Matt's Outback Paintball in Coventry, CT 10/10 [2 Speedball fields (1 Outside, 1 Inside the Dome), Tire field, HUGE woodsball) They have occasional Sunday rotations as well for speedball players which is great fun, If given the personal choice between Matts and HAP, I'd spend a few more dollars for gas and travel to Coventry]
Boston Paintball in Boston, MA 7/10
Fox 4 in Upton, MA 9/10
Directions to the Field:
2 Minutes off 691
5 minutes off the Berlin Turnpike
I had purchased a season's pass for HAP last summer, during which I would go play speedball generally every weekend. While playing there, I nearly broke my knee twice due to the condition of their X-Ball field, I was bunkered on several occasions from members of the HAP Factory Team (which bunkering is not allowed during rec play), and I managed to spend more than half my paycheck paying for paint.
The store at HAP is great. Their selection is huge, their gun repairs are quick and easy, the workers are friendly and helpful, although the paint is slightly expensive compared to other places I've been.
However, out on the fields, there is such a drastic change of pace.
The referees show no desire to do their job, for example, where there are players ready at 10:00 AM, the games won't get started until 10:30-10:45, at which point the players are sitting around twirling our thumbs.
The rule of "no bunkering" is hardly enforced, especially if it is member of the factory team playing. The teams are also generally stacked, having several D5-D4+ players on one side, and having a few decent players on the other, with the rest being rental players.
The other players that you meet on the field, you will either have one of two experiences: You will either becomes good friends, or you will hate their guts, thats just the way it seems to turn out.
My biggest concern is the conditions of the field. HAP was built on a swamp. It doesn't matter when, but any weekend you go, you can guarentee that the entire field is water logged, and what they do to try to fix this problem, they load the field with woodchips, which is not a safe solution at all. For any speedball player that is going to be diving or sliding into bunkers, you do not want to lay out on a huge pile of woodchips, or accidentally hit one of the several rocks that jut from the ground.
Between the fields they have some poor netting which is torn to shreds and a paintball would very easily be able to go through.
If you are a new player, looking to play a few games of speedball to see how you enjoy it, or to test out your new Ion, HAP isn't a bad place to go. It is loaded with amateurs and you won't have the knowledge to believe the reffing is bad. Back when I first got my seasons pass, it was generally fun, not being very experienced.
Also, if you are just looking to shop for some gifts for a paintball player, or for yourself, HAP is good, and enjoy the friendly store atmosphere. They will help you with whatever questions you have. However, if you are a serious speedball player, I would not recommend Hogans Alley Paintball one bit. Their reffing is poor, their fields could not be any worse. If it were a decision between Matt's Outback, and HAP, choose Matts for a more desirable playing experience.
Last edited on Saturday, November 28th, 2009 at 8:20 am PST