some of the people, and the facility you chose to play at.
This.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:22 AM #20
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Sounds like your *****ing for the sake of it. Do you have a gash? But like you stated bonus balling happens. And if you witnessed a theft why didn't you do anything about it? And if you witnessed bad reffing why didn't you confront the reff about it? Just crying on pbnation isn't going to make that feild more appealing to you.
Meh. Maybe your right. In hindsight, I could get have tried being in the ref's faces all day for not being more proactive or found a way to tell the guys in charge that the guy they had been palling around with all day is a paint theif and probably should have been banned from their field. I don't know if it would have made a difference, but it probably would have been the right thing to do. We didn't because it was our first day playing in about six years, and frankly we weren't sure if it was just an issue with the field we chose of if it was typical to the sport in general. Is that an excuse? Absolutely not, but if you expect first time walkons to be the ones to "fix" a field or a sport, I think you'll be disappointed.

I believe significant and meaningful change has to come from both from the people who run from the field constantly monitoring the player experience that their site garners, and also from the people who play regularly examining their personal behavior and challenging themselves to make better choices (and by that I don't mean going out of you way to be easy of the walk-ons and rentals, but just trying to show a minimum level of respect and courtesy so as not to bully them away). I worked over the phone customer service for a number of years and what I learned was that it wasn't the loud or the belligerent customers that you were in danger of losing, its the quiet ones that never spoke up but seethed over an issue that we found out about later.

Now that we think we have found a field that has better community, it's kind of a moot point now. Like I said, we might take your advice and try that other field again someday (the fields themselves were were great), but honestly I am in no rush. I will support and give my money to the field where I feel safe and welcome- not the one where I feel like I either have to adapt to bad behavior or move mountains to change it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:08 AM #21
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