This post is a lengthy comment on the previous post by Bielerga. I want to add another element of difference that I think creates tension between the scenario and speedball communities. Greg mentioned it briefly but I think it warrants more emphasis. This is in how each group treats the rules and their violation.
I have watched a lot of discussion on whether and when it is acceptable to mark from close range. It seems to me that many speedballers think little of close hits and are happy to ignore any bunkering rules. I think this is mostly due to the smaller size of their playing area. A good scenario arena is measured in acres while a speedball arena is measured in square feet or yards. In scenario play, you are happy if you can out-maneuver the other team and achieve your objective without the other side even seeing you. In speedball, you have to outgun the other team and the final move is always a run-through by the team with the most remaining players. A good run-through demands close-in, snap shooting.
Scenario play, by way of contrast, has many more players per match, often family groups. The emphasis tends to be more on having fun and running through the woods than winning. Scenario players tend to be less team-oriented and more oriented to good individual play. People are more concerned with their number of personal 'kills' than whether their team wins. Scenario fields almost always forbid firing at ten to twelve feet. For scenario players, contact at these ranges is rare (though a good 'point-blank' ambush is something to relish and embellish.) As a result, close-in firing is considered reckless and out-of-control behavior by most scenario players.
Along similar lines, I have seen some games where a player with an obvious hit plays on, waiting for the ref to call them out. If you question speedballers, they will freely explain that they wipe and ignore hits until called out by the ref. One player told me his team has regular sessions to coach each other on ways to conceal hits. Again, I think this relates to both the size of the arena and the emphasis on winning. In speedball, the refs are close and there are more of them. In most of my scenario experience, we are playing on 5-15 acres with only three or four refs. You cannot rely on refs to keep the game 'honest.' In speedball, the refs are there to call people out; the winner is usually an outcome of numbers at the end. In scenario play, the players call themselves out and the refs are there to keep the time and declare a winner. I suspect that scenario is closer to the sports roots when the game was played by people for fun and there were no refs. In addition, as Greg noted, scenario play is increasing using re-spawn games to further reduce the criticality of being taken out.
The problem arises when a speedball played decides to enter a scenario game and brings with them the ethics of the other sport. (For those who want to challenge me by asking what about what happens when the scenario players enters the speedball arena, I can only ask: How many people have you ever seen in camo on the suppair field?) The speedball player simply assumes this is just another version of the same game. When a scenario player sees a speedballer engage in "dishonorable" behavior, the outrage is automatic -- and the speedballer player is shocked that anyone would be so naive as to believe people don't cheat. The way I see it the solution is to make sure that when people show up in bright colors for a scenario game, we all have a good up-front discussion about how we play. Everybody should follow the norms of the community you are joining. And for my fellow scenario players, I would urge don't condemn; try instead to understand. However, if you made sure the other guys understood and they still cheat-- don't play with them. After all, you are not asking to join them; they are asking to join you. They will soon get the message.