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LA OPEN 2000
SC Village - Corona, California
March 10-12 2000
kick off of the NPPL season has traditionally been in the deserts of Las
Vegas, Nevada. This year event producer Dave Youngblood of DYE
Precision moved the tournament to the Los Angeles area.
Over the last year, the Southern California Ironmen's Brahim Estephan has been working with SC Village to build up the world's most famous paintball field into a premier tournament location.
The new SC Arenas concept style fields include Sup'Air ball, Hyperball and mound designs. The Sup'Air ball fields included a new innovation. Rather than the temporary cloth air hoses running from bunker to bunker, buried 2" PVC pipes provided air pressure to each location. Surrounding each field are raised walkways with paved sidewalks and completely surrounded screening. The arenas are built to host tournaments on a regular basis with the Sup'Air fields featuring underground pipes to carry air to the bunker.
The main fields of SC Village see as many as 500 players a day on weekends, and the new layout allows them to stay in full operation while a major tournament is running. For tournament sponsors this means even better walk through traffic at their trade show booths.
A raised grassy plain was filled with tents for the trade show, and team staging, overlooking the first few fields.
JT's 5 wheel trailer with mobile store, and team staging tents has become a regular sight at tournaments, and was on the scene in LA. Both RP Scherer and Diablo Direct brought semi trailers with paint to supply players. Also on hand was TC Paintballs, a new brand, being encapsulated by Swisscaps. Their new paint was shot by a few teams at the event.
It seems that post game parties are becoming a regular part of tournaments as well as the trade shows. On the tournament grounds, Rose Griffith of Unique Sporting roasted a pig Saturday night, and half a dozen turkeys Sunday night. She shared this bounty with players, refs, and vendors alike, saying "It's just hospitality, since the tournament is in my neck of the woods." National Paintball Supply South hosted a party at a local hotel, complete with a buffet served by waitresses from the local Hooter's restaurant. Saturday night, the action was at The Boogie, a nightclub in Anaheim, where an informal player's party was arranged.
At the event, Drago Lazitech, director of an upcoming motion picture, Speedball The Movie, announced that he had reached an agreement with SC Village's owners to film all of the movie's paintball scenes at SC Village. The combination of recreational and tournament fields allows for scenes in the film set at locations ranging from recreational fields where the characters meet on up to tournament fields where they compete.
Bill Abell of the professional team, Avalanche, also announced one of the team's new sponsors, Vans. Already well known for its skating shoes, Vans is working with the team to develop a paintball shoe.
In the shoe department, Digger's new shoe, the Xtreme was available in their booth. It sports a wider shape, and different seam placement than their original Silencer cleat, in a 3/4 top design.
Another new product appearing in the vendor's tent was Custom Products new modular barrel system. Their one piece barrels have quickly gained popularity over the last year. Their new barrel system consists of breech sections in multiple inner diameters to match to the paint being shot, and end sections in varying lengths. A Threaded connection locked with an o-ring allows the player to mix and match a two piece ported barrel to their playing conditions and paint.
According to NPPL Rules Committee Chairman, Bill Cookston, the major changes to the NPPL rules for the year 2000 season were finalized just a day before the tournament began, and are as follows.
The SC Ironmen, Outta Control, and Bad Company served as referees for the event. Some players commented that while the reffing was good, it was not always as strict as the "no tolerance" policy enacted by the league the previous year.
While the 5 player competition was delayed by about an hour at some points, the 10 player games managed to gain nearly an hour lead on their schedule, leading to a very smooth tournament.
The awards ceremony was finished before the sunlight disappeared from the sky which was the first time that had happened for this tournament in the last four years.
The DYE Precision LA Open got the 2000 NPPL season off to a very sound start, and has upped the ante for event quality this year. Several large tournaments will be held at the SC Arenas through 2000, and the grounds are still under construction with new facilities planned. The next tournament for the NPPL is the Smart Parts event held in Pittsburgh, to be followed by Bad Boy's Toyz Chicago Open, BBT and Dye's joint tournament in Nashville, and finally Paintball Sports International's NPPL World Cup in Orlando, Florida.
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