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  • Chicago NPPL 1998
    Welcome to WARPIG's On Scene Chicago NPPL 1998 coverage! 
    June 28th update
    Stay tuned to this page for more photos, and more info.

    Players sweltered in heat and humidity to which they were not accustomed, but they didn't letting that stop them from from playing some serious paintball.  Light winds that came in on Thursday made things more comfortable.  Early on Friday morning (well before sun-up) heavy thunderstorms came through Cook County blowing down some field netting and portable bunkers. Well before game time the skies cleared, and things were put in order. Saturday night brought more storms which cleared, but left more comfortable temperatures for the 10 player semifinals and finals. Renick Miller has developed a reputation for hospitality at his tournaments, and this one is no exception, the concession stand has been doing a booming business with sodas, bottled water, sports drinks and beer on tap. 

    The fields of The Badlandz are very diverse. The wooded fields feature trees with some grasses and light brush. They are wider than many teams are used to, which is leading them to adjust their normal plays and patterns. The Hyperball field features the black pipe that NPPL players have come to know well at the World Cup over the last two years. The airball field, has been delayed. Delivery problems with the new USPL  inflatable bunkers prevented the field from being used as planned in the 5 player preliminaries. During the 5 player competition this field was set up with a combination of the inflatables, and with Challenge Cup cloth and aluminum bunkers, for a total of 38 obstacles on the field. 

    Bob Long has been getting time on the field with the final prototype of his new Delta Defiant paintgun.  While this paintgun has been some time coming, he is assured that it is worth the wait.  The new final prototype shows a design that has evolved since the first prototypes were shown more than a year ago.  It's unique structure uses an automated cocking action with a ram-bolt and vertical link pin (no cocking block) from the bolt to the hammer.  Internally it's low pressure (160 psi) valving spirals the air flow to reduce turbulence.  Rather than complicating the design with a secondary regulator for the pneumatic cocking system Long's design uses reduced ram surface area in the ram-bolt to bring the force of the bolt on the ball down to a light push.  Long is confident that the production model Defiants will start rolling off the assembly line in mid to late August. 

    Florida teams made a strong showing in the 5 player Amateur A class with first place going to Illusion, and second to Bad Karma II. Karma II is the "Kids team" from Bad Karma, and triumphed over their older sister team Bad Karma I. Third went to NVP, and fourth place to Crossfire A. 

    In the 5 player Amateur B Addicted (another team of young players) edged out The Family by 7 points. Damage followed in 3rd place, followed by Swarm in fourth. 

    Rumor circulating on the field indicated that the members of Swarm had a falling out after their finish in the 5 player finals. They ended up being a no-show for their slot in the 10 player competition. 

    The 10 player semi-finals saw the first tournament game between Bob Long's Ironmen and Dave Youngblood's Ironmen.  This was a game that many fans have anxiously awaited since the Ironmen split ocured in late 1996.  Many people were choosing Dave's crew as the favorite, based on the number of games they had won against Bob's team during a practice session only a few weeks earlier.  While both teams moved to their starting bunkers quickly, it became a game of sniping from there.  Rich Telford (of Bob's Ironmen) and Micah McGlocklin (of Dave's) ended up in shouting distance from each other.  Those who remember their discussions from tourneytalk would definitely be entertained by the taunts they threw back and forth.  At one point Telford ducked quickly and yelled, "Hey, who's shooting at my head?  Ref, pull him, he shot at my head!  That had to be Marty [Bush]!  No body else shoots like that!  Where are you Marty?!?"  Sure enough, Bush was on the tapeline keeping an eye on the "door" bunker and sniping at other targetes in his usual one or two shot style.  As time neared the end, Bob's team made a push, clearing enough players to get the flag, and make the hang.

    The last game Revolution played in the finals turned out to be a great disapointment to the spectators, and to Bob Long's Ironmen.  Going into the game, Revolution had first place locked up.  They know the fields at Badlandz and hade been playing solid paintball all day.  When they faced the All Americans the effort they put forth was less than impressive.  One onlooker said, "It was like they forgot what paintball was, they just stood there and got pounded."  The game was over in a flash, with the All Americans getting the points they needed to edge out Bob's Ironmen for second place, and gain series points in the league.  Some people speculated that Revolution took a dive as a favor to the All As, while others figured they were just tired and had no motivation to play hard or spend more money on paint as first place was already theirs.  Whatever the reason, the score of that last game did not reflect the otherwise impressive games that Revolution had been playing.  

    One of the shining stars in the pro finals was Lockout.  Over the last year they have been a powerhouse in the Amateur division and this was their first tournament as professionals.  They made it to the finals, and finished in fourth place, leading some of the other teams who did not make the cut to finals.  Lockout has certainly climbed the ranks, and it is great to see their hard work and determination paying off.

    Pro 10 player went to Revolution, while Bushwackers took Amateur A, and Tidewater topped the Amateur B. 

    Stay tuned to this page for more information. 

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