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PSP/NPPL World Cup 2002
October 19-27, 2002
Kissimmee, FL

10 Man Winners
Aftershock - Professional
Trauma - Amateur
Cartel - Novice
Momma's Boys - Rookie

5 Man Winners
Formula - Rookie
Chronic Platinum - Novice
Naughty Dogs 1 - Amateur
Aftershock 2 - Professional

Series Champions
Ironmen & Dynasty - Professional
Trauma - Amateur
KAPP Factory - Novice
Static AKA - Rookie

The paintball World Cup had some radical changes for 2002.  In addition to the NPPL sanctioned 5 and 10 man competitions, which have been been standard fare at the event for many years, two X Ball tournaments were added to the event - one for college teams and one for professional teams.  It also stood with the potential to be the last of an era.  During the 2002 season, Paintball Sports Promotions and the National Professional Paintball League went separate ways, then got back together again.   Following the split PSP (Paintball Sports Promotions) began promoting their name over the NPPL name which put them in a position to produce the next year's five event series with or without sanctioning by the NPPL (National Professional Paintball League).  Additional plans for X Ball tournaments at PSP events in 2003 could also mean that this was the last World Cup, in terms of professional competition, as the sport knows it.

The official first day of World Cup was October 19th when 5 man teams checked in on site at the tournament's Kissimmee, Florida location.  A short drive from the Disney World theme parks, south of the city of Orlando, the tournament site on Poinciana Boulevard is a section of grassland used for cattle grazing and equipment auctions the rest of the year.  The site was chosen in 1999 over the tournament's earlier location at Paintball World behind the Old Town shops in Kissimmee.  By 1999, the event had expanded, both in terms of tournament fields and trade show to the point that it needed more room. 

With the vision that Paintball Sports Promotion had for the 2003 season, even more land was needed in 2002.  Games were also scheduled on a new time frame.  After Saturday check-in and field walking, 5 man teams were scheduled to begin their games on Sunday morning and complete their finals on Tuesday.  In the past years, Wednesday has been a slack day meant to give 10 man teams time to walk fields and give a buffer between the two competitions in the event that the 5 man got behind schedule.  This proved critical in '99 when tropical storm Irene delayed field set up and caused the 5 man tournament to run a day late.  This was also the last year that World Cup utilized wooded fields as they tended to prevent the tournament from getting back on schedule once it got off track.  For 2002, Wednesday was not a slack day.  It was scheduled for 10 man Amateur games and X Ball games between invited collegiate teams.  Unlike normal NPPL formatted tournaments, the 10 man Amateur teams at World Cup were scheduled to play only against each other.  By separating them from the Professional, Novice and Rookie teams, they could be used as referees for the rest of the 10 man tournament games.  For the first time in NPPL history, Professional teams would not be judged by Professional players.  Since this decision was made mid season, it threw a wrench into the plans of Pro teams who had in the past been able to use the guaranteed reffing points to clinch a series title.

Ten man games were planned to be completed on Saturday the 26th of October as opposed to Sunday which has been standard at NPPL tournaments.  On Sunday, the 27th, game action would be completed at the World Cup site, and an X Ball tournament featuring select Professional teams was scheduled to take place at Disney World's ABC Wide World of Sports complex.  This move was seen by PSP at a litmus test for the use of mainstream sports venues and support from non paintball related companies in future seasons. 

X Ball tournaments are played in a double elimination format, in addition to the Professional games, the top two college teams would also play their final game on Sunday at the Wide World of Sports complex.

The site layout featured twelve 210 by 140 foot concept fields for the NPPL games, and a single 200 by 180 foot regulation layout X Ball field.  The fields were laid out in an L shape with registration, vendors, staging and the X Ball field central to the site. 

In 1996, Hyperball brand pipe concept fields made their US debut with a single Hyperball field.  The following year, Adrenaline unveiled Sup'Air with a single field.  In the years since the NPPL has progressed from wooded fields, to concept fields only.  2002 marked the first year since the Hyperball debut that the Paintball World Cup used only inflatable bunkers with no corrugated pipe fields.

SUNDAY

The 5 man preliminary rounds started on Sunday morning, and got about a half hour behind, but caught up to schedule by three in the afternoon.  The logistics battle to schedule, and then run games for 224 teams spread over twelve fields was an impressive undertaking, and more impressive when running smoothly.  World Cup is one of the few NPPL tournaments to include a professional 5 man division.  Game distribution within the schedule spread out some team's games, but pushed others hard, the amateur teams for example played all eight of their preliminary round games the first day, allowing their semifinal and final games to Monday.  It made for an unusual schedule, but maximized use of the fields, which was critical to getting the 5 man games done with time for the more than 200 ten man teams to play later in the week.

In terms of size, World Cup was yet another record breaking event.  The physical infrastructure to support the tournament was no small undertaking.  Robert "Rosie" Rose oversaw site preparation.  According to Rosie 1.6 miles of netting were attached with over over 6,000 metal clips to steel cables suspended from 250 wooden utility poles.  Netting facing spectators was 20 feet tall dual density, with the first twelve feet being heavy enough to stop direct shots, and the last 8 feet lighter weight for less wind loading but strong enough to block high arcing balls and shots that bounced up off of bunkers.  Twelve  foot high netting separated the fields from one another where goggle safety was not an issue, but keeping players from one field from accidentally shooting players in a different game was.  The site's unmanicured grass was mowed in two passes, once with a large brush mower, and then with smaller mowers to give a good trimmed grass playing surface.

Diesel generators provided power for various vendor displays, but was unavailable through much of the afternoon on Sunday leaving the main vendor's tent a bit dark.  The tent was a modern design featuring an aluminum strut framework and no internal poles.  This gave the feeling more of being inside a large building than a circus tent.  Many of the vendors had not yet arrived, banking on the big crowds surrounding the 10 man competition as a better crowd.  Amongst the few that were on site for the full week were KAPP, Custom Products, NW Paintball, Centerflag, Extreme Rage, Bauer Compressors, Airgun Designs, Paintball Inc., and others.

Outside, at each of the major sponsor's fields, the sponsors set up tent and trailer compounds.  PMI unveiled their new show trailer, which featured a U shaped awning surrounding the whole vehicle in a massive tent.  Next to them, Shocktech's trailer was circled by tents product displays and artificial turf.  DYE's area had several tents, their semi and adding to that their new support trailer which gives them the ability to provide on site support and presence at multiple locations simultaneously.  Smart Parts three show trailers which have been traveling the US separately came together to surround the SP compound where players came to check out new products.  Custom Products displayed inside the vendor's tent, but still sponsored a field that was filled with Ultimate Airball bunkers.  Ultimate Airball's field was aside of their field in a tent showcasing Brimstone's Smokin' product line.  Next door was Worr Game Products with their field, semi, tent and products.  JT's 5th wheel and tents were next to their new Sup'Air field, the centerpiece of which was a giant inflatable pyramid styled after a Mayan temple.  National Paintball Supply's field was flanked by their T2 semi, the truck that started the whole trend of display trailers, and a couple of portable swimming pools.  NPS maintains a fleet of fifth wheel tournament support trailers operating out of its regional warehouses to offer additional support for their customer fields' tournaments.  Next to NPS was TC Paintball's truck and team staging area.  Zap Paintball's field had tents and staff promoting both their original Zap and new Chronic paintball lines as well as their new distribution programs.  WDP's tents lined the sideline of their Angel field with its giant inflatable A shaped bunkers.  A couple of truckloads of sand converted their area into a beach party zone.  Raven set up their show trailer and lounge along side their field, also with a swimming pool and plenty of rest and recreation opportunities.

Jax Warriors B, UK Cougars, Blackstar, a number of independently hired refs and P.R.O. reffing staff judged the 5 man competition.   Thirty two amateur teams were pushing to get into 16 semifinal slots, so half would only get to play a single day at World Cup.

MONDAY

Games played by schedule through the day under partly cloudy skies and unrelenting sunshine.  Florida players definitely had an advantage, being used to both the heat and the humidity.  The amateur teams finished their games in the morning.  Naughty Dogs 2 edged out Boston Paintball Factory Team 2 by four points, grabbing the 16th position in the semifinals.  The top two teams moving on were Warped Kids 1, Static Evil, which were both undefeated.  The four divisions of semifinalists each produced one team for the finals.  Naughty Dogs 1 and Naughty Dogs 2 went on from divisions one and two.  Since their scores were tied, their prelim and semifinal games had to be reviewed for tie breaker information to determine their ranking for the finals games.  Warped Army took the third division and Static DYE advanced from the fourth. 

Going into the finals, the amateurs ranked Static DYE, Warped Army, Naughty Dogs 1, and then Naughty Dogs 2.

As usual, the Old Town open air mall in Kissimmee was the post game gathering place for tournament attendees.  The mall feature's a variety of stores, restaurants and bars and its open grass fields had been the site for World Cup in year's past.  Friday and Saturday nights a classic car show is a staple event drawing local car owners and collectors to show their rides with pride.  Sun On The Beach, a combination open air bar, arcade, dance club, and Lazer Tag arena is central to Old Town and a traditional paintballer hangout.  This year KAPP and Pro Team products sponsored paintball prizes to be given away during various dance contests through out the night. 

Announcements for a Wednesday Night free premier showing of Sunday Drivers, at the Sun On The Beach bar were made at the field.  Sunday Drivers came as the second paintball release from Division One productions.  Bryon Benini (formerly of the Ironmen, presently playing for Aftershock) and Patrick Spohrer of The Family teamed up to form Division One for their first documentary together, Push.  Push was a groundbreaking video that set new standards for what a paintball video could or should be, with an emphasis on music and image, as well as the tournament lifestyle off the field.  Inside rumors hinted that during production, Sunday Drivers was referred to as "Push 2: Electric Boogaloo."  According to Spohrer, Sunday Drivers took into account feedback they received from Push and is packed with even more action, and less of an emphasis on player interviews. 

Monday afternoon the 5 man amateur finals finished in a very uncommon way.   Not only did the top two slots go to sister teams, but every game score was a max - 100 to zero.  Naughty Dogs 1 came in first with 300 points, Naughty Dogs 2 finished second with 200 points, Static DYE was third with 100 points, and Warped Army finished in fourth with zero points.

Games wrapped up late Monday afternoon, but a problem arose as a number of teams which didn't think they made semifinals didn't bother to turn in their score sheets.  It is the winning team's responsibility to deliver the game's score sheet from the field to the scoring tent.  The holes this left in the scoreboard left some team rankings in question.  Strange B, for example was on the bubble.  They ranked 16, but another team missing a score could have bumped them out of the semifinals with a perfect game.  This left them not knowing if they should head home and not miss more school, or spend more money on another night's hotel stay.  The issue was resolved through phone calls later in the night, with Strange B making the cut. 

TUESDAY

Tuesday morning the scoreboard was still missing numbers, but the 5 man semifinals were under way, along with the Amateur 10 man games.  With the change up having no professional teams as referees, the amateurs were run separately, playing only other amateur teams in their preliminary rounds.  Due to the unusual scheduling, Trauma had been rumored to either be a no-show or to move to pro. Trauma had already locked up the 2002 amateur series title by winning Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago and Atlantic City.  Taking first place amateur at World Cup would give them an unprecedented perfect season, not to mention back to back World Cup Wins.

The field of 5 man pro teams had been winnowed from 12 to 8 semifinalists.  Trimmed out by the prelims were Ironmen Bob (as opposed to Ironmen Long which made the cut), Enemy, Team Bud (which included Bud Orr, now playing in the pro classification), and Ton Ton Flingeurs.

The novice teams had a tougher go.  There were 72 teams competing for 16 semifinal positions.  The leaders heading into the semifinals were Cartel Works (who were undefeated), Doc's Raiders and Team Wrecks. 

Rookies had even more of an uphill battle.  World Cup tends to be an NPPL starting point for many new teams and 5 man also, being easier to organize, is especially popular at the Cup.  108 rookie five man teams played in the preliminary rounds, all fighting for 16 semifinal slots.  Formula, Wisdom Audio Paintball, both undefeated, and TPC Attack Red were the leading 5 man rookie teams advancing to the semis.

Games started and stayed close to their scheduled times as three fields were devoted to 10 man amateur, and the rest used for pro, novice and rookie 5 man finals.  Many people, both players and industry members alike commented on how surprisingly well the tournament was going, and how the site did not feel crowded, and almost felt like there were few people attending, despite the massive number of teams.  Some players commented that the large numbers of golf carts in use to shuttle players back and forth between staging areas, the air fill station and the fields reduced the numbers of people wandering the site's dirt roads, and kept them getting to the field on time, which helped the event stay to schedule.

By mid afternoon the 5 man tournament was over.  In the rookie semifinals one team out of each division of four advanced to the finals.  By winning all three of their finals games Formula came in first. Asylum Factory team posted two wins and a loss for a second place finish.  Wisdom Audio PB had a single win over Ho Style, ranking them third, and Ho Style placed fourth.

During the afternoon, a referee who had been hired for the tournament, training to become a PRO ref, was spotted attempting to steal an Angel from WDP.  With fast response by the PRO staff and an Osceola County Sheriff's officer, he not only "blew the interview" with PRO, but found himself facing criminal charges.

Similarly the novice teams advanced four finalists out of four semifinal divisions.  Chronic Platinum was the top team with three wins.  Fallout dropped their first game to Chronic, but won the other two to grab second place, Cartel Works finished third after one win, and Team Wrecks placed fourth.

The 5 man pro semifinals were not as harsh.  With only two divisions, teams had a 50/50 chance of moving on.  In the first division Dynasty 1 and Ironmen Long were knocked out of the running, and in the second division it was Dynasty 2 and the All Americans that were culled.  During finals, Aftershock 2 won with a flag hang minus the pull against their sister team Aftershock 1, then went on to win with a max of 100 against Strange.  Their third game showed them with a pull and some bodies against Ground Zero for the first place win.  Strange won two games, over Ground Zero and Aftershock 1 giving them second place.  Aftershock 1 had a single win against Ground Zero, coming in third place and Ground Zero tallied up the hang and bodies against Aftershock 2 for fourth place.

Tuesday also saw quite a bit of action with 25 amateur teams hitting the field for the 10 man competition.  Early conjecture spotting Trauma for the first place win over all 5 NPPL events looked iffy mid-way through the day.  Dropping games to Element, Brass Eagle Allstars and Brimstone Smoke, they were sitting anxiously at 418 after 7 games.  Team Pinnacle Woods played  a man down for about half of the preliminary games after a player grew frustrated and threw his gun to the ground, a safety violation resulting in a 3 game suspension.  Shocktech and Naughty Dogs were leading the pack in the Amateur 10 man event with solid wins.

Amateurs scaled down the 24 teams to the 8 going on to the semi finals.  Naughty Dogs and Shocktech both finished undefeated, Nemesis came in with one loss, and Trauma.  The nail biters of the amateur bracket squeaked in by one point to take up the 8th place.  Due to a face off in semi finals on Wednesday, the games wrapped up Tuesday night shortly after 6, sending everyone back to hotels for showers, and off to find food and entertainment at Old Town.

WEDNESDAY
The day started out hazy and cooler than it had been.  The day started out with Amateur 10 man semi finals and 10 man rookie, novice and professional teams showing up to sign in, walk fields and gather their schedules for the games. 

Nick 'Bobo' Hibbs of Collateral Damage said 'I love this place, it's like the Chia Pet of paintball.  There is a nice ceramic base of what PSP wants, but after it gets started, you just never know what you're going to get.  You can drive a golf cart on the wrong side of the road, vendors have set up their areas in bizarre ways, sand and banners going everywhere, it's a melee of stuff.'

In the Amateur semi finals Naughty Dogs, Shocktech, Trauma and Brass Eagle Allstars made the cut from the 8 teams.  In the finals Trauma beat Shocktech, stale mated with Naughty Dogs and beat Brass Eagle Allstars in their final game to seal the Amateur title. 

This was a phenomenal finish for Trauma!  Not only did they win the World Cup and series title, they won every single event in the 2002 NPPL series, and considering their World Cup Win the previous year, they completed an unprecedented 6 wins in a row!  Congratulations guys, you have solidly proven yourselves this year! 

Naughty Dogs beat Brass Eagle Allstars in the finals and stalemated with Shocktech giving them a second place finish.  Shocktech had beaten Brass Eagle Allstars, but the stalemate with the Naughty Dogs cost them needed points, and gave them a third place finish.  Finishing in fourth were the Brass Eagle Allstars.

The 5 man and 10 man amateur awards were given out after the games wrapped up Wednesday afternoon.  While many 10 man teams were out walking fields, a thunderstorm moved in from the north. 

Wednesday night, the premier of Sunday Drivers packed the house at Sun On The Beach.  A large video screen inside displayed the documentary to an audience seated on the dance floor and at the bar, while a second screen filled a large rollup doorway for a crowd that gathered outside.  The film was met with enthusiastic applause.  It followed a number of NPPL teams taking up where Push left off, and looked back to the past of the early Ironmen which touched a lot of players who had been around the sport through the early days.  500 advance copies of the video were made available at World Cup, with the final release to follow shortly after.

Trauma was celebrating their amazing string of 6 consecutive amateur wins at the bar after the premier.  Team captain Rob Stoddinger commented that after their win in the finals, he got to his cell phone and found a message from his mother calling to congratulate him, as she had been following the tournament on WARPIG.

THURSDAY

There is something about the first day of World Cup ten man competitions.  The enthusiastic hugging between team members and friends, the expended energy of men bouncing in place along sidelines, burning off adrenaline.  Stretching that will not be done again for the following 3 days, but somehow becomes vital to the early morning exercises.  The pristine clothing, the dialed in guns and the nervous tension that bleeds off of the players and as always, the muggy air pressing against already soaked skin.  World Cup is about the ten man and it's all about the title.  This first day is unique, a clean slate and everyone is anxious to prove themselves.

The amateurs having played all of their games on Tuesday and Wednesday really felt as though they missed out on the whole World Cup experience, likening it to playing 5 man, the best part of the Cup coming after they were done for the week.

Ten man competition kicked off on time on Thursday morning for the professional, novice and rookie teams.  Nineteen professional teams were scheduled, unfortunately the Ton Tons hadn't planned to play but were slated in.  The P16 would be a bye for any teams facing that game for the 10 man competition.  Two more byes would be seen from the open slots in the novice bracket.  A novice team, GT Extreme fielded their first two games with an Amateur player who played the event on Tuesday and Wednesday.  NPPL rules state that a person may only play one classification on one team for an event.  This would zero out their scores for those games, but fortunately for them, they were not wins.

The vendor's tent filled out with displays as the 10 man began.   2002 was not a year full of milestone products, but saw many companies expanding into new areas.  PMI, for example used to be mainly a paint distributor.  They have expanded the lines of products they make available to dealers, and launched the Evil paintball brand name with clothing barrels, accessories and the Omen paintgun.  The Omen is targeted squarely at the tournament level player with closed bolt electronic operation, and a radically new feed system that uses spring arms linked to the bolt to gently drive the next waiting paintball into the breech.  Due to a change in insurance providers, Paintball Sports Promotions began making 5,000 psi compressed air fills available.  With the only 5,000 psi rated system on the market so far, PMI's Pure Energy air systems were giving more shots per fill to their sponsored teams which included Aftershock and Ironmen.

Smart Parts has continued expanding their product lines with more variants of the Impulse paintgun and picking up Fuse energy drink.  The much awaited release of the DYE 2003 product line happened at World Cup.  Undoubtedly their new jerseys, cleats and gear will be influencing the designs of other companies over the following season.  Brass Eagle's new talking timers hit the field in beta test, expecting to be finalized for production in the near future.  At the BE/JT booth a sneak preview was offered into JT's new trading cards.  The cards will feature JT sponsored teams and players.  Rather than being sold in sets, they will be packaged in all Brass Eagle and JT products.  According to Brass Eagle's Nathan Greenman, the trading cards will also be part of a collect and play paintball card game, similar in general concept to Magic the Gathering.  The Headline act at National Paintball Supply were the 2003 models of the Bob Long Intimidator, Ironmen and Ground Zero versions.  Player settings were the focus at WDP's booth.  In addition to the IR3 and new Angel accessories, signage made available the electronic configuration of some of the top players in the game.  WDP's techs had a pre-release version of the IR3 PDA software with multiple player profiles.  With the tap of a stylus on the photograph of a player like Oliver Lang, Chris LaSoya, or Rocky Cagnoni, that player's IR3 setup and timer settings could be beamed into an IR3. 

As with its launch at World Cup 2001, the Society of Paintball Player's and Teams (SPPLAT) had lined up a number of local hotel, food and entertainment discounts for its members, and was also promoting the launch of Ramp magazine.  Ramp is a new men's magazine, covering gadgets girls and fashion, not necessarily in that order.  The premier issue featured a photo shoot with members of Femmes Fatale, Keely Watson, and Lisa Harvey  with their paintguns set against the glitter and flash of a Las Vegas backdrop. 

On the X-Ball field, the 2002 Collegiate World Cup began with teams from the National Collegiate Paintball Association.  With the first games announced by Craig Miller of Procaps, and WARPIG technical editor Bill Mills, it fast became apparent that the tournament would unfold differently than the Nation's Cup.  Like many other sports there was a difference between pro teams and college teams.  The college teams exhibited a much higher level of sportsmanship.  During the first three matches, no penalties were issued at all, because they simply weren't needed.  Players were pointing out to refs when they needed paintchecks, and calling themselves out when hit.  While the stand up play was an example that many amateur and pro teams could learn from, the collegiate X Ball games did not draw the same levels of spectators as the Nation's Cup at the International Amateur Open.  This was possibly simply due to the draw of "pro" teams, but perhaps also because there was not the same level of drama as seen when players did misbehave, overshooting, screaming at refs and getting penalties that threw new spins on the game.

The first two matches, George Washington University versus Penn State, and Illinois State versus Louisiana State were both very even match ups.  The scores bounced between ties and single point leads for either team, up to the end where GWU and LSU both won with single point leads.  Clemson versus University of Illinois was the first decisive victory of the day.  U of I led Clemson, who had the flag and were running it in to the flag station a mere 12 feet away when the buzzer sounded, ending the first half.  That game ended with a score of 6 to 2.

While the games were going on, much business was happening in the private offices inside various show trucks.  Corporate lawyers even came to the site to negotiate contracts.  Plans are underway for X-Ball to go big, not only with television coverage, but with franchised professional teams in various sites, and a national tournament series running side by side with the existing 5 and 10 man events.  Details of how and when and who pays, of course being battled out by those attorneys.  Procaps has already developed the next generation in X Ball scoring.  Designed by Mike Ratko, with software written by Chris Black, the X Ball scoreboard is now controlled with a software interface on a notebook PC.  This gives a lot more flexibility to the scorekeeper and announcers.  It also means that scoring isn't dependent on the large light bulb scoreboard.  Instead the video display of the computer can be fed to a Jumbotron or similar video screen in a stadium, as well as to monitors in the team staging areas so coaches can see time and penalty information during a time-out without having to step out onto the field area.

Brief rains on Thursday afternoon were enough to add to some wet areas that had been left from overnight rains, but not to rain out the event.  The cool air that came with them was welcomed by players from colder climates who had been sweltering in the heat and humidity of Central Florida fall weather.

The heavy use of golf carts to move people and teams around the sites showed both its benefits and drawbacks.  The speed of movement contributed to the tournament staying on time with so many people involved, but a small number of people driving recklessly caused problems by driving too fast through crowds, or straight through pedestrian only areas like the vendor's tent. 

FRIDAY

Friday started out under clear skies with both the collegiate and 10 man teams on the field.  The scheduling had placed most of the pro team's games against other pros on Friday.  This meant that aside from those that dropped games to novice or rookie teams, the pros finished up Thursday with pretty even scores.  The deciding factor for the semifinals cut would be Friday - the teams would face the heat in the crucible and be sorted with the slag cast aside.

Much love goes out to John from All Americans 2, recuperating after a car accident and for All American Darryl Trent's new baby girl going in for surgery - thinking of you guys, missing you and wishing you back soon!

Friday afternoon saw a controversial game that will no doubt be the subject of conversation for years to come.  Ground Zero Gold faced Avalanche in the preliminary rounds on the National Paintball Supply field, on the South edge of the tournament complex.  After a few GZ players were eliminated, they stood in the dead box trying to figure out who had shot them.  They had been hit in the back.  GZ player Pete Utschig looked out in the woods and spotted some blond hair.  He bolted from the dead box, and reportedly chased down and apprehended Jeremy Salm of Avalanche dressed in black, with a black paintgun.

Statements had been made prior to the game that Salm was ill, so Avalanche team owner and retired player Ed Poorman was playing in his place on Friday.  The decisions that resulted from the game were that Avalanche forfeited their points for the game, was withdrawn from the tournament, and Salm would be suspended from NPPL/PSP tournaments for the 2003 season.

"We, Team Avalanche, would like to apologize to our sponsors and our fans for the actions of one individual, who is no longer on our team.  Although, as a team we take full responsibility, we would like everyone to understand that we were unaware of what had transpired until after the fact.  Also, we would like to state that the decision made by the rules committee was the correct one." 

Games wrapped up mostly on time on Friday afternoon amidst a sea of anxious bodies crowding around the scoretable while we ranked the teams going on, breaking ties by counting bodies lost and putting them up onto the board.  Professional teams were shook up from the bye of the extra pro team scheduled in, then with the byes afforded to both Ground Zero Gold and Jax Warriors.  Despite the 95 points, neither of the GZ teams made the cut, a big surprise to the players.  Rage made the cut at 609, a high cut for the bracket.  Even higher was the Novice cut at 671 points.  It is unheard of to win six games and still go home as happened to nine teams.  The first bracket of ten man novice was like a northwest practice, Cartel facing Exile and Naughty Dogs Silver along with a European team who brought up the tail in 16th place.  The rookies were more spread out, their cut also fairly high at 527.

SATURDAY
Aftershock and Ironmen had a great morning winning against All Americans and Rage coming down to a game against each other.  Greg Pozzi and Rich Telford traded shots with each other.  Ironman's Rich had a bounce off of his hand and when Greg ran past thinking he'd shot him out, Rich shot him, running for the flag hang,  sealing their top ranking for the first pro bracket.   Novices saw Cartel, KAPP, Templars and Philadelphia Eclipse Black taking up the gauntlet, advancing to finals.  Momma's Boys, Mayhem, Wild Geese and KAPP Kids moved on to Rookie finals after Momma's Boys and Mayhem played three winning games. 

Finals were tense for the professional teams during the early afternoon with Ironmen dropping to Dynasty, then Bad Company dropping to Aftershock.  Aftershock triumphed over Dynasty in a controversial game with the last man on Shock running the flag back with a dirty hopper.  Ironmen beat Bad Company, who played their hearts out this event, and really showed themselves powerful by hitting the finals here.  The last two games between Ironmen and Shock and Dynasty and Bad Company would determine not only the event but the series ranking.  Ironmen sat with the chance to take the series if either they or Shock win the event, but if Dynasty gets 2nd place or better, they can take the series title.  Because so much was on the line, the two games were started simultaneously.

Novices and Rookies were completely dominated by the Northwest - Novices fielding Cartel and KAPP Factory and Rookies giving up the Momma's Boys and KAPP Kids from the northern California area.  In the novice bracket Cartel lost 31 bodies for the semi final and finals games ranking them first  at 214, followed by KAPP, Templars and Philadelphia Eclipse Black.  The rookies sent Momma's Boys to the podium in first place slot after 2 wins and a loss with Wild Geese.   Mayhem and KAPP Kids took up the second through fourth slots.

Winning against Ironmen and ending the tournament in first place, the boys from Chicago were exuberant.  Dynasty and Bad Company ended as suspected with Dynasty taking up the 2nd place slot for the professional teams, giving them 46 ranking points for the event.  This tied them with Ironmen who were given 43 ranking points to end up with 229 points.  After realizing that this would be an issue, WARPIG.com started the calculations to determine the tiebreaker used for Strange and Ironmen's seeding prior to the World Cup.  Totaling all of the game points for the season, Dynasty had a grand total of 4695 points as opposed to Ironmen who had 4249 points. 

Jerry Braun, one of the owners of Paintball Sports Promotions, producers of the World Cup stated that the tie breaker used for Ironmen and Strange wouldn't apply since that was used merely to seed them into a tournament.  Braun further countered that since both Dynasty and Ironmen had earned the ranking points, that they would share the award between the two teams - past series rankings that showed teams tied at certain positions.
 

Closing Comments from WARPIG.com Webmaster Dawn Mills
Every event is a new experience for me closely linked with the past events and past experiences.  World Cup this year was great for me and I hope for the others who attended.  The schedule flowed without Jerry tearing out any hair, we got the bugs worked out in record time.  The scoreboard ran flawlessly but for the teams who made us want to scream by not turning in scoresheets, causing us untold hours searching through each scoresheet to make sure we didn't have it tucked away.   Sue, you did a great job and Heather a great addition to the team.  I think my great regret is that after I work all day, being often one of the last to leave the field, I still have work to do when I get to the hotel, clean up and find food.  I regret not being able to hang out with everyone at Old Town, being goofy.  For the two nights that I did hang out, thank you to those who laughed with me - laughing with you guys makes all the hard work and long hours worth it.  To Ironmen, Brimstone Smoke, Exile, Strikeforce, Naughty Dogs Silver, Todd and Bryon from Shock, Fast Mike from Strange and so many others who sport the Piggy stickers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, it means the world to me.  My thanks to Kim who shot the first 16 galleries of photos so I could get the 10 man schedule into a format other than handwritten from Jerry - you're a lifesaver and the 5 man teams thank you for giving them photos that otherwise would have been lacking.

 


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