Huntington Beach is home to Paintball
NPPL National Professional Paintball League
See Photos in Huntington Beach
March 23 - 25, 2007 Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach, California was the home of
the first NPPL Super 7 to start off the
2003 national tournament season. Non-paintball vendors were there showing off products like, Fuji selling
disposable cameras, Budweiser selling 180 energy drink, and
cool hoodies, t-shirts, and hats. Today in 2007, the NPPL National
Professional Paintball League has been acquired by Pacific Paintball
LLC. Purchasing both the National Professional Paintball League (NPPL)
and the Xtreme Paintball Sports League (XPSL) in the United States,
owner Shawn Walker, became President of Pacific Paintball.
Set in place for his move to amp the
interest in this event by combining two great organizations and leagues,
Walker stated that he plans to keep the founders of NPPL on his
consulting board. Bart Walkerdine, CEO of NPPL and Pure Promotions, will
consult for the league and tournament series and Chuck Hendsch, former
President and owner of NPPL, will serve on an advisory board. The 2007
season of NPPL kicks off on the beaches of Huntington Beach, California
with several days of exciting team action, vendor booths, sales, demos,
beauty queen autographs and a full house at many of the hotels
surrounding this Southern California beach city.
Confirmed for the second leg of this
annual event is Tampa Bay, Florida. Now in its fourth season hosting the
NPPL Paintball tournament, 2007 NPPL Super 7 World Series, returned to
the grounds of the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida May 11th,
12th and 13th, 2007.
For those new to this event, one of the greatest perks (in addition to
the grass playing surface) is the convenience of having the Tampa
International Airport and host hotels just minutes from the venue. Tampa
has proven to be a great host city to the NPPL as the hotels,
businesses, media and venue all collectively work together to continue
to make this event more successful with each year. Voted by many players
as their favorite venue, registration for Tampa Bay sells out quickly
every year. On-line registration for the Tampa Bay 2007 event opens
April 2, 2007. Early registration is only extended to those who pay for
all 5 events at the beginning of the season.
May 11th, 12th and 13th, 2007
Back when it began:This tournament was unbelievable. The
tournament fields were right on the beach. This provided an unbelievable
crowd of spectators. Many people from Huntington Beach came to see what
all the commotion was about. There was a live DJ spinning tracks in
between games and announcing the teams and what was going on, on the
fields. There was a Budweiser VIP tent were you could grab a beer and
some food as well as watch the games. A large stadium style grandstand
housed a crowd of spectators right in front of the Super 7 NPPL field.
There was a huge trade show with many vendors. With three Bauer
compressors and 15 bulk tanks there was no air line. They even had extra
air nozzles to blow the sand out of your equipment. There was a players
only area with restricted access, so all your gear could be safe. They
also served fresh fruit and cold water to the players. A professional
chiropractor was also in the players area to deal with any injuries. The
vibe of the whole tournament made you feel like you were an athlete
competing in a sport.
Many vendors came out to the super 7 to show their wares to the public
in attendance. Paintball industry vendors as well as non-paintball
vendors were there. WDP had a large booth showing all the coolest angel
products. Their new 03 angel looks really good. I can't wait till we get
one in a store up here. They also had a lot of add-on parts to totally
trick-out you angel or Ir3. Hoodies, chic shirts, and stocking caps were
there also. All this was sold by very helpful "angels" dressed in cute
little green patent leather, army nurse outfits.
R.P. Scherer was there with their Evil line of products. They a new gun
coming out that force feeds the balls into the gun with every shot. It
looks cool and crazy at the same time. They also have a lot of new Evil
mods and add-ons for the impulse and autococker. These seem functional
as well as cool looking.
Raven was also there with their new display trailer. Showing all the
jerseys and packs. They also came out with a new spyder that's cut and
milled. It also looks great. This means that even the newbies will be
looking good this year.
JT had a good booth also. They had daily autograph signings from players
from avalanche, lockout, and the brass eagle all-stars. JT has a new
pack coming out that allows you to custom make your own unique pack. You
can make a pack with anywhere from one pod to twenty pods. It also is
contoured to fit your back. Really nice.
There were also many other paintball companies selling lots of stuff.
Non paintball vendors were there showing off products like, Fuji selling
disposable cameras, Budweiser selling 180 energy drink, and
cool hoodies, t-shirts, and hats. A new company called Lovesacs was also
in attendance. They sell huge bean bag chairs. These things are big
enough for two people to lounge on and were by far the largest bean bags
I have ever seen.
This tournament site was definitely mainstream. We certainly were not
playing in the woods or out in a cornfield. This was downtown Huntington
Beach. The tournament site was super close to a variety of shops, bars,
and restaurants. There was even a Burger King across the street. How
many times have you been to a tournament and wanted to grab something to
eat because you have an hour or more break' At this tournament good and
hot food was only a short walk across the street.
The 7man fields
The layout of the fields was nothing like anything that I had played on.
Most NPPL ten man fields have traditionally been set up with three or
more strong stand-up back bunkers that you could support your front guys
with and, if needed, mount a strong defense from. These fields were the
opposite. They were definitely mid players field. The corner bunkers
were mostly teacups or small cubes with an occasional lay down. If you
wanted to play a big bunker, you had to move up. I asked some of my
friends about this and was told that the European style 7 man fields are
all like this, so that the games keep moving, it forces you to be
aggressive, and not sit back. The sand kept a lot of players from taking
a lot of ground on the break. So, there were a lot of bump and runs from
the front guys. The fields were also shorter which made the shooters
sweetspotting on the break, victims of the dead box as well as the
runners. It seems that this is the way the super 7 will set up the
fields this year. This will definitely make everyone play more
Play of the tournament
Undoubtedly the dopiest move of the tournament was on the JT field. The
game was between Kapp factory and Hypersonix. The JT field was laid out
with a huge pyramid on one tape and a zipper-style arrangement of bricks
on the other. The JT pyramid is the largest bunker I have ever seen.
It's probably 20 to 30 feet tall and wide enough to have two to three
players comfortably play in. Jai of Kapp factory was in the pyramid and
just got done stickin' his opposing player on the other side of the
pyramid. Jai knew that the pyramid was clear of hypersonix players but,
the main threat came from the mid player in the stand up behind the
pyramid that was posted up on his location. If Jai even peeked around
the corner the hypersonix player would blast the edge of his bunker.
Now, the top side of the pyramid at the base corner is over six feet
tall and the side edge of it is getting blasted from the hypersonix
player. Jai does a vertical leap, high enough to see over the top of the
bunker and shoots two balls from his intimidator, while in mid air.
Before he even hits the ground the hypersonix player recieves two hits
to the gogs and with a roar from the crowd goes to the dead box. That is
most definitely the move of the tournament. So, at our next practice
when you warm up by doing a little snap-shooting drill. You better
remember Jai from Kapp factory and start doing some jump shots.
Here is an update on 'The sniper" from the world cup. If you remember
one of the scandals of the 2002 world cup was the sniper incident. A
player from Avalanche, the pro team, decided to give his team some extra
support by borrowing an all black, super quiet stealth matrix, don his
black ninja outfit and proceed to dump a hopper on Ground Zero from the
shadows of the Florida jungle.
The preliminary game between Avalanche and Ground Zero started out fast
and furious, like most pro on pro games. It seemed like Ground Zero had
the upper hand with their front guys moving into the fifties on both
sides of the field. That's when the sniper came into action he proceeded
to eliminate one entire tape before he got caught. ( caught and dragged
out of the jungle by a few members of Ground Zero to be exact)
As a result of his strategy, his team was ejected from the world cup and
the x-ball depute held at Disney's wide world of sports. I thought we
would surely never see Jeremy Salm aka "the sniper" again.
Well, it seems as though Jeremy has confessed and been sentenced. He is
currently serving his time by giving back to the sport. He was sited
several times at Huntington Beach (this time without the ninja outfit).
He is has decided to help out a novice team and a rookie team that will
play all of the super 7's. Jeremy is very good at reading fields and
analyzing a teams' strengths. He has been working with Vicious and
vicious kids in an effort to give back to the sport that he feels he has
This takes a lot of guts to come back and face the crowd after what he
did. I think that it shows that he is making amends with the community.
Many New teams
With the splitting of the NPPL and the PSP there are a lot of new teams.
There are the Viewloader all-stars, an Evil factory team, a team Maxim
(from the magazine), Redz factory team, a pro team called Wone factory
team (with 12 year old brothers), A second Boston paintball team, and a
bunch of Bushwacker teams.
Right before the finals started a lady came out and sang the star
spangled banner just like at other sporting events. Then there was a
tribute to Maurice Gibb who passed away recently and was deeply involved
in paintball. They released his doves and let them go free.
The finals were played in a best of three format that made two teams
play for 1st and 2nd, while two and then two other teams play for 3rd
and 4th. Dynasty, a group of California boys played the French team the
Ton Tons in the pro division This game was exciting as both teams took a
lot of ground on the break and also did a lot of run-throughs on each
The prizes were cool. The pro's competed for $20,000 in cash but,
they were a lot of non-paintball prizes for the other divisions.
They consisted of 48 inch TV's, digital cameras,
and some custom bikes.
The first place prize for the rookie team was this
dope car seen in the picture with me.
This tournament is really like nothing I have attended yet (after
attending every NPPL for the last three years). Thanks to all the people
that put it together, cuz I certainly had a good time. I would like to
thank all my teammates. Those that came and played, and also those that
didn't. I would also like to thank my sponsors, because without their
help A LOT of things could not happen. R.P.Scherer/PMI for the ultra
evil, it shot great, breaks on all my victims and too slimy to cheat.
Raven for the cool jerseys, packs and goggles. Splat Tag, Inc. and PGI
for having the perfect place for us to train.
Feb. 18th, 2003
By Greg Scott