We played our first Low Impact Game (50 caliber game) at TNT Paintball today. Since I knew it was going to be a learning experience for us, I didn’t feel right subjecting paying customers to our little experiment, so we held a little competition through Facebook with the winners receiving a free paintball outing for themselves and three friends. The outing included field fees, rentals, lunch, and free paintballs (250 for an afternoon session). The players didn’t have to spend a penny, assuming they could hold themselves to the 250 paintballs. Most couldn’t, which didn’t surprise me. Not because I don’t think that players could play with 250 paintball during that time span, but because the whole thing was free, so spending an extra $20 or so wasn’t going to seem like a big deal, and that seems to be what most did.
But I didn’t feel too bad about it. Usually, shooting 500 paintballs in a half day session of “regular” paintball is a little too much for the “average” player. But with the Low Impact Paintball games, shooting 500 paintballs in a half day didn’t seem as bad.
We had players that have played quite a lot of paintball, some that have played a few times in their life and a few who had never played. Everyone in the game used exactly the same gear (we are using the Kingmann Opus for the time being) regardless of experience.
I watched some of the games and even jumped in on a few to experience firsthand what playing with the smaller balls would be like. I have to say, for recreational paintball, I really didn’t feel a lot of difference other than when I got hit, it hurt less. When hit on bare skin, it was not without any discomfort, it was just a lot less discomfort. Everyone in the group seemed to have a good time with most of them voicing it quite enthusiastically. One player commented that he would be able to go to work tomorrow and not have to worry about being sore. There were a lot of comments about how this was going to be a good thing for those that were worried about the pain associated with paintball.
The only disappointing part of the day was the “no shows”. Although in the contest I made it clear that the prize could only be used today between 12 and 4 and that if they didn’t think they could make it, they shouldn’t enter, almost half that won the prize, didn’t show up. That once again demonstrated to me that it’s not the cost of paintball that is keeping people away. I think for new people it is mostly fear and then in general, it’s the fact that there are just a lot of choice today in our society. There are so many things people can choose to spend their time on, paintball is just one of many choices and gets lost among everything else.