Perhaps the one thing everyone can agree on is that the local field is the portal into paintball for the new (or prospective) player. And as such the outcome of that first paintball experience is (or ought to be) of prime importance not only to that individual field operator but also to PBIndustry, other field operators, store owners and even, according to conventional wisdom, all true sportsmen of the paintball variety.
The following is not a new idea. It is, in fact, an old failure of an idea. At least past efforts to implement this idea have been a failure. But the idea remains a good one. Perhaps even a necessary one and it may be that only in difficult times for the industry as a whole that this idea has any real hope of being supported, not out of foresight but out of desperation. At any rate the inspiration (and credit) for this post goes to one of VFTD's Euro correspondents who brought the subject up in a conversation the other day. And, as it struck me as both self-evident and timely, it was perfect for a post. (Possibly one of many as I so enjoy repeating myself.)
The idea is the post title; the (formal, organized) association of paintball field operators. But not like the CFOA or the Norcal variety which are tournament series. More of a PSTA-like organization for field owners in order to provide assistance for individual operators as well as operating standards designed to assure that members are best positioned to draw and retain new customers. (It is my understanding the PSTA intends to act in something like this capacity, at least in part, but that doesn't negate the potential value of an association completely focused on promoting paintball fields.) In addition, should the association ever gain widespread participation it would have the ability to act on a universal basis that is beyond the local field in a variety of diverse areas like marketing and insurance. A strong association would also be a position to act proactively on behalf of its individual members. It's a big idea with big potential and almost limitless benefits.