Staff Photo: John Bohn Nico Lovvorn, 11, of Duluth, left, and Evan Rees, 11, of Cumming, right, prepare to play a round of air soft shooting at AirSport, located in Discover Mills Mall in Lawrenceville.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Airsoft is a sport where people shoot plastic BBs at others with replica firearms. Think paintball, but without the additional mess. Sound like something up your alley?
On Saturday, AirSport Indoor Sports Facility at Discover Mills Mall, an airsoft field and retail pro shop, celebrates its grand opening with free game play all day for every participating player using their own gear.
At the new venue, players can either rent gear or bring their own to play on the red or blue team. The team with the most points at the end of a set time wins.
"I made it more sport based and all of the games are based on points, not just shooting each other for no reason," owner Paul Skowronski said. "Running around is pretty fun for an hour, but even the experienced players say it gets boring."
The two teams have a chance to earn points several ways: by shooting an opponent, taking a flag from an opponent's waist like flag football, hitting someone with a dodgeball or getting the ball into the other team's goal.
The Astroturf field is 15,000 square feet with blue and green strips. Massive plastic bricks are constructed on the field for people to hide behind -- but no climbing.
"You can run around if you want or you can plan to have objectives and goals to get teamwork going on," Skowronski said. "We ask no one to climb on the obstacles because someone could fall off."
Depending on how many people are on the field (with 100 people being the maximum amount), there are three or four referees watching the games to ensure there is no cheating, rough play and proper scoring. Those who are caught cheating get 10 points deducted from their team's score.
"We may miss some of the cheating, but when we see it, points are immediately deducted," Skowronski said.
But before anyone can set foot on the turf, they must listen to a safety video and learn the rules of the game. If you don't remember all of the rules, Skowronski wants players to remember one: always wear face protection.
"Safety is the No. 1 thing for sure," he said. "It's not going to be fun if somebody gets hurt."
At AirSport, all ages of players are allowed on the field at one time. The youngest age able to play is 10 years old.
"There isn't any other sport or game where all ages can play at the same time because it wouldn't be fair," Skowronski said. "It's fun to watch the young kids and older guys strategizing together to win."
During the event from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., players will have the chance to enter in a raffle with more than $1,500 in prizes, including two KWA AEGs, a KWA GBB, a Tokyo Marui AEG, a Team SD Sniper, two Tornado Grenades, BBs, masks, gear and more. Chick-fil-A is serving complimentary food for the event.
AirSport is located at Entrance 6 near Burlington Coat Factory.