Monday, September 25, 2006

Paintball: Spectator Sport?

I recently had the privelage of attending a professional paintball event. At first, I was less than excited about the event itself, as I have watched paintball on ESPN and found it hard to follow and almost boring. However, I had a friend participating in the tournament, so I went to support him and his team. I would be lying if I told you that I didn't immediately change my feeling about watching paintball.

Watching paintball as a live event is so much more entertaining than watching it on TV. Once the whistle blows, it's all-out mayhem as hundreds of paintballs hurl across the field and players scramble to find cover. The explosion of gun-fire is startling at first. Even though there was a net between me and the action, I actually thought I was being fired at. You just don't feel that when you watch on TV. You can only sit back and try to follow what's going on from a birds-eye view.

Following the action is a little difficult, especially from a ground view. Popular spectator sports like football and baseball have the advantage of pauses in between plays. Even if you lose where the running back is in a heap of other players, you'll find the ball back in the middle at the beginning of the next play. This just doesn't happen in paintball. If you lose the position of a player, you might not find him againt until it's over. Obstacles are all over and these guys are pretty good at finding cover and moving around quickly.

Sports like hockey and lacrosse have a similar effect, where the play might go on for long periods of time, and everything happens so fast, it might be hard to follow the puck or ball (You might remember FOX's attempt at fixing this by adding a glow effect to NHL hockey pucks, huge failure). But you generally know what's going on in a hockey game, because there is one puck. In paintball there is not one of anything. If you are going to follow something, you are going to follow the players, and there's 15 or so of them on the field at a time. You thought following the puck was difficult? Try following every player. Heck, try following one player. It's hard, because they're always in and out of sight and if you take your eye off them for a second, that's enough for them to get shot a few times. Suddenly you see people dropping out and you don't know why. You didn't see them get shot, but the ref did. That's why there's almost a 2:1 player-ref ratio. Refs can only follow a few players at a time, because it isn't always obvious when a player gets shot. If the refs, who have a lot of paintball-watching experience, have a hard time following what's going on, how can you expect the less experienced spectators to follow?

There's no doubt that playing the game is fun as hell, but watching it could be another story. You can follow it better at home, with the birds-eye view and helpful commentary, but you don't get that exhilirating I-might-get-shot feeling. Likewise, you can get that feeling when you're there, but it's so hard to follow what's going on, you are in that where-the-hell-did-he-come-from or how-did-that-happen kind of state.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theo Walcott hit a stunning hat-trick as England thrashed Croatia in a World Cup qualifying tie in Zagreb.
The 19-year-old got the nod to start ahead of David Beckham and he drilled England ahead, before Robert Kovac was sent off for an elbow on Joe Cole. Walcott grabbed a carbon-copy second and soon after the exceptional Wayne Rooney slotted in a brilliant third. Mario Mandzukic notched a consolation for Croatia, before Walcott collected Rooney's pass and rolled in his third. It was a magnificent performance and more than coach Fabio Capello can have dreamed of.外国為替

9/11/2008 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The result puts England firmly in control of Group Six after two wins in five days, but Capello 韓国ツアーwill be even more delighted by the manner of his team's triumph.

9/11/2008 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Croatia suffered their first competitive defeat at home and it was sweet revenge for England, beating リバイタラッシュthe team that ended their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008.

9/11/2008 5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a far cry from England's limp displays under Steve McClaren and they were far superior in every department.
In the wonderful Walcott, they had a 人材派遣player who frightened the life out of the hosts whenever he got the ball.

9/11/2008 5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Arsenal winger gave the ball away with his first involvement, but from then on everything he touched seemed to ペアリングturn to goals as he wreaked havoc down the right flank.

9/11/2008 5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard dominating in midfield and Rooney linking play up between the midfield and Emile Heskey, England pinned Croatia back into their own half from the start高級住宅.

9/11/2008 5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After Heskey had a decent shout for a penalty waved away, Walcott put England in front with his first goal for his country. 結婚指輪

9/11/2008 5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a stroke of fortune about it as Danijel Pranjic's clearance cannoned straight into Robert Kovac and when the ball fell to Walcott inside the box on the right, he lashed it into チューリッヒthe bottom corner.

9/11/2008 5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A minute later Walcott's cross-shot from a similar position was touched behind by keeper Stipe Pletikosa, before Josip Simunic was booked for a cynical foul as Walcott's pace terrorised Croatia 営業支援once more.
Eight minutes after the break Croatia suffered a hammer blow when Robert Kovac went up for a challenge with Joe Cole営業代行 and appeared to lead with his elbow, causing the Chelsea midfielder to bleed from a wound on his head.
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England were rampant, and Jermaine Jenas scampered away down the left and pulled the ball back for Rooney to open up his body 結婚相談所 東京and direct the ball into the corner.
It was like watching England at their Euro 96 best as they passed the ball around with devastating accuracy and Lampard was cruelly denied a goal after another gorgeous team move when his goal 花粉症
was ruled out for a foul committed by Heskey.
Croatia were all over the place, but they managed a consolation when Darijo Srna broke and he fed Mandzukic to drive the ball under David James.

9/11/2008 5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

England were not done, though, and Rooney turned チューリッヒprovider once more to slip Walcott in on goal, the former Southampton star racing through and keeping his head to slot under Pletikosa to complete his treble.
It was the first competitive hat-trick for an England player since Michael Owen bagged three against Germany in the 5-1 win in Munich in 2001, and they can be every bit as pleased with マンガ 専門学校this result in the cauldron of the Maksimir Stadium.

9/11/2008 5:57 AM  
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