Futureball: Comparable turnout if not greater durring regular open class weekends, with a good choice of fields. Reffing staff is forgettable, safty is lax and in my book, that's a huge strike against them (To be fair, this is much more on the regular players than the staff). A great pro-shop. Cool home team ;-)
Directions to the Field:
Comming from Ohio via 23 North, Mapquest will give you some horrible directions. The best thing you can do is follow 23 North to Exit 54-B Rout 36. Follow 36 for some miles (Not sure of exact distance... time 10-15 minuts of driving?) being aware that 36 does have a turn or two to follow. Beware the speed limit. Take a right on Pearl Street/D19. The Pearl Street sign is hard to see, there is a "Howell" sign just before the road and you can see an old building that says "Exotic Sports" as well as a gas station. The field will be just a half mile on the left hand side, and the second entrance is reccomended for open class play.
First off let me say that this review is more geared towards Open Play rather than big games. Big games are either something you enjoy or something you do not, and it's a bit of an aquired taste at that. They are far too chaotic for some people and too true they can turn into longball fests, but I personally find them fun. Again, this is for regular weekly open class games.
I've been playing paintball for about 5 years and playing seriously for the past 2. For a year and a half, I've been going to this field and I can honestly say that no other field I have gone to in Ohio and Michigan goes to greater lengths to make you feel at home.
Safety: Top Notch. Rules are simple and easy to understand, and explained well to new players. They check Hydro dates, ect ect. The refs are extreamly helpfull, intelligent and easy to get along with and the players respect them... this helps when they have to be stern and address safty. They watch every player as they leave and make sure that they have their barrel bag on when they leave the field, they police the staging area, and they are set up to do on field chrono checks if they feel there is a problem. The feild uses barrel bags only, not messing around with iffy barrel plugs wich is a big plus in my book. Goggles on is the name of the game on the field, and players are encouraged to remind each other.
Fields: Awesome fields, with good variety. The setup is usually to play a Field twice, switching sides and then moving on. The more unique/famouse feilds such as the Village and Masters field are great for experienced players yet still acsessable to newer ones. Other fields, such as the Highlands and castle offer unique structures and surrounding setups that make awesome attack and defend situations and fields such as the Everglades have the usuall spool setup you find at many fiels, except they throw things into the mix like having the two sides sperated by water with only a few ways to get across. These fields never seem to get old to me, and many agree.
Hours of Operation: 2 3 hour sessions on saturday and sunday, with a 2 hour break in between the sessions (Enough time to sit down at a fast food place or resturant, and the field is more than happy to let you chill there)
Prices: This field is field paint ONLY and they are extraordinarily strict with this. At 60 bucks a case, this may frustrait many people. I can assure you the paint is very good quality and seems to fit the needs of everyone, trouney style player to woods style player alike. Its durable shell goes through flatlines with no problems, and yet it's consitant enough for barrel kits to be extreamly usefull. Personally, I love having this paint leftover so I can use it at other BYOP fields/outlaw games because I can depend on it no matter what the weather is doing or what marker I am using. Thats important to me. Also, this field has its OWN brand of paint made by Pro-Caps (who own Draxxus) with it's own special shell color and fill, so its impossible to try to subtitute another brand. The other part of the cost is Entry, 15 bucks for a 3 hour session and 20 for 6 hours totall. This includes all day air, with THE ABSOLUTE BEST AIR FILLING STATING I HAVE EVER SEEN AT ANY TOURNEY/FIELD EVER. Nitro is fill it up yourself, wih an idiot proof system. Co2 is ALSO do it yourself as they offer special co2 canisters that operate via pressure instead of weight (you need to turn in an ID to rent this, at no cost). I cannot remember what rental prices are, but I belive they are 20 bucks with gun and mask. Dont quote me, but I DO know they use those V-force Vantages with the cool foamless system, so you get quality in that respect. One of the best things about the paint price is there is no markup for buying individual bags... some fields if their case was 60 bucks two bags would be 40, one would be 20, ect. Here, a 60 dollar case can be broken down to 15 bucks a bag, and all those prices are including tax so its EXACTLY 15 dollars, 30 dollars, ect. Personally, I feel playing here and another field is like going from a small theme park to Dinsey land. You pay more, but you get what you pay for in an undeniable quality. Your paintball experience is just that... an experience.
Proshop: They have a little bit of everyhing. They definetly have everything you need to make your marker work, so have faith in that. Prices are up there, unfourtnatly but not totally jacked up for neccesities (The high prices are on things like barrel kits, some high end masks, ect).
Facilities: Good. Huge tent for the staging area picknick tables and enough room for everyone. Portopottys unfourtunately, but there are SEVERAL of them so none of them are run down to a disguting level wich is a plus. No REAL food, just snacks but they do have their own bottled energy drink, wich is actually pretty good :-). AIR FILL STATION IS AWESOME.... can't stress that enough. Wonderfull buiding for us VIP's ;-)
I love this field. The reasons are numerous and many are explained above, but I often find no matter how good the field, the make/break of it all are the players. Hells has a GREAT group of regulars that take just as much pride in the field as the staff does. Amoung them, there is a great vareity of talent yet all of them balance it out with enthusasim, friendlyness, and easygoing nature. They are just as concered for safty as the staff and it's second nature for them to remind other, newer players of things like keeping your mask on and not taking off yoru barrel bag. When someone comes to this field, they are going to have a great experience all around with a great field. You can't ask for much more than that... in my personall opinon, while there are some things I would like to see (Food, slightly better prices on Pro-shop items) there is nothing that could possibly take the 10 ratting away from this field. This is what a true paintball facility is ment to be.