Out of all the sports I've seen kids play, I'd have to say football is the most dangerous. I was involved with martial arts and hockey when I was younger; and although there is risk, it's actually not that bad. I've watched my friends kids play football a few times at the 8 - 15 years old level; and I saw a broken arm, a broken back, as well as a few other bang ups. This was all within a few games. I think airsoft in it's most basic form, is not as dangerous to mortal health. But then again I'd rather break my arm or my ankle than lose an eye.
The other issue that I have brought up before, is that there is no certified league or regulating body to truly protect these kids. A group of people who have set up proper insurance, and regulate things like FPS, and safety gear at a certain age range. I know that youths can be good players, and exhibit sportsmanship and maturity, but where is the line. It's great that you take the time to explain the risks to the players and parents, but who appointed you? Who regulates/governs you? Who comes out and makes sure your facility is up to code and adequately safe? Who decided on what "properly engineered" safety gear is mandatory to protect those that cannot protect themselves? Who dictates boundaries like FPS, age ranges, or other protective regulations? Does your field have an dedicated outside phone line, first aid trained staff, an AED on site, a rescue/evac/fire plan? Who is your governing body? Do you have detailed pamphlets, documents, and paperwork for the parents to go through that "detail in entirety" the risks, game dynamics, and laws associated with airsoft? Did you answer no to any of those questions?
It "may" be safer than playing hockey, football, etc. But where is the regulated league with the proper insurances and safety? Who can guarantee that these kids will be adequately protected, reasonably safe, and that "all" due diligence has been exercised? That's why these things exist, because in the Canadian legal system a parent can't just "sign away the rights of their children". There is many legal facets that have to in place prior to this happening and before it will be considered legal.
I think kids can very effectively play airsoft, and that they should. But there's a right way, and everything else is just very wrong. If parents want their kids away from the xbox, they can sign them up for karate, hockey, basketball, ...whatever. Or maybe someone should spend the massive amounts of money and years of time to set up a properly regulated league. That way everyone is legally protected, and the safety of the youths is being carefully observed.
...Unless you think you know better?
I'm not trying to call anyone out here, just put things into perspective.
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