Area arrangement

The staging area

The staging area is the core from which all paintball activities begin. It’s the first thing your customers experience about your facility. First impressions last. It’s the area where you process your customers, collect fees, issue equipment and so on. This area is also used to refill air tanks, buy more paintballs, purchase food and beverages and get their equipment cleaned. This area should be close to the washrooms, changing rooms (if they are separate units) and far enough from the playing fields so that there isn’t a danger of being hit by stray bullets. The staging area should be well signed (warnings, pricings and rules)

You will need to consider the parking of the area and make the staging area easily accessible. There should be counters or tables for the customer to fill out forms and paperwork. When starting out if you don’t already have a customer base one table should be enough. This will also help with making sure your facility doesn’t appear to be empty – which can be a turn off for potential customers.

It would be convenient to rent your equipment from the same area as it won’t be as confusing for customers and everything is close by.

You will need to make sure there is room for expansion. You need to make sure if business picks up you can add in another counter if you think the current one won’t hold well for crowds.

By having the rental, sign in and equipment maintenance in one area, it not only saves on space, but also helps keep the number of staff low.

Target site

Close to your staging area should be your target area. This area should be sealed off (preferably with a net, this is cheap, strong and effective) signs should be put up to show the requirement of goggles to be worn and any other house rules (safety and target). Customers renting equipment can use the target area to get accustomed to the equipment or to learn how to shoot or to improve their aim while customers with their own equipment can use the target area to practice and/or adjust their guns. The target area is essential to a business as customers may use many paintballs at a time here. It would be wise to have your targets in various shapes and sizes. Get creative. The material can be meddled with as the sounds the paintballs make differ with what it is they hit (metal, paper, wood).

It’s important to have a chronograph (an instrument that measures the velocity of the paintball when it is shot out of the marker) on the field available for customer and staff use. This will help keep a standard and won’t bruise anyone with a gun that’s shooting too hard.

CO2 tends to be the preferred gas used to propel the paintball. The pressure of the stored CO2 determines the speed or how hard the paintball will shoot at. The higher the pressure the harder the ball will shoot at and vice versa. The gas is very temperature sensitive; on hot days guns powered by CO2 will shoot with a harder force while softer in the winter. Due to the variation of temperature, a chronograph should be used to measure the velocity and make sure it’s being kept at a standard.

The maximum field velocity for outdoor paintball is 300 ft/sec, approximately 220 MPH. some game sites have dropped to 290 ft/sec while tournaments allow a 350 ft/sec or more. All paintball markers should be checked before they are permitted on the field.

Your target area should be able to hold at least 5 shooters. You can have a table or a barrier from which the customers can stand behind of and shoot. If placing a table, players can use it to lay their paintballs and any other items. You can hold contests that can not only get more players in but if the prize is a free entry, future play is promoted. You also gain business through the sales of CO2 and paintballs.

Sitting area

Having an area for lunch with benches and tables is optional. If you do provide this area, it can be used to rest between breaks, meet up with other players or have lunch, which you can provide at a fee. As the Middle East tends to be very hot, having a shade is recommended, however as the winter tends to be very pleasant if you do install a shade, you should have one that can easily be removed. This area should be kept a safe distance from where stray paintballs can hit and should have safety signs (barrel covers) put up.

Changing rooms and washrooms

As is the case with most paintball fields around the Middle East, the washroom and the changing room are in the same room. You should have two different areas for males and females. If you do have your changing room and washroom in the same compartment you can have the washroom in one corner and the changing area directly opposite with a bench between the two or you can use the washroom as a changing room if customers aren’t concerned with convenience.

Parking

The whole point of a paintball field is for people to come and play, which may not be possible if the area is not accessible. You need an area which has plenty of parking and has a road which is smooth enough for any car to easily make it through without any worry of getting damaged or stuck.

Playing area

This is the area where you can let your imagination run wild and lay out your obstacles in any manner you want (keeping it to what the consumers need and/or want is of utmost priority). You should make sure the field being played on has nothing that can hurt players or affect their game. If there is an area that is unsafe having your field there is a no-no.

Before starting laying out your field, you should check every spot on it making sure there isn’t any glass, any sharp objects that can be harmful, trash or plant life that may hurt anyone. If your having your field on plain ground with no plant life and are going to cover the ground with a carpeting, then make sure nothing can grow underneath it and there isn’t anything lying around before you cover the ground. Make sure the area you are setting up your field in doesn’t have any animal life that can be harmed or can harm players (camels, scorpions and so forth).

The field, no matter how you design it should have flag stations, boundaries and an entry and exit, thought the same entrance can be used for an exit. When a player has been marked ‘out’ the referee should easily be able to send him or her of the field in a prearranged direction.

The arrangement of the field is up to your own preference. If you’re lucky enough to find a place in the Middle East which provides natural obstacles you won’t need to do much, otherwise you will need stuff to act as a cover and a support for players. You can use paintball bunkers which can be set up easily; these not only help reduce the chance of getting hurt if bumped into but make your field look more professional. You may also use old tires and stack them up. Make sure they are tied securely and don’t have any bits that can hurt people, it is recommended to paint the outer cover of them to give a specialized feel. If you want to build a really big field with forts and bridges, you will need to have an architect or some on qualified to have a look at your plans before you build them. You may need some licenses as well.

Instead of paying for pipes and other obstacles for your field you should look at scrap yards where many of these things are lying around and you can get them at virtually no cost what so ever.

Portable fields (optional)

These fields can easily be found with paintball suppliers or you can purchase them at dubaipaintball.com. These are usually preferred to other fields as they can be moved around easily or packed up in case of a location change. It usually takes 6-7 people to bring it in but that’s just for the set up. After it’s in place you just need to know how to operate the blower which will blow it up for you. The time taken will vary from the type of field you have. When purchasing the field they usually come in two parts which are joined with Velcro down the middle to create on big field. There are usually two types – one is covered with netting and one is fully covered. The netting is usually preferred as it lets the air in and doesn’t give a suffocated feel. It also allows people outside to look at the games going on (if players come with friends who aren’t playing, they can’t stand outside and still be able to see what’s happening.

Game arrangement

There may be different arrangements the field has to be in for various games. The obstacles placed should be easily movable if this has to take place. It would be advisable to arrange obstacles in a manner that suits almost all the games that are to be played but especially the ones that are most commonly played such as ‘capture the flag’.

Entry and exit

Before being allowed to enter the field players should be checked to make sure masks are on, guns are working and barrel covers are being used appropriately. There should be signs put up as reminders. When a player leaves the field they should be informed to keep masks on if there is a chance of being hit by stray bullets and his barrel cover should be in use. If the exit is separate from the entry, players should be informed and told how to leave the field if marked out.

Boundaries

IF you are operating an open field, you will need to put up a red tape around the area that restricts players from going beyond it. About 30-40 ft away should be a green tape circling there’d tape restricting passersby from going beyond it. This area between the wires should act as a ‘no man’s land’ making sure there is no one between it that may accidently get hit by stray bullets. There should be signs up warning people that a paintball game is in progress. If you are operating a closed field, you will need to border your field with a netted wall that’s at least 20 ft high. You should make sure the height is high enough to make sure people outside the field don’t get hit.

Speedball

This game, as the net suggests is fast paced and requires a lot of running and sliding. The main characteristic of the field is both sides of the field being symmetrical. The field is filled with various obstacles (bunkers, tires) but with two sides being identical (the sides the two teams are on). This court is a rectangle and is just a bit bigger than a tennis court. The court is sealed off, preferably with a wired netted wall (at least 20ft high). This is so viewers aren’t hit by paintballs.

It would be wise to have a tape slightly away from the net so that spectators don’t press themselves against the wall, the paintballs won’t hit them but they break on impact and the paint may spray on them through the net.

Others

It’s important to have warning signs put up as people may often times come into areas they may get hit. Make sure there is a list of rules and regulations put up that players can easily spot; you should go through them with them before play begins.

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