Over the years, it has become known that sipping alcoholic beverages during physical activity puts those who do it on an equal footing, in the social hierarchy, with those who pick their nose.
The same principles dictate that sobriety should be maintained especially when handling dangerous objects and no matter how you look at it, and airsoft gun falls under this category. It is true that the threat it poses is rather moderate, but there is no doubt, that when handled irresponsibly, doing damage to ones colleagues is not so difficult.
The following text is probably outrageous to many players claiming that they drink in moderate quantities (or "a lot, but responsibly"), so the problem does not apply to them, because one beer (or an optional three) did not do any harm to anyone. It does, Dear Colleagues, and especially to yourselves.
I do not see why people reach for alcohol during airsoft games. Probably there are some people the like the game more while being under mild influence. Some might uphold the belief, acquired in the years of their early youth, the a guy with a bear in his hand is a swell one. Others bought equipment for at least a few hundred PLN to have an excuse to drink with their colleagues away from a grumpy spouse.
Sometimes, I appear on games, where the organizer allows the participants you to drink alcohol while playing. I do not like it very much, but if I am a"guests" and have agreed to such rules, I have no right to make a fuss. Both the organizer and the players are adults, so they know the potential risks associated with the consumption of alcohol in one form or another. I guess.
Lets get up to the point.
When you should better not drink?
The list of situations is short and there are no exceptions.
In a nutshell, when you plan to get back into the game as an active participant right away. Additionally, which is obvious for most, but as it turns out not for everyone, if you organize the game.
In the intervals between successive rounds I sometimes see people drinking beer. The more sensible ones pause even for a few skirmishes. Well, let it be - if a guy has the urge to drink, then one beer often does not even affect the persons behavior. It's only a bit annoying that the long downtime between skirmishes extend even more.
At a big event I once were, which was organized during the May holiday in Poland, there were very many players with either a hangover or still under influence, who geared up, threw cans into a bonfire and went to the playing area. And what's more, they were surprised that someone might not like it.
Once stories circulated on our forum about a certain event held in central Poland, where immediately after it started the organizers sat in front of the tent and set about partying. Of course, the game turned out to be a complete flop, because many players followed the example of the organizer. Their explanation simply rich - the "event elders" stated that they could drink because they would not shoot anyone.
One more type of event has to be added to the category when one has to be definitely sober, that is when they represent our community as such, that is shows, exhibitions, charity events and the like. I know that the vast majority of you would not even think of opening a beer in such a situation, but for the sake of completeness I prefer to mention it.
Why you should better not drink?
Because of the simple fact that in our hobby the alcohol restricts very much.
At the beginning I mentioned that those who drink do the greatest harm to themselves. Apart from moralizing, appealing to one's decency, setting a good example to young players and being a worthy representative of the community to the outside world, the most important reason is purely pragmatic - general insurance conditions.
After alcohol consumption, the ability to correctly assess risk, holding balance, one's perception, motor skills and reflexes decreases in some extent. What is marginal when returning by a night bus from a party to one's house, when running through forest, can lead to serious consequences. One wrong step and a tragedy may occur.
In a hospital, the fact that you've been drinking will come out rather sooner than later, then the medical records will include the appropriate annotation and you can say goodbye to the money from you insurance. Unless someone has bought some platinum package, which also includes such cases.
In addition, for the above-mentioned reasons of physiological nature, it is also easier to injure other players. After alcohol, the risk of doing really stupid things increases. Dumb ideas after drinking seem much more tempting than while being sober. Must be obvious for everyone that when alcohol is involved in "unintentional causing ...", it is unlikely to be treated as an attenuating circumstance for the perpetrator.
Drinking players seem to be better able to get better involved in the game, but in turn they spoil the fun of others. Last winter I attended en event, where we were graced with the presence of a colleague who really liked to party. He emptied 2 to 3 bottles before noon. It gave him such super powers that the three of us could not eliminate him from the game, despite the fact that "fatigue" finally gave him a hard time. It seems that Panoramix could learn the art of preparing all these potions from "Kompania Piwowarska" (a Polish brewing group based in Poznań).
On the already mentioned May event, descriptions of similar events could be multiplied. Older players probably know more than one alcohol related story from that event. Even I was very impressed by a commanders of one of the teams. From the very first day, the guy fought heroically to maintain a vertical position, and despite the "gusty winds" he managed to stay relative straight. Unfortunately, from the late evening hours, he focused solely on keeping it straight.
I also remember a situation from another event, where the player "immersed" into the game so hard that he began to scream at people to "motivate" them to assault. He tried to pull them out and push them from behind cover and, in the end, ran alone, waving a flag on a stick.
Such behaviors have obvious consequences. After making a fool of oneself, the player is flagged for a long time and must try very hard to be taken seriously again. Anyway, the patch is pinned also to his team/organization and they gain an, often undeserved, opinion of "drunkards" which one has to be careful around. A mechanism similar to that of branding someone a cheater.
When can you drink?
Of course, everything is for people. Alcohol too. Sometimes it is even welcomed.
For each larger event, people go down a day, and sometimes even two days earlier, to party in peace - drink beer by a bonfire, eat some grilled or roasted meat, cement old friendships and make new friends.
Alcohol drunk in "social" quantities will be digested enough until the next day that you can participate without arousing any controversy and protests. Anyway, a well thought out scenario will give you no time or inclination to reach for a beer during the game.
I will say more, a very old and a proven principle says that during such integration evenings drinking alcohol is very much encouraged. Players who had the opportunity to get to know each other, drink together and talk about all kinds of topics, are much more likely to explain misunderstandings in the field peacefully and show smaller deviations towards "full tactical professionalism" when dealing with other people.
When the opponents are not anonymous people in uniforms, but people with whom you were at a nice party the previous day and shared a few pieces of pork, then you are able to show a lot more understanding and empathy. From my own experience I know that then most conflict situations end up with a handshake, not aggressive quarrels about how is right.
When it comes to ordinary, local meetings, on a spring/summer Saturday afternoon nothing tastes better than a cool beer drunk during a group bonfire or a barbecue after the game. Then you can reminisce about the "epic" actions of the past day in a good company, listen to the stories of other players and make beautiful plans for the future.
When I was a novice player, this is what I was taught - if someone takes out a beer, it means that he ends his involvement in a game today.
The next option are typical "tactical" trips to the forest without shooting. During the day you can go, check your equipment, practice tactics, orientation in the field and in the evening, set up a base, take a beer out of your backpack, your food rations (or light a bonfire, if the conditions allow) and in this way combine business with pleasure.
Another option is to go for typical military event. There nobody reproaches anyone for all-day drinking, even if it was "soda without bubbles". As long as you do not try to get into a vehicle (or drive) under the influence, drink as much as you can and have fun.
As you can see there is a multitude of options. You do not really have to reach to very bottom of your limits. Alcohol is for wise people, and they usually know how to use it.
When can you do with a drunk person?
As a participant in an event, where the regulations do not allow alcohol to be consumed during the game, you can report the matter to the organizer. And that's where your task ends.
I do not recommend acting as a police officer and chase alcohol abusers on my own. I used to do it (after all, I am a part of the WMASG crew and keep the standards), but it costed me a lot of nerves. Usually, doing this resulted in a conflict situation or I was losing a lot of time on barren discussions. You do not want to do such things on your day off work. Once, I was even a target of a gigantic rant with loads of vulgar words and specific threats made by an extremely aggressive person, so I gave up.
As an organizer, you can immediately respond to participants' reports and check every "suspect" on the breathalyzer. Then, exclude him/her from the game and put on a "black list". I know it is difficult, but if you are not ready for such unpleasantries, do not organize an airsoft game.
To sum up
The problem of drunk players is certainly not a mass phenomena. When every tenth participant drinks during a game, it is already considered a lot. Anyway, in my opinion, people rarely tolerate alcohol during airsoft games. Those who drink usually try not to show off and usually drink stealthily or at the edge of the group. In my opinion, alcohol during games must be avoided. This is the matter of one's own safety and possible legal consequences.
Sure, the same amount of alcohol is equally bad for everyone. Some people have enough after one beer, while for others three do not make a difference. However, you need to place a border somewhere. This is how the organizers of many games and events do, and usually this border is zero. It is worth considering why it is done in this particular way. Not without significance is the fact that more and more often foreigners participate in our events. It's worth to show them our better nature.
When playing on "nobody's" terrain, you must also take into account a possible visit of the Police called in passers by/neighbors. They usually react routinely to reports about "commandos" and do not cause any problems, but when combining airsoft with drinking outdoors, they may be less understanding.
To sum it up in simple words - airsoft and alcohol is a bad combination. And that is all in subject matter.
The article is illustrated with photos from an event, where everyone seems to be having a great time, and there is no alcohol - GF POINT, more specifically, the 2016 edition.