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BackInAction Sunday, December 28th, 2008
Period of
Field Use:
Just once
Date There: December 28th, 2008
Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Review: Isn't too bad, but let's hope they work out the kinks (maybe just growing pains)...

Currently, only two indoor fields exists. There are plans for a woodsball field and other outdoor fields. One indoor field they called their scenario field. Dirt/sand/dust floor with lots of plywood bunkers. The other is a X-Ball field or whatever they call that inflatable stuff with a turf floor (shared with the local soccer club, which means they have to keep the floor very clean). Both fields are the same size (equivalent to 4 tennis courts) surrounded by netting and well lit.

I only played one game on the XBall field, I wanted to do it another time but they were cleaning it when I was interested the 2nd time and never tried again. I must have played 15+ games on the scenario field.

The office/store staff was fine, but the field refs (and game organization) could use a bit more polish. Admittedly I was there on a very busy weekend (right after Xmas while everyone is still on break). And they have only been open for a few weeks. They had 130+ players on Saturday and it certainly seemed as though there were just as many on Sunday (the day I played). Most of the games on the scenario field were 20v20 (or more). They ran out of paint 2-3pm Sunday afternoon (Diablo Formula 13 and RPS Premium). They opened at noon, our first game was at 12:45pm (CC machine was down for 15+ minutes). I'd say the crowd was 75% rentals (Tippmanns w/ HPA, and single pane goggles). The boys with the "big guns" tended to stay on the Xball field. Other non-rental players seemed to be a good mix of nice players (never once did I see someone blow up, which is so rare in paintball). The later group used pumps, blow-backs, ions, proto rails and at least one mini. I even saw an auto-cocker and a mini-mag. There were a couple of milsim types there as well.

To play a match you simply stood outside the doors (or inside behind the netting [mask on!!]) of the field you wanted to play on. Once the current game was over you walked on the field (on the Xball field they limited play to 7 per side). Players were haphazardly sorted and the next match began promptly (center flag or elimination). They have red/blue "pennies" but they were only used for the first few matches. After that there wasn't any indication of which side a player belonged (yuck!!). I would have liked to have seen the refs get a bit more into the match. The 1-3 (typical just 2 and initially just 1) refs mostly stood around. Though the one near the exit did a fairly good job of reminding folks to cover their barrels as they left the field. Since many of the players were rentals and a large percentage of those were of the U-14 crowd we had plenty of games in which one-third of the team never moved from their initial bunker. Some times this resulted in some overly long matches as neither side moved up. Later several of us did some deadman side line coaching to speed things up a bit when the game stagnated. I would have loved to have seen a time limit on games. A 10-15m limit would have been plenty for the size of the field.

The worst part of the scenario field was the dust. After 2+ hours of playing you could barely make out players and the other end of the field (only 100-120' away). I often thought my goggles were fogged up, only to realize it was just the thick dust. Which made for some dirty/dusty guns and lungs (I'm sure I'll be coughing up that stuff for a couple days). They watered down a portion (maybe 1/3) of the field as we arrived, but never bothered to do it again. It would have been nice to stop play after several games and hose the field down again.

In short, nice setup, quick games played back to back at your own pace, but it could use a bit more ref involvement (player identification scheme, splitting sides, paintchecks, chrono checks, etc.). I'm sure I'll be back as it is very convenient for me as I live only 1.5 miles from the facility!

Pros:
Price
Non-playing facilities were great
XBall field was a nice change of pace
Nice layout on scenario field (never felt like one side had it better than the other despite an asymmetrical field layout.)
Rapid re-load of games. All to often there is a stupid amount of down time at paintball fields between games. Not here. Once one game was done you started another within minutes. Many folks never left the field area for several games. I loved this aspect of the facility.

Cons:
Price (I seriously have to wonder how they will be able to keep open with those rates unless every weekend is as busy as the one right after Xmas [doubtful])
Ref involvement
Dust, Dust, Dust on the scenario field (water it down every few games, please!!)
Field exits should be clearly marked on the netting so you can identify your nearest exit from afar.
I do wish there were a few more taller bunkers on the scenario field, as I think stand-up fighting leads to a faster game and hinders stagnation, especially when you have 70% casual players on the field.

One more thing, they mentioned the chronograph at the beginning of the day but since it was located no where near the field entrances, I never once saw any one re-chrono'd. Those of us the did walk down the chronograph at the beginning of the day were given a yellow tag to place on our guns. Later in the day I saw several players without the tag. And the chrono station was unmanned.

Edit: Why aren't there any pictures of the scenario field on the website??? It is a really nice field. The layout and the painted bunkers are really cool. They should be shown in all marketing literature.
Last edited on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 8:10 am PST
 

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