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SpaceCowboy65 Saturday, July 4th, 2009
Period of
Field Use:
1 year
Last There: June 13th, 2009
More than 5 years
Other Fields
in the Area:
KC, Splat Attack... various others between here and Bellingham that are no longer operating.
Review: After being away from the game for a while, I began playing at Operation Paintball last summer. They have 5 fields; airball, hamburger hill, urban, jungle and bridge. Until the recent dry spell, all were pretty muddy. Lots of cover on all fields including tires, cars, boats, a bicycle, plywood buildings, wood piles grass.... and nettles. The nettles are particularly abundant on bridge. Not fun. Otherwise the fields themselves are decent.

The first time out was with a group of friends, playing as walk-ons with rental equipment. The day ran fairly smoothly- no complaints.

The second time out was as a private group using rental equipment. The winter weather made for a quiet day at OP and we pretty much had free reign over the 4 fields open at the time.

Have been several times since, using my own gear, and have become increasingly disappointed. Before heading out to the field I chrono my markers. Seems nobody else does unless they're in private groups with rental equipment. Staff don't monitor/enforce the chrono/speed limit for other walk-ons or late arrivals. This becomes a problem (especially recently) when the air temp increases 20+ degrees from the beginning of the day and a lot of people are carrying markers w/ CO2 that were just barely legal at the beginning of the day.

The pace at which games are started is horrible if you're playing walk-on. The last time I played, walk-on games totaled 7 in the 5+ hours I was there. When you consider the 15 minute limit per game, that's ridiculous. After EVERY game, the refs would announce "5 minutes paint and air", then go smoke, eat, BS with other refs, and return 15-20 minutes later. Twice that day walk-ons started games without refs after 20+ minute waits. Perhaps not a good idea, but when you pay the money, you want to play. Mario was the exception. He saw the walk-ons waiting and immediately divided teams and started a game after several other refs had passed us by saying somebody else was supposed to do it.

Additionally, private parties seem to get priority, as the walk-ons (the largest group that day) were repeatedly bumped after one game and sent to the furthest fields... From Hamburger to bridge, to airball, to urban, back to airball.... only to wait 20 minutes for a ref then have another group come and bump us before we got to play.

My final "Con" is enforcement of rules during games. I've seen several overshooting incidents that nearly escalated to fights because refs stood by and did nothing. My last game ended when I was shot 7 times and the ref said nothing. I understand that overshooting can happen sometimes, but not when your gun is over your head with plug in and you're walking off the field. I suggested to the ref that he monitor that a little better and his response was "a couple hits are okay". I said "7 shots in the back, while you're walking off the field with your gun over your head are not okay" and he simply laughed and said "really?"

Operation Paintball could be a great facility. Prices are reasonable and variety of fields is great. However, the experience as a whole is lacking. People come to shoot other people. When they're playing they're using paint and the field is making money. When they're sitting around waiting for refs, the field's not making money and its losing repeat customers. I am one they've lost.

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