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Old 05-13-2009, 12:57 AM
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Events and what is expected from the players.

In 2008 we saw a large increase in the amount of events and players in Ohio, and it looks like 2009 will be even bigger. With such a rapidly growing membership, I feel there is confusion about what is the expected behavior and basic rules of events that are posted on Airsoft Ohio. I think it is important to inform new players, and remind the veterans, what exactly is expected.

First, over the past year I have heard certain behavior being justified by citing what is common in paintball. While airsoft has some things in common with paintball, there are just as many differences. Just as Hockey, Basketball and Soccer are very similar, they each have their own set of rules and acceptable behavior. Slamming someone as hard as you can against the wall in Hockey is perfectly acceptable, but it will get you ejected from the game in Basketball. This doesn't mean that Basketball players are wimps, it just means that one type of behavior is acceptable in one sport, but not acceptable in another similar sport. Airsoft is not paintball, paintball is not airsoft.

That said, I would like the present the following assumptions:

Events posted on Airsoft Ohio are “noncompetitive”. We do not play for money, winning is not the end all be all. We play airsoft for the enjoyment of the entire experience, from the storyline to role playing to props and everything in between. Shooting other players with your airsoft weapon may or may not be a major part of that experience in some instances, it is merely one of many possible aspects of the game.

Events posted on Airsoft Ohio are not used as military/LEO training. What happens at our events are for the fun and enjoyment of the participants, not as gauge or tool that might have an impact on life threatening situations in real life. Therefor certain behavior which might be necessary to proper training, is not appropriate for airsoft events.

Events posted on Airsoft Ohio are typically open to the general public, with the purpose of creating an enjoyable atmosphere for the majority of the participants. There is a line where your behavior can infringe heavily upon on the enjoyment of other players who are expecting an experience that encompasses the principles listed above.

Because of these general assumptions, there is certain behavior that is to be expected at events posted on Airsoft Ohio.
  1. Point blank engagements. Yes, they happen. Anyone attending an airsoft event should accept the possibility that they might get shot at point blank. With that said, it should only happen as the result of an accident. There is a point where repeated “accidents” cease to be accidents and become irresponsible behavior. When entering a situation where point blank shots might occur, your airsoft weapon should be switched to semi auto, and pointed at a downward angle to reduce the chances of injuring another player should a point blank engagement occur. Intentionally engaging another airsoft player at point blank range should never occur. We are out there to have fun, the end results of who “won” don't really matter, and in some cases there is not even a clear winner, a winner is never even disclosed, or everyone forgets who won by the end of the following week. Winners don't advance to the next round, losers don't go home, so there is no logical reason to subject others to unnecessary risks just so you can get the “kill”, as in the end, nothing is gained.
  1. Blind firing. This should never happen. If you cannot see where you are shooting, do not pull the trigger. For all you know, you are sticking your muzzle in someone's ear. Someone's safety should never be a secondary consideration to getting the “kill”.
  1. Aggressive/violent behavior. There are certain situations, such as incidents of point blank engagements or blind firing, that have the potential to create tension between players. It is your responsibility as a player to behave in a mature manner, and not show aggression against another player. This not only includes the obvious physical contact, but abusive language as well. If you experience a problem, the best course of action is to remove yourself from the situation immediately and cool down. If you feel action is warranted, find a member of the event staff to express your concerns.
  1. Goggles off while in play. Don't do it. This year alone I have heard two instances of players removing their goggles on the field, and when they were told to put their goggles back on by another player, they stated they “signed a waiver”. This is completely unacceptable. Not only are you endangering your eyesight, you are endangering the sport for all of us. You are exposing other players, event hosts and and field owners to a liability they shouldn't be exposed to. Many people do not realize that a players health insurance company is well within their rights to seek damages from field owners, event hosts and even other players.
  1. Calling your hits. Since we use non-marking rounds, a player's honor is the foundation of airsoft. Intentionally failing to call your own hits entirely defeats the purpose of airsoft and harms the experience for everyone, most of all your own. People will eventually notice, and your reputation will be tarnished. It is also the responsibility of the player to be sufficiently observant to know, or suspect, when you have been hit. Getting caught up in the “heat of the moment” is not a valid excuse. And when in doubt, call out. Respawn is most likely just a short walk, and you can never get enough exercise.
  1. Calling out other players hits. As previously stated, a players honor is the foundation of our sport. Calling out other players during the game for not calling their hits, is to question that players honor. We use projectiles that weight less than three tenths of a gram, do not be quick to assume that your rounds are going where you think they are. They can be deflected by leaves, twigs, grass and even the wind. Also keep in mind that hopup allows the BB to travel in a relatively straight path, however they drop very quickly at the end of their range, literally falling straight to the ground. At distance, you do not always have the proper perspective or experience to recognize when this is happening. I have also heard players state that they are positive a player is not calling their hits because they see them flinch, or rapidly take cover. This could be a natural reaction to just hearing BBs hit near you, and it not necessarily indicative of a player not calling his hits. Finally, even if you are positive you are hitting your target, don't assume the receiving player is aware of it. Give them the benefit of the doubt. If you feel there is a problem with a player not calling his hits, approach that player in private and discuss it with them in a non confrontational manner, or if you are not comfortable doing that, speak with an event organizer at the event. Bringing it up on the forums after the event rarely accomplishes anything other than a flamewar.

The goal of Airsoft Ohio has always been to promote the sport of airsoft in Ohio is a safe, responsible manner. This community is very visible to whomever might want to look, and we emulate war and violence using realistic weapons and gear. In a pc world we are already starting from a disadvantage. We have a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure airsoft is portrayed in a positive light. We can tend to be conservative and err on the side of caution, but we do so for the protection of our sport. It is my opinion that Airsoft Ohio should only be interested in promoting events that conform to these basic principles.

For these reasons, events posted on Airsoft Ohio may not be for everybody. There is no such thing as one size fits all. If you are looking for an event style outside what is outlined here, then you might want to consider seeking out other players or teams who are looking for a similar experience and host private events. Most airsoft fields in Ohio are available for private rental at reasonable cost. It is your responsibility to recognize that the events posted here might not be compatible with your playing style, and adapt your playing style to fit within this framework, or abstain from attending. Trying to force a playing style into an event where it does not belong only detracts from the experience for everyone.

This post was directed to the community as a whole, and not at any particular individuals. I welcome feedback in general or on items I might have missed.

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