How To Enter Your First Tournament
How do you go about entering your first tournament? That is a question with a simple answer: if it's a 3 man tournament, find two other players and sign up by going to or calling the field running the event. For Scenario events you are typically not required to have any other players to sign up.
Most events at the local level are open for anyone to join. If it's a speedball type event it is usually designated by the number of players - e.g. 3-man or 5-man, etc. You'll need at least that many people but can have more if you're okay with switching people out for each game or what ever your team agrees on.
You do not need to have any kind of an official team. There is no certification or magic designation that makes you a team. If you have 3 people together that want to play a three man event you can sign up and play. Of course all this is subject to field minimum age and the individual field rules. When in doubt call the field and ask.
If you have never played paintball before or have only played once or twice, we'd recommend that you get more play time with your friends or teammates. Most of my friends played a Summer or two at the local fields during walk-on games before they entered a tournament. It's up to you how much experience you want first, but we'd recommend getting to know the safety rules, physical rigors, and game play basics before entering a tournament.
Most fields will have rental equipment available for you to use if needed. There is no minimum level of paintball gun for entering events. Obviously, a good paintball mask approved by the field is required, but they should be able to rent you one if needed.
Scenario events are typically open entry with the entire amount of entries getting divided into two teams. If you have 3 friends you play with and want to enter together as a team, that's fine. Just be sure that when they are designating the two opposing sides that you let them know you want to play together. Then you can play as a team, either with the other people designated as your team half, or go on missions with just you and your friends. It's pretty self explanatory once you get going. If you're confused, just go with the flow at first. By the end of the day you'll have it all figured out.
What should you expect at your first tournament? There is probably going to be a huge mix of people, from beginner to expert, from first timers to seasoned regulars. Don't be intimidated, just remember to have fun and learn.
At larger events, especially speedball, there tends to be a lot more paintballs flying around than usual. The games also tend to be faster and more adrenaline driven. There are often players who will run up shooting at max balls per second and really push up the field. It can be intimidating the first few times you play, but before you know it you'll be the one running and shooting.
The most important things to remember are:
1. Always obey the safety rules.
2. Have fun.
3. Right now is the best time to get started.
Check your local fields for events. Call them and ask about entering. They want you to call, that's how they make the events successful. There are a lot of other people calling. Everyone started somewhere.
Sign up for an event. Play. Have fun. Rinse and repeat! DO IT NOW!
Posted by Redwood on 03/13/2012