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Joining A Scenario Team
Or Fitting A Square Peg Into a Round Hole

By John "Cartman" Phelan
July 2006

I am under the assumption that most scenario teams that have been around for awhile have heard the inevitable, “Hey, you guys are my heroes and I wish to be just like you.  How can a lowly person like me join your team?”  All right, maybe not in those words, but you know what I’m talking about.  I have heard a number of diplomatic and colorful responses, but all of them usually end in, “Not right now, silly monkey.”

So what do you do?  You are a good person with strong personal grooming skills and a witty repartee, how can you get on a team?  Although not an easy task, there are some things you should know that might help in your quest.  Heed these suggestions and you might just be surprised with the outcome.

First things first; asking flat out is a sure fire way to get you a solid “NO!”  I know you want to be part of the team but, walking over, out of the blue, won’t get you an invite.  All teams feel a bond within the group and an outsider is not part of that bond.  Before asking, take some time to get to know the players on the team and make your name known throughout the members.  Later on, when you feel like they all like you and will desperately miss your campfire chili, you may find it easier to ask about joining.

Something else you must understand is that most teams are formed by a group of friends.  This means that everyone on that team has a unique bond outside of paintball and they can relate on a level outside of the game.  Take my team, Capitol Punishment, for example.  We are law enforcement professionals (stop laughing) and we have a number of stories and experiences outside of paintball that helps to build our team bond.  My best suggestion is to, once again, get to know the players of the team you’re interested in and see what develops.

Another thing you have to consider is that you may not fit with a team you may want to join. Consider your style of play; do you like to run missions? Role-play? Sit in the out area and eat hot dogs?  A team usually sets a niche for itself and develops a playing style around it.  It may be that the team you are interested in likes Dungeon and Dragons more than a Dorito bunker, and you have to take that into consideration.  Don’t feel bad if you don’t get an invite because your playing style is different than the team’s, it just means you need to find a better fit.

Also, don’t think that being Superman on the field will have teams begging you to join.  You may be the next Greg Hastings and have a video game with your name on it in the works, but if you can’t get along with other people, odds are you won’t be on a team.  Teams want people who they can relate to and enjoy being around.  It may be that the team is too full of itself or, it may mean you might have to reevaluate your “people skills”.  Either way, you have to realize that some people just don’t get along with each other and move on.

You may want to consider starting a team of your own.  I will say this; I can, and if Warpig will let me, write an entire article about this topic. In the interest of keeping this short, starting a team is a lot like dating.  You have to get out there, find the ones you like, and watch your relationships grow.  Some will flourish, some will fall, but all will build your team into one that rivals any other out there. 

Let me give you an example of creating a new team.  I think this is something to inspire other teams and local fields alike.  What these guys did is totally cool and something I never thought about.  It happened on a Sunday morning, just right for paintball history…

I rolled into the parking lot of Outdoor Adventures along with my other teammates.  I got the call earlier in the week that we were going to go out and “practice”, which basically translates into getting shot up by walk-on players and laughing about it later over dinner at Chik-Fil-A.  As we rolled into the parking lot, we looked over and saw another scenario team setting up for a day of paintball.  

The team was Knightstalkers.  For those of you who don’t know them, they are very well known in our circuit for their style of fair, honest play.  Both of our teams are great friends and we have developed a very friendly rivalry that fuels the stories at the events we all attend.  Anyway, we approached them in our best old west showdown style but couldn’t keep a straight face when they started to make fun of the sausage gravy stain on my shirt from a recent incident at the local Bob Evans earlier that morning (honestly, the gravy jumped off my spoon).  We said our hellos and, with our keen detective skills (remember, Capitol Punishment are trained law enforcement professionals) surmised that there were players there we didn’t know.

Introductions were made and we found out that these guys were a bunch of single players that Knightstalkers had been watching and brought together to form a team of their own!  How cool is that?!  You see, not only did the team think highly enough of each of these players individually, but they realized the potential of them as a team.  We were soon invited to join these teams in some practice games and we jumped at the opportunity.  

Once we were on the field, we realized that we were on our own.  I mean, the field owner was kind enough to allow us to play together on their field without a ref.  The field realized that we would ref ourselves and gave us the chance to work on our game without interruption.  It helped that the field sponsors Knightstalkers and all of us have experience in reffing.  But, I digress…

When we got on the field, we were asked by both teams to work with the new guys and go over things that we may think would help them.  We spent the rest of that day working on drills, positioning, and team maneuvers.  Let me tell you, for not playing together before, these guys were great.  Each one of them used their strengths and took every bit of information given to them in stride.

Later, when the playing was done and I was wiping the paint off of my mask from being “gogged” on numerous occasions, we all came together and went over what we experienced that day.  The new team listened to everything we said and asked a lot of questions that told me these guys were ready.  Oh yeah, let me be one of the first to introduce NEMESIS.  They will have their first game as a team in July at the Outdoor Adventures scenario game; Coffee Wars II: Trouble Brews Again!

So, you see, established scenario paintball teams and local fields can play a great part in making new scenario teams and getting individual players more involved in the sport.  We should take this as an example and work to build the sport by building new teams and giving individual players a chance to grow in the sport.  

If you see me at a game or on the field, feel free to ask me about joining a team.  Think about your approach, remember what I told you, and see what happens.  You may still get the, “Not right now, silly monkey” response, but understand that doesn’t mean “NO!”  It just means, not right now…

Silly monkey.     

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