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Thread: Future High School Sport, or Outcast Hobby?

  1. #1
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    Post Future High School Sport, or Outcast Hobby?

    I know this probably belongs in Deep Blue, but A) I don't have the password, and B) I felt the populous (spellcheck it later, I'm tired) of people were out here, and I want YOUR opinions!!

    Many a-time have I considered going to my school principal and asking for permission to start an official club for paintball, but I've run into problems and it's still just a THOUGHT!! First, who would we play? I live in the Houston area, where not too many tournys frequent, and where the track bus driver is so lazy the team often goes back with the other school because he gets bored and goes home himself, plus, I doubt we'd get enough funding to pay for trips and everything we'd need, even if we did sell chocolate or something. At least not enough to buy skimpy outfits for cheerleaders.

    Another problem (the main one) is that too many people associate the use of paint markers with fire arms. If you've seen me post before (yes, an amazing THIRTEEN times), I always type "'gun" or "marker" or whatnot, to avoid this politically incorrect blunder. Thus, associating paintball markers with firearms suddenly makes people think that the school is training killers; students armed with guns, and the school is supporting it. The cheerleaders are just the last straw.

    So, most people would go on some holy crusade and stop the "evil" principal from "forcing" these "innocent children" into such a "barbaric" sport. Then I'd probably have to do the whole thing over again with my new principal. Not my idea of fun.

    It's partially the association with firearms that's stunting the groth of this sport as well, I believe, but that's another post all together (tune in tomorrow, folks!) and parents want to protect their children, and guns seem to be the main culprit to them. I can't really blame them for it, but I think they should learn more about a sport before smashing it and the dreams of their children in said sport. Continuing...

    I'd like to think that 10, maybe 15 years from now, paintball would be an accepted sport in schools. The other xtreme sports are gaining popularity, and my school has expressed intrest in building a skating team, and major companies now sponsor skaters and skating events. Paintball reminds me of an early version of skating. While it does not have the "do it anywhere" value that skating has (when was the last time you saw a "No biking, skating, or paintball on the side-walk, please." {hmm, slogan?}), it still draws with it's constant adrenaline rush and skills required to play. Skills required, such as teamwork, safety, and bravery (to an extent), are needed in many things in day to day life, and make an improvement in a person's overall character as a long term effect.

    Many people don't like the injury factor. If you get hurt in the sport (by projectiles shot out of a gun-shaped object, no less) it's bad enough. The gun part makes it a WHOLE lot worse, but many people jump to the conclusion the game is based on placing injuries on the other team, when it just isn't so. In fact, if you get shot out (nice phrase for public relations, eh?), it's your own personal error or a fluke in the game.

    However, some people feel this way. They go out of their way to avoid asking someone to take the hit, play unfairly, or over-clock their guns to shoot faster. People like this are news to the media. The "true" sport of paintball, it'd probably say. Someone claiming "accidents happen in all sports" would suddenly say "accidents happen". But, again, this isn't about the media... yet (can you see I'm making plans here, folks?). One accident in a high school sport, such as a broken leg is bad enough. It's not local news, it happens all the time. A kid dies in football practice (two times in my state, one weekend) and they've gotta allow them to have three water breaks instead of two during practice. A kid loses an eye in an experimental sport such as this - of course it's big. Of course the club will get shut down, most likely, the board never to take it upon themselves to consider the situation again, and have (FORCE) the person who started the club (namely me) make a public apology, which would then be splatter across every publication that cared, and bring up countless more times when another club attempted to arise.

    Unless people get the TRUTH about paintball out to those who can get it out to those who DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT (let me put it this way: You ---> Local News ---> National News (think piece story, teen life story, etc) ---> local people ---> (by word of mouth now) other people ---= KNOWLEDGE of sport widely known... acceptance by most follows.) so that they can find out what it really means to those who play, how it works, and over all, what it does.

    Anyways... I'm quite tired, and my eye hurts, so I'm going to go to bed so I can get up early and yell at my alarm clock. Night night.

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  2. #2
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    Post

    well IMO, I think it will become big, but never on the media nor a high school sport.

  3. #3
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    Post

    Just picture this : a paintball marker (GUN) in your locker!!! Hmm.. first, let's figure out how to get it thru metal detector without sounding it off...hehee...To be totally honest here and without offending anyone, just be glad that you can play this sport without all the hassles like other countries. IMO, I don't see paintball in high school sport roster in a near future unless majority of public perception changes about paintball.

  4. #4

    Post

    I actually believe paintball is becoming closer and closer to a highschool sport every day. im currently working with the NCPA on creating a Midwest Highschool Paintball League, or MHPL. We've got a website, www.high-school-paintball.com or you can contact me, mhpl_guy@yahoo.com
    They're looking for other schools in other regions to get clubs going. The publics perception of who we are and why we love to play isn't going to change with out first changing the representation. The MHPL is a highschool league, but not associated with the school, just the students. Perhaps later, as the sport grows in maturity, administrators will look and say "hey, these guys go out there, play as a team, get good grades, and are nice kids. lets help them out!"
    Another point, paintball MARKERS arent exactly guns. there's VERY few similarities when you compare the two, other than looks, and the fact you pull a trigger. But Wal-Mart sells them in cute little plastic containers, sitting right out in the front of sporting goods. Its like picking up a pellet gun, actually a little less. MARKERS need an air source, while some pellet guns, you pump and shoot. so paintball, if it has to be classified under GUN, would be in one of the safest categories.
    A neat thing about the MHPL, i can regulate who plays. We can come up with two or three teams from a school right now, and if one decides to be a prick, and do as you say, overchrono a gun, or misrepresent the sport, hey, we dont need them. Its not about money, profits, or gaining media support, its a league anbout us. I want to walk out there against another school, knowing its a fair shot, every side equal, every side pushing their hardest, and NOT cheating. If we catch cheaters, its over. The game is called, the team is reprimanded, probably sent home, depending on offense. Theres THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of high school players. to lose 5, and give the sport a good image, its worth it. even if it means i slip up, if im booted, its good for the sport, and ill have to accept it.
    Check out high-school-paintball.com sign up your school. You dont NEED a team, just people who play paintball. We're looking at organization right now, and numbers. we're hosting rec events, we have a local field offering us discounts (not sure when they'll be stated). Theres a lot of info on there, and you can contact us about starting clubs, or startiong regions, or just sign up, and we'll try to contact you.
    High School Paintball could be a VERY promising event. The problem lies in us. We cant ever hope the public to condone what we do, if we dont first EARN their respect, and allow them to whole-heartedly trust us.

    Kyle


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  5. #5

    Thumbs up

    Hey Mad Painter ... meet The Mad Splatter! lol

    Your organization sounds awesome! We here in Maine have done a similar thing by creating the Maine Recreational Paintball League ... http://www.mrpl.org

    We are Maine's first and only paintball league - dedicated to working with players, fields and shops ... and not just tournament players as most leagues seem to be. We have eleven different fields and shops in the league at this time, along with over 200 player-members. Membership for players is gained by taking a 60-question Safety Quiz. Membership for fields requires that certain safety guidelines be met (signage,
    insurance, netting, etc), along with a suggested ref's training course.

    We help fields promote speedball tournaments as well as recreational paintball events ... charity games, scenarios, etc. We are a non-profit corporation, and want to see the sport of paintball advanced to become more popular and accepted by more people. Our efforts seem to be paying off as most fields have reported an increase in their visits due to - in part - the league's help with marketing, promotion, and making the sport more acceptable for mom, dad, and the kids. (We make every effort to say 'marker' and not the 'G' word; 'eliminate' or 'tag' instead of the 'K' word.)

    Our league is unique in that all of our fields and shops work together. We don't under-cut each other, or "dis" each other. In fact, if one place is booked and more players want to play, we'll freely recommend another field for them to try. It's working!

    One of our goals .... like you .... is to get a high school league going. Here, too, we get negative feedback from the schools. But the kids all want it. So we're doing our best to get the kids organized ourselves. We now have 5 or 6 teams of high school aged kids in our League. Soon, we'll have a mini-tourney series for them to be held like after school and in the early evenings.

    Keep at it, guys! It'll work eventually.

    [This message has been edited by TheMadSplatter (edited 09-02-2001).]

  6. #6

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    i would try to strt a paintball clup at my school, but there is a few things stopping me. 1. I am in middle school, 2. the only feilds around are crappy ones 3. most of my teachers freaked out when the herd i played paintball and asked me if i shot cars, or walked up to ppl and asked for directions and shot them, like some ppl did a month or so ago. well im goin to high school next year, i might try to start a paintball club, but ill have to see what the teachers, and princible are like first

    -Jerry

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  7. #7
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    I live in a town with rich snobs who do absolutely nothing. I mentioned to them that I wanted to start a paintball club and the STUDENTS, NOT teachers laughed at me and said it was probably one of the dumbest ideas they have ever heard. And playing chess is a good idea? No i dont think so. But anyway, i will for sure go to a college that plays paintball and has a team.

  8. #8

    Post

    Some people are just dumb! They can't see anything beyond their own noses.

    Don't let the bad guys get you down! Even if your school doesn't like the sport (oh ... and boxing is soooo much better?? Oh wait - ummmm - lacrosse is less violent, right?) get a bunch o' players from the school and do it up. You can still call yourselves a school team 'cause you're all in the same school together and the heck with the administration. If there are no decent fields around, build your own. You'd be amazed at some of the stuff people have in their own back yards! Get a little hand-held chronograph for yourselves and play by the rules. The idea is to play safe, have fun, and promote the sport in a positive way.

    Hey Peanut: Come on up to Maine for a day - I'll buy. You can play with people that appreciate the sport!

    Jerry: Good luck with your website. Keep at it. If you need a hand, let me know. I take care of several up here in the great northeast.

    [This message has been edited by TheMadSplatter (edited 09-02-2001).]

  9. #9

    Post

    I think I could have pulled it off in my old high school, it actually had a gunsmithing class, and at least 5 times the teacher toook us out the shooting range. I only took it during my freshman year, and I think the school board had to close it down after Columbine. And when I told teachers and counselers that I played paintball, they asked me when I played and that maybe they would come out and try it sometime, a few actually did, and one of em actually got hooked and plays every weekend and he goes to just about every tourny possible during the summer.

  10. #10
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    I mean, as I've said before, it's the association with firearms that scares off possible supporters of a high school sport. Also, as I've seen posted below, only a select few can distinguish the difference between the two (Only connecting things is are they have triggers, handles, handle like a gun {to an extent...}, and shoots things out of the barrel just like guns) and most of the people with that information (as if it was a conspiracy to hide it) just don't feel like going out and making it known that the sport is in fact safe, fun, and productive. More thoughts!!

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  11. #11

    Post

    Originally posted by FeelTheRT:
    well IMO, I think it will become big, but never on the media nor a high school sport.
    I think that it will be covered by ESPN and some national and international games will be on the news starting in the next couple of years.But,as for paintball becoming a high school sport,i dont think so.i wish it would though....

  12. #12

    Post

    One of the key problems with competitive paintball, and one which school paintball leagues have the opportunity to fix is how forgiving the rules can be. What I mean is that a team in one of the major circuits can anticipate a certain number of penalty points for wiping, hot gun penalties, etc. This creates an atmosphere in which a team can play dirty and still win. It makes the sport look unprofessional.

    One of the key things high-school (and college) paintball should fix is this forgivingness. If a player chronos hot coming off the field give him a stiff warning. If he does it consistently remove him from the tournament. If he wipes kick him out, maybe kick his team out.

    Sports like fencing, boxing and wrestling have a much higher potential for injury and a just as many association with real combat, however, they are more respected sports than paintball. Part of this is simply because paintball is so new a sport but part of this is due to the respect that players pay to each other. When I was is high-school the school had no problem with us bringing our fencing gear in to school since carried a certain respect for the sport and our weapons (granted this was before all the lunacy caused by Columbine. Reactions may be different now). Fencing is considered a "gentleman's" sport and that gives it more respectability that skateboarding or paintball.

    If we stop putting up with cheating and the amount of attitude we see in most competitive paintball the sport will look much better to school administrators and be more likely to become a mainstream sport.

    Anyway.... Good luck on getting paintball going in you school.

    [This message has been edited by ShinyGuy (edited 09-02-2001).]

  13. #13

    Post

    Speaking of teams, I am in college and I was wondering if anyone else who is in college knows about the WestPoint College tourny. Different colleges are going to have teams represent them and battle it out. It should be cool. I am tring to get my college to do it but I don't know too many people who play paintball in my school. It is a small local college. Anyway I was wondering if there is any college students out there who might be going to this. I really want to go but I am not sure if it is going to happen for me. If I do go I hope to see some AO'ers there.

  14. #14
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    I personally feel a zero-tolerance should be in policy for cheating. You wipe, you're out of the game. You wipe during a tournament, you're out of the tourny. You chrono hot before game, you tone it down. You chrono hot AFTER the game, you're out of the next game in your tourny, or out of the next couple of games in your rec area.
    If we allow people to think they can cheat and get away with it, as you said, people will attempt to do so. And if enough people cheat, then the sport will have lost its appeal, even to the die hards like ourselves.
    I mean, first of all, if you just keep wiping and never get out, wheres the fun? Wheres the rush in covering up your splat?
    Sheesh.

  15. #15

    Post

    Very true there, Old School. In fact I know of a team that came back from NPPL in Atlantic City (last week) and told some great stories of the cheating that went on - and was allowed to go on. Very bad for the sport for sure! Is it true that some games and some ref's can be bought if you have the right corporate sponsor?

    This cheating business is a serious issue for players who want to play fairly and have real competition. But I don't know if the school admin's really know about it. They're so negative about the sport, they probably close off all input as soon as the word paintball is mentioned.

    To succeed, perhaps the sport needs some kind of regulatory commission as in "real" sports. Cheaters in baseball, basketball, football, etc., are dealt with very harshly. And the sports are respected for it.

    I hate to keep bringing up the Pine Tree State (Maine) as I've done already above, but we're right this minute setting up a League Tournament Series/Circuit for next year ... and the authors of the Tourney Rules have put as the very first line: "Advertised and promoted as an honest tournament, with emphasis on being a well refereed/cheating-free series. (Cheating is no longer "part of the game.")" Isn't that cool?? Lots of people are on the same wave-length here. How can we get the word out and make it happen all over?

  16. #16

    Post

    Very cool, C• ... some of our local kids got a teacher hooked, too. Most love the sport once they try it and see what it's not.

  17. #17
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    I think that may be the problem - the word IS out, but nobody's paying attention. I mean, I've whined and moaned just about every chance I get about this subject, but to no avail. People know cheatings there, it's just that some choose to ignore it.

    To me, those people are just as bad as the cheaters themselves. Nice job with that league there, too!

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