Friendly Fire Paintball, Maynard Paintball. As far as facilities go, I would rate Fox4, Maynard, and Friendly Fire equal in terms of speed ball fields. However, Maynard only has a limited rec ball field. I would rate Friendly Fire's staff superior to both Maynard and Fox4 in terms of being helpful and accomodating.
I sponsored my son's team in a 5 man tournament on 4/30/06. Although parking was a problem, FOX4 was very organized in terms of handing out schedules, filling air tanks, chronographing guns, captains meetings, etc. That is where the organization ended. There was a big difference between how the refs ran the games and interpreted the rules on Filed 1 and Field 2; some of the rules aren't even PSP rules. As i was allowed to video some of the games, I heard a couple of refs remark, "I can't wait for this to be over, I am hot and want to get out of here." Its disconcerting when as a sponsor I spent over $600 on hotel, food, transportation, and paint to have some bonehead ref make questionable calls and totally demoralize young kids faith in fairness and integrity. Youth paintballers are the future of the sport. I saw some rookie teams carved up 24 year olds in the first 30 seconds. You should have a "young guns" division for these type of tournaments. The bottom line was there was plenty of sandbagging going on. No wonder the registration was 2 to 1on rookie teams vs novice teams. I think the main problem was FOX4 used outside refs at this tournament. If tournaments had video replay, I would have to say more than 50% of the calls when have been reversed.
I am not a Fox4 sponsored or employed player but I do enjoy playing there and have played the tournament series before. I have a couple questions and comments regarding this post.
What rulings did they make that were not did not follow PSP rules?
I understand it is discouraging to hear refs say things like that 'they can't wait for it to be over' but you will hear that at EVERY tournament series you play at whether its local or national. It won't stop them from doing their jobs though. Refs usually do not hate doing their jobs but its just hot and you are out all day getting blasted by everyone so sometimes you make those comments.
As for the Rookie division (the division I assumed you're son's team played), I have no idea how many adult teams entered but it seems the only teams that placed were teams rostered with kids. So those kids teams would likely roll over your team also and the adult teams seemed to have been playing in the right division since they were unable to win it.
There will be some sandbagging though but Fox4 does apretty good job of catching sandbaggers. It's up to the players to say something though because it is IMPOSSIBLE to find every player sandbagging. PSP has the best player ranking system and there are many people that sandbag in their tournament series
For local series, there are usually more rookies playing than novices. As it goes in most tournaments, there will always be more lower division teams than higher ones.
Fox4 does not use outside refs. They use their own refs and sponsored players who have experience reffing or playing for MANY years. And to comment about calls being made. I won't deny that bad calls were probably made and calls were missed. 50% seems a bit steep though. but that is somethign I don't have info about.
I hope you continue to play the series though. As you'll find out, the Fox4 series is the most well run series I have played (I heard this tournament was actually run slower than normal....but I am sure htey will fix that) and I have played MANY tournaments that include many local and national series.
I am sure Geeze wil read this as he always does and take your criticism seriously. You could also call the place and talk to them with any concerns.
I wasn't there, but I take constructive criticism very seriously. But first off, I do not appreciate my staff being called boneheads, nor to I care for the implications of "demoralizing young kids faith in fairness and integrity."
I have stood out on those fields from dawn to dusk reffing and taking photos of the games for "your" kids. We fix more guns last minute so the kids can play, usually gratis. Please , I politely and respectfully ask you not to remind me what the future of the sport is.
The refs are HUMAN. Humans make mistakes, they cannot see all, they do their best, they are FAR more experienced and qualified than 95% of the contestants. A player only has himself to watch, the Refs have everyone as well as themselves. Try diving in on a player to check him and have your kidney punched 8 to 10 times while you are doing your job. You are darn right that the Ref's say I am hot and tired and can't wait for this to end. I say it too, probably more colorfully than the refs. Players get to sit down, rehydrate and rest. My refs are in it all day, try it sometime, it's great exercise. I've had refs drop because of the heat. They refused to come off the field because they LOVE the game and working with the "future of paintball". (There was a dose of stupidity in there but some learn lessons the hard way. Yes, he's alright, thanks for asking.)
We have different divisions for different level players. There is always tough competition on the field. We don't have a young guns division at the tourney but we have a summer camp to teach those with a passion like ours about paintball, all about the game.
I learned a long time ago that you cannot, no matter how hard you try, make everyone happy. I invite constructive criticism and will work with anyone who submits it. I am on the field most every weekend, just ask for the Geeze. You are always welcome on my field. Please come to me with ideas and improvements and a rule book if you so desire but leave your derogatory and demeaning comments about my staff home. They do nothing but ruin your credibility.