The Ponoma County
Fairplex was the chosen location for the Paintball Sports Promotions' first tournament of the 2003
season. This tournament hosted two different formats to play in. The
regular ten man play like years in the past and the new X-ball format.
X-ball is basically five man play, but you are matched up against a team
for a forty minute match. Both teams enter the field and when one team
wins (by shooting five players and hanging the flag) both teams have a 2
minute break to resupply on paint and air or switch players out from a
roster of ten. Winning one game in the forty minute match earns you one
point. There are also time-outs, half times, coaches, and crowd
participation. All this with the addition of penalty boxes add up to one
crazy game packed with a lot of aggression. You could tell by this
tournament that the PSP totally supports the X-ball format.
The trade show was
huge. Many dealers came to show their new products to the masses at the
Fairplex. Facefull magazine was there selling magazine subscriptions and
showing off some of their great pics. The Viewloader tech table was busy
fixing loaders, free of charge. The JT booth was also in attendance with
a chihuahua wearing a JT jersey.
Traumahead sportz was
also in attendance with their newly released DVD version of the World
Cup 2002 video. Traumahead sportz has also come out with a bunch of cool
t-shirts and hats.
Nexed is a new company
to market their products to paintball players. They manufacture a few
styles of player pants. They also have huge gear bags for sale. Their
gear bags come in backpack, duffel bag, and pull behind suitcase style
sizes. The backpack has the carrying capacity of most large gear bags.
These bags are awesome. Look for the pants to start showing up at a
field near you.
There were several
large display trailers occupying half of the vendors area. WGP, Smart
Parts, Evil, National Paintball Supply, Bob Long's Intimidators,
Shocktech, and Dye all had semi trailer sized display trucks set up
showing their products.
Shocktech had the new
shocktech intimidators on display. These guns are hot. I had the chance
to "fondle" one of them back at the hotel. I got to take it apart and
see all the upgrades. This is one great gun. This seems to be the
driving force behind most of the Chicago Aftershock NXL players.
Smart Parts had the
new Max-flo regulator on display at their trailer. This regulator is
just as good as the old Max-flo ,but it is a lot smaller and more
compact. The old Max-flo tended to be big and bulky.
The Venue for the tournament was the Ponoma county Fairplex
which is basically a huge fairgrounds site with horse racing, a farmers'
market, lots of fair food, and plenty of parking. (for $6 a day) The
fields were located in the center of the horse track. This location
provided nice green grass to play on. The playing fields were soft and
flat, which lead to a surprisingly low amount of injuries.
The staging areas for
the teams were also nice. Plenty of tables and chairs under the shaded
pavilion. The only problem was that the fields and the staging area was
separated by one long walk. Too many trips from the staging area to the
playing fields would needlessly tire you out.
The schedule was
different too. The first games started at 10:00 in the morning. The last
games of the day were played up until 7:30 at night. The fairplex had a
number of stadium lights set-up to allow for night games to be played.
This change in schedule was nice. It allowed you to stay up late with
your paintball buddies and still get to sleep in and get a good
breakfast before going to the field for the day.
The X-ball fields were set up like a five man field. As
soon as the game started any position could be eliminated. The front
guys running to the side tapes had to do a lot of bump and runs to make
their positions and the guys going to the center had it easier. The
corner bunkers were hard to get to because everyone was in range.
The nicest part about
the X-ball field was that they had separate staging areas and an air
fill station. We even had our own target range with chrono.
Move of the
I got to see a lot of
dope moves throughout the tournament. A lot of diving bunker moves and
superman slides. I even got to see two opposing players body check each
other as they tried to bunker the same spot on the breakout. This move
resulted in two broken loaders, a ruptured air hose, and lots of
adrenaline spilling all over the place.
The move of the
tournament I will have to give to any player coming out of the penalty
box during an X-ball game. In the X-ball format players are penalized in
the form of serving time in the penalty box located right behind the
starting boxes. Your penalty times range from 2 minutes for a minor, 5
minutes for a major, or the dreaded super bad 10 minutes for being
really dumb. When your penalty time runs out you are instantly inserted
into the game. Most of the time, the players on the field aren't keeping
track off the time and the player fresh from the penalty box has the
drop on the other team.
I got to witness
several muggings as well as players walking the flag in as they got
ripped from the guy being reinserted.
I even got to
participate in one myself. I was in the penalty box serving my 5 minutes
for something I didn't do and the team we were playing started to shoot
out my teammates. It quickly became a two on five in favor of Tippman
Effect. The Tippman player in the center fifty started to walk in on one
of my remaining players when the penalty box time ran out. Greg
got to stitch the guy as he was in the wide open and not even looking in
my direction. In the chaos that followed I got to rip another
unsuspecting victim and before they realized that the player was out of
the penalty box Frank and Greg from Team Cypress were in a race to get
the last guy.
The finals for the
10man competition took a back seat to the X-ball finals. The pro 10 man
division was won by the Naughty Dogs. They are a good bunch of guys. All
last season they chased after Trauma, finishing 2nd at most
of the tournaments. This year, they trounced Dynasty in a very exciting
game on the JT field. Excellent play by the naughty dog that got into
the zipper and proceeded to shoot 4 or 5 players out.
In the amateur finals
the Evil factory team took another first place finish. These guys took
first at the Huntington beach super 7 and at the Mardi Gras Open. They
may be unbeatable? Only time will tell, but until then let's hope you
don't have to play them.
There were a number of
Minnesota players at the LA Open. Todd Hugo was there playing with his
team the Philly Americans in the NXL (National X-ball League). It seems
like Todd is getting a lot of play on the X-ball play clock. He is doing
really good adjusting to the new format.
Nick Walker and Aaron
Thole (aka Pinky) were there playing division 1 X-ball with their team
Texas Storm. The team didn't do so well, but I witnessed several good
plays by both Nick and Pinky.
Ignition was there to
start out the 2003 season. Ignition has picked up a lot of youth over
the winter. Petey, Randle, Coop, Turbin, Shea, and Slugger were all on
the roster. These guys are a bunch of young good players and I don't
think any are over the age of 21. Looks like these guys will have to
find an 18 and up strip club for the team to go to.
Marcy, from Team Them
and Impulse fame, also had a chance to play. He got set up with the
Demonic Factory Team. They took 5th place in the rookie 10
man division. Good job, Marcy. In one game his team had 9 players
shooting lanes on the break. This strategy resulted in shooting 5
players on the break from the opposing team.
Frank and I from Team
Cypress hooked up with Chris Raehl's NCPA Allstars. We got to experience
what X-ball is all about.
had fun at this tournament. The layout and location could be improved
upon. The new X-ball format is very interesting. It is not only fun to
play, but also to watch. It seems that the PSP will spend a lot of their
attention on this format. Is ten man paintball dying out? Only time will
Reported by Greg
Pictures by Darrin Johnson