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The following tid-bits are all I know about paintball in Europe..November 1995
Entry to a tourny is 15 to 25 pounds sterling per player dependant on prizes.
Prize money / goods occur every say sixth tourny.
Gas costs per team range from 15 to 25 pounds sterling (This is for a mega six foot CO2 bottle)
In a tourny, most teams go through a box of paint each, no matter how many players. Some do go thru say one and a half boxes.
"Punter Days" cost around 35 pounds sterling a head, including all gear, pump gun and 200 paint.
The League System of Tournies is going thru a big change at the moment, more on that subject another time.
Most pro players are using Auto Mags or Cockers. Very rarely do you come up against Pumps in a high level tourny.
Air as a propellant is growing in stature, with most teams having at least one, two or even more players on Air. The market seems to be evenly divided between Daystate and Air Systems.
Teams travel all over the country for Tournies, often driving 2 1/2 hours each way. (remember this is a lot for us!)
The leagues are 10-Man, but due to player reliability this seems
to be waning. 5 & 7-Man re the most popular.
In France paintball is getting more and more popular. French players are starting to play some tournaments in UK--some of them are winning. In the Paris area alone, you can find more than 15 paintball shops and 30 indoor and outdoor fields.
The shop dealers are competent: you can even find a few French products all over the world: X94 expand chambers, CYBERPUCE, customized on-off valves for the Automag, etc. However, French dealers tend to be more expensive than in UK or USA.
There is one area where French paintball is the best: the paintball
magazines are the most beautiful and, technically, the most complete. I
have compared many of the PB rags from the UK and the USA. Look at some
of the French press and see if you agree. FYI: the 2 French PB magazines
In general in Germany and rest of Europe, NO CAMO is used in paintball. Indeed, most players do not want to give the impression that they are white supremacy groups on a training exercise. How do you handle this in the USA?
Paintball is growing very differently in Germany. Because of some historical reasons, the use of camo is strictly forbidden in Germany. Many Germans come into France to play. But the large NO CAMO tendency is making paintball more acceptable in both countries. Germany is now making up for lost time: CA bottles are now authorized and the are even starting the fabrication of paintballs.
For more information about paintball in France, e-mail me. I will answer with pleasure. Albeit in poor English. :-)
I had gone to the tournament as a team member of Fly Fishing by J.R.Hartley, a long-established English team that includes Keith and Steve Belsey of the Belsales shop in England. Keith has been involved in paintball since it started in the UK and his shop holds the European agency for Worr Game Products. Our whole team runs the Belsales "Evolution" Autococker, which was to make an impression on many teams and marshals at the tournament, but more of that later! I guess I should point out at this time that this report is obviously based on my team's experiences in Toulouse and the comments and opinions stated are entirely my own - they do not represent anyone else's views.
There were a number of "international" teams present in addition to Fly Fishing. The Predators (current European champions and one of the most consistently successful teams in the world) had also made the journey over from England, but the team that probably raised the most eyebrows was a Worr Game Products "All-Star" team. The "All-Star" team comprised of Bud Orr himself, along with the captains of some of his WGP-sponsored teams. The team included 3 US captains [Bob Long (Ironmen), Ron Kilburn (California Bushwhackers) and the captain of Marine Team 1] and 3 UK captains [Marcus Davies (Predators), Darren Doherty (Turks) and Anthony "Ledz" Leadbetter (Banzai Bandits)]. Folks were very interested to see how this scratch team would perform. Other "International " teams were also present from Spain, Italy and Scandinavia.
The fields struck me as being unusually big for 7-man. The site seemed to have been specifically laid out for the tournament and, as such, was "virgin" territory. When we arrived we spent some time walking the fields and wondered how they'd play - they looked to be tough because of the preponderance of nettles and fallen trees, but they played much better than we thought they would. Game format was centre flag only; no points for first pull, you just had to get it into your opponents flag base for the max!
The format was as follows; the teams were divided into three divisions of twelve teams, and each team played the other division members once over the first two days (we played six games on Saturday and five on Sunday). After that, on Monday, the top eighteen teams were re-seeded in three divisions of six, with the three semi-final division winners and the next two highest-scoring teams going through to the pro finals.
The Predators, the "All Stars" and Fly Fishing were all seeded #1 in their divisions and, despite a few minor hiccups (Ron Kilburn hung the flag in his own base, the Preds lost a game and Fly Fishing were penalised for over-aggressive play!!!), all three of the top seeds went through to the semis, along with some of the strongest French teams like Hellwood, the Tigers and the Wolverines. Fly Fishing bowed out in the semis after a string of high-scoring losses and drawn games, but the "All Stars" and Preds powered on to the finals, along with the Tigers, Wolverines and Hellwood.
The finals were close, but ultimately the Predators notched up yet another victory. Their recent conversion to Autocockers doesn't seem to have slowed them down at all and it looks like they'll be pushing hard to retain the European title at Mayhem in May. Second place went to the Wolverines and they looked really good (they maxed FF in the semis and beat the Preds in the finals). The Tigers finished third, with the WGP "All Stars" coming fourth and Hellwood fifth.
My overall impression was that this was a fun tournament to play in. The marshalling was mostly pretty good and they did really well to cope with the large fields. The facilities were weak (no toilets!), but that didn't stop people having a good time wandering around the food stands and trade stalls. On a personal note, Fly Fishing did well considering we've only played a couple of tournaments this year so far; we came away with a reputation for fair play, which is always good to hear, and our "Evolution" Autocockers impressed everybody who came up against them. (Shameless plug - Belsales "Evolution" Autocockers are AWESOME!!)
We'll probably go again next year and play the pump class for a bit of fun! See you there!
There are three main reasons for this.
One, the Marshals themselves are either not confident enough to make a 1-4-1 decision or do not fully understand the rules.
Two, the rules are open to interpretation by the marshals on the spot in a split second, as against being able to discuss it with the Field Ultimate afterwards.
Three, without all Marshals having access to walkie talkies on field for communications with each other, it is impossible to carry out an effective 1-4-1 in the last two minutes of the games when there are only a few well spread out players on the field.
I am sure that with the right equipment and background training, 1-4-1 can be effectively acheived, but it wont happen overnight and I feel that just using the system for a few tournies is not the answer either.
I would be most interested in the US players view point on this after playing at Mayhem and how it compared with the US experiences.
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