Over the years, I have been asked many times by players who have just played their first time or have played maybe two or three times if we ever do competitions. I always say no, we are a recreational paintball facility. We don’t do competitive paintball or what is commonly called “speedball”. Often times they look at me as if they have no idea what I am talking about, which is probably the case.
The thing is, these players who have just been introduced to paintball, at a recreational paintball field, just want to play more of that type of paintball, but in a more formal, organized competitive environment. That’s what they are envisioning. There is a good chance that they have never seen a speedball competition (anyone reading this who does not know what speedball is can google “speedball” and you will very quickly get a good idea). But competitive speedball, as those of us who have been involved in it, requires a lot of commitment of both time and money. It’s certainly not for the player that just wants to get out to a paintball field a few times a year to have some casual fun.
I understand though what these new players are talking about. I myself had my first and second paintball experience at a recreational paintball field with a company holding a friendly competition between two branches of that company. In this case, it was an annual event with a homemade trophy as the focal point of bragging rights. We played on large wooded fields and played similar games to what we still play today at TNT Paintball. Some of the guys made up silly names for themselves and also for others and some even wore makeshift uniforms and costumes. It was followed by a stop at the pub on the way home to talk and brag about the day’s events (we were all adults). It was so much fun, over two decades later I’m still playing paintball and have even gone so far as to open a paintball facility so I can share that joy with thousands of others.
So I’ve been thinking lately that maybe there is actually a market for some “fun” recreational competitive paintball played on our recreational fields (rather than speedball fields) like the original days of competitive paintball; recreational paintball for the casual and beginner paintball players. A “beer league” of sorts, but with no beer consumed before or during the event of course.
So I’m going to describe what I am envisioning and then if any of you are interested in this concept, you can contact me and if there is enough interest, we’ll make it happen.
The format would be 10 players per team, but they can be any 10 players with some restrictions I will mention in a bit. There would be 4 events occurring in a year, with 2 or 3 months between events, so players can recover both physically and financially (although the objective will be to make this affordable – more in a moment on this as well). The roster does no t have to be the same 10 players at each event and we might even have a “substitution” or two allowed at events in case someone doesn’t show up or gets hurt or is just too tired to play a certain game. I know people are busy in their regular lives and sometimes an event may fall during a vacation or some other event, so I want to make it as easy as possible for a “team” to field a full team at each event.
All player would use TNT Paintball rental equipment (players may use their own mask if they have one). One of the things that I dislike about serious competitive paintball is the “arms race” aspect to it. With everyone using TNT rental markers and TNT field paint, everyone will be on an even playing field. With that in mind, I would like to make this a limited paintball event. We will have one price per team which will include 5,000 paintballs (500 per player if you like). I’m thinking $500/team ($50 per player or maybe less if you have some “substitutions”). We would then limit additional paintballs to an additional 2,500 maximum, available at a price of $30/500. Once a team has purchased their maximum allowable paintballs they cannot purchase anymore, so paintball conservation becomes part of the strategy. Also this way there is a fixed maximum cost for a team. I really dislike competitive paintball when a team can “purchase” an advantage by buying more ammunition than their competition can afford.
I’m envisioning up to 6 teams of 10 players playing at each event, rotating on fields and rotating opponents. I haven’t figured out all the details regarding point accumulations, but the points would carry over into the following event with the winner being the team with the most points at the end of the 3 (or 4) events. We’ll work out the detail if we feel this will actually come to fruition.
I mentioned player restrictions and I can already hear the groans, but I would like this to be a fun competitive series of events for renters rather than seasoned paintball players. So, TNT Paintball staff (anyone that has been a staff member in the past 10 years) cannot take part. Also, anyone that has played a competitive speedball event in the past 10 years cannot take part. What I am envisioning is teams of 10 made up from people that have never played paintball before or may have played a few times in their lives. Teams made up from businesses, trades, nurses, teachers, clubs, or groups of friends. People that just want to have fun in a “slightly” more competitive and structured format than what we usually do at TNT Paintball.
I am leaning towards using our .68 calibre gear, but would have no problem at all if there is more interest in .50 calibre. Heck, if there is enough interest, we could even do both.
So here’s the deal. If we get enough serious interest, we’d probably schedule the first event on a Saturday in October, then another one in January, and a third in March and then a final one in June at which time a winner would be crowned and a beautiful trophy presented. If you think you might be interested in fielding a team you can contact me in several ways. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 250-658-1177 or on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/TNT-Paintball/160099750692316) or youcan leave a comment on this Blog.
I think this could be a lot of fun, but we won’t know until we make it happen. That’s up to you. So let me know what you think.