This article is to share some important concepts for a referee for a paintball field. Since safety is the main concern we stress that these concepts are followed. These simple points will help you to run a safer and more profitable paintball business. This is part I of a two part series.
1. Your primary duty is to make sure that the players and spectators on this field are safe at all times.
You will do this by:
a. Make sure that there are barrel blocking devices (barrel condom / barrel socks) on the barrels at all times other than when playing a game.
b. No barrel plugs are allowed on the premises. Only barrel condoms/ barrel socks.
c. Make sure that the players are following ALL the safety rules ALL of the time.
d. Make sure that the spectators are always in a safe zone.
e. Make sure that each of you have a working radio and can communicate with each other and with the manager on duty.
f. Make sure that each of you have a whistle.
2. You are expected to referee each game and assist players to have a great time. You will do this by:
a. Picking the teams fairly and adjusting the balance so that they are evenly matched.
b. Chronograph their guns every other set to make sure that they are all shooting the same velocity to minimize any pain or injury. Set speed at 275 fps.
c. Talk with the players so that they know that you are there to help them. Coach them while they are playing and teach them how to shoot correctly, notify them when someone on the other team is moving on them, tell them when it is a good time to move to a different bunker, etc. ENCOURGE THE PLAYERS TO SHOOT AT THE OPPOSING TEAM OR TO DO TARGET PRACTICE. MORE PAINT = MORE MONEY! Protect them if they are about to be over run by the other team and tell them it is a good idea to surrender now. Do not allow opposing players to approach each other closer than 20-30 feet. Keep the more advanced players back to where they can not advance past the 50 yard line to give the other players a chance. Do not allow overshooting. Do not allow any mode of fire other than semi auto. No ramping, no turbo, zip, three shot bursts, reactive triggers, no full auto. All guns can be turned down to be played on a recreational field. If they do not like it, ask them to leave.
d. It is important that you give the players all they ever wanted out of paintball. Make each game no longer than 10 minutes. Give them a 5 minute warning, a 2 minute warning, 1 minute warning and every 15 seconds until the 10 second countdown!
e. When the games are over, use your paper towels in your pocket and the water bottle to clean their goggles while still on their heads and turn the game around in 2 minutes or less. If there are many goggle shots, put safeties on, barrel blockers on, put guns down on the ground, and make sure no other players are on the immediate field and then you may remove their goggles to clean them.
f. After the set of 2 games on that field is over, bring them back in, ask who needs to have their goggles cleaned, assist in filling their pods, hoppers, and turn the group around in less than 5 minutes and get them back playing again.
g. After the first 3 sets they will start running out of CO2 so if they have a 12 oz or smaller tank and have shot 3 hoppers full it is time to refill the rental guns. 20 oz tank will shoot 4-5 hoppers. Remember, if they do not have air, they can not shoot paintballs out the gun. No paintballs coming out of the gun means we are not making money. No money = no job for you.
h. Sell the idea of using the two pod packs to carry extra paint. I always provide them to the rental groups or birthday groups. This causes them to purchase more paint to put in the pods. Also allows the pack, when worn in the front to protect the guy’s crotch. Great selling point!
i. If somebody’s rental gun is not working, change it out immediately. Do not try to fix it. Get them playing right away.
j. If somebody’s tank is empty, change it out immediately. Do not fill it right then. That is why we have extras. Remember, we can not do a partial fill or top off with CO2!
k. If you have a party scheduled, and you have a few walk ons, ask the party if they mind if the other players join them. It is much more fun with more people. Do not put adults with kids but if there is a mix, allow them to play. If the party has asked for a private party then ask and do not push it.
l. Always check for different color paint hitting the bunkers or different color shells. This will tell you if we have someone using their own paintballs. This is not allowed. Have them empty their gun and pods and use our paintballs only. If you suspect someone is using a different paintball, before you go out to start the next game ask everyone to line up and open the lid on their hoppers. You will find the guilty one real quick!
m. Keep the groups playing on different fields. You control where they play. After they have played ALL fields, put the choice up for vote.
n. Provide chest protectors for the kids and women. Offer neck protectors.
3. You are expected to clean and maintain the equipment.
You will do this by:
a. Remove the goggle lens after each use and carefully make sure it is washed with soap and rinsed well with water. DO NOT USE ALCOHOL ON THE LENS!!! Set aside to air dry.
b. Wash the goggles, without the lens, with the hose, inside and out to remove paint spray and dirt and sweat. Set on the shelves to dry for next group or next day.
c. Remove the barrels from the guns. Let soak in a bucket of soapy water while you are washing the goggles and lens. Rinse with clean water. Allow to air dry.
d. Using the spray bottle marked alcohol, spray the outside of the guns to remove the paint and spray. Wipe with paper towels and allow to air dry on the racks.
e. Remove barrel blocker, wash in soapy water, rinse well, hang up to dry in room.
f. When dry assemble barrel on gun, put barrel blocker on gun. Put on rack.
g. Lube guns every month by applying three drops in gun, screw in CO2 tank, remove barrel and dry fire 10-15 times to blow oil through gun. Remove tank, assemble barrel back on gun, and put barrel blocker on gun. Put on rack.
h. Lube the o-ring on our tanks every week. This helps keep the o-rings lubricated and assists not to damage them when removing the tank from the gun.
4. You are expected to inspect, fill and maintain the CO2 tanks and high pressure tanks. You will do this by:
a. Never allow a customer to remove their tank from their gun. You must remove each tank. You will be extremely careful to watch the valve and tank and make sure that they are coming out together and not having the tank separate from the valve.
b. ALWAYS HAVE SAFETY GLASSES ON WHEN WORKING WITH AIR FILLS!
c. DOT regulations require we inspect each tank prior to filling. If it is a CO2 tank over 2 inches in diameter, you must check the date of the tank on top or bottom. This usually means a 12oz or larger tank. If the tank date is 02 03 that means that the tank was manufactured in February 2003 and expires in January 2008. CO2 tanks expire in 5 years. Carbon fiber or high pressure tanks in 3 years. Do not fill a tank that is out of date. It is a $30,000 fine!!! It does not matter what the player says.
d. If it is a high pressure tank, you remove from the gun, hand to the player remove the cover and nipple cover if they have one, then give you back the tank. Let them be responsible for the covers. You inspect the carbon fiber tank for any cuts or scratches, cracks in the resin, etc. If any visible to where the integrity of the the tank is compromised, do not fill.
e. When filling a Co2 or high pressure tank, never overfill. See filling instruction sheet and become familiar with it.
f. Do not replace the burst discs on customer’s tanks if they blow. Do not work on their guns.
g. All Co2 tanks will be filled before you leave your shift.