It’s early Sunday morning of the first weekend in August. We are halfway through our third annual West Coast Pump Weekend (WCPW ’09).
Yesterday was our one and only Speedball tournament (for pump players) TNT Paintball puts on during the year and today continues with a day of all pump recreational play. It’s a lot of work every year to get things organized and pretty hectic on Saturday to get everything organized as quick as possible so the fun can begin for the players. As the organizer, I never get to play in the speedball portion of the event, but it does look like a lot of fun. I get lots of comments throughout the day and afterwards from those taking part, telling me how much fun it is. I’m hoping to get out today to take part in some of the rec games.
Attendance grows a little bit from year to year. We had sixteen 3-man teams yesterday and we’ll have more players taking part today during the rec portion of the event (I’m guessing about 60). Players came from as far away as Ontario and even had a few of our American neighbors join in.
We stress the fun aspect of the event and make sure everyone that enters knows we are playing the speedball tournament to have fun. Prizes are engraved beer glasses and bragging rights. It’s coincidental that the topic of the latest article on View from the Dead Box discusses “Expectations and Having Fun” http://viewfromthedeadbox.blogspot.com/
I totally agree with everything Baca wrote in the article. Those that want to stand on the podium at major events need to be serious about the game. Unfortunately for competitive speedball, there are very few people taking up paintball that want to commit themselves that much. Most people DO want to have fun. It’s why competitive speedball is such a relatively small part of the overall paintball picture. It may be the most visible (in the media) and even the most talked about portion of paintball, but when it comes down to it, the level of commitment and the resources needed to stand on the podium is just too great. Add in the dollars needed and then take fun out of the equation, and one can see why so few want to commit to the years of work needed to make it to the top.
Of course, Baca’s article has absolutely nothing to do with the fun 3-man pump speedball tournament we just completed. Thank goodness. Even yesterday, while everyone was having a good time, there were moments when players and teams were coming back in to the staging area with a look on their faces, that I rarely ever see during our normal rec play that we do the rest of the year. It’s that look of disappointment and maybe even a little disgust. Not disappointment with the tournament or the refs, or even the other team that just handed them defeat, but disappointment with themselves.
I see that look and it confirms for me that the decision we made many years ago to concentrate our business on recreational paintball and not tournament type paintball was the right one. We’ll probably hold West Coast Pump Weekend ’10 next year, but only because I know that look is rare at the “Fun” tournament we put on. If the tournament ever evolves or starts to attract teams that take the game too serious, we’ll probably pull the plug.
Oh yeah....the teams that placed at the event; first was War Party, second was Islander’s Army, and third was Wookie Dicks. Honourable mention goes to Team Eggroll who also placed in the finals. Congratulations to the winners. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. Now lets get out there and have even more fun.