First of all I'll start out with woodsball in mind, and how to setup a good woodsball field.
INSURANCE! - When starting out before you even get it in your head that you want to make your own field, you've got to decide whether or not you're going to set it up for public use or just for private use. The difference being, if you're going to open it up for public use then you're going to need insurance. This is not one of those "Well I'll get it eventually." things. YOU NEED INSURANCE. If you're going private than it is not as big of a deal but is still recommended.
These guys offer the lowest premium I have found(if you qualify).
Here's another you can check out:
If you don't have anyone employed by your field/store that has more than 3 years experience and a certification, your insurance premiums are going to be pretty high. The policy you get might be kind of limiting as well. This can be a big factor in deciding whether opening a field is right for you. Insurance is expensive but neccesary.
For the insurance application you're pretty much gonna have to have all your stuff together, including a map of the field and pictures of your fill station, chronograph area, signs(posted "Goggles On" "Caution: Paintball Field" etc.), and safety zone(has to be netted off or out of range(300 feet).
They're also going to want to know how many people you'll have every year and how much your going to take in monthly and yearly from:
Entry Fees/Field Fees
You'll also need to look into getting a business license or tax ID number if you wan't anyone to take you seriously. You'll also want to see if your field is zoned for paintball. If you're in a residential area you might have to talk to your neighbors as well and kind of get their blessing.
WAIVERS AND RELEASE FORMS - You've got to have them. Usually the insurance company provides them after you get everything processed but it's also nice just to have them if you're running a private field. Even if you only play with friends. Friends have sued friends before, that's what we learn from judge judy and jerry springer.
Here is a sample waiver/release form:
Release form front
Release form back
COSTS - Initial costs can be pretty high. As far as prices go:
Gas/Fill station (approx. 160 Fills): $300 to start $150/Month
Paintballs(20 cases): Around $700/Month
Insurance: $310/Month or $3700/Year
Netting(8'x300'): $1200/Enough to cover an acre of land or so
Your looking at maybe an initial starting cost of around $5900 Dollars if you pay your insurance premium in full. That doesn't include rental kits. As far as rental kits go there have been a lot of different threads on it, but I do think that tippmanns work the best. You can find field setup kits around on the net(like 10 full kits for 1500 or so) but whatever you go with you're going to need a full set of equipment for each kit(Mask, Marker, Tank, Squeegee, Barrel Sleeve).
If you don't start out with rental kits there are still a few things you NEED to have at your field, either for purchase or rent like:
Air(Co2 or Compressed air)
That brings me to my next topic:
FOOD - As far as food goes...well you don't NEED it, but it's always nice to have at least some chips available or something. One thing you will need though is water. At least a hose for people to drink out of. People need water though and you can't get stuck with someone getting heat stroke and then think "Oh crud, I wish we had some water around."
Along the same lines as food is trashcans. You're going to make sure you have pleanty of trashcans and places for people to put all their waste.
BATHROOMS - You don't need them, but unless you want people releiving themselves on the field or on your car you gotta think about it.
FIELD PAINT ONLY
As far as field paint goes, it's a good idea to keep it "Field Paint Only" just so you know what's being shot on the field. Another reason is PROFIT. This can be one of your biggest money makers. Field paint can be anything though, I would just offer something quality for the high end players and then some bargain stuff for the people who dont really care.
Now onto actual field construction:
I'll start out with the BOUNDARIES:
Make sure you walk the field A LOT to get a feel for where you want things to be. It's a good idea to put the boundaries at least 150 feet or so from the staging area. I would put the target range and chrono area right next to the field just for convenience sake.
The boundaries need to be clearly defined, either with paintball netting or caution tape or whatever, as long as it is noticeable. You don't want people wondering off the field and gettting lost or hurt. When making the boundaries look at where you plan on making the main bases and bunkers and try and go right up behind them. After you get your field boundaries marked you're going to have to post "GOGGLES ON" signs at every entry/exit point so everyone gets incesantly reminded to keep their goggles on. At the exit points "BARREL SLEEVES ON" signs need to be posted as well.
After you get the boundaries set up you'll need to start thinking about bunker construction.
(this is taken from a post I made earlier this week.)
Definitely need to know what the terrain is like to come up with any sort of design ideas specific to the environment. Although there are some basic things you can do that would be relevant to any style or terrain. As mentioned above, with the main bunkers set as the "Last Defense" or the main base, I would back them up against the boundaries on both sides. This helps to keep the defense manageable, and makes less work for building things.
To start with I would lay out boundaries and figure out where I want bases and bunkers, then I would maybe set up a few "lean to" bunkers which depending on the environment could just be some plywood leaned against trees, or something else that doesn't involve much work and is semi-temporary. Then I would play on the field a few times and get a feel for what needs to be changed and how it needs to be changed.
A lot of the time you won't even have to do any extensive "building" or digging because of the terrain layout. Like on our field there are pleanty of trees and stumps. All I had to do was dig out a little bit and that was it.
Digging is your friend. My preference is to build bunkers that have 3 walls that are maybe three feet high. Then I dig them out so they're tapered out the back. At the deepest they're around 3 feet by a couple feet wide, then they gradually go up to level so nobody falls in them on accident(and makes it easier to slide into or crawl out of).
I found it easier to find areas of natural cover and build on that. Like if you've got 3 trees about 7 feet apart that form a sort of v, rip an 8'x4' plywood board in half so you have 2'x8' and make two walls that form a v. Then dig out 3 feet. Also in a few of the bunkers on our field, in that sort of situation I would cut the board into 2'x4' sections and leave about a 4" gap in the middle of the wall. It seems like suicide but is very handy. On our field I stuck to a one bunker base(one BIG bunker) and used 2 smaller forward bunkers for main defense. Then I made 2-3 more smaller forward bunkers/dug-outs at strategic positions/angles, so you could start up in a forward position and have pleanty of fall back points before you hit the "alamo" stage of the game(if you start getting over run). I also forgot to mention that if you're nailing things make sure you eliminate all protruding nails or screws so no one gets stuck. This is for a smaller forward bunker. You can change it up depending on what's around(like trees and bushs or what not. Basically all you need is a hammer, some nails, some posts, and some 8 foot sections of 1"x12" boards. You'll need 2 or 3 full 8' sections and 4-6 4' sections of the 1by12 depeding on how high you want the walls. The walls pictured would only be approximately 2 feet high, but you could add another foot to that if you want. The top board in the front is angled back slightly so the two front posts will have to be cut a foot shorter than the others. This is so you can nail the top board into the top of the posts and lean it back against the other two support posts for the sides. The two corners are just 2-3 foot sections of the 1by12 cut to cover the corners. What I would do is sort of lean em at a 45 degree angle or so and nail the tops down so you get some cover but can still see out the corners. When digging out the bunkers make sure you stay at least a foot or more away from the walls of the bunker(I like to give it about a foot and a half) just to cut down on the dirt falling back in, and also to give the posts a good bit of solid ground so they don't start falling over after extended periods of use and time. *Note there is about a 2 inch gap between the top board in the front and the bottom boards. Just thought I would it clear that it [i]was[/i] intentional and not just a quick photoshop job(although it was a quick job). I'll try and get some more diagrams up but I hope that helps a little. The same design technique can be applied to the bigger bunkers as well. [img]http://www.clcpollockpines.com/paintball/images/smallerbunkerdiagram.jpg
In this diagram I just tried to give you a few examples of how to use trees to make simple but effective bunkers. You can dig them out or not depending on what your preference is:
The easiest way to make a bunker is just use some 3/4" or even 1/2" plywood and nail it to trees. In the diagram I say 3' by 3' sections of plywood but the dimensions can be whatever you want. Since these bunkers weren't designed with camping in mind they don't have any "windows" or openings to see out of. They are just small enough to where you can snap out of the sides. Some could be designed as "Standing" bunkers with walls high enough to where you can stand behind them or others could be dug out for ducking into on the run.
In one of the examples there's a set of semi-staggered trees with boards nailed at differen't angles. This is a nifty setup that I had implemented on our field that works rather well for a forward bunker if you're looking for an advancement bunker and you know where the enemy is. The angles of the boards would need to be adjusted after you play a few times though to get the feel for what works best.
With the dug out tree bunker, I've found that if you stack up layers of log rounds(1' sections of logs) it works really well to keep the dirt walls in place. You can put down a layer of log rounds then a layer of dirt, then another layer of log rounds etc.
Here is a VERY simple diagram of a three bunker base setup:
Miscelaneous objects work well for bunkers as well. In this diagram I illustrated how you can use plywood or pallets to make a good triangle type bunker that is easy to collapse and move around:
In this diagram the hinges are placed on two edges of the triangle to allow it to fold up flat. It's just as easily made with pallets. All you need are some screws and basic hinges. These bunkers can be made for about 20 dollars each depending on what materials you use.
I also illustrated how you can make use of old used tires. If you can find a good amount of them you can stack them up. Also you may want to consider standing some up on the top row. Old tractor tires(the huge ones) could also be just as easily used if you can find them(and move them).
Here's some more misc object bunkers:
In this one I showed how you can utilize old carpet and some old 50 gallon barrels.
I might put together a quick diagram to illustrate how to place bunkers to best suit defense/attack situations and things like that.
CLEARING PATHS - Make sure you have clear paths on your field for easy access to bunkers. A lot of times when I'm on defense I'll roam between 2 or 3 different bunkers. When the opfor is coming up on you, it sucks to have to look at the ground to make sure you're not going to trip over branches and stuff.
In this diagram I just laid out quickly what your bunkers should look like(the white area represents a cleared path.) It also helps to cut down on the CRUNCH SMASH CRUNCH when you're trying to be stealthy.
Modified old picnic tables work really well too:
Here's what it looks like from behind:
It's dug out a good 3 feet deep.
Here's from the front:
and here's from inside looking out:
That's one of the bunkers we have on our field.
I'll try and add more diagrams as far as boundary placement and trenches and things like that later.
For right now that's about all I can think of for woodsball fields. Later on I'll try and update it and add more. If anyone has anything they think should be added please let me know and I'll try and get it in there.
*As far as speedball fields go, I'm not a huge speedball person so maybe we can get some help with advice for speedball field setup and bunker placement.
This post has been edited by Sheriff Matt: 09 August 2006 - 10:11 PM