Airsoft is a sport unlike any other. No other sport can compare in the huge variation of types of gameplay, weather, terrain, people or tactics that you find in the game field. There’s no sport out there that brings together so many different elements and variation.
However, this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing that airsoft can learn from other sports. Here are 3 lessons that airsofters (and airsoft) could learn from other sports in order to “improve”.
In sports such as football or even tennis (ugh), there are a team of referees that relay information to one main referee, or umpire. In turn, the head referee then enforces rules and arbitrates any matters that arise during gameplay.
However, in airsoft there are just a handful of referees (usually called marshals) and rarely a ‘head marshal’ that presides over all rulings and decisions. There are quite often simply not enough referees to watch every engagement. Additionally, there are no defined set of rules for airsoft like there are other sports for the referee to enforce.
We’re not suggesting that a 100 page rule book should be created and distributed amongst fields to memorise and enforce, but it would, unquestionably make rule enforcing much easier.
Sports like rugby have defined rolls for each player. There are 8 forwards and 7 backs, each with defined goals, strategy and roles within the team that allows the team to progress as a whole.
In airsoft, teams are free to be composed of whatever roles they feel like. An entire team of snipers? No problem. A team made entirely of spring shotguns in a woodland site? No worries. Airsoft games can get a bit boring if one team is constantly destroying the other (even for the winning team) and perhaps better balancing between rolls could be a better way of ensuring even teams. Perhaps, 50% assault players, 20% snipers, 20% shotguns and 10% support gunners could be a way to ensure that each team is evenly weighted.
Limitation and Restriction
Sports such as Formula 1 have been subject to limitation for years, and it has arguably made the sport better and safer. Engines are limited to 1.6liter engines, limited to 15k rpm and with 1 turbo charger.
Airsofters have unlimited freedom within their airsoft gear, they’re able to carry 2 rifles, 2 pistols and a grenade launcher and an M134 minigun if they so desire. Imagine if a tennis player could play with 2 rackets at a time. Whilst airsofters love the ability to play with their gear how they want to play, it should be balanced effectively against the other team.
Airsoft itself is a great sport and we absolutely love it but there’s a reason why you don’t see any airsoft ‘competitions’ about and it’s partly due to these reasons. The honesty aspect means that marshals need to be prolific and eagle eyed in their approach, as competition naturally breeds dishonesty. The availability of high end weapons means that the players need to be restricted in order to achieve balanced teams. Finally, rules need to be established that mean that there’s a fair playing ground that’s not up to negotiation or interpretation.