The Earon Carter 1996 Stock Class Invitational

By Bill Mills
(Click on photos for full screen versions with commentary)

March 16th and 17th, 1996, SC Village, Corona, CA

tweeg16 teams gathered together for the 1996 Earon Carter Stock Class Invitational Tournament. Some teams were well established, and well known, like the Kamikazi Shooters, while others were new to the tournament scene or formed just for this event, like the Pink Fluffy Bunnies. One thing was for certain, everyone had fun.

TrophiesIf you are not familiar with the concept of stock class, it is to limit the technology on the field, to bring the sport of paintball back to its roots. Stock class events usually require that markers meet the following qualifications:

Combat CrewWhile the theory is that this will limit everyone to the same type of paintguns, there are still many players who's stock markers "push the limits" They meet all of the crieteria, but are fully customized and tweaked for maximum performance. Stock rules were a little lax at this event, some markes with direct feeds parallel to, but not touching the barrel, or with a traditional twist style quick change were allowed in if they fit the "spirit of stock class".

Common on the fields were stock class Phantoms, and Buzzards (from Carter Machine). One looking hard enough could find a few Sheridan based markers and even a couple of Brass Eagle Nightmares.

GrizzwaldDay one saw the teams split into two divisions, with each team playing all of the teams in its division. This meant no one went home early, all teams played a full day on Saturday, with the top 6 teams (ranked by total score) going into the finals on Sunday. Thanks to the event's sponsors, (Carter Machine, TASO, Brass Eagle, and many more) there were prizes available all the way down to 12th place.

JoeAfter the finals (which lasted half the day Sunday) Wes Wong gathered a crowd around the stage for the awards ceremony. The first place team, Combat Crew flew all the way in from Hawaii. They left with trophies and beautiful blue Carter Stock Buzzards. While each of their players recieved a case of Brass Eagle paintballs, shipping them home would be a problem, so they gave that portion of their prizes to the captains of the next ranking teams.

The final top 6 teams were:

In addition to the prizes for placing in the tournament, Ron Killbourne threw assorted prize items into the crowd, and many more were raffled off as door prizes. This reporter being edged out of the prizes as a member of the 13th ranked "Stock Brokers", walked away with a set of grey speckled custom grips from Full Blown Products.

The MediaMany of the tournament's players stayed on into the afternoon, joining in the walk-on games. Many joining into the stock games, while others played semi-auto, and others played with their stock markers in the semi-auto games. This made for an excellent showing of skill over firepower. Two members of the Kamikaze Shooters were a sight to see as they crossed behind the opposing team, and took the "embassy" building on the "Beruit" field. They were making single shot eliminations while moving stealthfully, and avoiding barages of semi-auto fire power.

While tournaments are often breeding grounds for complaints and cries of "foul", this event went smoothly and enjoyably. "See you next year." seemed to be a common saying heard at the end of the weekend, when the teams went their seperate ways.