In the general vicinity of Binghamton, NY (where I a from), there really is only one other place that comes to mind as competition, EMR (in PA). EMR has far more developed fields and game variants, but they've also been around longer. PineHill offers a simple approach to Paintball and is a great place to go for your first time out.
Directions to the Field:
PineHill used to be somewhat of a pain to find. Recently, they put up a few new signs. The ideal route is visit Marathon via Route 81. There are some new signs directing you as you get off the interstate.
PineHill is pretty laid back as far as paintball fields are concerned. The provide a genial atmosphere while being very strict about safety. God help you if they ever catch you without a mask on. They don't screw around.
Their refs tend to be helpful and very reasonable. If they see one team getting walloped game after game, they'll switch things up. They're general motto seems to be, "Paintball is supposed to be fun." The refs understand that no one is there to win a tournament and this is reflected in the way they make their calls. They are players themselves and are generally very fair.
Since they are not very big, their hours for public play leave something to be desired. They only offer public play once a month, on a predetermined day. Their specials are usually creative and fun.
PineHill is primarily a Woodsball field. What I mean is that I think they have at most one speedball field, while the rest are nestled in the woods. They have erected bunkers and small buildings that make these fields more interesting than simply hiding behind trees. However, these fields are of a medium size and do not compare to some of the bigger places such as Command Post, EMR, or Skirmish.
PineHill is a small to medium sized establishment great for beginner to intermediate players. Their size and availability usually wards off the more competitive types and allows a great community of friendly paintball players to develop. Their website is usually outdated and it can be troublesome to contact someone to schedule a reservation or ask a question (either by email or phone).
-- Revision as of April 6th, 2006 --
They are now out of business.
Last edited on Thursday, April 6th, 2006 at 12:06 pm PST
I've also played at Headrush, but Pine Hill blows that away in my opinion.
Where should I begin? Well....
Service- Pretty Damn Good
I've been there once for a reserved play and a couple times for special play, so here's the review for reservation services first.
The Ref was very nice, and understood that for some of us this was the first time playing paintball. He gave us tips during and in between rounds, some plans of attack for certain fields, and helpful pointers on how to stay alive. Because for some of us this was our first time playing, If he saw one of us get shot from doing something dumb, he would say like "You aren't out, get back in there and win it!" you know, giving us a second chance on account of our inexperience. Nevertheless, when it comes down to it, he was a fair and un bias referee.
When it comes to special play days, there are many refs, and they keep track of the 30 or so people on the field very well.
I give the refereeing and overall service a 10, plain out.
Fields- All-year-round! Snow? Who cares!!
With 30 something acres to work with, the owners have really made this place a fun place to play. It's pretty much strictly woods ball, with a small speed ball course, but I like woods ball better anyways. The fields are massive, you can have 35 people on one of the medium sized ones and only see 4 or 5 OP FOR at any given time.
Bunkers and cover range from simple plywood boards nailed between posts, to semi-complex log barricades, to a two story tower. And of course, there are loads of trees, bushes, trenches, depressions, whatever, all over the place as well. All this cover really puts an emphasis on team play instead of the lone wolf style.
The last special day I went on, there were like, 35-40 people at at some points, separated into two teams. So far, I haven't met a person who wasn't helpful in some way, giving pointers to a new player like me, and there seems to always be people arriving just as fast as people have to leave.
Prices- Acceptable, for the caliber field they have.
$20 for a rental (Tippmann Pro/Carbine), a hundred rounds, and all the stuff you need. $5 If you have your own stuff. You can't bring your own paint, accept when stated otherwise. Paint pricing is acceptable, $20 will get you 500 rounds, plus the 100 you get if you rent. I usually only shoot about 500, so $35 is all I spend usually. On special play days the price is dropped to $15 a rental, and bring your own stuff people also get 100 rounds with their admission. Plus they've got a lot of extra special play stuff. (On Halloween they had "bring a pumpkin get 100 rounds")
Overall- I don't see how you could beat this place!
Good refs, good prices, a giant special play day every month, Its all I need! The only problem I have is that its a little hard to get a hold of the guy to make reservations. Oh well!