Out of state safety

Discuss Safety issues and possible training ideas.


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Out of state safety

Post by Fatal » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:16 am

As many of you know I have moved out of Minnesota and to SoCal. I have played only two games in this state and have been amazed at the difference. People are not required to wear barrel condoms, goggles, safe zones and shooting only zones just to name a few. I almost want to yell at these people, but I think there is a better way to go about getting them to the standards of the MAA. I will only start with this, if anyone wants to take time to help me out please follow up. I am much newer to the airsoft scene then half this community, I assume you guys have great routes to start from.
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Re: Out of state safety

Post by Gill » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:05 am

I am some what of a newer player to airsoft, but if I really was concerned about the safety of the field, I would probably talk to the field owner about how to change some things up. Also, I think that reading a lot of the topics on the MAA boards really cleaned up my view on airsoft. So maybe you could introduce the field owner and/or some of the players to the boards maybe it would help. I would also bring up all the tragedies that can happen when airsoft is played un-safely. Again, I may not be giving the best advice, and it might not work out, but that's just what I'd do if I were in the same situation.
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Re: Out of state safety

Post by Guges Mk3 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:51 am

Depends on who you are playing with.

Who are you playing with?
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Re: Out of state safety

Post by Erik » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:10 am

I think that the fundamental difference is how the guns are treated. For example, gun safety and gun handling at Irene is terrible, and these are supposed to be serious players, many of whom are former/current military.

I am not suggesting that these people don't know how to handle a gun - it's that they don't see Airsoft guns as guns. They see them as toys and they treat them like toys.

Unlike real firearms, Airsoft guns are very unlikely to kill someone, the concern here is serious injury, particularly eye injury.

I developed the MAA's safety rules based on the concept that we were going to treat Airsoft with the same respect we give real guns, and apply the same safety rules.

Additional safety rules, such as no-shoot zones, barrel blockers, and goggles-on zones, came from the venues we've played in - namely paintball fields - who have a great deal of experience mitigating liability and risk.

The benefits to using "industry standard" safety rules are twofold. First, and most important, it reduces the potential for injury. Nobody wants to see anyone get hurt.

Second, it reduces liability in the event of an accident. I would ask your field owner/game organizer if they really want to take on that risk and liability.

It's really incumbent upon the field owner or game organizer to set the safety rules and consistently enforce them (Irene serves as another example here; they have safety rules, but don't do anything to enforce them, and there is a particular double standard for their VIPs).

There are some defenses to liability. One is waivers. A waiver's effectiveness varies state to state. What a waiver does is serve as a legal document that the player assumes risk when participating in an Airsoft game. It does NOT automatically expect anyone from liability; it's merely an evidentiary document to support the claim of assumed risk.

An injured person could always make the claim that the waiver did not fully explain the risk, or that the owner/organizer committed acts which increased the risk beyond the expectations presented in the waiver. For example, if safety rules are in place, but not enforced or completely ignored.

There is another issue here besides liability, and that's best described as macho bullshit. Players take the attitude that safety is not important because they are insecure in their own abilities and want to act tough. This attitude is particularly dangerous because it spreads. The insecure players constantly try to discourage safe practices because it makes them feel "cool" and validates their thinking.

The only way to overcome this is by example. Practice safety all the time, even when nobody else is doing it. Ask players who are ignoring safety rules or doing unsafe things to stop. Eventually, they usually will get it. Some people won't, and my best advice is to not play with them.

A while back, I played at a field here in MN where the game organizers thought it was funny to shoot an AEG at players who were camping out the night before the game. The next day, during the game, the same organizer walked around during play wearing only sunglasses (not even shooting glasses) for protection. Photographers were also allowed on the field with no eye protection at all. I haven't been back to that field.

Here in the MAA, I think we are really on the leading edge of Airsoft safety. Sometimes, we go elsewhere and realize how spoiled we are here :)
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