Sherwood Forest: less expensive, but you get what you pay for...
Davis Paintball: less expensive but great service and a fun field. great refs.
Mt. Diablo: close to home, lots of kids, great for strategy
Directions to the Field:
if you follow the directions on the map you're going to drive around this residential neighborhood a couple times before figuring out that you should just take a right just before the 7-11 and then stay on the road til you get to the field.
Alright, so I read almost every review about this place before I went there the first time which was about a year ago, because I don't like wasting money and I don't like wasting time. Neither of which has happened since I've been going to Pb Jungle. They have a great staff, they keep their grounds well maintained, and it's a place that attracts people from all walks of life.
Price: it might be a little steep even for the self equipped player the first time. I bought a case of their paint but you can use your own. You just need to use at least 500 rounds of their per day. At the end of the day you get a voucher for the balls you didn't shoot, that discounts your full day admission the next time you go.
Players: all in all the walk ons are all a bunch of very nice people. Of course you get the occassional a**hole that thinks they are entitled to everything but where aren't you going to find that? As far as the Hornets "team" goes, I think they've taken a lot of criticism on the boards here (some of it not unfounded), but they are more of a club than a team. And the schpiel that Bob puts out at the beginning to every beezwax game comes off as more of an act that anything else. I've met a lot of the hornets members, played with them several times, and for the most part they exercise more discretion on hits than a lot of the walk ons do. That said, this past weekend I unloaded on this one guy during the beeswax game, hit him, he hit me, i called him out and he threw a temper tantrum. So it's hit or miss (no pun intended).
Refs: listen, the refs aren't there to call every single technicality in the game. if you want them to then go join a league and play in a sanctioned game. These are walk on games and they are there to enforce the rules of the field to guarantee everyone's safety. There is this one hulking giant of a guy that refs pretty often and I personally watched him make sure that some of the first time kids that were playing understood that they could get hurt playing this game if they weren't careful. As soon as the game started, he stuck with them to make sure that they didn't take off their masks, get hurt, or get taken advantage of by the oh-so fair group of 13-20 year olds that love to take advantage of situations like these. Safety comes first, then fairness, and most of the time us older guys will jump at the chance to make sure that you know you're out if you don't want to admit you're hit.
Facilities: Great courses, great pro shop (although a little limited), great management. They have chonos on every course that you must pass through if you're not renting. Food comes in the form of a Straw Hat delivery truck around noon. Later in the day there's a guy with an ice cream truck that usually hangs out for an hour or so. 7-11, Panda Express, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, etc. are less than a 5 min drive away.
Overall: for scenario players (young and old alike) this is the course to go to in the Bay Area. Friendly and helpful staff, plenty of parking, great people to play with that are always willing to help. Right next door is Sherwood Forest, and while they do take the Paintball tickets you can buy at sports shows, they don't recycle games as fast as Pb jungle. If they did, I might reconsider where I spend the bulk of my time playing because my biggest gripe with Pb Jungle is that they are the only Bay Area field that doesn't take the discount paintball tickets.
Good review - Its nice to read one where the author isnt whining like a little girl about the Hornets,,,
"There is this one hulking giant of a guy that refs pretty often and I personally watched him make sure that some of the first time kids that were playing understood that they could get hurt playing this game if they weren't careful. As soon as the game started, he stuck with them to make sure that they didn't take off their masks, get hurt, or get taken advantage of "
That would be Bubba - nice guy, good ref. He is one of the reasons why the reffing at the jungle has noticeably improved over the last year or so.