University of Michigan Paintball

Submitted by heffman on December 29th, 2010 at 12:39 AM

So this has been a long time coming but it's my first serious piece of writing on the blog so bear with me please. This being my second year in the University of Michigan Paintball Club I figured it was about time I post something on the blog about my sport and basically give a rundown as to how our year has been going.

Yes I did pick the picture where we were all making our hard ass faces

I've been playing Paintball since about 2004 so I've got a few years into the sport.  I played some competitive tournaments during High school and when I came to Michigan I didn't want to stop playing and joined the Paintball Club here. We play tournaments in the National Collegiate Paintball Association which has 2 divisions and allows for schools from across the country to compete against each other.

We play in the AA division which is for schools without large amounts of funding and we play in the Midwestern Great Lakes league. The NCPA has a fairly large number of teams in it, mainly in the Midwest, South and East Coast areas, and they hold a national championship every year in Florida. The format of play in the NCPA is 5 man xball, this means that there are 5 players from each team on the field.

Points are scored both by eliminating the opposing team and by grabbing a flag situated in the middle of the field and taking it to the opposing teams "dead" box (this can essentially only be done after the other team is eliminated). The simplified rules are if you're hit you're out, and if you continue playing with a hit you and a teammate of yours will be pulled from the field during play. Also the rate of fire is capped at 12.5 balls per second; there are also numerous other penalties enforced by four referees on the field.

Here is a picture of a fairly standard xball field.  

We started this year off strong by winning our first tournament which was held at Chaos Paintball in Charlotte, Mich., on Oct. 16. Six teams entered the tournament: Michigan (2 teams), Michigan State, Central Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Northern Michigan. We had played poorly in the preliminaries, but in typical Michigan Paintball fashion squeaked into finals and then dominated.

We were surprised at our success and pretty excited and if I'm being honest we got a little cocky, which didn't bode well for our second tournament.  We lost handily at Paintball Plex in Laotto Indiana on Nov. 21, coming in last place out of seven teams, but in our defense we were playing more new guys than our secondary this year. We played poorly all day and couldn't seem to shake the funk that only a  hangover can cause.

Our next tournament is Feb. 5 at Warzone Paintgames in Toledo, Ohio. We are planning practices for after school starts to get  back into the groove and will hopefully be bringing back a new trophy.

We are also in the early stages of planning a trip to the Superbowl of Paintball, Huntington Beach. It's a huge national level tournament where players of all skill levels compete on the beach in California. This will be our first major trip since going to the NCPA National Championships two years ago and we will be competing in division 4 x-ball, which basically means we will be playing against teams that haven't competed in anything bigger than a local tournament before. Hopefully we will be able get everything planned out, find enough money for the flights and tournament (entry is $1,200 for a team and all told it could be near $900 per person) and also do well in the tournament. We've had a good year so far and I'm hoping everything goes well and this will be an even better year.



December 29th, 2010 at 2:22 AM ^

Where the hell was your club when I was in school *mumble mumble* years earlier?! I would have SO joined that!

And comprehensive post. Don't let anyone give you any crap over it. I mean if they do, you can just shoot them, right? Good luck!


December 29th, 2010 at 4:44 PM ^

Don’t worry about people negging me.  I have become an automatic neg to some people.  I guess it is warranted since I got pwned by the famous -5000 neg bomb.  I’ve said this before, but I deserved it and now I am paying for it.  It seems that some people still want me to pay for it, which I understand.

Onto paintball:

I have never played a layout like that.  It seems that it would make it hard for someone to control from the  middle with just a medium sized dorito.  It this setup does it still make sense to rush the medium dorito in the middle?  With that said does that change the rush strategy at the snake as well?


December 30th, 2010 at 12:50 AM ^

It doesn't make it that difficult to control the field since the 50 dorito is a large dorito.  In terms of the breakout we sent 1 to snake off break pretty consistently and a snake back 2 guys to the dorito side and then one guy to either the maya temple or simply at home.  


December 30th, 2010 at 12:50 AM ^

It doesn't make it that difficult to control the field since the 50 dorito is a large dorito.  In terms of the breakout we sent 1 to snake off break pretty consistently and a snake back 2 guys to the dorito side and then one guy to either the maya temple or simply at home.  

Wolverine In Exile

December 29th, 2010 at 7:42 AM ^

nice to know the kids of the Michigan Militia have a great outlet for their talents while attending our fine school!

JK- as a former UM Broomball team member, I can empathize with a lot of the shit us "really non-revenue sports" guys have to go through to compete nationally


December 29th, 2010 at 10:24 AM ^

Occasionally, CBS College Sports or ESPNU will show this, especially during the down months of summer, and it looks like a ton of fun.  Best of luck this season!

Hardware Sushi

December 29th, 2010 at 1:01 PM ^

I wish I had known about this...sounds pretty awesome. I spent so much time playing Halo and COD that it would've been good to, you know, get some actual exercise for something besides my thumbs.

I have two questions for you. 1 - Can I get one of those jerseys? I like the simplicity of the big block M and numbers on the shoulders and 2 - Since I do live relatively close to AA still, where do you recommend going to play if I want to get a group of buddies together?

Good luck this season!


December 30th, 2010 at 12:46 AM ^

I don't think I can get you a jersey due to trademark and the whole team thing but if you want I can get you a t-shirt.  If you want to play right now during winter I would suggest either CRU paintball in flint or Warzone in toledo if you are talking about once the weather gets nice again I would say that Hellsurvivors in pinckney is the best local field


December 30th, 2010 at 3:02 AM ^

I enjoyed this read. It's nice seeing a post like this. Glad to see you guys are representing the Blue well. Wishing good luck on you guys and hoping you guys start wearing cups if you already do not do so!


December 30th, 2010 at 8:16 PM ^

Sean Thompson is the back row, one in from the right.

I have known him since he was about seven years old.   He made Eagle Scout with my oldest son, roomed with Edward (son) for a few years,  and is an Honors student at Michigan (of course).  Sean was the Captain of my son's paintball team (Blackjack Paintball).  He is an aggressive, leave it all on the field type of guy.  

If Sean is an indication of the caliber of paintball player that is on the team, we are VERY well represented.  He's a class act.

(As a note, Sean's Dad, Mark, is a professor at Kettering University in Flint.  Mark is a MSU alumni but has been an enthusiastic supporter of Sean's decision to become a Wolverine.)

Thanks for sending us your son, Mark.  He's truly a Michigan Man.