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The Paintball Player and Accountability The time has come! Rate Topic: -----

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 12:31 PM

I'd like to share some observations and thoughts from this past weekend.

I had the opportunity to watch a college paintball tournament this past Saturday. I really enjoyed it for the most part. I got to see some very high level talent and I got to interact more with a players from a portion of the sport I haven't been around for a while.

I'll tell ya...there were a lot of penalties called and most of the ones I saw absolutely should have been called as the rules are laid out.

So everything wraps up, the players head home...and the trashing on the online paintball forums began.

One of the biggest complaints from people were that the refs were making too many calls. I don't understand this at all. I'm not going to quote anybody because I don't want this to be an angry, ranting, unloading on anyone in particular. This is directed to all paintballers (myself and my friends included)to hopefully just make us all stop and think for a moment.

I will generalize some of the justifications that some of the players made on various forums for why they thought the reffing was bad.

- Shooting hot penalties: Players thought they should be given more leeway. That if only 1 or 2 shots were over 300fps then that should be ok. That they shouldn't be penalized unless 1/3 to 1/2 of their shots are over 300 (keep in mind the FPS limit for the event was either 280 or 285). They also felt that they were chrono'd too often and that that wasn't fair.

- Rule enforcement: The refs should only be pulling people out that are shot and don't go out themselves. They shouldn't be enforcing obscure rules even if they are in the rulebook. Refs at previous events didn't enforce them so these refs should be consistent and not enforce them either.

- Penalties and their effect on the outcome of the game: No other sport ever has unsportsmanlike conduct determine the outcome of the game.

I have to be honest, I was appalled at some of the reactions and statements made by some of the paintball players that attended this event. Mind you, to my observations, every single one of these issues was brought up after the event and on forums as opposed to anything being said to the coordinator of the event or anyone else in charge. Let's take a look at each item and I will share my thoughts regarding personal accountability. I'm going to start with the last one.

- Penalties and their effect on the outcome of the game: No other sport ever has unsportsmanlike conduct determine the outcome of the game.

Really? No other sport? Hmmm. I've seen plenty of what looked to be game winning scores in all sorts of sports get called back or nullified due to even the tiniest infractions of the rules. I've seen successful game winners follow missed opportunities because the other team committed a penalty giving the scoring team another chance. I've seen fighters get disqualified instantly on many occasions instantly awarding the win the opponent. In fact, it happens in every single major sport I can think of. The rules are there for a reason and they ABSOLUTELY should be enforced every single time they are violated without regard to who committed the penalty or what it may mean to the outcome of the contest. The only way to be consistent is to call them every time. When we start giving breaks, that's when inconsistency starts.

- Rule enforcement: The refs should only be pulling people out that are shot and don't go out themselves. They shouldn't be enforcing obscure rules even if they are in the rulebook. Refs at previous events didn't enforce them so these refs should be consistent and not enforce them either.

Come on man (ESPN...don't sue me)! All I have to say is this...In anything you do in life...don't EVER lower your standards simply because others have in the past. It is the most foolish argument you will ever have for anything.

- Shooting hot penalties: Players thought they should be given more leeway. That if only 1 or 2 shots were over 300fps then that should be ok. That they shouldn't be penalized unless 1/3 to 1/2 of their shots are over 300 (keep in mind the FPS limit for the event was either 280 or 285). They also felt that they were chrono'd too often and that that wasn't fair.

I have to believe that nobody actually thinks this. That is must have been the anger or embarrassment of their day or something. How could anyone that participates in our sport or cares one bit about it continuing think this way? Safety will always be first and foremost...it must be. The fact is, none of their velocities should have been anywhere near 300fps so how can anyone possibly think that it should be ok if "only a couple" went over 300fps???


Personal accountability...that's what it all comes down to. Many of you will get a glimpse of my own personal philosophy on life here.

Absolutely everything in our lives is a choice. Every single choice we make in life has a reward and a cost. If the reward was bigger than the cost then we usually think of it as a "Good Choice". If the cost was greater than the reward, we often think of it as a "Bad Choice". Being accountable doesn't mean always making good choices and it doesn't mean beating ourselves up over bad choices. It simply means that we recognize that we made a choice. That we had control in the situation. The choice might not change...we may look at the reward, look at the cost, and decide that it's worth it. But it's foolish to believe that you can have just the reward,,,and then suddenly be faced with the cost and want to make it somebody elses fault.

If you don't want to risk shooting hot, then make the choice to not play so close to the limit that spikes can go too high. If you decide that that's not worth the cost...if you need that little extra for some reason, then you MUST accept that you MIGHT go over and that if you get caught you will get penalized. None of this BS about "They checked too much" or "They should give me a break" or "It's not fair".

This story is about tourney paintball...but this issue isn't confined to tourney paintball alone...so let's not get on our high horse about how much better we are. That's not the purpose of this. We all need to recognize the choices we make and take accountability in our lives. Make whatever choices you think are best for you...but when the cost becomes clear, remeber that it was you that made the choice. It will be better for paintball...and it will be better for everything else in your life as well.

Have a great day everyone!
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#2 User is offline   SirRod 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 12:55 PM

Brian you and I are old school so to speak. We abide by the rules set down that everyone agreed at in the players meeting.
I refed the super 7 NPPL at Tampa Fl. In 2004. I was the chrono judge at the chronic field. I never had the problems your attested to from this past weekend collage tourn. I can't understand why no one today, mostley younger players don't realize the rules are there for there safity and enjoyment of the game. I have seen exactly what your polst talks about in PSP/NPPL tourn. Maybe not a blatent but there are always thoes who will play the game and not say a thing till they got home and then come unglued online. Makes no sense to me. I think if you have a complaint you need to voice it a the time of the event. If I were reffing I would have abided by the rules that were set down at the begining.
I couldn't agree with you more. I did the super 7 NPPL at tampa because I wanted to learn more about tournement speedball. I did, I did such a good job running the chrono on the chronic field that they wanted me to chrono on the main NPPL field for the finals. It was such fun and I learned a lot. But I don't think I will ever want to do it again. Reffing is a hard enough and thankless job no matter how much you get paid for it. Players need to voice there complaints at the event and no after the fact thats kind of a cowards way to do, not honorable at all.
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#3 User is offline   SKUBA 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 02:24 PM

I agree with every one of your point's. I am afraid that anyone that would come up with the complaints about the ref's that you noted here will not spend the time or energy to learn from this forum but I hope some new and old players will. Thank You
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#4 User is offline   kaosukoden 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 02:36 PM

I think, and this is a generalized statement, that rules are ment for safety. It's not like ref's (and this is still generalized) do things to be a pain... they have rules to follow, they follow them. And as a paintball player, I should follow them too. I should be able to call myself out if I'm hit. I know if a paintball doesn't break I find it hard to call out, but playing as a "ghilli'd" player, If you hit me, and I know you hit me... I'm out. If your gun is shooting over 300fps, TURN IT DOWN, i don't care if it's one in ten shots, it's still dangerous and needs to be turned down. If I'm playing on a team where one guy keeps getting called out for penalties, yes it's going to piss me off, and may even make my team loose, but as a teamate, i should be able to tell him to chill out and stop getting penalties. And as for ref's letting somethings go because other's have let them go in the past, that's wrong. If it's wrong, I don't care if someone before didn't call it, if I'm ref'n, I'm calling it. it's wrong.

I think ultimatly the issues we see with player's having attitudes about getting called out is that they're embarrased about not being as good as someone else, or getting hit by a lucky shot, or simply making a poor decision on the field. Either way, this is where we need to step back to the roots. If you're playing with just you and your buddy out in the back yard... and if you're a morally good person, when you get hit, you're hit. If your friend say's he thinks you're shooting hot, you should (once again if you're a morally good person) crono your gun. People want to win, and want to say that they're the best, it's human nature to be the awesomest (yeah I made that word up) and best out there. But we're not, and when it's shown in how you play the game, you naturally want to blame the ref or the rules. Bottom line is, go out there, have fun, be honest and moral, and stop blaming the ref/rules for you deciding to run out of cover and get lit up, and please stop turning your marker up to shoot further, it's dumb and not safe.

EDIT add:

Oh, and while I can't change anyone else, I know when I go out on the field, I'm honest and enjoy the game enough to follow the rules.

This post has been edited by kaosukoden: 21 February 2011 - 02:47 PM

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#5 User is offline   JaguarShark 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 02:52 PM

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- Penalties and their effect on the outcome of the game: No other sport ever has unsportsmanlike conduct determine the outcome of the game.


Geez...
Anyone who's a Ravens/Steelers/Jets fan can tell you otherwise in a heartbeat.

Its unfortunate that this kind of crap goes on at all, but its certainly not limited to paintball. Take anything competitive and this is what will happen somewhere along the line.

I reffed what was mainly a woodsball field a few years ago and this kind of attitude would appear every now and then, despite the fact that there really was no reward for playing except for the fun and to say "I/We Won". Thankfully, this was only an occasional thing. However, if there was a complaint with the way games were being run, players would say something to us.
When it came to safety though, none of us would budge an inch and we applied the same rules to everyone.

As Brian said about lower or different standards, if you cut breaks for certain things, they'll be expecting them in the future. Perhaps these tempers have been allowed elsewhere and it just so happens to rear its ugly self in a more public event. It makes the community and the sport as an indiscriminate whole look silly and I can't stand it.

If I were to ever be that passive aggressive, I'd hope someone would put a mirror to me.
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#6 User is offline   The Stuntman 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:40 PM

Well put Mo,
This attitude has it roots in the culture of entitlement that seems to be part of society these days - everyone thinks they're special, that the rules dont apply to them (did anyone complain about penalties given to the OTHER teams? I doubt it...), that the ends justiyfy the means.
Point and click, drive up windows, instant video streaming...everyone wants it NOW, without working, without waiting.
If you dont like a particular rule, you have every right to critisize it or work to change it...you DONT have the right to ignore it... especially as a matter of convenience in the middle of a game.
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#7 User is offline   1-I 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 06:21 PM

'just accept you were a dumbass and we can move on with our day' great line from my dad and sadly I dont think many people have heard that enough in there lives.

Agree that many people complain in this game and ignore the rules. I absolutely love the campfire conversations with players Im meeting for the first time at big games and they inform me that unless they get gogged or convincingly lit up that the will keep playing when hit, because they drove 3 hours to get here and paid money to play. This is the same dumb philosophy that Stunt touched on, how one thinks they are special despite the fact that others paid the same entry fee and drove longer to get to the event.


All I can really say is that if your reading this and feel that we are being square rule lawyers then shame to you.
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#8 User is offline   Tyger 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 09:24 PM

I find that in life, when you draw a line in the sand and say "you cross this line, you die", people will put their toes as close to that line as possible, if not over it completely. If for no other reason than to see if you will, indeed, kill them if they do so. Then they have the audacity to be shocked when you DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU WOULD.

When you enter an event, the rules are laid out before you play. By playing, you agree to abide by them. When you don't, you agree to the terms of punishment for breaking them. I think these tournament people forget this fact.

Then again, what I really want to know is who's the loudest complainers of all this? I'm guessing anyone who finished out of the money / prizes. Pardon my cynicism, but I never, ever hear first place complain about the reffing.

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#9 User is offline   Eskimo 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 10:26 PM

View PostTyger, on 21 February 2011 - 09:24 PM, said:

I find that in life, when you draw a line in the sand and say "you cross this line, you die", people will put their toes as close to that line as possible, if not over it completely. If for no other reason than to see if you will, indeed, kill them if they do so. Then they have the audacity to be shocked when you DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU WOULD.

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Im just re quoting this for the fact that it is SO TRUE and that most people should be reminded that a majority of the consequences in our lives originate from our actions.
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#10 User is offline   golden girl 

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 04:40 AM

I must say this type of behavior needs to change in the Paintball Community. As players old or new it is our job to keep moving forward on a positive path and try to lead by example always.. This is where my Pledge comes into play. And I would like to thank Kieth for sharing this forum in Respecting Paintball on Facebook, it is always welcomed.

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I will post, communicate and share events for all Paintballers.
I will not have to ask for respect on the field I will earn it.
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#11 User is offline   Animal Mother 

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:55 AM

It never fails.

There are always a few bad apples that spoil it for the bunch.

All I can add is this...continue to lead by example...some day, it might actually sink in.
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#12 User is offline   Invictusone 

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 06:54 PM

Its typically the young players who are the problem.

Its not a woods thing, its not a tourney thing, its that young players are willing to cheat. A game like paintball works on the honor system... and if people aren't honorable, its just not gonna work.

I consider myself to be a more mature player than a 17 year old, but i will admit i have made a few hits disappear. Honestly, can anyone say they have never wiped a hit? Before condemning me, reflect if you ever have. I realize that its not the way to play, but thats the mentality among young players. When I watch games, and the few times i wiped, they are usually right off the break. We live in the generation of the instant respawn, of no consequences. People who get nailed right off the break think, "Oh, its so early, if I stay in it wont change the game" I have talked to many other kids about this, and most give me similar answers. We need strong players who are honest at the fields. But most of the 'cool guys' at my field are tourney players, and they spend time between games bragging about how easy it is to wipe.

I think in order to try and change the respawn, consequence-less, cheating culture, we have differentiate paintball and videogames in the young players minds. Next, we need the really good guys at the field to stop playing after they get shot, and stop talking about cheating. If we make it completely unacceptable to cheat on the field, or brag about it off the field, maybe the kids will have the guidance to play honestly.
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