This article was original written by Rob Maddox and published on NZPB Online in 1998
The tournament was scheduled to run over Labour Weekend, 24th & 25th of October in Auckland at Kyn Jacksons Action Paintballs Sports Arena. It was to be the last event held at Actions, which was closing its doors for relocation. Fourteen teams attended, which makes this the largest paintball tournament in New Zealand to date.
The weather was dodgy the day before, with downpours after nightfall, threatening to continue on over the tournament. However, the weather held out nicely with only the occasional spot of drizzle.
While not having the organised ‘feel’ of the 1997 Nationals, 1998 was just as good, if not better in terms of overall operation.
There were some concerns over the consistency of the marshalling from several of the teams, and comments to the effect that the marshalling this year was not up to last years standard; but as Rik Goldsworthy (Capt. Saints Gold) pointed out, the level of marshalling could not have improved without tying up a couple more of the teams and lessening the tournament over all.
The marshalls coped well under difficult circumstances and had the usual large amount of difficult calls to make, and by and large made them well.
With rumours of a ‘Marshalling School’ in the pipeline, it is possible that any concerns can be lessened with the training of more marshals to a higher level of experience. This is certainly something to watch out for, and even if you don’t intend to become a regular marshal, getting the ‘inside look’ of what is expected of them can only be a benefit to players and teams.
The Head Marshall, Mike Sawyer, stated that the tournament was smoothly run with only a few minor disputes. The schedule was adhered to well, and there was a good standard of play. Very rarely was a game run to a standstill, as someone was always willing to push the issue.
His assistant, Aaron Jay noted the outstanding quality of the players in general, and said that he had never before been to a tournament with such honest players.
Kyn Jacksons growing reputation of organising top tournaments for this country was certainly not diminished by his efforts this year. Overall things were well run with an obvious amount of effort paid to producing yet another top notch event. It is unfortunate that the 1998 Nationals marked the closure of Kyns Actions Paintball field in Te Atatu. Most of the Auckland players would attest to the outstanding quality of the fields for both tournament and social play, and Kyns own reputation as a great field Op.
We can only hope that he will soon find another location to develop.
|Red Alert – Auckland
|DOA – Auckland
|Warp Speed – Hawkes Bay
|Katipo One and Two – Auckland
|Flashpoint – Dunedin
|Phantom 5 – Auckland
|Kami Karzi – Auckland
|Black Dragon – Auckland
|Paint Contractors – Whangarei
|House Steiner – Wellington
|Kiwi Extreme – Wellington
|Saints Grey – Auckland
|Saints – Auckland
The notable entries here were Warp Speed, Flashpoint, Paint Contractors, House Steiner and Kiwi Extreme for making the arduous journey to Auckland from their various home towns. It was particularly good to see Kiwi Extreme attend their first Auckland Tournament, and we hope they enjoyed themselves enough to come up again next year.
Warp Speed felt that their tournament expectations were not really met, though the team was developing solidly considering the short amount of time they’ve been into Tournament Paintball. Apparently a clear direction has been identified. They said their favourite game would have to be between Black Dragon (which was a very close run thing, with only sheer good fortune standing between Black Dragon and certain defeat), and DOA.
Flashpoint on the other hand felt that their expectations for the weekend were met, though they were let down in some games. They say that the tournament was certainly well run, though there was an issue of the fields being a little one sided, especially the bush field.
They will be back next year, as they had a great time.
They state their best game was against Kamo Karzi, which they maxed convincingly.
Kamo Karzi captain Alan Gatland felt that Kamo did not perform up to last years expectations. Having to run a scratch team on the first day, and being 2 markers down in one of the most important games of the tournament did not help matters. However, he feels the team is showing promise for next year, where they should do as well, or exceed their 3rd place of the 1997 Nationals.
Favourite game was against Warp Speed for sheer enjoyment and teamwork.
The big contender for the top spot, last years winners, Katipo One captain Reg Lowe said that their buildup to the tournament was not what he had hoped for. The team did not play to their full potential.
He felt that the fields, though good, did not allow players full opportunity to be creative, and players were often locked into the same tactics. He also stated that some of the play was definitely up to international standard, and was very impressed by the performances of such teams as Kiwi Extreme, Paint Contractors, and House Steiner.
Although the level of play was improving, the rise in costs associated with tournaments was cause for concern, possibly due to the exchange rate.
Saints Captain, Rik Goldsworthy was extremely happy with his teams performance, thinking at one stage they were going to get a perfect 1300 points. Although this did not eventuate, they played true to form and had a good team environment with which to work. The tournament was the best seen in New Zealand, and the tournament fees were reasonable considering costs overseas and the costs of maintaining tournament standards.
The standard of play, he says, is definitely increasing in New Zealand and he noted specifically Paint Contractors, Kiwi Extreme, and Black Dragon.
As a brief aside, some of the Saints were using the newish RP Scherer “All-Star” paint; A paint that is purported to contain iodine (although I have been unable to confirm this one way or the other) to make the ‘splat’ much harder to remove. The consensus was that the paint was not up to expected standards for the price paid, as the batch that arrived was often somewhat eggshaped. They still favour RP Scherer marballizer as a good value for dollar paintball.
Scores and Awards.
The tournament ended on time, and the prize giving was closer to being rained out than the games were, with some threatening drizzle immediately beforehand. Actions Paintball, with sponsorship from Black Stallion energy drinks, provided a good number of prizes and trophies.
There were several categories for best ‘something’ of the tournament.
Player of the Tournament – Shane from Warp Speed for his sterling efforts and sportsmanship during the tourney.
Best flag pull – Rob Maddox from Kamo Karzi – for a flag pull against Katipo One.
Another to Marty Friend was for the two in half minutes it took to hang the flag after clearing the field in 35 seconds.
Winners of these were presented with Actions Paintball medallions.
Black Dragon also came first in the Division Two section of this tournament.
First Place Winners, Saints Gold, were understandably disappointed not to reach the perfect 1300, but lost 10 points due to a barrel plug violation in the dead-box on the second day of the tournament.
Captain, Rik Goldsworthy thanked all the out of Auckland teams for attending at what could be a considerable expense considering the distance some of them had to travel. He thanked Kyn Jackson and Actions Paintball and urged other teams to help Kyn find a new location to set up, expressing regret at the loss of the current location.
The Challenge Shield won by Katipo from Saints Black last year during Saints Gold absence (Due to playing in the World Cup in Orlando) was dutifully handed back.
Last place getters, Red Alert, although appearing a little disappointed in the result said they had an enjoyable tournament, and that it was great to see more teams this year. Their team suffered from a few last minute pull-outs and were forced to use more new players than they normally would.
Well done to their second team, DOA, who played extremely well considering their lack of tournament experience, holding Kamo Karzi (3rd place last year) to time in one game, having also made the first pull.
In the after match prize-giving, Kyn Jackson stated the need for a national body to help organise and maintain the standard of paintball and paintball tournaments in New Zealand. While the New Zealand Paintball Players Association idea is not a new one, with the current level of interest across the country it is quite likely that such an organisation could occur in the short to mid-term.
Overall, an excellent tournament, and well worth attending. If the quality of future tournaments and attending teams remains constant then it can only be good for New Zealand Paintball.