By Jay Rosauer, Old Skool



            Ah, the NPPL, the best of the best.  We as paintball players aspire to become better players.  We aspire to play with and against the best.  You’ll find the best competition at the NPPL events.  That is for sure.  Minnesota has a great local scene, and it is a great way to learn, grow and win as a team.  If a player has an opportunity to attend a NPPL event, then all of the experience gained from Minnesota ball will definitely help.  I highly recommend any player or team should try to get to one of these events.  And wow, how they’ve changed.

            6 years ago I attended my first NPPL event.  It was 1994, the third week in June.  I was on Team Cypress, and it was the first NPPL for Cypress as well.  There were 4 fields, and they were all in the woods.  There was a large tent in the middle, where one could get food, and register, along with a few vendors.  It was a huge complex to see back then.

            This year, 6 years to the weekend, I went back to Chicago.  It was my second NPPL event ever.  I couldn’t believe how much had changed.  I played 5-man back in ’96, and was playing 10-man this time around.  There were around 50 teams in ’96, compared to 120 10-man teams this year.  That alone was a huge change.  The complex had grown by leaps and bounds, along with the competition.  The Badlandz had 8 10-man fields, all netted and great spectator fields.  The competition was unreal.  They had many huge tents, with a massive vendor show, and a lot of fans. 

            I think my experience here is a sign of how much paitnball has changed in 6 short years.  Six years from now, I can’t even imagine how far paintball will have evolved.  The game is much faster, much more communication and better players.  If you don’t come prepared, you’ll go home very sore, looking like you have the measles.   Carrying 6 100-round tubes was typical in ’96, now it’s not uncommon to see back players with 15 140-round tubes.  This is one example of things that have changed.  I hope paintball keeps growing, and Minnesota paintball especially.  Again, head out to a NPPL if you have an opportunity, and see for yourself what a great sport we all love…


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