|Redbird paintball club prepares for Nationals|
|Written by Julie Conrad, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Wednesday, 11 April 2012 19:19|
Many people have tried paintball just for fun, but ISU’s club paintball team has made it a spirited and aggressive sport more colorful than the rest.
Since paintball is a year round sport, practice is definitely a key aspect in these competitive players’ eyes. The ’Birds prepare for tournaments by practicing every week in Pekin, Ill. while the weather is still good. During the winter months, they travel to Chicago to practice at an indoor facility.
Like most sports, teamwork plays an important role. But for paintball, teamwork is crucial. In competitive paintball, communication on and off the field is needed to show where the other team is on the grounds so that the correct shots and moves can be made.
“Teamwork is essential, and often times is the sole difference separating out the teams that are championship worthy from those that aren’t,” Matt Hartz, team secretary, said.
In paintball, each team has their own way it likes to compete which means strategy comes into play.
“You want to scout your opponent in the games before yours so you get a general idea of where their guys will be running off the break,” freshman Ryan Bogar said. “Normally, it is always good to have more paint in the air than the other team so you can allow your players to move up and eliminate all of the opposing team.”
After a round is done, the team comes together to talk about their ups and downs and the improvements to be made. This helps with further strategies.
“We go in games confident and yell loud on the field and when the round is done we recap what we did to make improvements and try different things that may work better,” Joey Spino said.
Every year since the team was founded, it has been going to the National Collegiate Paintball Association (NCPA) tournament in Lakeland, Fla. which is being held this weekend.
“It is the biggest tournament of the year where over 50 teams from across the nation compete for the championship,” Matt Rodriguez said.
For the team’s class AA division, the format is 5-on-5 with a flag in the middle. The players get five minutes to hang their teams’ flag in the opponents’ staging area. If no flag is hung, then no point is given.
This year the team hopes to go far in the competition and even make it to the finals. The Redbirds’ hard work, determination, and aggressiveness will guide them in eliminating their opponents.
“I think we have really good team chemistry and it will help us go far in the tournament, maybe even bring home a championship,” Bogar said.