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.