Airsoft games can be run by the players themselves using agreed upon rules. However, games become more realistic and fun for the participants if a game marshal controls the flow of play and provides on-the-spot impartial rulings. Airsoft game scenarios can vary widely according to mission type, number of teams, number of players per team, in-game objectives or victory conditions, and game durations. Popular game scenarios include center-flag capture or recovery, team flag delivery, hostage-rescue, ambuscades, raids or assaults, and death-match (all-out elimination) skirmishes.
It is the marshal's task to segregate the players into teams, determine the game scenario and its victory conditions, assign game objectives to various teams, brief the participants, delimit playing boundaries, and set the game duration. By means of whistles, flags, megaphones, and walkie-talkie radios, a group of marshals can handle dozens to hundreds of players in a series of episodes or nonstop play. Depending on the game scenario, players may be eliminated with a single hit, taken out of and returned to action with the aid of "medics," or allowed to "respawn" (re-enter the game) at certain places or times. A good game marshal strives to maintain a high level of excitement and activity for all the players involved while maintaining safety, impartiality, and "in-game realism."
Furthermore, those intending to operate game sites or hold game events should coordinate with local public authorities, designate safe zones and boundaries, invite the players to the site, and supply players and guests with adequate parking faciities, toilet facilities, water and electrical supply, as well as sell food, ammo, or other provisions.