Hey guys this has been gone over many times by greater men than me but I want to put my own two cents in about it.
How do you treat the new guy to your field?
Do you welcome him? Show him around? Invite him to run with you so he can learn the layout?
Do you mock his gear or lack there of? Do you laugh behind his back about the type of gun he has? Are his clothes not up to your standards?
Airsoft is a growing sport and here in America it is still in its infancy. To keep a sport that is still young and constantly in threat of being wiped out, by political measures put forth by people who think that controlling the few who make mistakes means ruining it for everyone who follows the rules and safety guidelines, we need to encourage the next generation. We need to make sure that the young kids who are getting into the sport and even the older adults who are just now discovering airsoft are taught the right way.
The one thing we need to not do is alienate them so that they turn their backs on the sport or have a very poor impression of the people who play it. This also extends to the parents who drop their kids off to play. Do you think that a parent will keep bringing their child to play if the kid comes home upset because of the way he was treated by others who are playing with him? It’s very doubtful.
This also leads to fields getting a bad name because of incidents that happen there. I am not bad talking anyone except for those involved so I am not naming the location this happened but I am sure most everyone who is reading this remembers the fight that took place at a local southern California airsoft field. That is bad for everyone guys, that happening put a black mark on the players, the field and the sport.
We need to be unified all the time, not just when our sport is at risk of being taken away. We need to teach and train the next generation the right things to do and learn as we go from the mistakes others make and do our best to not make the same ones.
Here are a few things I think could help benefit the sport if we all tried them:
1.) Welcome new players, always encourage them and be positive.
2.) Stop people from making mistakes that could make us look bad, this goes for new and seasoned players. We all make mistakes even myself.
3.) Teach them the rules, of someone is playing and doesn’t understand the rules of the game or the field you’re at then help them out don’t just let them get in trouble for making a simple mistake that could get them kicked out.
4.) Invite people to play with you if they seem lost, show them the way, teach them about where you’re playing. Don’t just let some one new get shot up all day long.
5.) IT’S A GAME! Let’s not forget the most simple thing, at the end of the day it’s a game. The people you’re playing against aren’t your real enemies, the world doesn’t really rest on you to save it and the hostages are bound with rope tied like a shoe lace (they really don’t need your help to escape). So call your hits, congratulate another player for a good shot, hang out with the other side before and after games and play the bad guy every now and then because it’s fun! Show integrity, honesty and good sportsmanship not only for yourself but as a leader and example for the next generation.
Here are some simple guidelines for treating new players:
1.) Don’t make fun of their gun. I started playing airsoft with a crappy over priced non upgradable gun that the bbs were fed down into the gun from a fake scope and I was about 26 when I bought it. Why did I buy it you might be asking, because I didn’t know any better. Some might not know what’s good and others just might not have the budget you do, there is absolutely nothing wrong with either situation. If they don’t know, show them other options and if they have all they can afford DO NOT make fun of them for it. We all start somewhere guys and no one has the right to tell anyone else where that starting point is.
2.) Gear, I don’t know about you guys but it’s taken me years to get all the gear I have and much of it was given to me. This is another instance of “you have to start somewhere”. You don’t have to have super high speed gear to play airsoft, hell most rifles come with high cap mags so you don’t even need a pouch to hold more mags. You need face protection and a airsoft gun of some sort and that’s about it! You don’t need anything more, you might want more but to play you don’t need it.
Also under gear is the brand, honestly no one needs to have cryes, no one needs to have the exact brand of plate carrier that SEAL Team 6 uses, no one needs thousands of dollars of real life military and shooting gear to play airsoft. I use a Condor MOPC it was given to me and it still works just fine, I will stand by the plate carrier I use anytime because I am not easy on my gear and it is still holding up to my game play. I use a lot of Voodoo Tactical gear because it is inexpensive and lasts and again it has yet to fail me. I try not to spend over $150-$300 on my ENTIRE loadout. That’s head to toe and everything in between. You don’t need actual military gear… it’s tiny plastic bbs guys not Russian made 7.62 rounds.
3.)What others wear to play is their choice. When I started I was lucky enough to be in the military so I have camies but many kids, young adults and adults don’t have that. Never mock someone for showing up to play in jeans and a t-shirt to play. You don’t need real cryes to run around and shoot people with a little 6mm ball. To reiterate it’s just a game.
I want too add I am not knocking anyone who wants to get the best gear for airsoft, I do think it’s a little ridiculous to have real military grade gear for a game (to me it’s like wearing a tuxedo to play Monopoly), but if you want to spend the money and wear real everything then go for it. At the end of the day it’s how you want to look and what you want to buy. This by no means gives you the right to bully or make fun of someone else for not having what you have, they might not even want what you have.
Let’s talk about conduct on the field. When you’re out playing be a positive player and not someone who everyone else on the field hates, and I know those people are out there because I’ve dealt with them and it’s extremely frustrating.
Simple rules for field/game play:
1.) Call your hits, don’t cry about it or say it didn’t hit you just be a good sport and call your hits. The only exception to this is if you know 100% without a doubt that it is a ricochet, but you better know it. If I’m not sure I always call myself out, I can respawn or wait for the next game it’s not that important to stay in and risk being called a cheater.
2.) Respect other players. Respect can be as simple as a high five for a good shot that got you to having integrity and calling yourself out of you break an engagement rule allowing the other person to continue to play. Respect can also be in physical form when you keep from firing 60 bbs at the same person in one burst. I also respect other players by not aiming for the head, not everyone wears masks and helmets and not getting shot in the head would make their day better. Now I know that accidents happen, we are dealing with a small lightweight bb that can change course easily, but making an effort to not do it intentionally is a big plus.
3.) Respect refs and game staff. These people are there for you, they are there to try and make sure you have the best experience playing that you can get. There is no reason to disrespect game staff or refs, if you have an issue with one there is always someone else you can take your complaint too. You should never confront a refund or game staff on the field, it can get very tense quickly. They are out there and suddenly a guy comes up to them with an airsoft gun (at close range they can injure a person) and starts yelling at them. What do you think will happen guys? You’re probably going to get kicked out of the game or possibly from the field. I am again not going to name anyone but I am sure many reading this will know about a group who went to one of the large airsoft events in southern California a few years back and showed total disrespect to event staff and event VIPs. These actions resulted in them being told to leave and never being able to play in any event put on by the company who was running it. Remember if you have an issue talk to the next higher person at the event or field, in the military it’s called a chain of command. Everyone answers to someone until you get to the top guy.
4.) I feel like I’ve said this a lot but it bears repeating. AIRSOFT IS ONLY A GAME! I like to get into it and immerse myself in the moments and fun but at the end of the day we all go home because it’s a game, very fun game with action, adventure, missions, speed and a lot of shooting but it is still a game. If we all just took a step back every now and then and told ourselves that I am willing to bet many arguments and fights and drama wouldn’t even happen.
5.) Safety is so important for everyone. Safety starts with how you transport your airsoft guns to making sure you aren’t firing them off in areas where people are unprotected to making sure your airsoft guns are shooting within the proper fps and rof for that game/field. Many new players are being turned off from the sport because they get shot by someone with a hot gun or someone who has a ridiculous rate of fire and no trigger control. Airsoft guns can cause extreme injuries to people if not handled right and also if they are not treated with reapect. Injuries can include bbs being embedded in someone’s skin or teeth being shot out, all the way to someone losing an eye. No one wants to have to live with having injured someone so badly that it changes how they have to live life, not for a game not for anything.
Some basic safety rules:
1.) Always transport your airsoft guns in a gun bag or the original box. Never carry them out in the open on the street or public places. We could all paint our airsoft guns bright pink and I promise you that will not stop a person from saying you have a gun and if put in a tense situation it will not stop a law enforcement officer from taking defensive actions to stop what they perceive as a deadly threat.
2.) TREAT, NEVER, KEEP, KEEP. This is something we were taught in the Marines and it is the 4 rifle (or firearm) safety rules.
TREAT every weapon as if it were loaded.
NEVER point your weapon at anything you do not want to shoot.
KEEP your weapon on safe until you are ready to fire.
KEEP your finger off the the trigger until you intend to fire.
While the first two rules are pretty self explanatory, the last two have a very important difference in wording. READY and INTEND are very different, ready means you will be at some point soon engaging the enemy and intend means you have the enemy in front of you and you are putting him in your sights. We train non stop in the military to click the safety off as we are bringing our weapons up to fire and to click them right back on as we are bringing them down after firing, so the safety is always on unless we are firing. What’s the first safety when firing a weapon? You are! So keep that finger off the trigger unless you are firing and everyone will be that much safer around you.
These basic safety rules will keep you and all the other players around you from being needlessly injured and will make everyone’s airsoft experience much better.
I know we covered a lot of information in this post and I hope you enjoyed it, learned from it and want to make sure the sport keeps going just like I do.
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Til Valhalla -Thor