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Age limitations

Post by reidc on Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:26 pm

I have been watching NUAC covering this point on their forum and it has gelled my own thoughts a bit. I think CVA is getting to be well enough known in the valley now that we need to seriously consider the question of age. Some of my concerns

1) Injury to a young player and it's impact on both the local and state groups
2) "babysitting" for parents who really don't know, or care about, what we do and the potential safety implications
3) A way to include those younger players who prove they can comport themselves with maturity
4) A unified view within CVA on how we decide on initial and later invitations

We all know that we are a social group of individuals, who share a common hobby, who get together occasionally to play. We also all know that nobody has a right to receive an invitation. That being said I continue to grow more and more concerned by the number of younger players, who have joined CVA, who haven't had a parent stick around to get a first hand look at exactly what goes on during a game. Since nobody but the parents will have the ability to OK any medical treatment all we can do is transport to the hospital and hope a parent is available and able to respond. This is sub-optimal at best and a recipe for disaster at worst. And that disaster looms for the younger player as well as the sport.

I would value y'alls input on this. Let me know if you think I'm off my rocker or if others feel as I do.

By the way, I would say that we also need a sponsorship avenue for those who prove they can be included based on maturity (I'm thinking of folks like Harper here).

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Re: Age limitations

Post by Donknottz on Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:18 am

I have been pretty happy with the fact that any younger players who have come to a game have had their parents introduced to one of the CVA officers. I don't believe we have ever had someone show up half way through a game without any sort of introduction. As a part of that introduction most parents ask how our group got together and the description Reid shared is presented. I think all who have attended understand who their children are playing with, but perhaps more of the safety concerns need to be passed on.

Parents should be almost as familiar with our rule set as any player. By reading the safety section (specifically the waiver section) they will be introduced to the hazards of our sport. The importance of seeing a game in action is probably something we need to push for when they are thinking of dropping them off.

As far as some of our current younger crowd, I feel comfortable with them. People like Harper and Cristian have proven themselves to be quite capable and able to handle the sport well. Most of the players who have come out have some sort of connection to one of the older players. I like the idea of sponsors who are keeping an eye on the younger players at the game. It would be very easy for a younger player to feel confident that they could get home on their own or think that their ride was coming and be stuck up the canyon. I'm glad most in our group wouldn't leave until they knew they were taken care of. Then again, it isn't their responsibility to wait around for rides.

Don't get me wrong, it really isn't that big of a problem to wait around and most of the time it is just as easy to drop them off. Anyone who can't provide a ride for themselves is someone who I think needs extra consideration. So if I were to start thinking about an age limit I would say 16 is a good cut off for someone to be on their own. If they are dependent for something (like a ride) then someone should remain with them or be expected to stay until things get started and get there before everything ends. Perhaps that's enough rambling for now.
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Re: Age limitations

Post by reidc on Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:36 am

I agree that we have a good group of younger folks currently. I am not as sanguine about things as you appear to be. I think we need to require that the parents, of anyone who is younger than 16, be required to attend a game and watch what goes on. Other than our current players I really don't care if this runs a few new players off. I dislike feeling like I HAVE to do the things you mentioned. I don't mind on occasion, but I airsoft for a hobby.
I also don't mind giving the current crop of young players a ride, they're all good kids/young adults. But again, what about the next batch?
Sorry, I think we need to seriously look at this issue.

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Re: Age limitations

Post by Donknottz on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:44 am

I guess I should give a more precise interpretation of my thoughts.

<16 - Parents must stay and watch how the events are managed at least once. After that they need to realize that they are still responsible for their children just as much as if their kids were playing at the local park. If little Johnny gets a concussion then nearby adults who just happen to be in the park as well will help as much as they can, but are in no way responsible for what happened to their child. I do realize that since we are participating in the action that could cause the injury it is different.

That is why parents need to attend and understand the dangers of the sport. It isn't like basketball at the park. These bb's are purposefully being projected towards others and they do cause injury. Most of the time it is minor, but occasionally it can be major. It's not a matter of if they get hurt. Plus parents should be purchasing as much protection as possible such as mouth guards, full masks, and gloves. An adult has the option to play without that full gear, a child's parents are responsible for providing that gear if they chose to. My mother never let me skateboard without a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads. Why would a parent let their child go out with just the minimum gear of eye protection.
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Re: Age limitations

Post by Ninja Scott on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:40 am

I doubt that parents will ford a stream or hike half a mile to watch a game. That doesn't meant that you can keep trying to invite them.

Too bad there aren't more parents like Harper's dad. He was hardcore.

If nothing else perhaps we should start instituting the permission slip and make sure that the dangers are clearly worded.

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Re: Age limitations

Post by Cpt_Butter on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:58 am

I've also been following the NUAC forum on this, and they have a few ideas:

<16: definitely require parent's permission to play, and probably need to meet the parents. They're not old enough to drive, they're not old enough to get themselves shot. As for having parents come to a game, that's not really all that practical, since there are very few parents who would be willing to hike out, like ninja scott said.

>16: they should need to sign the waiver, and wear full face protection if possible. They're old enough to drive, so they should be responsible enough to face a slightly-less dangerous situation.

>18: still need to sign a waiver (just to protect CVA from being sued by some weird chance), but other than that protection is up to them. They can take care of their own eyeballs.
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Re: Age limitations

Post by Panzerfaust on Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:54 pm

Maybe it's time to get a signed waiver from everyone then. Cpt Butter's points are good, I agree that everyone needs to sign the waiver. If needed we can add to it the points about extra protection being required for younger players, and point that if the player is under 16 we'd suggest the parent observe a game or two to get a feel for the nature of their child's hobby.

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Re: Age limitations

Post by AceVendetta on Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:20 pm

I concur. The waiver will make it virtually impossible for lawsuits for injuries, but I still would like the parents to come and see the game.

As for the face protection, I believe that <16 should wear full face protection, wether that means a paintball mask, baclava, or a shemagh.

>16 should not be required to have full face protection, but it should be suggested. as Butter said, they are old enough to drive, yada, yada.

I know for you players who are younger who are watching this in dread, this seems ridiculous. I was a president of a school club for two years. These rules are the bare minimum (they probably still wouldn't let us do these activities with this loose of rules) to do something for a school event. We do care, and just don't want to have angry parents, police, and homeowners on our backs.
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Re: Age limitations

Post by AceVendetta on Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:23 pm

Also, the chief of the smithfield police department is my hometeacher. I shall start sending letters to the department when we have local games. this will prevent misunderstandings, and, in case of a real emergency, allow them to get to us as quick as possible.
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Re: Age limitations

Post by Cpt_Butter on Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:48 pm

If we do go ahead and have everyone sign a waiver, there needs to be a CVA officer in charge of keeping them for records' sake. Is there already someone with this responsibility, or does it need to be assigned?
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Re: Age limitations

Post by Panzerfaust on Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:57 pm

Nope, we'd need to designate that person

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Re: Age limitations

Post by Donknottz on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:14 pm

From the perspective of one of the four potential CVA officers that would be in charge of keeping track of these waivers. I will probably never volunteer to organize the waivers and enforce their use. The reason being is that I see it as once I start collecting them then I become responsible. So if there is a loop hole in the waiver (which undoubtedly there is) then I can be held responsible. If I don't collect them I have as equal of a responsibility as everyone else. That may be bad of me, but why should I intentionally put myself at risk financially? Plus I am lazy and I keep track of enough things at a game, go over rules, and try my best to organize good events for everyone to participate in that bringing a filing cabinet of forms to games is not something I want to do.

If parents are unwilling to come and watch their children, I am just as unwilling to have their children play with us. I think your train of thought is true that they are not going to hike up or cross waters. If I understand part of what Reid is pushing for, greater involvement of parents, then I fully support that they should be more responsible. So if parents are not willing to come out and be on the field during play (goggles on and walking through the field while a game is going on) to see what a game is like, then their kids don't get to participate. I would say that coming and sitting in their car for a bit to have "watched a game" before taking off wouldn't be enough.

That being said. If someone is willing to act in behalf of the parent (sponsor) they can. So if you know someone really well and they trust you with their child then that is the decision of the parent.

I feel the main question is do we set the cut off for parental involvement at 16 or 18?
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Re: Age limitations

Post by Panzerfaust on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:30 pm

AceVendetta wrote:Also, the chief of the smithfield police department is my hometeacher. I shall start sending letters to the department when we have local games. this will prevent misunderstandings, and, in case of a real emergency, allow them to get to us as quick as possible.

I like where you're coming from, I think it shows good initiative and desire to do the right thing but I'm concerned about involving law enforcement in our activities. As long as we're playing outside of city limits (which also happen to be outside of smithfield city police jurisdiction, it'd fall under county) where we can discharge our BB guns legally, policing our playfields of trash, continue to be polite and considerate of passersby, and otherwise doing what we're supposed to, I don't think we need to alert authorities to our activities. It could very well just be asking for the trouble we've been able to avoid thus far.
As for emergency response, fortunately our play areas are in range of cell service and we have that at our disposal in the case of an emergency.

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Re: Age limitations

Post by Ninja Scott on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:36 pm

AGREED!!!

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Re: Age limitations

Post by AceVendetta on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:41 pm

Panzerfaust wrote:
AceVendetta wrote:Also, the chief of the smithfield police department is my hometeacher. I shall start sending letters to the department when we have local games. this will prevent misunderstandings, and, in case of a real emergency, allow them to get to us as quick as possible.

I like where you're coming from, I think it shows good initiative and desire to do the right thing but I'm concerned about involving law enforcement in our activities. As long as we're playing outside of city limits (which also happen to be outside of smithfield city police jurisdiction, it'd fall under county) where we can discharge our BB guns legally, policing our playfields of trash, continue to be polite and considerate of passersby, and otherwise doing what we're supposed to, I don't think we need to alert authorities to our activities. It could very well just be asking for the trouble we've been able to avoid thus far.
As for emergency response, fortunately our play areas are in range of cell service and we have that at our disposal in the case of an emergency.

Its more of people going up the canyon, seeing us play, and saying "OMG, they're shooting each other with guns!" and calling the police. Its been known to happen. the letters will prevent this from happening. They call the police, the police know of the game, and they can settle the persons query without having a cruiser come our way.
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Re: Age limitations

Post by Panzerfaust on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:47 pm

Ok I can see that. Perhaps asking your hometeacher about what he thinks about it would be a good place to start. If it's something you feel compelled to do though, a simple phone call to the dept would suffice, let's not give them anything tangible in writing please.

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Re: Age limitations

Post by Ninja Scott on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:51 pm

Or they could send a cruiser our way for the hell of it and make things even more difficult.

Our system thus far hasn't broke. One would think.."if it's not broke don't fix it.."

We are courteous the public almost to a fault. We halt any game play until they are safely away. We also answer questions as needed.

I think calling, writing, smoke signaling, or any other form of communication will be more of a mess than any of us want to handle.

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Re: Age limitations

Post by AceVendetta on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:53 pm

Panzerfaust wrote:Ok I can see that. Perhaps asking your hometeacher about what he thinks about it would be a good place to start. If it's something you feel compelled to do though, a simple phone call to the dept would suffice, let's not give them anything tangible in writing please.

It actually was what he recommended doing.
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Re: Age limitations

Post by Ninja Scott on Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:06 pm

AceVendetta wrote:
Panzerfaust wrote:Ok I can see that. Perhaps asking your hometeacher about what he thinks about it would be a good place to start. If it's something you feel compelled to do though, a simple phone call to the dept would suffice, let's not give them anything tangible in writing please.

It actually was what he recommended doing.

Why would they need one? Seriously? We still play out of their jurisdiction. A cop will always be a cop before anything else, home teacher or not.

Do you ever wonder that you could be sighted for littering by playing airsoft? Sounds like a meal ticket for a prick cop to come and ticket everybody.

They will also tell us where we can and can't play. I don't want to have to go to some awful remote location just to play a game.

Personally I don't feel the need to involve the fuzz at all. It just feels like a Pandora's box of issues that we don't need to deal with unless we absolutely have to.

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Re: Age limitations

Post by DeathGoomba o.O on Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:44 pm

very nice and all but what about opinions of the younger players (including myself)?
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Re: Age limitations

Post by EPICdieHARD on Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:49 pm

Speaking from my point of view, 14 years old, i dont think that our parents should have to accompany us to the game every time. That could have the potential to "ruin" the airsofting game for some because they couldn't attend cause their parent wouldn't come. My mom has witnessed a ton of my airsoft matches and my dad has come down and played in one of the NUAC games with me. I don't know about other kids, but my parents KNOW all of the risks when it comes to airsofting. i do think that it might be a good idea maybe the first time someone new comes in, for their parent to come, meet with an officer and just watch a tiny bit. My mom came to the first NUAC match i went to and met with Reid. Just my opinion.
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Re: Age limitations

Post by Cpt_Butter on Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:58 pm

Ace has a point; I've got some friends down in North Salt Lake that have had MANY encounters with the cops because of people calling after seeing an airsoft game in progress. Many of these have happened WHILE they were playing outside of city limits. It can happen.
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Re: Age limitations

Post by brattone101 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:12 pm

"sigh"....this just made it ten times harder
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Re: Age limitations

Post by Panzerfaust on Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:13 pm

lol you haven't even signed up for a game yet!

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Re: Age limitations

Post by brattone101 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:14 pm

Donknottz wrote:From the perspective of one of the four potential CVA officers that would be in charge of keeping track of these waivers. I will probably never volunteer to organize the waivers and enforce their use. The reason being is that I see it as once I start collecting them then I become responsible. So if there is a loop hole in the waiver (which undoubtedly there is) then I can be held responsible. If I don't collect them I have as equal of a responsibility as everyone else. That may be bad of me, but why should I intentionally put myself at risk financially? Plus I am lazy and I keep track of enough things at a game, go over rules, and try my best to organize good events for everyone to participate in that bringing a filing cabinet of forms to games is not something I want to do.

If parents are unwilling to come and watch their children, I am just as unwilling to have their children play with us. I think your train of thought is true that they are not going to hike up or cross waters. If I understand part of what Reid is pushing for, greater involvement of parents, then I fully support that they should be more responsible. So if parents are not willing to come out and be on the field during play (goggles on and walking through the field while a game is going on) to see what a game is like, then their kids don't get to participate. I would say that coming and sitting in their car for a bit to have "watched a game" before taking off wouldn't be enough.

That being said. If someone is willing to act in behalf of the parent (sponsor) they can. So if you know someone really well and they trust you with their child then that is the decision of the parent.

I feel the main question is do we set the cut off for parental involvement at 16 or 18?
16!!!
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