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Glory Road Paintball Field Review

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#1 unfated33


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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:21 PM

Field: Glory Road Paintball (http://gloryroadpaintball.com/# - nothing really to see on the website)
Address: 4209 North Rocky River Road, Monroe, NC 28110
Phone: (704) 309-2229
Field types: Airball, Hyperball, Woods (3 fields total)
Entry cost: $10 for entry and air, $5 for rental equipment
Entry deals: None, but this is a cash-only field. Credit cards are not accepted.
Rental Equipment: Tippman 98c markers, Vforce Armor masks, gravity fed loader, and 48/3000 HPA tanks are standard for rent. You can rent 2-tube podpacks, chest protectors, or individual pieces of equipment (tank, hopper) as well.
Paint: Field Paint only, 3 grades - low is valken infinity, mid is valken fate (or Zing, can't remember), high is Draxxus (can't remember if it was bronze or silver). Starts at $10 per bag at the low end and goes up to around $60 for a high end case.
Special Rules: 20-foot rule, only torso/head hits on Woods, bunker-tagging obstacles to force an out, no cursing, pants must cover underwear, and no piercings for men (discouraged for women).

Glory Road Paintball is the fundraising project of Glory Road Bible Ministries and Glory Road Baptist Church, run by Tony Griffin and his wife Kim. It describes itself as promoting a family friendly atmosphere. This is one of the smaller fields in the Charlotte area (perhaps only larger than Mighty Sports) with just a single airball, hyperball, and woodsball section each (though I've heard it said that the woods field is or can be divided into two fields - it was not divided on my only visit). The speedball field sits near the main entrance and is visible from the road, while the other two fields are tucked beside and behind the pro-shop. A local d5/d6 team called Trophimus makes their home at this paintball field.

Glory Road is a cash-only paintball field that does not require players to sign waivers. In addition, there is no minimum age limit for players. Tony has a safety and code of play discussion with every new player that he states must be updated on 6-month intervals. During this safety discussion, Tony instructed me that he does not need waivers because he has insurance. I did not push or question him further on the matter. At the end of the safety discussion, Tony quizzes all players to confirm that they understand the safety rules at the field. Periodically, Tony would stop younger players to "re-quiz" them, and I was slightly disheartened to see not a single player that had passed the quiz previously now pass when given an impromptu pop quiz. The quiz basically just required that all players listen to field staff, use a safety, use a barrel plug/condom, and wear a mask at all times while on the field.

There are some rules at Glory Road that you wouldn't normally see at any other local paintball field in Charlotte, likely due to Tony's association with Glory Road Baptist Church. Players are not permitted to wear baggy pants that show their underwear. Tony brandished a roll of duct tape and instructed players that he would tape their pants up if their underwear was shown. Per Tony, the only people that showed their underwear in public were perverts, and that perverts were not allowed at his private field. In addition, men are not allowed to wear earrings or other piercings on the field, as piercings are described in the Bible as being a sign of slavery. Because women were more likely to wear earrings for cosmetic reasons, they were allowed to do so but he encouraged women to remove them to avoid injury.

There is no published chrono limit at the field, and nearby players encouraged me to up my velocity when I chrono-ed in at 270 fps. I set close to 285. To the right of the proshop is a long line of sheltered tables that function as the field staging area. The entrance to the woods field sits in the middle of the staging area, while continuing on to the right leads to the hyperball field. The entrance to the airball field is found by walking back across the parking lot and then halfway down the driveway entrance.

I strongly recommend that any players or visitors wear a mask at all times when sitting in the staging area or otherwise observing play. The netting to the woodsball field drops to only 7 or 8 feet for part of the staging area, and perhaps even lower where it bows down as you approach the hyperball field. Firefights at the base on that side of the field would lead to paintballs possibly exiting the field and entering staging. The hyperball field only has netting on the side adjacent to the parking lot, but it does not extend all the way to block the staging area. While I was chatting in the safety area I actually got struck in the back of the head by a paintball from a player exiting the hyperball field . Luckily it hit me in the back of the head, as the group of nearby visitors that I was talking to all had no masks on. The shot came from close enough that it sounded like a light bulb being smashed when it hit me in the head. I complained to a ref (Kim, actually) that I had just gotten shot in the staging area but no actions were taken against the hyperball player. The airball field is surrounded with netting, but it has a number of holes shot or poked through it. I made the mistake of parking my vehicle in the spaces facing the airball field, and when I left I discovered no less than five paintballs that had gotten through the netting to hit my car.

The airball field is regulation size, but seems to have an abundance of inflatables in play. I did not notice any small beams or other setups to allow for a typical (or even atypical) snake. Most of the obstacles were cans, doritos, and temples (but there were some giant 5-6ft beams on one edge). Players played both in the north-south direction and east-west direction alternating. The obstacles weren't what I would call evenly distributed, so players from the south on N-S or players from the right side of west (left side of east) playing E-W would have less cover than the opposing side. It was hard to tell for sure, but it appeared that players were using ramping on the airball field. There is no 20-ft surrender rule for the airball field.

The hyperball field is smaller, with similar setups on both sides of the "50" using plastic drums and carbuoys. Some of the obstacles were wrapped with metal wiring to hold them in place. Where it was rusted this would snag on clothing or skin, but did not seem to poke through my jersey or gloves. The field was small enough to get reliable accuracy from endline to endline, so I was not encouraged to push up from my first obstacle (I had a great day taking out players from both the center and corners). I liked this field setup, but had a feeling it would be easy to get tired of the symmetry. I also noticed that unlike the airball and woods fields, this field would occasionally get skipped for play due to lack of interest. There is no 20-ft surrender rule for the hyperball field.

The Woods field is about 2 acres in roughly a triangle shape. One side starts in the corner of the triangle and the other starts halfway along the opposing side. Many players at the field were using Tippman A-5s, and a number of players agreed with me that it sounded and appeared that the A-5s were firing full auto. Each side has a fairly substantial homebase, plus there is a house structure in the center of the field and a somewhat hidden base in one of the corners. There's a reasonable amount of obstacles on the field, but the trees are mostly all scrubs not large enough to provide cover. I did have a problem with the obstacles that they're heavily focused toward protecting one direction. As soon as a team was able to turn a corner on the field to flank, the cover became useless and the game ended quickly. About the only method I saw for avoiding being flanked was to either stay at the homebase the entire game, or make an early or late retreat to the hidden corner base to defend. A lot of the obstacles were also made of pallets standing on their side, but these provided only partial protection for the holes in the slats. I was also disappointed to see the refs pull a player for what was clearly only splatter as the opposing team peppered the pallet near him. One of the local, regular players that was also servicing markers said that he was scheduled to redo the cover obstacles during the week, but there had been no one to let him onto the field the last few times he had tried to travel in. The 20-foot surrender rule is in effect for all parts of the field except the center house where close range fire is permitted. A player is only out when shots strike the head or torso on the woods field. Any hits to the marker, arms, or legs can be ignored.

Members of the Trophimus team were alternating playing in the woods and on the airball field. I did not feel out of place playing with and against them on the woods field. At other fields, I've felt outclassed by D4 and D3 players, so I imagined their placement as a D5 or D6 team was likely warranted. The team seemed generally pretty friendly, though I did notice one player from their team kept trying to stack sides in his favor for every open game we played. In general, the group of open players included a lot of players arriving to the field with their own equipment, and it seemed to be a good mix of electros, mechs, and pumps compared to the rentals. On the whole, I imagine there were around 40 players or more at the start of the day.

The refs were friendly and reminded players constantly to keeps masks on, use safeties, and plug barrels. Apparently they are volunteers from the Church and do not get paid. There were enough refs on site to help coordinate parking, keep airball inflatables full, and ref all three fields at the same time (when needed - hyperball went empty a good bit). However, as said above I was disappointed that action was not taken for players firing into the staging area. I also didn't like that the staging area and areas around the hyperball and airball fields were not blocked off with more netting. It seemed that many players did not fully understand the rules of the field, and the refs should've been more on top of the younger or greener players that weren't acting safely. Honestly, even most of the younger players were fine - the problem group appeared to be made up of unchaperoned kids in their late teens or early college years (that's not inconsistent with most of the fields in Charlotte). The pro shop had a number of used markers hanging from the ceiling as well as sold Dangerous Power products and other items like air tanks and Rotors, but as it was cash-only I'm not sure how quickly they move a lot of their products. The pro shop was also very cramped, with only about 5ft by 8 ft of walking space in front of the counter. If more than three people were in the pro-shop at the same time it became difficult to move in and out.

*Bottom Line*
Due to the safety risks and lack of waivers, I decided I won't be returning to this field. The field does have some nice features, including better quality valken paint compared to most fields and very low playing fees. It's also the only local field or shop I know of that distributes Dangerous Power equipment. If you are still considering whether to check this field out, I would only suggest it for those that are comfortable wearing a mask all day and that aren't bothered by baptist conservative social perspectives. Remember to bring cash and don't park near the airball field.

Edited by unfated33, 10 January 2013 - 08:08 PM.

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