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Old July 12th, 2005, 09:34   #136
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Not everyone thinks it's a bad idea! : )
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Old July 12th, 2005, 10:43   #137
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maybe a numbers game? too many chefs spoiling the broth as the adage goes?

out west, where you have clusters of 30 players at a time, +/- 15, its easier to organize,monitor, and get consensus per province/region.

What's the player base like in any given section of Ontario?
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Old July 12th, 2005, 11:02   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMorbius
You know, an association works EVERYWHERE ELSE but Ontario. Why does everyone think it's such a bad idea here? I'm honestly curious.
Those smaller associations focus is to bring new players in and maintain an existing player base. The focus of association ideas in Quebec and Ontario are not.

I think most all players in the Quebec and Ontario areas agree that it's probably best if we all stay on the same 'level' and treat the sport and eachother as 'equal partnership'.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 12:11   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lt_poncho
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMorbius
You know, an association works EVERYWHERE ELSE but Ontario. Why does everyone think it's such a bad idea here? I'm honestly curious.
Those smaller associations focus is to bring new players in and maintain an existing player base. The focus of association ideas in Quebec and Ontario are not.

I think most all players in the Quebec and Ontario areas agree that it's probably best if we all stay on the same 'level' and treat the sport and eachother as 'equal partnership'.
Yeah... that's about what I was going to say.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 17:10   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lt_poncho
I think most all players in the Quebec and Ontario areas agree that it's probably best if we all stay on the same 'level' and treat the sport and eachother as 'equal partnership'.
Sorry assume I am stupid and elaborate on this point, I don't quite understand what you mean. An association by its nature elects its own board and uses member consensus and majority vote to implement policy. I am not sure how this anything but level or equal. Currently its simply chaos, so I certainly am one for voting the current system out of office.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 18:35   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarecrow
Quote:
Originally Posted by lt_poncho
I think most all players in the Quebec and Ontario areas agree that it's probably best if we all stay on the same 'level' and treat the sport and eachother as 'equal partnership'.
Sorry assume I am stupid and elaborate on this point, I don't quite understand what you mean. An association by its nature elects its own board and uses member consensus and majority vote to implement policy. I am not sure how this anything but level or equal. Currently its simply chaos, so I certainly am one for voting the current system out of office.
Warning... Groombug cynicism ahead.


From what I can tell, the associations out west are, as Poncho says, a loose cluster of smaller groups designed to facilitate ease of entry and a self-contained player base. Do they have a board of trustees? Like the old man in Monty Python's Holy Grail, I think it's an "anarcho-syndicalist commune".

An association as you defined would put a huge dent in the "equal partnership" idea because, intended or not, it will create a two-tiered caste system within the association. Those that are voted in as trustees will hold, whether they like it, want it, desire it, detest or not, an "elite" status. The other members remain, whether by desire or not, the "lowly peons". It's like political parties - they're all equal in that they all have constituencies... but when you get voted up to be party leader, you suddenly have a whole new set of responsibilities and privileges that put you above the rest, whether you like it or not.

I am not against an association. Depending on its infrastructure and its rules and other idiosyncracies, I would heartily support it. But I think we have to be very careful - we are not a political party where poor, defunct, corrupt, leadership can be neutralized quickly. Nor are the trustees, once "in office", have any deterrents preventing them from abusing the system. It's not a paid position and carries with it very little career-changing weight.

Again, this is just the cynic in me talking. I hope no offenses made. Issues of a debatable nature, let's take it to PMs instead of cluttering this thread up.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 18:51   #142
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I don't know about the rest of the "out West" clubs, but here we do have elections every year and an executive (prez, vps, treasurer, and game planners).

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Old July 12th, 2005, 18:54   #143
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One of the problems I am having in securing new places to play is the 'unofficial' nature of airsoft. Its much easier to sell a field owner on renting his field when I have an association infrastructure behind it. It also facilitates a lot of other potential benefits such as insurance and standards of hosting and divison and sharing of labour. But one thing at a time.

Yes, association representatives have power and status, but it is only derived from the membership. An association also allows for succession of function and power from one set of representatives to another WITHOUT the association going tits up - for instance, part of the problem is if I (Scarecrow) go dark on you guys, Plantation goes dark. If Zeon goes dark, I am sure it would create quite a bit of chaos at DragonOPs, possibly it would go dark too. Currently venues and hosting are in the hands of a small group of people who ALREADY for better or for worse have all the characteristics of the 'leet' status you described, EXECPT they answer to nobody and make up their own rules. An association would share this responsibility amongst more people who are directly accountable to those who they represent.

This isn't an attempt on my part of create a hegenomy, this is an attempt to distribute what I have and know and allow for succession - I DON'T WANT to be the sole contact person for a venue or for hosting certain kinds of events. I'd be more than happy to pass that off to people in the community who are motivated and wish to pick up the ball and move forward, passing on my contacts, resources, policies, techniques, etc, so they don't die out with my passing onto other things.

I think people have got to stop about worrying so much about empire building - its already here and you're in it - what people have to think about is mechanisms for distributing the workload more fairly amongst the community. If people keep thinking along these lines, our opportunities to play at good venues will remain small and good practices will evaporate on as hosts and field owners come and go - we won't accrue any long term benefits for airsoft, regardless of it being 'underground' or not. This isn't about legitimizing airsoft, this is about making our sport work better for us.

Look I am not here to bang my head against a wall, I've done it for 3 years. I can say I've gotten to the point where a lot of other hosts in the community have where they just want to play and pass on the torch. If you all really feel this strongly about it I can just shut the hell up, pack up my things and stick to bb sales and the odd game, but, I think I would be doing you all a disservice if I did that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midgetspy
I don't know about the rest of the "out West" clubs, but here we do have elections every year and an executive (prez, vps, treasurer, and game planners).

Nic
You see, the west has tackled this. I bet they have acrued a lot of benefits from operating this way.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 19:01   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarecrow
One of the problems I am having in securing new places to play is the 'unofficial' nature of airsoft. Its much easier to sell a field owner on renting his field when I have an association infrastructure behind it.
For instance, Gump and I visited a "desert" today and I am going to contact the property owner next week to discuss its usage by the community. Here I am exercising my leet status, answering to nobody, seeking nobody's approval and thus garnering no benefit from anyone elses experience and in all likelihood will blow the deal. Oh well. I'd have much rather passed the contact onto a committee that specializes in marketing the idea to a field owner and signing an agreement...
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Old July 12th, 2005, 19:18   #145
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Scarecrow, no offense meant at all.

I feel much better about the association concept now that you've laid to rest some of my fears. However, I continue to have reservations.

Will this association come to dominate all Ontario (and/or Quebec) fields of play? As is the case out West, will we not be allowed to play without going through this association first, or have membership, get green light, whatever the procedure might be.

Second, will there be embedded provisions in the association's charter/operating mandate that will ensure accountability and transparency? I think this is my biggest fear, but that might just be my Canadian political science getting the best of me.

Again, I am not against the idea of an association. I am not, at the same time, simply going to toss all my chips in without first examining the stakes. I support your push for an association-type organization that would better facilitate game play and enrich the airsoft community. You have my respect and apologies for any unintended offense.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 19:25   #146
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Originally Posted by Groombug
Second, will there be embedded provisions in the association's charter/operating mandate that will ensure accountability and transparency? I think this is my biggest fear, but that might just be my Canadian political science getting the best of me.
Its an absolutely critical REQUIREMENT that it be transparent and for representatives to be accountable. My proposal has always been to model it after traditional sports associations such as soccer and baseball or hockey.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 19:25   #147
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IF an association WERE to be formed I beleive the players that support it would do their best to maintain the transparency and accountability because if they didnt then it would validate anyone who currently sees this as an "evil empire"
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Old July 12th, 2005, 19:33   #148
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Originally Posted by Zeonprime
IF an association WERE to be formed I beleive the players that support it would do their best to maintain the transparency and accountability because if they didnt then it would validate anyone who currently sees this as an "evil empire"
Without transparency or accountability, I firmly believe it would also fail because nobody would trust it or the process and would not ultimately support it. Guess thats the same thing.

Incidently Groom I wasn't insulted. You articulated a point very well that nobody has brought forth but that I am pretty sure is on everyone's minds, and thats my personal motives. Its a valid question and I have no problem discussing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Groombug
Will this association come to dominate all Ontario (and/or Quebec) fields of play? As is the case out West, will we not be allowed to play without going through this association first, or have membership, get green light, whatever the procedure might be.
I think if the association is doing good things for players and airsoft, would it not be desirable for it to extend its influence to all fields in Ontario? I say influence because I see some fields as wanting to opt out, and some that want a partial relationship. Do I think an association should dictate where you play? No. But I think ultimately it is the membership that will decide those policies, not I. Right now this discussion is very speculative because we have not sat down to really discuss it in detail face-to-face.

Taking the OASA as an example, the slated purpose is to promote airsoft to field owners, offer a templated contract and management structure, negotiate a fee sharing agreement, and establish baseline rules (both safety and owner desired specifics to the venue). This enables the association to take a piece of land and turn it into an airsoft field using a 'template' - Plantation was done with a template. Theoretically you can take what I did there and apply it anywhere.

The end result is a field where the owner is being reasonably compensated and basic field infrastructure is paid for out of game fees - our half of the fee sharing. So far nobody (well, thats a lie, BB Bastard offset the cost on the tent) has had to pony up with financial donations or membership fees - you just come and play and by playing, you finance the field. If we could apply this model across the board, you could have an association with no dues thats based on participation at an OASA field, and membership is granted upon payment of your first game fees. The money we take in is directly proportional to the success of the field and as such, is put back into the field. Thats what I envision, at least simplistically. So far no host at Plantation is our of pocket for game expenses - they present their receipts for the items that were budgetted for for the game (planned ahead of time) and they are reembursed. Happy owner. Happy hosts. Happy players who know their fees are being used effectively at their venue of choice. Why not go to an association field when I know my money is being used that way?
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Old July 12th, 2005, 22:27   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarecrow
One of the problems I am having in securing new places to play is the 'unofficial' nature of airsoft. Its much easier to sell a field owner on renting his field when I have an association infrastructure behind it. It also facilitates a lot of other potential benefits such as insurance and standards of hosting and divison and sharing of labour. But one thing at a time.
Why sell them an official association? Just ask that a group of friends use the land at $xx each every few weekends to airsoft, explain airsoft, and that's that.

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Old July 12th, 2005, 22:37   #150
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Originally Posted by midgetspy
Why sell them an official association? Just ask that a group of friends use the land at $xx each every few weekends to airsoft, explain airsoft, and that's that.
That works when I approach someone with a piece of land through an introduction from someone with a personal relationship where there is already trust.

I don't sell them on the association, the association is an entity that represents the players to the owner. It presents a large group of organized individuals with a purpose as opposed to just me and a bunch of guys wanting to use your land for a weekend. It lends credibility and it assures property owners that they are being dealt with in a professional business like manner. This results in obtaining venues that we might not otherwise be able to obtain.

More importantly it secures the relationship of the field owner to the community, rather than through one key individual who when they leave results in the relationship ending and the field becoming unavailable. Again, succession... we can pass on good long term venues to future airsofters.
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