Challenge Park Home page
Welcome to WARPIG's On Scene Challenge Cup 1998 coverage!
July 6th update
The Challenge Cup returned after 1997's hiatus, this year in an arena style
format. Forest Brown, owner of the Challenge
Park paintball fields held this year's tournament in Joliet Memorial
Stadium, just south of Chicago, IL.
The games were played with rules that were for the most part similar
to the NPPL rules. There were a few twists to this format designed
to make the games "play" to spectators in the stands:
It would be difficult to ask for better paintball weather. The sky was
overcast through much of Saturday with the sun peeking out in the afternoon.
Sunday the skies were clear, with sun shining brightly. The cool temperatures
were perfectly suited for hard play in jerseys and pull-overs without overheating.
For the spectators it was a bit on the chilly side Saturday, but light
coats were enough to be comfortable. Sunday, sunblock was in order.
7 player format - The 7 player format which has been growing in europe
may start enjoying similar popularity here in the states.
2 halves to each game - Two 7 minute halves to each game are separated
by a 3 minute break period. Each half is conducted the way most tournaments
conduct a full game - ending with a flag hang, or by time running out.
During the break players may not leave the field area to refill their air
tanks. When the players return to the field for the second half,
they do so on opposite sides. This balances for environmental conditions
such as wind and glare which could give one side an advantage. It
also gives teams a chance to "get even" after loosing a half.
To more accurately reflect progress in games that end due to time running
out, a team with flag possession is awarded additional points depending
on which of two zones the flag is in, so long is it is past the halfway
The Challenge Cup Bunker system - These new bunkers, making their debut
at the Challenge Cup, are collapsible. They are constructed of heavy
duty Cordura with internal aluminum support frames. The frames are
designed to flex at their joints and even collapse under impact from a
player so that they are not damaged. They are weighted in place with
sandbags, and when available on the market will carry a 10 year warranty
for outdoor use. While some of the bunkers had some problems in their
first go out, and ended up being supported by innertubes, the new system
worked well overall, and according to Forest Brown, orders have already
been placed to deliver 2nd generation Challenge Cup bunkers to other fields.
Each team is allowed one coach on the sidelines. That coach can move
up and down the field edge and communicate with his team. If a team
does not have a coach, their first eliminated player may assume that role.
Eliminated players are immediately "benched" and may not communicate with
their team. Sideline coaching ads a different aspect to the game,
as the coach can spot openings or opponents who's 'guns are down for cleaning.
The audience is allowed to shout to the players from the grandstands.
No team classifications - Challenge Cup is an open class tournament. There
is no distinction between Pro, Amateur, and Novice teams. Taking this into
account, there are prizes awarded down many places past third.
On Friday morning, while the fields were still being set up, and later
Saturday during the games, "Bud 1", the Busdweiser airship made a brief
appearance, passing over the stadium before departing to its next appearance
The stadium grass served well as a playing surface, though it had a
tendency to hide paintballs. Players accustomed to sweeping unbroken paint
out of a bunker as they take it had some problems on a couple occasions.
The grass was tall enough to hide paintballs, leaving them to contend with
the referees when they suddenly had paint on their knees.
The referees, consisting mainly of members of Team Farside and The Oh-Nohs
were uniformed in stripped referee shirts, making them very easy for the
audience and players to identify. As arena style paintball is making wild
flashy colored uniforms more popular for players to wear, distinctive referee
uniforms are becoming more and more important.
After the semi-finals sorted the field of teams down to 24, taking the
top four teams by score from each division. Here the competition got intense,
as only the top team in each semi-final division advanved to the finals.
Taking home the Challenge Cup (a true cup trophy) first place was the All
Americans. They were followed by Lockout, Aftershock, and Revolution.
Awards of team's choices of Automags or Autocockers went all the way
down into tenth place with additional prized going down further, and there
were a number of special awards.
Sportsmanship Award: Team Vision
Free entry into the Zap International Amateur Open and 4 cases of R.P.
Scherer/ month for Jun thru Dec
Nice Guys Award: Swarm Gold
Free entry into the National Indoor Championship at Knoxville '99
Best Dressed: Checkmate
7 individual entrys to Zap International Masters at Nashville '98
Early Bird Award: Killer Bees
Free entry to Skyball '99
Most Honorable Team Award: Ignition
Free entry to Sherwood Classic '98
Be sure to look through the Photo Gallery or watch the Challenge Cup
PigTV Episode to catch more of the flavor and excitement of Challenge Cup
1998, and a look at the Challenge Games store.
Our thanks Challenge Park, and their staff, especially Forest and Carol
Brown, and Bill Cookston for their support and hospitality in making this
WARPIG on-scene coverage possible.