This article was original written by Rob Maddox and published on NZPB Online in 1997

The tournament started on Saturday October 25th, at Actions Paintball Sports Arena in Te-Atatu (Auckland), run by Saints team member Kyn Jackson. It was originally going to be held on a field in Mangare (Auckland) but was shifted to Te-Atatu a few weeks before the event was due to start.

Last minute changes not withstanding, the organisation that has gone into this tournament is nothing short of outstanding. A two day event comprising of 11 teams of various skill levels, finishing only 15 seconds late at the end of those two days is a very good achievement on the part of the organisers.

The tournament was divided into Division One and Division Two, each intermingled during play with total scores at the end of the tournament determining overall places and positions within the divisions.

Play was 5-a-side central flag, with 10 minute games. Teams playing each other once only. There were two fields. One a bush field with light scrub and large trees, the other an “artificial” barricades field across what used to be a go-cart track.

Eleven teams turned up out of the original twelve, which is good in itself. Notable entries included Flashpoint arriving for their first Auckland tournament from the South Island, The Bay Boyz from the Hawkes Bay region, and Kamo Karzi – fresh from winning the 1997 NPL Division 2 League.
The Saints too were there in form, even though a few of their number are off battling for “the cause” in far off Orlando. Saints Black notable largely for their new “Saints” uniforms, complete with little halo’d stick figures, and their captains bright green hair, and Saints Grey (The Old Guard) notable for the number of faces back on the paintball field after a long time away from the tournament field.

It was great to see so many teams turn up for the event, especially those not local to Auckland, and the array of tents and banners arranged around the safe area was brilliant.
The teams who attended were The Paint Contractors, Saints Black, Saints Grey, Flashpoint, Katipo1, Katipo2, Kamo Karzi, Red Alert, Syrian Suicide Squad, Team Raven and the Bay Boyz.

The weather held out very nicely on both days. Saturday was largely fine, with a couple of minor patches of drizzle on the Sunday. The wind was quite gusty at times, which was especially telling on the more exposed “barricades” field (Field #1) with paintballs really winging it off to one side.

Day One. October 25th.

With Team Gothique not showing, it was decided that when each team was due to play them, they would get a `bye’, and be awarded a max. This meant that each team had 100 points added to their scores whenever they were due to play Gothique, even though no games were played.

There were some shocks during play, with the favourites Saints Black losing points early in the first day, bringing their Day One score to a fairly poor 336 out of a possible 600.

Katipo One on the other hand stormed away to an early lead of 598 points out of the possible 600, pointing the way to a landslide victory for the team, followed closely by Whangarei’s Paint Contractors with 575.

The Paint Contractors showed what they were made of by repeated victories over already proven teams, as did Kamo Karzi with their surprise victories over both Saints Black and Saints Grey.

At the end of the first days play, the points were allocated as follows:-

Pro/Division 1

Place Team Score
1 Katipo1 598
2 Paint Cont 575
3 Saints Black 366
4 Saints Grey 356

Am/Division 2

Place Team Score
1 Flashpoint 424
2 Kamo Karzi 416
3 Katipo 2 336
4 Team Raven 324
5 Red Alert 184
6 Bay Boyz 74

Day Two. October 26th.
There was some confusion at the start of the day in regards to Flashpoints division. News came late on Saturday evening that Flashpoint were apparently considered a Division One team, but Sunday saw Flashpoint declared officially a Division Two team. This threw the cat amongst the pigeons a little with protests raised by a number of teams in both divisions. The decision was upheld, and Flashpoint continued the tournament officially a Division Two team.

Although the weather was ominous for part of the day, it held, but there were a few more surprises in store for players and organisers. Although Saints Black did poorly on their first day, they really snapped back into form on Day Two, taking another 530 points out of a maximum 600. Katipo One slackened a little with 410 points, but were still playing in fine form with a lot of points under their belt. It was clear early on that these two teams would be battling it out for the top overall and Division One slots.

Meanwhile there was a skirmish going in Division Two between the immediate contenders for the top Division Two slot, Team Raven, Kamo Karzi, and Katipo 2. Early on it looked like Flashpoint had taken the honours, but they were soon overtaken by the others, ending an unfortunate Fourth in the second division with only six points in it between them and the third place-getters, Katipo 2. Kamo Karzi won the Division Two section and came Third overall after beating Paint Contractors in their final game, and drawing at 58 each with Flashpoint.

Final Placings for the tournament were as follows:

Overall Place Team Name Division Division Place Score
1st Katipo 1 1 1st 1008
2nd Saints Black 1 2nd 866
3rd Kamo Karzi 2 1st 818
4th Paint Contr. 1 3rd 791
5th Saints Grey 1 4th 780
6th Team Raven 2 2nd 642
7th Katipo 2 2 3rd 608
8th Flashpoint 2 4th 602
9th Syrian Sui. 2 5th 422
10th Red Alert 2 6th 370
11th Bay Boyz 2 7th 210
Gothique NO SHOW

The obvious up and coming teams here are Kamo Karzi with their surprise taking of third place overall at the end of the day, and Team Raven who have proven to be formidable when the mood takes them.

As was rightly pointed out by tournament organiser Dave Pellet, the teams that came towards the bottom of the list are still winners for actually making the effort to show up in the first place.
Especially such names as Flashpoint who came all the way up from the South Island in order to play; Bay Boyz for their efforts to bring them up from Hawkes Bay, and Red Alert for (as Lance Potter, one of the founding members, put it) “biting off more than they could chew” and launching into what I am sure is going to be a meteoric rise once they’ve got their “sea legs”.

The Saints Black captain Jo Pitts was his usual eloquent self while handing the National Paintball Trophy over to Katipo One captain Reg Lowe (?sp), citing both the importance of the event to New Zealand paintball and the obvious effort that went into the Katipo Win. Reg responded by thanking the tournament organisers and the Saints both and lauding the efforts of both his players and his pit crew.

Allan Gatland, the captain of Kamo Karzi accepted the Division Two first place trophy and thanked the team, the organisers of the tournament, and the owner of Actions Paintball (Kyn Jackson) for his support throughout the year.

Overall, a herculean effort by Dave Pellet and his cast of thousands (co-organisers and marshals) paid off with what could only be described as Aucklands best tournament to date, if not New Zealands. The marshalling was consistent, with only a few minor irritations which were generally ironed out without much fuss, and games were without fail started on time every time. The draw was such that no teams had back-to-back games, and play was for the most part conducted fairly and with good sportsmanship.

Catering (Well, food at any rate) was provided by Fox Force Five, the all female team that did not play over the two days but made a marked difference to those who did. The person who organised the ice-cream wagon (One Mr Snowy) should be awarded a trophy of their own. After two days play it was a welcome sight in the carpark area.

Well done everyone for a sterling competition.

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