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Paintball Field Operations
by Jim "Mad Dog" Morgan
Book review by May - Sept 2005
by Bill Mills

“How do I start a paintball field,” is probably one of the more common questions we receive through e-mail.  While our web site and others have numerous articles on various aspects of running a field, few are comprehensive and almost no books have been printed on the topic.  There has been a very in-depth guide out for several years, its price tag puts it out of reach for someone who is in the very first stages of considering commercial paintball field operation.  

Enter Jim “Mad Dog” Morgan.  Mad Dog has been a paintball writer for several years, his work appearing in publications including Action Pursuit Games, Paintball and Paintball News.  His attitude of paintball’s fun aspect being more important than its competitiveness is almost as well known as the trademark rubber chicken that adorns his, “Autoclucker.”

While traveling the country to paintball tournaments, big games and scenarios, Jim has seen a lot good fields, and a lot of not so good paintball fields.  Jim took what he had witnessed and put together Paintball Field Operations.  This spiral bound book explains the basic concepts involved in starting, marketing and operating a paintball field.  At only 26 pages, the book hardly addresses every question or problem a paintball field operator will face.  It does however provide an overview of the challenges a new owner will have to deal with, and areas in which they will need to be prepared. 

The writing style is straightforward and easy to follow.  The book takes an outline approach, with pointers to where the reader can find additional information for a particular topic.  For example, while it doesn’t detail how much insurance will cost, it mentions its necessity, and provides contact information for the three leading paintball field insurance outlets.  Similarly it provides an overview of field safety concepts, but for the details refers the reader to the relevant ASTM standards.  In addition to keeping the book from becoming overwhelming in scale, this approach assures that minor details such as whether or not semi-auto paintguns should be allowed, or cost per player/day of insurance, will not be out-of-date information.

Interwoven between the book’s text are photos provided by CFW Enterprises, the publisher of Action Pursuit Games magazine.  The black and white photos of some of the paintball industry’s better known photographers illustrate the topics, and keep the pages from becoming visually boring.

Paintball Field Operations is published by I&I Sports Supply, Inc.  I&I was founded, and is still led by its president, Al Iba.  The company stands as one of the oldest retail businesses in the sport of paintball.  What began out of Iba’s grandmother’s garage in the 1980s soon became a chain of stores in Southern California.  Sales from the storefront locations were supplemented by mail-order, and in the latter 1990s, the Internet.  In addition to selling retail, I&I also serves as a wholesale distributor for many other smaller stores, providing them with a wide variety of paintball gear including I&I’s own product line, Ronin Gear.  For I&I publishing the book, forms an excellent step to helping a field owner who may one day become one of their wholesale customers.

The book is available direct from I&I.
 
 

 


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