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Antlion Monday, March 28th, 2011
Period of
Field Use:
3 months
Last There: June 24th, 2010
Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Other Fields
in the Area:
None in the immediate area but there are a few scattered around Italy. There are very few fields overall due to the paintball laws. See first section of body review for more information.
Directions
to the Field:
You can grab an MWR pamphlet or take the bus from Capo or Support Site.
Review: Before I begin with the review of the field let me explain the paintball laws here in Italy this should help people understand why my period of use is more than 20 seconds.

In Italy, any mechanism that produces a muzzle energy higher than 1 joule (0.7375 ft-lb) and lower than 7.5 joules (5.5317 ft-lb) is considered a "low-power air gun"; the sale of such instruments is open to anyone over 18 years of age without license or registration, but it can take place only in authorized gun shops where the owner requires the purchaser to provide his ID Card as a proof of age.
Any device developing muzzle energy equal to, or higher than, 7.5 joules (5.5317 ft-lb) is considered a "high-power air gun", requiring Police licensing and registration for purchase and detention just like any firearm. Bows, crossbows and similar items are exempt from this rule. The muzzle energy of such devices is certified by a governance office called "Banco di Prova"
Air guns developing less than 1 joule of muzzle energy are categorized as air-soft, which are considered by law as toys, with no restriction whatsoever to their trade, except that they can never be modified to achieve a higher muzzle energy and must only be able to shoot 6 mm plastic pellets.

Let me put that into perspective for those who haven't taken physics.

A 0.68 caliber paintball is an average 3.2 grams traveling at a safe max of 91 m/s (300ft/s)
0.1456 = ˝ (0.0032)(91)
1.35581795 joules = 1 foot pound
The energy produced by standard 0.68 caliber is 14.56 Joules or 10.7389 ft-lb.

I won't go into any more detail, but it is a pain in the @ss to legally play paintball here.

I'll try to describe all I can about this field but as you'll see, there's alot to talk about...
Now onto the review.

The Carney Park Paintball Field has been around since late 2000. It originally consisted of a small rental shack, a speedball field, and a wooded field. It's now 2011 and the place has gone totally fecal. The original rental shack was abandoned to rot and now you get your equipment from a building down the hill called "The Lion's Den". The Lion's Den has bars on the windows and three steel doors. The speedball field has a resident ground hog, numerous ant hills, and the hollow starting blocks are host to wasp nests. The wooded field is no longer available since sometime in 2004 a paintballer shot a sheep belonging to one of the owners of Carney Park. Carney is rented out by the U.S. Government and in case you were worried the sheep was fine. It just had pink wool.

The equipment they used to rent out prior to a burglary were Tippmann 98 Customs, Invert masks, and PMI Premium paintballs. After the burglary they replaced the 98s they lost with Invert Minis. Yes, they decided to replace reliable $140 markers with electronic $400 ones. You may think AWESOME. But these are rentals. Staff here don't maintain rentals.

In case you're wondering how a burglar broke into a building with bars on the windows and several inch thick steel doors I am too. I'm also curious how and why they took over 30 Tippmann 98s, less than ten masks, no air tanks, and all the youth soccer jerseys from the other side of Carney Park. This is in one day with no one seeing a thing.

On an unrelated note, the staff for Carney are MWR employees, both U.S. and local Italians, and summer hires from the high school. They rotate the staff so you never know who will be working where. This can lead to schedule friction. On the plus side Carney always has some form of staff and there are guards, both U.S. Navy and local military at the front gate. They also didn't see the burglary even though Carney has only one way in and out.

The field is only open Saturday from 12:00 to 3:00 if it's open at all. It's not uncommon for staff there to go to the field and close everything if no players arrive within the first fifteen minutes. When they do open and more than one lost soul shows up to play, expect the ref to stand idle during the match. The local ref is literally a tree. He won't move to check if a player is hit unless they are bleeding $100 bills.

Those of you who know paintball myths will love this. They close the field from November to late April due to "extreme cold weather which freezes paintballs". I'll switch subjects now in case you're drowning in BS right now. P.S. Real paintballs don't freeze.

During this 5 month break the annual cutting of the grass occurs. However this year they went a step further. They've removed most of the obstacles on the speedball field and plowed the dirt. This is good in that the ground is now flat and without sharp debris. This is also bad in that the resident ground hog is now lying dead a top the ground and it is March 27th. They're scheduled to open in April.

The Lion's Den, when open, has a decent stock of equipment. They have 12 remaining 98s, 40 or so Invert Minis, 30+ Pure Energy air tanks, and around 30+ assort helmets. Some of these helmets are Inverts, some are old JT, and some are the Tippmann U.S. army helmets. There are also some pads and jumpsuits for those who don't want to get too dirty. I wouldn't put those on though. They're not cleaned often or well.

When/if the equipment is cleaned, the pads, clothing, and sometimes masks are thrown into a washing machine in the back of the Lion's Den.

Since this is the only thing resembling a paintball field for dozens of miles I go there to play when I can so I can get my paintball fix. There's never too many people there. Often it's just the staff playing with themselves. Apparently they get unlimited free paint and free rentals.

When you do get to play, you can either bring your own paint or have no choice but to use theirs. This depends on who is currently staffing the field. Paint is $20+ per pag of 500 and $65+ per box of 2000. According to who's on duty you may or may not be able to take the paint home with you.
Air refills are free, it's five-ish dollars to use the field and somewhere between $5-$15 dollars for equipment. Again this depends on who is working at the time. The reason prices fluctuate is you are given the choice of A) going to the NOR center to pay and receive a receipt or B) pay right there right now with cash. I'll let you guess why there are two different options.

Safety is loosely enforced, as long as you don't have a barrel jammed in your eye, you're free to have your mask off on the field. When the game does start they remind you to keep it on but the ref won't stop the game if someone loses their mask for whatever reason. No pirates yet as a result... Games are either CTF or Elimination and that's about it for variety. If you do get hurt don't expect much. I was patching one of the barricades once and lost my footing. I stopped my fall with my hand but cut myself on some old rusty metal hidden in the grass. I asked if there were any medical supplies in the building. After about ten minutes, I'm not exagerating the time lapse, the ref came back with a single band-aid. Luckily I didn't get tetanus. The velocity limit is also reduced in the name of safety. Regular, proper, professional fields limit the velocity of paintball markers at 260-280 fps. Here they often set the limit at 200 fps. Unless you have a low velocity kit don't expect range or accuracy. And don't even dream of pushing paint through a Flatline.

Let's see what's left. Ah. The facilities and food.

There is no proshop for technical advice and the only way to get your own equipment is to order it online. There are two bathrooms but it's been so long since they were cleaned I swear they're sentient.The Lion's Den consists of a main room where you get your gear and sign a poorly written liability waiver which among other things protects them in the event you contract hypothermia or even more helpfully, they refuse you medical assistance. Yes I read the WHOLE thing. There are the two bathrooms, a filling room for the tanks, the "laundry room" and a room for alledged marker maintenance. As for food, there's none. You either bring your own or go all the way to the golf club restaurant. The Lion's Den doesn't even have a phone to call for food. Or help if someone is really hurt.

Overall, if you don't know any better you'll love it. But if you genuinely enjoy playing paintball and love seeing others enjoy playing paintball safely, then you'd better start a petition to God. The staff, managers, and even the administrator of Carney have no desire to see the field improve. As long as the golf course is green and they get their hourly 45 minute smoke breaks they're happy.

It's better than nothing, but only in the sense that it's better to be impaled by a red hot pitchfork than to be outright dead.

Thank you for reading and I hope you found this enjoyable. I tried to write this as unbiased as possible but it's rough. Play safe, have fun, and let fly the balls of war!

UPDATE:

Since my review of the Carney Paintball field, some things have changed. Some things have also not changed. The field is no longer open to the general public on the weekends. According to the staff at Carney, the field will only be available for..."private parties convenient for the staff". When I asked "What happens if it's not convenient for the staff?" they responded with..."It's a budget thing, just deal with it!"

Three things bother me about this. First, if the budget is bad how come the staffing for Carney hasn't been reduced. Everyone who worked there before still does. Second, why the F$&K did the administrator order over 40 Invert Mini paintball markers if there was a budget problem?!?! Third, why was the field tilled to even the grounds and where did the new inflatable cover come from? Not that the cover is very good. There's maybe 8 half blown-up obstacles on the field. None are less 20 feet apart. It's almost more pitiful than before.

If anyone reads this who knows what I'm talking about and has played at this pitiful field, please write your review. I know it must sound like a crazed rant when it comes from one person. Seriourly though, you have to see how this place is run to appreciate what you have. Trying to get MWR to improve this place is about as pleasant as nostril rape. (Python reference FTW)

P.S. Security has stopped investigation of the theft. To my knowledge no one has been detained or even questioned.

UPDATE #2:

It's currently 06/15/11 and there's good news and bad news. Good news is that the field is now open for public games. Bad news is that I have been trying for over 4 weeks to get a private game going. I schedule the game on the weekends, since that's the only time they allow you, and come every wednesday or so I'll get a phone call saying "We're sorry but it appears we don't have enough staff for the paintball field on the date you requested. Would you like to try again at a later date?" This phrase has been repeated to me multiple times. Don't know if I've been blacklisted, which is extremely likely since I've been perfectly honest with them, or they're just so incompetent that they can't manage to scrape together the staff required. Odds are that's a lie though since most of the staff are there every day. They just rotate where they're going to work.

There's something even MORE annoying though. One of the games I tried to schedule would have been on the 11th. Same old excuse again. What happened though is I forget to tell one of the players that we couldn't go at that date. He showed up at the right time because he didn't know better. While there, he saw they HAD a private game going. I don't know if the staff decided they wanted a working day off or whatever, but seriously... F*** you guys.

God, I hate this place. If anybody reads all this and still plans to paintball at Carney, please don't. You're better off playing renegade "not on a real paintball field", and just dealing with the potential consequences of being caught. Always play safe though. I'll add another update if any more spectacular BS occurs. By the way, I heard some of the new Invert Minis are missing. Yeah, what a surprise...
Last edited on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 at 1:43 am PST
 

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