It has been awhile since the Victorian Paintball Players Association (VPPA) has held a 3 man tournament in Victoria (State in Australia). With all the political problems afflicting paintball in our state (you now need a shooters licence to play) it sometimes seems incredible that there is a tournament scene at all. I guess that it just shows how people are willing and driven to overcome all obstacles placed in their path when it comes to something that they love.
For a change it was a sunny day in a winter that had been bitter with heavy rain and overcast skies. I arrived at around 10am at the Frankston site of the Peninsular Paintball Club where the tournament was to be held. Since the political troubles, this was one of the few places where you could still play. The fields are set back from the road and are hidden by a row of pines. In the centre is the players compound, surrounded by a security fence. To the left and right were laid out two speedball fields. Whilst at the back in amongst a dark stand of pines, the bush field. The field on the left was a fairly open field with man made cover consisting of drums and tyre mounds. There used to be an armchair on this field at one stage, pity the cushion had died. It used to be popular with us older players. The right hand field’s ends were quite different with one end being in the shade of about a dozen pine trees. Cover on this field was made up old fence palings and shipping pallets. The bush field was totally under the cover of many pine trees, not the place for an unwary photographer to lurk about!
Games were already underway so I hurried out to catch one in progress and snap a few pictures. On the right hand field Rat Pack and X Rated were just about to get underway. As I said before, this field has two quite different ends. One being open, whilst the other is set under pines. It was hard to say if one end had a natural advantage over the other. But, they were certainly different.
The game started off well, with both teams sprinting out and taking up good positions. But they then both settled down to some enthusiastic longballing. Rat Pack started to push up on the left flank and managed to eliminate an X Rated player. The left flank Rat Pack player then pushed forward quickly through a couple of barricades and then got shot in the back by a bypassed X Rated player. Unfortunately, a bit of a scene occurred at this point with the Rat Pack Player being under the impression that the whistle had blown and getting upset with getting shot a couple of times. This caused a verbal exchange between the two players. Of course the game was still going and the X Rated player was soon eliminated much to his surprise. Rat Pack followed through for the hang and I guess the moral of the story is, don’t believe everything the other team tells you.
The next game on this field between Xtreme and The Creed (Blue) was another slow starter. The Extreme player on the right flank pushed up hard and took on his opponent. After a heavy exchange of fire the Creed (Blue) player walked and the Xtreme player was called neutral for a paint check. Once back in play, the remaining Creed (Blue) players turned their attention to him and he was trying to look very thin behind the pine tree he was stuck behind. Fortunately, the other two Xtreme players weren’t taking a tea break and used this opportunity to over run the remaining two Creed (Blue) players for a hang.
Next game up was between Xtreme & KMA on the Lefthand Speedball field. This field is fairly open with barricades made from 44 Gallon drums and tyres scattered across it. On game on, both sides broke out fast to take up good positions for some heavy paint exchanges. During these exchanges the left flank KMA player managed a good crawl up the left flank to take out the Xtreme player on that side located behind a large tree. The KMA player was quickly eliminated as the remaining Xtreme players made their move up the field. The KMA right flank was then eliminated leaving the centre player on his own. He was soon outflanked leaving Xtreme to hang the flag.
Rat Pack and the Creed (Blk) broke out well on the same field with both teams taking up predicable positions for the initial exchange of paint. The Rat Pack player on the left managed to move up unseen and was keeping a low profile whilst waiting an opportunity to strike. Meanwhile, the Creed (Blk) player on the same flank was having similar thoughts now that the incoming paint had eased. He quickly pushed up and a short exchange of fire ensued. On the check, the Creed (Blk) player was clean and played on. The remaining Rats were pinned down as the same Creed (Blk) player did a runner and confronted the centre Rat in an exchange of fire over a tyre barricade. A mutual was the verdict and it was now two to one. The remaining Rat didn’t last long and the Creed (Blk) followed through for the hang.
Xtreme & the Creed (Blk) met next on the Pine field and on the whistle both teams set up shop and started banging away at each other. One of the Creed players was hit on the goggles and during his walk, was hit several more times by Xtreme. This resulted in an Xtreme player being pulled by a ref for overshooting. However, the player wasn’t pulled immediately and he wasn’t the nearest player to the incident. A few words were spoken about this after the game. It made no difference to the outcome though with Xtreme rolling over the remaining Creed (Blk) players to take the hang.
It was now early afternoon and all the preliminaries were over and the field of six teams was now down to three for the finals. It was interesting to note that the games were on average running a lot longer than those in the last 3 man series in 96. I suspect that the main reason for this was the greater equality in equipment used by today’s players. In the first series, several teams were running pumps and had little tournament experience with some games finishing in as little as 45 seconds.
The VPPA laid on a great BBQ lunch for the players and referees during the break and it gave everybody a chance to catch up on the latest gossip and the ever depressing political scene.
With just three teams, Rat Pack, The Creed (Blk) and Xtreme making the finals, there were only three games to go. The first game was between the Creed (Blk) and Rat Pack. The Creed quickly lost their centre player but managed to take out the Rat Pack left flank player. Unfortunately, things were not going their way and the Creed lost another player. The remaining Creed player made a sprint for the back corner to set up a defensive position but was hit before he got there giving Rat Pack the hang.
The second game between Xtreme and the Creed (Blk) started with Xtreme making an agressive push from game on. But the game went quickly downhill from there for Xtreme. They lost their right flank player followed quickly by the centre and remaining player giving the Creed a well deserved win.
The final game between Xtreme and Rat Pack started off cautiously for the Rats. Xtreme had nothing to lose and were looking to salvage some pride, so were out for blood. But Rat Pack needed only 10 points to win so were unwilling to throw the tournament away by overplaying their hand. Rat Pack pushed up slowly but strongly and kept up a heavy hail of paint on Xtreme. Xtreme weren’t taking this lying down and returned heavy fire of their own. Rat Pack were slowly getting the upper hand and Xtreme lost first their left flank and then their centre player. The remaining player didn’t last long and the first place trophy was firmly in Rat Pack’s hands.
- 1st. Rat Pack
- 2nd. The Creed (Blk)
- 3rd. Xtreme
The presentation followed and the day actually finished in daylight, most unusual for a Victorian Winter tournament. Finally, my apologies for any inaccuracies in this report. I’d like to say that the kids destroyed my notes, but they didn’t. 3 weeks after the event and I reckon I needed an interpreter! Take a note, request a secretary for the next tournament……….