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CFOA Beach Ball 2003
Text and photographs by Joshua D. Silverman
Assistant Editor of Proud Warpig Media Partner, Paintball 2Xtremes Magazine

The Carolina Field Owners Association hosted their sixth tournament of the 2003 season at Ellis Lay's new paintball park, Adventure Beach Paintball, near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on July 27th, 2003.  Seventy-five, five-man teams converged on the North Carolina/South Carolina state line to compete for cash and a lavish prize package spread throughout rookie five-man, novice five-man and amateur five-man divisions.  With some of the southeast's best paintball teams on-hand vying for points towards the league championship, trips to the World Cup, a season-ending cash purse and bragging rights in addition to individual event prizes, the competition, like the weather, was sure to be hot.

Jon Morrell and Ellis Lay collaborated throughout the 2003 paintball season to create an amazing paintball park only a few short minutes from North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Located on Lay's property practically straddling the state line, Adventure Beach Paintball slowly began to take shape as its date of unofficial opening, the Carolina Field Owners Association tournament date, approached.  Fields were drained and seeded with grass, holes were dug into the ground into which concrete anchored aluminum and fiberglass net poles, and steel wire was strung between the poles to support the twenty-foot high netting that would surround the fields.  Two tobacco barns were connected and then renovated to eventually become a lavish field house and pro-shop facility that will, upon completion, feature showers, sleeping quarters, plasma television, air conditioning and heating and hot food for patrons.  In spite of over EIGHT INCHES of rain in the week leading up to the CFOA event, Lay, his field staff and Jon Morrell were able to ready the park for the event.  When field owners the likes of Larry Motes, CFOA promoter and owner of Wicked Sports Paintball Park and Rob Staudinger of Paintball Central are impressed with a paintball field, it is officially ready for business.

To host what has become one of the largest regional paintball series in the United States, Adventure Beach prepared for the dozens of teams that were certain to arrive by erecting six individually netted and perfectly flat fields large enough for five-man play.  Each field featured a gorgeous, grassy playing surface that in spite of the rain was relatively dry and incredibly cushy by game day.  Field sponsor Milt Call and Ultimate Air Ball provided five-man Ultimate Air Ball fields for the event as they have done for the entire CFOA season. 

All fields were arrayed to reward aggressive, gutsy paintball and nearly all in attendance pronounced the fields exciting, and fun to play.  Providing officiating for the event was National XBall League team Trauma, whose experienced players would head-referee each field with owner and Paintball Central proprietor Rob Staudinger of Image and Trauma fame acting as Ultimate Judge when he was not marshalling his army to erect the most impressive air fill station in regional paintball, featuring Kalibur push button fill stations and almost immediate 3,000 and 4,500psi fills.

In addition to providing referees and air, Rob Staudinger also brought a major Paintball Central and The Matrix Center trade show presence, featuring everything from sticker sheets with catchy slogans like "Caution, Born to Win" and "See Spot Run" to custom Intimidators, Matrix paintball guns and even technicians to keep the hundreds of Matrices present at the event running at their best.  Also present at the event was the T2000 promotional vehicle sent south from New Jersey by the league's presenting sponsor, National Paintball Supply.  Showing off everything from the Inferno Paintballs that power the majority of the league's teams to Intimidators and even rare and luscious X-Mags from Airgun Designs, the T2000 was a popular place to go to acquire free Paintball 2Xtremes and Crossfire magazines and enter into a drawing for a free ECX Intimidator or HALO B loader! 

Making the trip all the way from Oklahoma to produce a DVD of the CFOA Beach Ball event were Bob, Daisy and Nick Vest of video production company 1 Shot, who set up their booth at the event while the cameras rolled.  On their way back home from the Draxxus International Amateur Open, soft goods manufacturer Mantis stopped by and erected their impressive trade show display at the CFOA for the first time, and enjoyed both playing with and watching their Mantis Factory Team compete in the amateur division.

Preliminary games kicked off under hot, sticky skies Sunday morning with teams vying for spots in the semifinals, then the finals, all of which would be played in daylight in one day for all seventy-five teams.  In spite of the hot, humid weather, the teams, volunteer field and catering staff and referees worked and played hard and in spite of a physical altercation between two players at the end of the preliminaries that brought the schedule to a standstill while a ruling could be handed down by the Advisory Board, the semifinals were on the fields by approximately two pm.  The aggressor in a wrestling match between two players on competing teams was subjected to the "zero tolerance" policy the CFOA uses to handle such situations, and for the first time in over two seasons, a player was banned from CFOA events for one calendar year from the date of the infraction.

By late afternoon the finals were on the fields in each division and games were winding down.  To no one's surprise, league-leading amateur teams Mantis Factory and Xtreme Sports Factory made the finals with little difficulty.  In their most impressive showing in some time, Cataclysm played better paintball than nearly everyone at the event and made the finals too, seeming unstoppable.  Virus, joined by players the likes of John Tinker of Gridlock fame, made the amateur finals as well.  The novice division was dominated by teams like Stash (playing with a borrowed EMag amongst other firepower), H2O (thanks to a young player winning an amazing 3 on 1), Gang Rel8ed and and Virus X.  In the Powerlyte rookie division, Hailstorm (well dressed in new custom jerseys), DC Freak Show, Machine and New Gen moved into the final four.

The Powerlyte Rookie division of the CFOA Beach Bowl 2003 was won by Hailstorm, with New Gen, Machine and DC Freakshow behind.  Virus X took first place in the novice division, with Stash, H2O and Gang Rel8ed in the second, third and fourth place slots.   The amateur division saw its share of controversy in the finals, with a mathematical error nudging the surging Cataclysm squad out of second and into third place on a technicality.  This moved Mantis Factory into second place, but none of this concerned the Xtreme Sports Factory team, who won the event convincingly and took home one thousand dollars in cash. 

After an awards ceremony providing Morgan Awards trophies, cash and prizes from sponsors like National Paintball Supply, Diablo, Powerlyte, Paintball 2Xtremes Magazine, Xtreme Sports Fulfillment, Extreme Rage, Kalibur, Airgun Designs, Paintball Central, the Matrix Center, Ultimate Air Ball, Traumahead Sportz, Crossfire and 1Shot Productions and of course Warpig.com, the Carolina Field Owners Association's 2003 Beach Ball event ended as a great success for the field, the league and the vast majority of the players who attended.  The CFOA will promote two more events during the 2003 tournament season at CJ's Paintball in North Carolina and Kingsport, Tennessee.  For the schedule and more details, visit the official CFOA website at www.thecfoa.com, read about the events and the season in Paintball 2Xtremes Magazine, learn more at www.warpig.com and be prepared to watch the 2003 Beach Ball event when it is released on DVD from 1Shot Productions. 
 


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