The insurance policy from Cossio Insurance Agency has never had an age limit since 1997. WHAT??? That’s right, managed correctly you could increase your bottom line and increase the exposure to paintball for young kids and do it safely. We never had an injury at our fields, never had a child lift their mask. They are easier to manage than adults!
You will notice that paintball birthday parties for 10 year olds always seem to have a younger brother or sister that wants to join the party. I had my boys playing at 5 and 7 years old. No problem, you will need some extra guidelines for training purposes and how to run the games.
- You will need at least 2 refs on the field, and I would recommend at least 2 parents on the field to help, the more the merrier. Why you ask? You want the parents to interact with their kids and to assist in refereeing to make sure the masks stay down and the kids have a good time. You will want your refs telling the kids where to shoot, when to shoot, when to hide and not to allow the kids to advance past the 40 yd line.
- You provide chest protectors, neck protectors, two pod packs and gloves for all participants besides the mask. Kids look like they are on Star Wars which is cool! Why you ask? If the kids feel no pain during play they will want to come back sooner. It also shows that you care about the safety of the game for all players. Why the 2 pod pack? Protection for the groin area and to hold extra paint, I will get to that later. You might want to have beanie hats to purchase if the child has a real small head to assist in fitting the masks.
- You tape off the field so that the kids can not go past the 40 yard line with caution tape. Why you ask? This is to provide a visual safety barrier for the kids and adults.
Ok, you do not play capture the flag with kids, you play a time limit, 10 minute games. They do not care, the just want to pull the trigger and shoot. You can have a target, 3 ft x 3 ft on a pole that you move from left side to right side of the field, one for each side and count the number of hits on the target for which team wins that game. Move the target from right side to left side to allow all the kids a chance to shoot the target. Clean the hits off the targets after each game. They still can get shot out by the opposing team so they have to stay behind the bunkers.
Do not allow them to cross the 40 yard line, this provides at least 60-90 feet of distance to allow the paintballs to lose velocity. Have the guns chronographed at 250 fps for the kids party.
Now how do you make money? Well our birthday package was $255 for 10 kids with one case of paint included. Filling up the 10 hoppers used the first case of paint. Then the kids wanted paint for the two pod packs so the parents would purchase another case of paint as all the kids would want to be equal. Now our experience was that our refs would coach the kids on when to move to another bunker, when to shoot, when to stay protected as someone was shooting at them, when to look left or right. The kids would jump from behind the bunker, shoot 5-10 shots, jump behind the bunker again and never hit anything but LOVED the experience. Of course they would ask the refs “Did I hit them?” I do not think that an opposing team was ever hit, sometimes they shot their own players in the back and sometimes the refs or netting got shot! The kids would go crazy on the trigger and empty the hopper, then the two pods and run out of paint EVERY game. So the parents would buy another case of paint! Some parties ended up with 4-5 cases of paint as the kids were having so much fun and screaming with laughter, the parents were able to see their kids having fun so the cost of the extra paint was usually covered by different parents.
Our refs received nice tips because the kids were well taken care of. The refs would clean the kids up if there was paint or splatter, clean the goggles between play, fill up the hoppers so all the kids would be ready to play in 10 minutes. Quick turnaround allowed the kids to play several games in the 1-2 hour time frame of the birthday party. Of course special attention was given to the birthday child with a t shirt and all the staff acknowledging the birthday child.
We designed a pvc netted bunker for the referees and parents to stand inside of to protect them from being hit by stray balls. Go to www.weekendwarriorsportz.com to see that product. They worked out great!
Now every party purchased at least one more case of paint. So you had at least $55 extra in paint purchases, the refs made sure that they were getting liquids, most parents purchased Gatorade or water for their kids, so figure another $10 in drinks. So your party for 10 brought in $255 + $55 + $10= $320. Your cost basis, 2 refs at $10 hr for 4 hours (includes set up and clean up) $80 + 2 cases of paintballs $35 = $70 plus Co2 $5 and a birthday tshirt with your field name on it $10 totals $165. Your net income for one birthday party with 10 kids $320 – $165 = $155 for 1-2 hours. You should be able to do a minimum of 2 per day, that brings in $620 each weekend in profit, times 30 weekends per year is $18,600 per year. Now that gives you 10 kids for your database with each party which totals 1200 players with birthdays that you can market to……….. what if they purchase some paintball products from you???
Now there are a zillion kids 5-9 that you have not tapped into for your business, do it safely, and you will LOVE the repeat business and the increased income.
Larry Cossio has been the leader in insurance for the paintball industry for over 12 years. He has owned a paintball field and a family fun center that had paintball so he brings first hand knowledge to the table.