Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Recreational or Competitive Paintball?

I’d like to touch on tournament representation (and lack thereof) in some locals. Since I am most familiar with my local scene, I’ll start there, and probably won’t venture much further than there.

We are located on an island, for those of you who don’t know. Vancouver Island specifically. Approximately half the population is located at the southern tip of the island (Victoria, BC), and the other half is located on the rest of the island. TNT Paintball is on the southern tip, close to Victoria.

Representation in competitive paintball has been low in the southern region of the island for as long as I can remember. There is constant talk from competitive players on the subject. Why are there so few competitive players coming from the area of the island with the highest population density?

Here’s my take. First of all, the majority of competitive paintball players didn’t start out playing competitive paintball. Just about all the competitive players I have met, played their first paintball game on a recreational (woodsball) facility. After a few outings of recreational play, they went on to discover competitive play. I believe this is common almost everywhere in the paintball world.

Of those who try competitive play, some like it and stick with it. Others try it, find out it’s not their thing, and either quit paintball altogether or go back to recreational play.

Does it sound like I’m getting off track? Just bear with me a moment. On the southern part of the island, around the Victoria Island, we’ve had several decent commercial recreational facilities for quite a number of years. We’ve had one commercial recreational field since very close to the beginning of paintball. There are ample places for the recreational player to play. On the rest of the island, there are fewer commercial recreational facilities and those that have been available were not at the same level as their south island counterparts.

Around Victoria, players have the ability to go to several commercial recreational fields and be relatively assured of being entertained and having fun. Many of those that have “graduated” to competitive play, have returned to recreational play after finding out that competitive play is not all that they thought it would be. The recreational fields are still available to them and they can return to them at any time, and continue having fun playing paintball at those fields. There are options for the paintball player that wants to continue playing paintball past his/her Newbie stage.

North of Victoria, there are less options. There are still options, but they aren’t quite as good (sorry if I’m hurting anyone’s feelings here). Once a player “graduates” to competitive play, returning back to sub-par recreational play just doesn’t seem that inviting. So players in that region are more likely to stick with competitive paintball and hence the makeup of the competitive scene is somewhat skewed. There are more competitive players from the less populated area than there are players from the more populated area, by quite a margin. The reason being, in my opinion, is the difference in paintball choices for the population.

That is why the lower part of the island probably has close to ten times as many people playing recreational paintball on any given day than the northern region, yet less than half of the competitive players hail from that same population base. The players choose to play recreational paintball rather than competitive paintball because, quite frankly, they get more bang for their entertainment dollar at the recreational fields.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hot Seat

68 Caliber is putting industry people in the hot seat and letting you and me field the questions.

The way I understand it, folks from the paintball industry, that most of us will at least have heard of, will be available for a week at a time to answer questions that we throw at them. Fist up is Gino Postorivo of Valken Paintball. Personally, I’m a little hesitant to ask anything too controversial of Gino. I mean he’s of Italian heritage (at least I assume he is) rising from the downtrodden streets of Jersey. You never know what kind of connections Gino might have (just kidding Gino, don’t get mad…please).

Anyway, it’s a cool concept and a good opportunity for us commoners to have more or less direct contact with some of the bigger names in PB Industry. Check it out.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Wow, it’s official. Our little blog has followers in the double digits. Thank you to Canarias Paintball for breaking the barrier. Actually, I think we only have nine because Steve Davidson is such a big fan, he signed up twice. Go Steve! But officially, it’s ten, because Steve Davidson is a pretty common name, so it might actually be two different Steve Davidsons. That’s what I’m going with. Ten is no army yet. How about a small band or Mercenaries? Reiner’s Renegades. Has a ring to it, doesn't it.

Personally, I don’t quite understand why anyone drops by to read this stuff…y’all must be really bored. There is probably some way that one can track who is visiting and such, but I’m so low tech, I haven’t figured out how to do it. I’ve heard from a couple of locals here lately that they read regularly. Who knew? One even told me that he knows lots of people who read this dribble. Yet comments are few and far between and I only recall one comment ever from a known local.

Speak up. Even if you disagree with what I write, which I’m sure many of you do. I’ll let you have your say before I prove you are wrong. The Internet and all its tools, has a lot wrong with it, but the ability to communicate and share ideas with the rest of the world isn’t one of them. So I look forward to reading what more of you have to say. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be shy. You can always use a fake name (you didn’t think my name was really Reiner Schafer, did you?) or the dreaded anonymous if you are afraid you might embarrass yourself. Just say something....all you ghosts in the attic are starting to freak me out.