Be safe, be honorable, know the rules.
While the obvious inherent risk is the fact people are shooting at other people with hard plastic BBs, bear in mind that the forest is full of rocks, roots, fallen logs and other obstacles. The only way to eliminate all risk is to simply not play.
The area around and including the parking lot is known as the Safe Zone where no shooting is allowed, not even dry firing. Your gun magazine needs to be out of your gun while in the Safe Zone. Barrel socks are highly recommended. Stay away from all farm structures, equipment, and livestock.
The airsoft playing area is known as the Live-fire Zone. You must be at least 12 years old to play airsoft at Southern Aroostook Action Sports or to enter the Live-fire Zone.
You are required to wear eye protection at all times while in the Live-fire Zone. Your protective eyewear must provide a full seal around your eyes to keep the BBs out. Shooting glasses are not acceptable. Your protective eyewear must be attached to your head with an elastic strap so that they won’t fall off easily. Regular eyeglass temple arms that rest on the ears are not acceptable. The lenses of your eyewear must meet or exceed a required standard for ballistic protection such as ANSI Z87.1.
Goggle fogging is a major problem for many airsofters. Anti-fogging products can be your most valuable airsoft investment. A combination of thermal lenses, micro fans, anti-fog sprays/gels, and magnetic fog wipers can help tremendously. If your goggles fog up completely, ask a friend escort you to the Safe Zone where the condensation can be removed.
Full-face protection is required at Southern Aroostook Action Sports. Start getting used to it now, because it will be an insurance requirement in the future.
The biggest hazard on the field is not the BB gunfire. It’s the environment. Watch your step as you move through rough terrain to save yourself from tripping and falling, and don’t hit your head on low branches.
Heat & Dehydration
Watch yourself and your friends for heat-related emergencies and dehydration. Your earliest warning is thirst. Drink before you get thirsty. You’re probably not getting enough fluid and electrolytes if you have a headache, dark urine, or major muscle spasms such as leg cramps.
If you develop nausea, dizziness, or difficulty concentrating, you need to promptly stop playing so that you can rest and rehydrate. Watch out for your buddies and immediately call for help if you notice any confusion or loss of consciousness.
Channel 1 and Radios
It’s important for your tactical success and safety that you have a two-way radio while on the field. In the event of an emergency such as someone getting seriously hurt, you will want to immediately contact field staff using FRS Channel 1 on your radio. You may also use channel 1 to ask about any game rules that you are unsure of. Please hold down the talk button for about a second before speaking so that your first words will be transmitted. Always make certain that your radio is set in PTT (Push-To-Talk) mode and never on VOX (Voice Activation) mode. If it sounds like someone’s radio is set to VOX, please ask the players around you to recheck their radio settings.
Ticks and Lyme disease are a huge problem for airsofters in Maine, although we have not seen many around this far north. We recommend applying a bug repellent that has at least 20% DEET for the skin and a clothing spray that contains 0.5% permethrin. Always use a mirror or a friend to inspect your entire body for ticks as soon as you get home.
While we may not have ticks (yet), we have an abundance of mosquitoes and blackflies. Plan appropriately.
Alcohol and illicit drugs are strictly prohibited.
Other forbidden items include anything with an open flame such as flares, firecrackers, pyrotechnics, or any smoke/projectile grenades with exposed fuses. However, specially trained Southern Aroostook Action Sports volunteer staff might use some of these items at scripted times to enhance an in-game theatrical effect.
Real steel guns are prohibited at Southern Aroostook Action Sports. Don’t bring any non-airsoft weapons onto the field such as metal BB guns, pellet guns, sling shots, or archery. Never use a real knife to simulate an attack against another player. Just leave your blades at home!
We allow the use of soft boffer foam weapons at some of our events, but these items need to be pre-approved by the event organizer and field staff.
FPS Limit (Standard)
The airsoft weapons allowed at Southern Aroostook Action Sports are limited to a muzzle energy of no more than 1.858 joules which is the same as 400 feet-per-second (fps) using BBs that have a mass of 0.25 grams. We routinely conduct chronographic testing to verify that no one’s gun is shooting over this limit.
FPS Limit (Bolt-action)
A special category of airsoft weapon is allowed to shoot up to a higher muzzle energy of no more than 3.513 joules which is the same as 550 feet-per-second (fps) using BBs that have a mass of 0.25. These guns must be at least 36 inches (914.4 millimeters) in length from butt to muzzle, and they must be designed to require the operator to perform a bolt-action movement before each squeeze of the trigger in order to fire each BB. When these high-power guns are used to shoot at human targets, they must be at least 100 feet away from their target before firing. Shooters who break this 100-foot minimum-engagement-distance (MED) rule will be prohibited from using these guns at Southern Aroostook Action Sports and may be ejected from the property for violating field safety.
Always treat all firearms as if they are loaded. This includes airsoft guns. Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. Never point a firearm at anyone or anything that should not be shot. Never look down the barrel of your gun.
Always keep your finger off the trigger, outside of the trigger guard, and your selector on SAFE until you are ready to fire. Always be fully aware of exactly what your target is, what is around it, and what is behind it. Always remove your gun magazine and fire twice to clear your hop-up chamber before exiting the Live-fire Zone.
Injury from BBs
Airsoft devices can be very dangerous. 300 fps > 204 mph!
Airsoft BBs can become lodged in your face and cause permanent scars. They can chip and break off your teeth. Dental repair work can cost thousands of dollars. This is why we require full-face protection for everyone!
The shooter of the airsoft gun should never be reckless when engaging a target. Every trigger pull is a decision. This means that you are responsible for the trajectory and number of BBs that fly out of your gun. Never allow your trigger finger to be controlled by fear, excitement, stress, haste, or anger. Remember to slow down, breathe deeply, and think before you squeeze. Always take into consideration the proximity and vulnerability of the human body part at which you are aiming. Please aim lower when you get really close to a standing target. Aim for center mass rather than a headshot especially at close range. Southern Aroostook Action Sports and the Northeastern Airsoft Group require that you switch to semi-auto and never spray full-auto when within 10 feet of your target. Your selector switch should be set to SEMI whenever you are inside of our built-up close-quarters battle area.
Our field does not have a mandatory safety kill or “bang-bang” rule that is often used during close-proximity engagements at other airsoft fields. Players at Southern Aroostook Action Sports are encouraged to shoot each other with a single shot to a non-sensitive area when at point-blank range. We support this because getting shot by a BB is a lot more immediate and decisive in determining a hit rather than having to follow a complicated safety-kill rule set that involves distance estimation and dispute challenges.
Alternatively, generous players may sometimes offer for their targets to call themselves out, but this is only a polite courtesy and is usually performed by offering for them to surrender. This option is not required and doesn’t need to be adhered to by the targeted player who could try to quickly turn around and shoot first. So, always keep your gun aimed at your opponent and ready to fire in these situations. Don’t divert your muzzle away until after your opponent has agreed to the surrender and has acknowledged it by donning a red rag.
No Blind Firing
Blind firing is when you hide behind cover and stick your gun out to start shooting without being able to see what you’re shooting at. This is prohibited at Southern Aroostook Action Sports because it’s too dangerous.
Never shoot at a person who is not wearing adequate eye protection. Always ask yourself if your target is wearing eye-pro before pulling the trigger. Beware of curious non-players who might wander onto the field during an airsoft game. If this happens, tell them to cover their eyes with their hands, and put your red rag on their heads. Yell for all airsofters in the area to stop shooting and call for a field moderator to assist them off the field.
Never deliberately shoot at a player who is wearing a red rag. Avoid shooting anyone who is wearing bright orange or yellow vests/hats because these are worn by dedicated field moderators, photographers, or special observers who are not playing. Never shoot at birds or other critters – especially the farm’s livestock.
No Hard Contact
Avoid physically touching other players unless you’re shaking hands, healing someone back in, simulating a player being dragged but you’re actually just walking together, escorting a captured player with your hand on his or her arm, or gently tapping someone with an approved boffer in games where boffers are permitted. Most events allow players to take each other out with a stealthy knife-kill. This is simulated by simply placing two fingers on your target’s shoulder and whispering “knife-kill” in the person’s ear. Never tackle, shove, punch, kick, or bite anyone. Fist fighting will result in police intervention and expulsion from the property.
No person shall be denied participation at Southern Aroostook Action Sports on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. All forms of sexual harassment are always prohibited. Bullying and intimidation are forbidden unless it is scripted into a role-playing aspect of the game to which all involved parties have consented.
Safety from Theft
When not in use, store your property in your vehicle and keep the doors locked. Southern Aroostook Action Sports and staff are not responsible for lost, stolen, vandalized, damaged, or destroyed property.
Airsoft is a game of honor. We call our hits and operate on an honor system. Honor is fundamental to the basic function of an airsoft game. Honor is adherence to what is right and fair. It is also your source of distinction within the community such as your status or reputation. Honor is synonymous with respect and value. So, act honorably, and you will be treated with honor.
Honesty in airsoft is about not cheating. If the game rules state that you’re supposed to sit for three minutes after getting hit, then you are expected to sit for three full minutes. Two minutes and 50 seconds isn’t long enough.
Most importantly, call your hits! Honest players always call their hits. It is the most necessary part of the game. Airsoft is all about give/take/sharing. There’s a lot more glory in taking a good hit than getting a kill.
Never assume that your BBs are hitting your target unless you actually see them hit and bounce off. Also, don’t assume that everyone else’s gun is as accurate as yours. Don’t assume that their gun can hit you at range with only one or two shots. Sometimes, it may take a cluster of several shots for there to be any chance of one BB hitting you. We have a wide range of equipment technology and experience levels on the field. Please be tolerant and forgiving especially with new players.
Lead by Example
Set a good example for those around you by keeping your cool when things get heated. Never scream at others to call their hits. A truly honorable and disciplined airsofter would never call an opponent’s hit, not even quietly or politely. If you notice someone blatantly violating the rules, we have field moderators who are interested in hearing from you and gathering the facts of the situation. Don’t argue with anyone directly.
Airsofters often scream and cuss at each other. You might get yelled at, but please don’t take it personally. The stress of conflict simulation often brings out the worst behaviors in all of us. Excessive rage and profanity surfaces within the culture of airsoft especially during high-intensity firefights. Try to take it in as an exciting part of the simulation and know that the person hollering at you will probably be smiling and apologetic later in the day.
Airsoft game rules are often complicated. If you’re unsure about a rule, please ask a moderator. Don’t quote game rules to other players unless you have a printed copy of them in your pocket. Likewise, if another player quotes a rule to you that sounds dubious, please contact a mod for clarification.
Southern Aroostook Action Sports has several embedded moderators or OCs (Observer/Controllers) who appear to be regular players, but they are actually undercover field moderators. At any time, an embedded moderator may pull out an orange card that reads “MOD” with the field logo and the moderator’s name. When the orange card is out, you need to follow the moderator’s instructions as if she or he were wearing a full orange vest and hat. All field moderators have the authority to call players out or alter the game rules at any time. If you feel that a moderator is abusing his or her power, please contact the field manager on duty.
Gun and Equipment Hits
Unless otherwise noted, gun hits count as player hits at Southern Aroostook Action Sports. And, so do hits to anything you are wearing or carrying such as a backpack or a portable game prop. Therefore, riot shields are worthless at Southern Aroostook Action Sports.
Friendly fire counts as a hit at Southern Aroostook Action Sports.
Explosive devices are not allowed.
Unless otherwise noted in the specific game rules, we welcome all of our players to use non-pyrotechnic explosive devices like the gas-powered Airsoft Innovations Cyclone Impact Grenade or the spring-loaded Duel Code Claymore Mine.
Noise-producing grenades such as the Hakkotsu Thunder B Grenade may be used to distract opponents; however, they will not cause a player to be hit because Southern Aroostook Action Sports doesn’t honor any sort of a blast-radius rule. However, if a noise-producing grenade detonates within a human-made structure that has a clearly-defined perimeter, all players within that perimeter are considered to be hit even if they’re hiding behind large objects within it. If one of these grenades detonates within a multi-room structure, it is expected to cause hits to only the players who are located within the specific room where it exploded. Zoning ordinance prohibits us from putting roofs on our buildings, so pretend that a roof is there and don’t throw your grenades over them. However, you may toss your grenade through any open door or window. And, you may throw your grenades over any low walls that are less than 5’ tall. Never pick up a grenade to throw back at your enemy because it will very likely explode in your hand and could cause severe injuries.
The pyrotechnic devices used by players at Southern Aroostook Action Sports are required to have been manufactured in accordance with the applicable criteria of APA Standard 87-1 and purchased commercially. Homemade pyrotechnics are forbidden.
Authorized field and game staff may occasionally operate explosive devices using methods that are beyond the limitations of this rule set as a means of safely enhancing an event.
- A minimum of one person is to be designated as the Referee for each Paintball game. The Referee will be the one who starts the game, stops the game for paint checks, decides the issues that may arise and who ends the game. The Referee should have a whistle for signaling the start, stopping and ending of the game. As with all games, it does not pay to contradict the decisions of the Referee, decisions by Referees and Judges are final and unarguable.
- A player is out of the game if he/she is hit by a marking pellet (paintball) and it Breaks on him, this includes his clothing, gun or equipment. It doesn’t matter whether the player is shot by an opposing player or a teammate (friendly fire). When a player is marked he/she is to immediately call themselves “OUT or HIT”. She/he must then hold their gun over their head, continue to call out “OUT or HIT” and leave the playing field by the shortest and safest route.
- A player is not considered out of the game if he/she is struck by a marking pellet (paintball) and it does not break. A player is not considered out of the game if he/she is struck by a
splatter from a marking pellet (paintball). Splatter is considered to be the spray or fragments from a marking pellet that has broken on an object such as a tree, bush, rock, barricade, etc., close to the player. If a player calls himself/herself “OUT or HIT”, because they think that they have been hit by a marking pellet (paintball), he/she is immediately out of the game and must leave by the shortest and safest route. Even if the player discovers that they were not hit, after they make the call they are out and must leave the playing field at once.
BLIND FIRING is not allowed. Do not fire if you can’t see what you are firing at. Many players are tempted to stick their guns out from behind a barricade and fire, which can lead to accidentally shooting players who are leaving the field, referees, or other things you shouldn’t shoot at.
- If two or more players mark each other simultaneously, both players are eliminated. Under most conditions both players must be eliminated.
- If there is a question as to whether a player has been marked, call for a “Paint Check”, that’s what the Referee is for. When a Paint Check is called the game comes to a stop, all players remain where they are until the Referee clears the problem and restarts the game. Note also, that during a Paint Check all players remain where they are when the Paint Check was called and by leaving that position during a Paint Check they can be called out by the Referee or by a player reporting their movement to the Referee.
- Predetermine the length of the game. Most games run 15 to 30 minutes, with 20 minutes being the average. The Referee will be the one who keeps track of the time. By setting time limits you make for a more aggressive game. If no one wins, who cares, go on to the next game and try some new strategy. Have Rest Periods between games. Predetermine their length and have the Referee keep track of the time. The Rest Periods allow the players to refresh themselves, to talk over the game that they have just played, to reload ammunition and Co2 gas, and to clean or repair equipment.
- If the game is a Flag Game, only one player is permitted to guard the flag at the station. If the guardian gets eliminated from the game, he/she leaves the flag at the point where he/she got shot.
- Whether “Dead Man Walking –DMW” is allowed or not needs to be predetermined by the teams. DMW is when a player, although not hit, walks alongside players who got shot and are walking out of the game field. This deception gives him/her the advantage to change his/her shelter or to get nearer to the rivals.
- “Dead Man Silent” is when a player gets hit and walks out of the field. During this walk he/she is not allowed to speak to any of the players. A marked player is to walk out of the
field and to report immediately to the Referee for a paint check.
We are a field paint only facility. All paintballs must be purchased on-site. No carry-on paintballs are allowed.(Still deliberating this) Paintballs purchased cannot be returned for reimbursement
- Every team has a captain. Team captains have to wave to the Referee, in order for the game to begin. The referee blows the whistle and the game officially begins.
- Boundaries of the playing field are marked. Be sure that all players and the Referees understand where they are located. The rules are:
- During the playing of a game, any player/players caught outside of the Boundaries are out of the current game and are to leave the play field area at once.
- Any and all shots fired from outside the Boundaries do not count.
- No leaving and returning to the playing field is allowed during a game.
- Once you are outside the Boundaries you are out of the current game.
- Only the game players and the Referee(s) are allowed on the playing field during the playing of a game.
- If an unauthorized person enters the playing field the game is to come to an immediate stop until that person leaves the playing field.
- Review the field Boundaries.
- No player may enter or attempt to enter a playing field for a game without having signed a waiver.
- Participants are not allowed to wear shorts or t-shirts during the game. All players are required to wear long-sleeved shirts and full length pants. Arms and legs must be fully covered during play.
- During a game, masks/goggles are to be worn at all times by all persons on the playing field or near other people who are playing. This rule is strictly enforced and players that violate this rule are given at most one warning before they are disqualified to play. If a players’ mask falls off during a game, he or she should immediately lie face down on the ground and cover his/her head. Any player who sees this should alert the referee and other players to stop the game until the player is able to replace their goggles.
- No physical interaction whatsoever is allowed between players.
- It is forbidden to shoot from a distance under 10 to 15 feet. The capsule leaves the barrel with an average speed of 280’ per second which is equivalent to 200 mph and this may lead to injuries. If the distance between two rival players is less than 10 to 15 feet, either both players increase the distance, or the Referee stops the game.
- If a player holds his/her gun with both hands stretched out over their head, no one is to shoot at the player. This movement is only allowed if the player is eliminated, runs out of ammo, or in case of an emergency.
- An eliminated player cannot shoot while walking out of the field, nor is he/she to be shot at.
- Referees under no circumstances are to be shot at or hit.
- It is strictly forbidden to bring or consume drugs or alcohol of any kind before, during, or after the game.
Additional Safety Rules and Precautions
- Paint guns must have a barrel sock covering the barrel at all times, except while on the playing field. In case your gun has Co2 leakage, avoid coming into contact with the gas. Co2 has a freezing temperature (-76º C) and this may cause local chills or possible burns on the skin. If your gun is leaking, put it aside and call the Referee.
- Paintball velocity: All Markers are to be checked by chronograph prior to use on the course. In addition to the mandatory use of masks, paintball markers for this course must not fire paintballs that exceed a range of 280 feet per second. The industry standard maximum velocity is 300 feet per second (about 200 miles per hour). Paintballs traveling faster than 300 fps will leave large bruises and can potentially break the skin or even fingers.
- Paintball velocity is measured using a chronograph. All persons playing will be required to measure their paintball velocity using the on-site chronograph. It is important that markers be chronographed after any adjustment or replacement of parts (e.g. the barrel) that might significantly change the marker’s velocity. The course provides metered compressed air onsite at no charge.
- Always be prepared in case your paint gun malfunctions. Bring spare parts and tools with you to the playing field. The main tools that you should have are: a pair of pliers, a set of Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, and a small crescent wrench.
- Do not carry your gun by the Co2 supply hose, or the gas might leak and cause your gun to malfunction.
- The most important thing to remember about playing paintball is to clean your equipment after every game. It is important to have all your equipment working at its peak performance from your goggles to your paint gun. Always, after a day of paintball, break down your paintball gun, clean it completely and lubricate it before you put it away. This will insure that it will be ready to go the next time you want to play and you can avoid malfunctions.
- Never leave your paintball equipment unattended and always keep it locked up when not being used.
- Do not take your mask off until the game is over and you are off the field. Injuries occur because someone removed their mask at an inappropriate time.
- Players under 10 years of age must have a parent or guardian present at all times during play.
- Players should hydrate frequently, every time they come off the field. Water is best.
- Tools of any kind are not allowed on the paintball field at any time. If repairs are needed on equipment, you must leave the field of play.
- Do not leave guns or full CO² tanks in the sun.
Safety is the most important feature of a Nerf war. Nerf battles are for friendly competition, thrilling strategy contests, and a good time. Nerf battles are not for serious injuries or trips to the hospital. Safety rules are the most important of Nerf war rules, and should be followed diligently in order for everyone to have a good time.
- No physical contact. The first safety rule is one of the most important. There is no hitting, kicking, pushing, pulling, wrestling, or physical attacking involved in Nerf wars. The only physical contact that should be made with another player is in the form of tapping, which is used to get someone “out”, to “revive” someone, or to save them from a hostage situation.
- No intentional face shots. We get it, sometimes you accidentally hit the face and that’s okay. As long as you are not intentionally aiming right between the eyes, you can simply apologize for a face shot and move on.
- Always wear eye protection. During your Nerf war battles, it’s important to keep on protective eyewear at all times. This can protect you from those accidental face shots from the enemy team, as well as keep you from taking penalties.
- The use of melee weapons is not allowed, you may only tap. Do not strike. Most Nerf battles prohibit the use of melee weapons. However, if you do end up in a Nerf battle that involves swords and other melee products, make sure to softly tap instead of swinging when hitting an enemy.
Other safety rules include the use of modified weapons. In some games, modified blasters will be allowed. In all standard stock games, however, modified guns are not allowed. You must use the standard Nerf stock weapons only.
Safety rules are entailed by combat rules, which are tied closely to the instructions of each game or match. While combat rules may differ for your team, there is a general way of doing things that makes it much easier to coordinate a battle:
- Do not leave the base until the main whistle blows. There is a warning whistle about 30 seconds before the main whistle, which can release you into the battle.
- Play honestly. If you get hit, that makes you dead or wounded. Make sure to play fair and fall down if you do get hit.
- Players decide how many hits to take before being declared as “out”. In a typical Nerf war, players are only allowed to become hit once before they are out. Once a player is out, they must return to the base to respawn, or they can lay on the ground and wait until a teammate revives them by tapping on their body with their hand. A player’s ability to respawn or become revived by a teammate depends on the amount of lives they have. The amount of lives is typically established before the game.
- Other rules can be established. Before the battle begins, your team and the enemy team can discuss a custom set of rules to put in place. If you want, you can allow players to use customized Nerf weapons, melee weapons, or more. Or, you can severely limit the weapon choices to make it a much more challenging battle.
- Hits to the head and torso count as kills. Hits in all other locations, such as the arms, legs, or side, count as injuries but not deaths.
- If you die on your last life, you must leave the game. This includes laying down your weapon and your bullets on the ground, and leaving the playing area as immediately as you can.
- Teams can be uneven. Typically, the number of people on each team is equal; however, teams can be uneven due to skill. Most Nerf battlers like to balance teams based on ability and player skill rather than just sheer numbers.
By playing fairly, everyone can have a smooth Nerf war. It’s never fun being the one to get hit, but the deaths and lives system is what helps the teams determine who wins.
- Don’t use damaged darts. Damaged darts will jam your gun. It’s best to leave a damaged dart on the ground.
- Do not throw darts. Nerf darts are made to be loaded into your gun, and should be treated like actual bullets. They cannot be thrown.
- Try not to damage the darts. You should avoid stepping on, stuffing, or roughly handling darts. They damage easily.
In general, there are a set of rules that should always be followed when establishing parameters and guidelines:
- Only Nerf guns may be used. No water guns or other toys.
- Do not throw or drop guns. Nerf guns can break easily!
- You cannot loot dead players’ weapons and darts.
- No going outside of battle zones. This applies to any Nerf war game type.
By following the rules of honor, safety, combat, and equipment, you can be on your way to having a smooth and fun Nerf war course. Understanding Nerf war rules can bring you closer to figuring out which type of Nerf battle you’d like to have. Other than the safety rules and general rules, these rules can be changed or modified according to what you and your team agree on.