Winter is fast approaching, and with that, most of the airsoft community's outdoor fields are closing their doors until spring. That being said, if we airsofter's want to gear up and hit the field, our only choice is to play inside. Now don't get me wrong everyone, I love playing inside. Indoor fields have climate control, wooden buildings, and barriers that can be easily moved and altered to change the field, and concessions to keep everyone hydrated and energized.
There is, however, one major downside to playing in an enclosed space...the Feet Per Second limit.
Keeping it Low
Most of the indoor places I go to play have one major factor in common: An FPS limit of around 350, and if you ask me that is just too low. At the fields I frequent, the refs are kind enough that they won't hassle you too much if you are firing 6-7 FPS on the hot side, but that isn't the case everywhere. I've heard of some fields that enforce their rules concerning BB speed very strictly. They do have some good reason too though. You need to think about what kind of players you get at indoor arenas. You do get a lot of airsoft vets that are looking too either keep busy on school break or relieve some of the stress that comes standard with the holiday season, but then again you have a good amount of the opposite too. You might see a younger kid who saw his brother's gear and wanted to try the sport, or someone looking to go out and play a game or two not needing any gear. You might even have the teen or twenty something who tagged along with a friend just to see what the big deal about airsoft is.
People like that, it seems safe to say, don't want a terrible first experience or a good grouping of welts on their arm after a hard day's work. They just want to come out and have fun, which can dissipate rather quickly when being blasted with plastic moving at 400 FPS from ten to fifteen feet away. But then again there are the hardcore, die-hard airsofters who play too be tactical...and with such a low FPS, that need to avoid pain isn't quite as urgent.
More Speed, More Fun
For the players (myself included) who play for the tactical thrill or the "risk" of being hit, 350 FPS just doesn't cut it. We veterans have been playing for years and have gotten quite the armory of airsoft guns at our disposal. We spend hundreds of hard-earned dollars on the best weapons, or putting upgrades on our guns if you are into the tech stuff. Because of that, we may only have one or two weapons that actually shoot 350 or less, so when the temperature drops and snow starts to fall, most of our arsenal effectively becomes very high priced paperweights. The best way to solve this problem is to move to the south where it is usually warm. But sadly, most people don't have that luxury. So the next best thing is to raise the FPS limits at the indoor fields. Owners have more options apart from raising the limit for good though. One option that is gaining popularity is the "Adult Night" where players 18+ can have the fields free of youngsters. A second option is to have two or three hours a few nights a week dedicated to a 400 FPS limit. Either way, a higher FPS range is possible.
So what do you readers think? Should fields keep things the way they are now? Should they up the limit and keep it there? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments and remember to always play safe no matter what the rules are.