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Rozencrantz Friday, May 19th, 2006
Period of
Field Use:
1 year
Last There: May 6th, 2006
More than 5 years
Other Fields
in the Area:
None in CA
Review: First of all, some clarification. I played at this field from '99-'00, then left California for Seattle until '05, and have just come back to using this field after my absence. I haven't been anywhere else in California, but the atmosphere is _very_ different here than in Washington.

The Field: This is a place to go for rec ball, and I can see a lot of reviews reflect this. There are a number of separate fields at the location, and all but one are significantly wooded. the one exception is the speedball field, which is large in comparison to the speedball fields I saw up in Washington state. You should be ready to hike; this field is hilly in places, and the terrain can get rough. Like any field in Sac, it's really hot in the summer, so bring your sports drink of choice for between games, and drink it freely. The built-up cover varies from stacked deadfall to plywood bunkers to tipped-up spools (the latter primarily on the speedball field). During the work week, the property is a cattle pasture, and on some fields you need to watch where you step. I know from personal experience that falling in one of the several small creeks on the property can be an- ahem- "aromatic" experience. Smelling like diluted cow urine doesn't go over well with the ladies, so if you're heading home to a spouse or girlfriend, stay out of the crick!

The Accoutrements: There's an airsmith on-site, who's not directly associated with the field. My buddies and I try to throw all the business his way that we can, 'cause he's truly cool. He rents CA tanks for $15 a day, and will sell you just about anything you need as far as parts or accessories go. Check him out; he's usually only there on Sundays, but we've seen him a couple of Saturdays this spring, so you may get lucky. Field paint is, I hate to say it, a rip-off. It's white-box stuff, nothing particularly horrible, but the amount they charge for it is highway robbery. Total robbery. Buy paint off-site, seriously. The rental equipment is pretty standard, and their rental rates aren't bad. Restrooms consist of two porta-potties in the parking lot area. One is locked; that is the "ladies' room." If you're female, or can convincingly imitate a girl, I understand you can get the key to get in from the staff. There is shade available in the parking lot, but if you can bring some kind of awning or pavilion, do so, as the shady spots go quickly in the morning.

The Staff: Here's where most of the complaints about Action come from. Here's my two cents. First of all, yes, the refs will yell at you if you take your mask off or handle your gun unsafely. Yes, they can be pretty harsh about it. My take on this, though, is that yelling is wholly fair and appropriate in those situations. Look at it this way: every time a player creates a safety hazard, he's increasing the owner's liability. Nobody wants to see anyone get hurt, and it could conceivably cost the field a lot of money if somebody did get hurt, waiver or no waiver. Lawsuits, and the people who do stupid things that create them, suck. And personally, I'd rather have someone get yelled at more harshly than they perhaps deserve and learn something than have them get off easy and wind up making a stupid mistake and hurting themselves or, frankly, me. Other points about the staff that I haven't seen mentioned here, but I think need to be brought up, include the chaotic way they set up in the mornings and their wildly varying concepts of customer service. On the first point, it's kind of a muttered joke in the parking lot that often, when they say "five minute warning," you still have at least ten or twelve minutes, especially first thing in the morning. On top of that, the 9:00 opening time they advertise can vary between 9:00 sharp and as late as 9:15, which wouldn't be quite such a big deal if not for my second point, which is the level of customer service shown by the staff. See, the young guys and gals they have signing folks up, filling tanks, and taking payment have attitudes that range from laid-back and a little slow, to downright obnoxious. One of the girls in particular seems genuinely unhappy to have to deal with people at all, and dealing with her is almost unvaryingly a serious pain in the hind end. The rest of the staff are easier to get along with, in fact often they're fun to talk to, but they don't seem to understand the economic value of working quickly and efficiently. And guys? If you could find it in your hearts to switch the air compressor on in the morning early enough for players to get filled up without having to hurry frantically, it would make members of my party a _lot_ happier and perhaps a bit less in a rush to get signed in and all.

Overall: I give the field a solid 7 of 10. It's a good physical environment, and they've got good services in the form of the airsmith, but the lack of customer service on the part of the front shack staff bring it down. My buddies and I are going to be trying out other fields in the area, and I'll update my ranking based on comparison with other places.

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