View Full Version : Whats happening to tournament paintball?

01-13-2009, 05:36 AM
found this on pbn (of all places!) http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?p=55024695#post55024695
I came across a link via PBNation relating to the dramatic changes our sport is undergoing and I must say I couldn't have felt more in tune with what was said by the author John Amodea

. I started playing renegade paintball at the age of 15. Of course in 1988 I couldn't play legally anyway with most fields requiring you to be 16 with signed and notarized waiver. Here I am at 36, well into my 21st year of play, and I can't help but feel the crunch of the industry shift. I have been at every level of the game from player, to local field ref, field manager, field owner, store owner, manufacturer, national tournament player, and PSP and NPPL certified head judge.

So what am I doing lately? Well, I have put back on my camos and started playing with a pump again. My team, which has been a highly successful and well sponsored D2 team continues to pursue the dream of X-Ball and PSP glory. However I have had to get in touch with my inner child...that place where my love for paintball began. For me I am transcended back to 1988 and playing with friends in the woods, playing with a pump I certainly couldn't afford then. I am simply having a blast.

I wanted to write an article entitled "where have all the tournaments gone?." On come level we must take ownership of the fact that the reason tournament paintball has taken a serious downturn is our own mismanagement of the sport. Frankly, it isn't fun anymore to go to an event, where i have to deal with the complaining and political plays from the parties in charge. Even now as my personal tournament play comes to a slow but eventual close, I find myself happier about the sport as a whole. I enjoy playing again. I remember why I play. I play because this is a sport where you are measured by your ability to think quickly on your feet and where you can be the hero for the day, everyday. You play because an afternoon at the paintball field with friends is the best place to be. You can swap war stories and poke fun at the welts you each have received during the day, or recall how you almost died ruining back the flag while adrenalin carries you ever closer to victory.

We are the stewards of the sport Bob Gurnsey and his friends gave to us. We have not taken good care of it. We have made it something more than it was ever meant to be. We have tainted the sport with our own greed and desire for false successes. What is an NPPL Title anyways? We make these professional players our role models and for what? What truly have they done to give back to this sport? The image continues to drive the tournament paintball scene further and further into obscurity.

All across this country kids will be getting their first paintball marker this holiday season. More of them will be getting that BT, Tippmann, or Spyder that have wanted because their next door neighbor has one. They will return to play with their friends in the woods behind their neighbor's house. Paintball will be simple again. A game of tag and capture the flag. A game played among friends on a warm Sunday afternoon.

Thanks for listening.

Your brother in arms - C.E.H. paintball class of '88

01-13-2009, 09:38 AM
I agree - it was the main reason I quit playing a few years ago for more than a year. When I came back, I decided two things had to happen for me to play tournament ball again.

First, any and all tournamets had to be FUN. Meaning, I wasn't dealing with money problems, traveling issues, petty bickering, trash talk with opposing teams and the win win WIN attitude we always had before. Heck, we were winning, but I was having less fun than ever.

Second, I wasn't going to captain, and I had to have at least two days a month where practices were fun - ie, playing like it was rec whether it be in the woods or on the speedball field. I bought a Phantom for the sole purpose of NOT being able to run over the top of someone else - and to just get back into the spirit of the game which is to run, have fun, a chance to do something we would all look at and say, "WOW! Did you see that?"

I don't think tournament paintball is going away anytime soon. There are too many people into it. I just wish promoters and fields would become more harsh with, or at least follow through, their enforcement of rules. For example - when I first started, if you said ONE cuss word toward another player on the field, you were pulled and your team penalized, if not DQ'd (I saw this happen a couple of times.) Now, it's considered NORMAL and competitive to do this garbage. Now, I'm not saying anything about cussing on the field - but if you have a rule against it, ENFORCE it! One tournament I was in, there was a rule about not saying anything racist that would equal DQing from the tournament. But, there was one team (I think they finished 4th) that was YELLING racist things at other teams and refs, and when they didn't finish in the top 3 it got worse. They were penalized once, but allowed to finish.

The almighty dollar says a lot of things to a lot of people. I hate to say it, but because of the internet attitudes are spread along at the rate a DSL can carry it...

01-18-2009, 09:07 AM
I think the change will be great for the sport. I myself had to drop out of the game mid season last year right before the biggest event I was participating in (OSC St. Louis).

I was promoting a tournament series (XPPL), managing a team (Bang Gang), playing for two other teams. It was way too much and I pretty much had a breakdown.

Now I'm back. My tournament series has been taken over and added to a semi series where they are putting in a pump division as part of it. I just have to manage a team and play the series. Piece of cake.

The semi seires also lowered there bps to 12 in open and 10 in novice. I'm seriously thinking about putting in a mech team at events that dont' have a pump division (5 out of 9) just for fun!

I'm also playing woodsball again with friends. Good times.


01-18-2009, 10:38 AM
played some pump yesterday, 2v2 (pumps vs. tippy and fusion) and i wouldve had the guy with the fusion if i hadn't spooked him when i did my run-through.

01-27-2009, 12:37 PM
I have cussed in speedball when my nine year old was overshot before. Some guy that claimed to be a former tournament player nailed him four times in the crotch before my son could say he was hit. This is not rare instance in speedball. There are some poor ambassadors of this sport that sometimes overshadow the good. One field near my home I don't even go to because the kids that ref there don't want to be bothered with you because if there is nobody to have to ref they can practice. The sad thing is the owner is pretty cool but his ref's are jerks. They communicate thru a forum page under the fields name and really don't watch what they say further hurting there field. It's no wonder so many are turning back to mech or pump and away from agg kids, spray and pray.

XSiv Force
01-27-2009, 12:47 PM
i went on sunday just to a normal day of play and im playing with "ares" :) and came around a small building and i watched as a little kid on my team, i mean he just has to be about 8, just get nailed by tons of paintballs, if that had happened to any older person i wouldnt have thought abouit it but this pusheed which i EXTREMELY hard to do......so i turned on FULL AUTO came around on this guy that was laughing at what he just did ...................well i think of the 200 rounds in the fresh hopper i had 50 left the rest were all over this guy......the ref even laughed at this becasue i didnt hit anything else other then this guy.........the ref threw this guy off of the property because of how close he was to the little kid.........the ref said he was running over the throw the guy when he saw/heard me open up on this guy................ i dont curse when kids are a round but this guy was doing to get an ear full from me if he had stayed........

01-27-2009, 05:30 PM
that is one of the best paintball stories that I have ever heard, XSiv

XSiv Force
01-27-2009, 05:39 PM
yeah.....but i a very long fuse when it comes to getting upset but that doussed me in gasoline and lit off with a blow torch

02-02-2009, 01:16 PM
i dont blame you, i would've done the exact same thing.