Chaos Indoor (Sunrise) - Closed due to Hurricane damage
I start on the assumption that all fields are of the same quality and therefore
assign a 0 value making additions and subtractions based on a number of criteria. Each criterion is weighted, as shown below:
First Impressions (up to 1 point)
Services (up to 1.5 point)
Prices (up to 1 point)
Rental Gear and Paint (up to 1.5 point)
Fields (up to 2 point)
Safety (up to 3 point)
I believe that Safety is paramount in any paintball endeavor, so that criterion is
weighted with the highest value. Followed by fields...because if you don't like
the fields, you're more than likely not going to come back to the venue. Rental
gear and services round out the next 'level' of weighting with First impressions and
Prices the least important. First impressions are important because they can set
the tone for the entire day/event. I rate Prices as least important because, face
it, this is an expensive hobby. A few extra dollars for paint or field usage
shouldn't stop someone from going to a venue that is otherwise top notch.
Whether you agree with my methodology on rating is of little import to me. There is
no existing framework that I've seen consistently applied here, so I've developed my
own. So keep your flames to yourself. If you have a valid, lucid argument please
feel free to comment.
The venue is suitably accessible from the main road. It takes a while to get there,
but the directions were spot-on so no problem there.
The main clubhouse is clean and shares its paintball service with mini-golf and
regular golf services. The clubhouse staff were friendly, helpful and surprisingly
In the clubhouse, there are comfortable couches, a TV, drinks and limited snacks
available. One huge plus (since the location is in south Florida) is that the
clubhouse is air-conditioned.
There is a decent stock of accessories available for purchase at the pro-shop.
Though I didn't need to use any repair services, it looked as if they would be
available. Inquiries regarding normal consumables (o-rings and the like) confirmed
that they were available upon request.
Prices were comparable to other venues. Paint (Diablo HEAT) was $50/2000 which is
an acceptable mark-up from what you would pay from online distributors (Paintball
Emporium has them for $39.50/2000). Rental gear was a little high ($50 for the day,
but this included 500 paintballs). The owners have to make a decent profit after
operating costs are factored or the venture doesn't warrant them staying in
Rental Gear and Paint
Rental gear was in line with other fields I've played at. Which is to say that many
of the markers showed signs of aging and abuse. Our group's had feedneck issues,
detent issues, hopper issues, etc. This was a little frustrating. However, the
staff was quick to replace the malfunctioning markers with ones that worked
Paint was on par with others I've used on FPO fields. Diablo Heat Yellow with
Yellow fill. A different color shell would probably have been better, to make it
easier to determine between breaks or splash/bunker rub.
The fields were excellent, if a bit hazardous at times (which can be expected in
woodsball). The wooded area with forts and bus were a particular favorite (at least
for our group). Performing a quick walk-through it was easy to get an idea of the
"lay of the land" (terrain, paths, etc.). The Rec-Ball fields were decent with
plenty of cover, and were particularly easy for performing bounding maneuvers. The
City area was a lot of fun, as well as a bit unnerving at times. The loopholes cut
into the walls of the "tunnel" were particularly useful. The X-Ball field looked
well put-together, though we didn't get a chance to play on it.
Safety was a huge deficiency at HotShots. On first arrival, if you haven't played
here before, you're required to fill out the standard hold-harmless waiver. You're
then provided a very brief "safety briefing" where you're told to keep the barrel
condom/plug on at all times, and safety on, when not on the field. Pretty standard
This is where the safety design doesn't synch with the actual operating
effectiveness. The netting on the fields are extremely deficient in critical areas.
For example, while my group was sitting in the staging area (a "mask off" area)
getting our gear ready, there were at least 30-40 stray shots throughout the day
that made it into the area from games currently under way in the middle rec-ball
field. Very dangerous.
As noted before, the pro-shop personnel were very polite and seemed knowledgeable
and helpful. This is totally not the case from the refs in the field areas. My
group was at the venue between 11:00a-6:00p. We played on every field except the
X-Ball field. Of all the games we played, only one was 'refereed.' And that one
game consisted of the ref sitting in a chair the entire time, making no effort to
perform paint checks or even watch most of the action.
Which brings me to my next observation. I noted that the ref's that did make an
appearance were all sitting in a circle at the staging area talking for most of the
day. From what I saw, they made no attempt to announce games, chrono markers, divide teams evenly, or referee games (hard to do when you're sitting around doing
There was an incident with one of my group being told, rudely, to put his mask back
on and 'this is the last time I'm going to tell you' (it was the first and only time
this person was spoken to by a ref regarding his mask, or anything else for that
matter). While I agree totally that player's masks should be on at all times while
in the play area, at no point should a 15 year old be talking to a 30-something in
this manner. This is not acceptable behavior in the real world, nor should it be
on a paintball field, regardless whether said person is in a position of perceived
"authority" or not.
As you can see, the Safety issue is of great concern on this field. This is
especially exacerbated by the laissez-faire attitude of those that are supposed to
be officiating on the fields.
One of the other issues not stated in the criteria above was the fact that, because
of the lack of officiating, there was a considerable amount of cheating going on.
There were multiple occasions where people were obviously hit but lacked the honor
to call themselves out. Typically it took cornering and outnumbering an opponent
and warning them we'd keep firing to get them to call out. If there were eyes on
the field, this would have happened a lot less.
All told, I would come back to this place. But with a bigger group of friends (that
I trust) so we could play each other fairly on the fields. Then again, if that's
the case, why wouldn't we just go find a place in the woods and play without having
to pay a field fee?
The owners need to understand that, with any business, their employees need
supervision. Especially if these employees have a direct effect on chances of
repeat business. There needs to be better organization and, I dare say, training
for the refs at this venue.
Final Score: 6.95
Last edited on Monday, April 16th, 2007 at 3:57 pm PST
Sniper, I play with a group of like minded adults that like to have fun. We play at Hotshots on weekdays, to avoid many of the issues you spoke about. Feel free to contact me if you would like to join us some time.