2003 Polar Bear tournament Circuit

Another big step for Minnesota tournament paintball was taken on the weekend of May 17th and 18th. The second leg of the five part, three-man Polar Bear Tournament Circuit was held at the tournament fields of Zumbro Valley Paintball. The two day tournament consisted of preliminary games being played on Saturday and the semi-finals and finals rounds on Sunday.

This tournament also consisted of a one-on-one tournament that was played in between the semi-final and the final rounds. Three different classifications are offered to the players at the Polar Bear. The Novice B class provided the majority of the teams in attendance, proving that the three -man format is best for new teams to start out in. The novice A class provided a lot of interesting games to watch. The novice A class teams seem to use the most teamwork to win the game. The advanced class was excellent to see individual skills shine the most, with some of our area's best players competing.

One of the biggest changes from last season is the addition of more preliminary games. A whopping 13 preliminary games were held on Saturday. This provided the teams with a lot of games and many opportunities to turn their game around. Although 13 games was decided to be a little to many, many players commented that they definitely had plenty of paintball all weekend long. Most teams did not go home hungry.

 The Fields

The tournament was played on the two new sup'air fields that Zumbro Valley Paintball has recently purchased to add to their tournament facilities. Some additional dorito bunkers were provided by Splattag, Inc., a sponsor of the Polar Bear and a large supporter of the local paintball scene. Zumbro Valley Paintball also enlarged the playing fields by almost doubling the size of the netted areas. The sidelines were cleaned up and new netting was installed to better accommodate the spectators that watch the games.

Field #1 was used for the semis and the finals. This field consisted of three solid back bunkers to launch your assault or mount a pretty good defense from. The fifty on the field consisted of dorito bunkers on both tapes and a popcan in the middle to provide lots of treewalking opportunities.

Field #2 had a clustered style, with many bunkers close to each other near or on the fifty. On one of the tapes there was a snake-style crawling bunker that tested the abilities of some of our area's best local front guys. If back players didn't keep their heads up and looking, then they could easily lose a player in the cluster of bunkers and angles.

The two fields had nice layouts that provided some intense games and a lot of good moves. The extra space was also an added bonus over last years somewhat small fields. The players seemed to enjoy playing them and they provided a challenging atmosphere to learn in.

Minnesota Companies

          It was good to see that this tournament was supported by so many Minnesota-based companies. Teams in attendance were sponsored by paintball fields like Zumbro Valley Paintball, Splat Tag, Inc., PGI, and MN Pro Paintball.

          Just Paintball was there with products on display and last minute items for sale. MNpig.com was there in many capacities. Showing off their new "I want to be shot by MNpig" and "MNpig shoots the best" t-shirts. MNpig reporters and photographers were on site to cover the tournament and the growth of Minnesota paintball.

          Jason Fry, from MNpaintballpix.com was also there snapping away with his camera. MNpaintballpix.com brought their other photographers dirty Pat and Jo-D to raise the quantity of players getting their moves covered. The team of photographers took almost 4,000 photos at the tournament. Be sure to check their website for some cool pix of you, your team, or your friends.

 The Paint

          PMI/R.P.Scherer, the official Polar Bear paint sponsor provided excellent quality paint for the players to shoot. Aaron,  a PMI sales rep also made the drive from Chicago to insure that the quality would be top notch. Aaron also brought along two PMI star tents to use as for player staging and registration.

          The players had their choice between two different types of R.P.Scherer paint. The two tone Premium paint shot great as always and was sold for $55 a case. The high quality, fragile shelled Evil paint was also available for player that with high performance guns. The Evil was in a bright pink or orange fill that could easily be seen as it broke on players. The Evil was sol for only $65 a case.

          Both paints shot incredibly straight and broke on target, but not in your gun. It was perfect quality and a player couldn't ask for to much more. PMI products were also available for sale and the Evil headbands were very popular. Some players are even switching over to the really nice Evil jerseys that offer lots of ventilation and pockets.

 One-on-one tournament

           The newest addition to this format was the one-on-one tournament. 32 players signed up to test their individual skill and try for the prize of a free Polar Bear entry and four cases of tournament paint. The mini-tournament started out with an orientation to go over some of the rules.

          After, numbers were drawn to see who would play who in the preliminary round. The excitement was high as players got to see who they would be matched against for the first round. The first round got to see matches between teammates which happened in many cases and even one match where a set of brothers from the team God squad played against each other.

          The one-on-one also provided the battle of the indoors. In the drawing of numbers for the preliminary round Kirk, the field manager from FSL indoor drew Todd, the head ref from Splat You're Out. The match nicknamed "The Battle of the Indoors" was the eighth match to start and the crowd was quietly placing bets on the outcome of these two good players. The match went almost to the time limit as Todd finally placed a ball on Kirk, thus winning the battle of the indoors for himself and Splat You're Out.

          The final match was even between two best friends, Munster from 8-ball factory and Aaron Tholey originally from Texas Storm, but guest starring with his friends on the 8-ball factory team. The two friends met in the middle of the field to shake hands, hug, and wish each other good luck before they would start the last round.

          Congratulations to Aaron Tholey a.k.a. Pinky from Texas Storm for winning the one-on-one tournament.

 Novice B

          The novice B class had a semi-finals as well as a finals division. the following teams made it to the semis; Wolf pack, Bring it, Natural Disaster, Wizards II and IV, God squad I and II, and Mirror Image. All the teams played well in the semi's with strong showings from Wolf pak, Godsquad I, Wizards II and Natural Disaster.

          The final for the Novice B class was intense and action packed. Wolf pack came out the victors by posting three maxes to take first place. Natural Disaster took second and is one team to watch out for as they beat many teams in higher divisions in the preliminary round. God squad followed in third place, which will put them in good standings for the series after their first place win from the first tournament. The Wizards II finished up the finals in fourth place. Watch out for this team as well, they are getting better and better with every tournament. They also have a pair of good front players that are coming along quite nicely.

 Novice A

          The Novice A finals was a nail biter to the end. Bad Mojo II and Anger Management both went into the last game with two wins a piece. The winner of the last game would decide who would take the first place and the losers taking second.

          With some stellar play by Anger Management captain Kenny. Anger Management came away with the win and first place for the Novice A classification. Anger Management put on some good play throughout the whole finals. Including winning a one on one with Win, Inc.

          Bad Mojo II placed in second place with two wins and one loss.  Following by Twisted Flipside in third and Win, Inc. following up the rear in fourth.

          Advanced

          The advanced finals saw the difference between first, second and third separated by just a few points. 8 ball Factory took first place with two perfect maxes and one perfect loss resulting in a score of 200. Second place went to Wizards III trailing by only 2 points. RAF took the third spot after a hot gun took away a few important points.

          The Lost Boys came in fourth, which is a good placing for the team. They have a few new faces and ages on the team. Geno, the team captain had high hopes of securing some of the young, aggressive players for use in future Polar Bears. This will certainly change things up a bit.

 The End to One Great Weekend

          As the players congregated around the Zumbro Valley Paintball and Wizards signs people were excited to get the awards ceremony started. The teams were called up one by one to receive their medals and prizes. The Novice B teams walked away with large boxes full of useful paintball gear to be used to win future Polar Bears. All the teams that made the finals received personal medals.

          The Novice A teams were called up and recognized for their achievements. They could not walk away with their prizes due to the fact that they won huge piles of R.P. paint and gift certificates.

          The Advanced division was the last to be called up. They won enormous trophies for first through forth. The first place trophy could be almost four feet tall. 8-ball factory stepped up to thank their sponsors and claim a huge check for $750.

          It was nice to see the teams happy that they won and thanking their sponsors for their much appreciated help. As the tournament was done players started picking up their staging areas and packing up their gear. The sun was still up and the day was not over as players left the fields. One of the last cars to leave was the Anger Management crew, with big smiles stretching from ear to ear, large first place medals around their necks, and the car riding low from all the prize paint stuffed into the trunk.

 The Next Big One

          The Polar Bear Tournament Circuit would like to invite all players in every classification to the next Polar Bear. On the weekend of June 28th and 29th they will have the next three-man tournament. It will be hosted by Splat Tag, Inc. and held at the PGI tournament faculty in Baldwin, WI. The three format costs $200 per team to enter and offers three different classifications.

          The Polar Bear Tournament Circuit also has a five-man series that will start on Saturday, June 14th and will be held at Zumbro Valley Paintball in Lake City, MN. Interested teams are urged to sign because entry may become limited due to the one-day tournament format.

 The Official web site for the Polar Bear Tournament Circuit www.polarbearcircuit.com

 


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