You can put some guys together on an afternoon in sweatshirts and slacks to play some shinny, but that's not the same game as playing Hockey in an amateur league at the rink.
Does that make sense?
The camo and the gear is looked upon as Army LARP by some from both the inside and the outside, but ultimately it's all sporting equipment.
A $1200 carbon fibre stick and NHL-sanctioned skates and pads won't make a skilled player, but a skilled player gets that much more of an edge with better equipment.
Likewise, a skilled player can play well with any level of equipment, but to play Hockey rather than Shinny any level of player is going to need a bare minimum of SOME kind of helmet, pads, skates, socks, jersey, stick, and gloves.
In Airsoft this translates into head cover, load bearing equipment, boots, socks, camo, primary/ secondary arm, gloves, and for the love of God, water carriage.