When a player brands the sport of paintball with language and actions displeasing to the public they
give any parent of a new player reason to believe that this is not the sport for their children. When that happens mom and
dad decide that they do not like the attitude that comes with playing paintball. Hence, the future of the game suffers, as
each individual is lost to another more mainstream sport. Having rules in place to put an end to the trash talk we see today
is not a bad idea but it is not where the buck will need to stop.
Players in the tournament scene not only represent the sport but they are also representing the companies
that sponsor them. Granted some companies have no problem with a foul reputation and believe that the public feeds off of
such obscenities but they are the epitome of what I would consider a fad. Companies come and companies go but those that take
pride in their product don't allow for some team of paintball players to discredit their name in the business with foul language
and obscene gestures. Disrespecting the rules of the game by shooting the refs and by laying a few bonus balls on the players
that are walking to the dead box are not the signs of good competition and any respectable company would be displeased to
find their players doing so.
In a recent PSP event in Chicago a company having found that their team representing their
company name dismissed several players indefinitely for such conduct. Seeing this gave me feelings of both joy for the
company standing up for what was right but it saddened me for the player’s sake. I say this only because we all have
bad days and perhaps this was one of theirs but with the lack of discipline to their tactics and morals they decided to express
their anger in an unacceptable manner. Perhaps if somebody would have urged a better practice in how to handle himself
or herself on and off the field they might have saved face and kept from doing what they did to be removed not only from the
team but being disqualified from the event.
It is a must for any sport to compete with the rigors of what any future might hold for
it. Without sportsmanship you are left with only a set of rules that dictate how a game is played and no soul to the sport.
Sportsmanship is the very blood that flows through the veins of each and every mainstream sport to this day. It is what sinks
the hook into young boys and girl’s hearts as they grow up watching professionals compete. Kids are naive to the money
issues and contracts that we adults hear about in the world of sports but they know one thing, it is an honor to them just
to become their favorite player for one game when pretending to become a professional. Sportsmanship - it is the life that
breads a future to any sport.
So to wonder if the sport of paintball and it’s future lies within the respect of players and
the need for more sportsmanship is not a thought too far off base. Fields across the globe are enforcing better conduct on
the course and in the staging areas. This is a good start as it teaches the newer players some discipline when it comes to
keeping the game clean but what about the tournament scene? Why are there no rules for sending a player to the dead box when
they cuss out the ref for a bad call? What about the guy that flips the bird to a player on the other side of the field to
gain attention? I know we don’t live in a perfect world but if a pro basketball player were to do any one of these actions
they would be given a technical foul and possibly wind up riding the pine for the duration of the game.
Maybe with examples like this other sponsors will feel free to do the same. Without a sponsorship,
players would be nothing and without players, sponsors would amount to the same. If they both work together and help clean
up the sport, maybe we will see a growth spurt in the sport of paintball. I know this may be all wishful thinking but in the
end it only expresses the passion I personally have for the sport. With a cleaner sport there is a great chance for public
television to start airing the tournaments more. Making the sport more public would then create a larger audience. With a
turn out of nearly 250,000 visitors to the NPPL Huntington Beach event this year it is a wonder what would have happened had
the sport seen more air time from local and nation wide television stations.
Making this growth happen starts at home and it starts at your local fields. Keeping yourself from
cussing the ref out at your local field and representing the sport on as well as off the filed in a manner pleasing to any
parent looking to let their kids play is the best thing anybody could do. Put the sportsmanship in to your game and see what
happens. Watching guys my age mentoring the younger guys and gals on the field is an awesome thing to see. Watching the same
guys mentor the younger players with respect for the rules and keeping their language clean is even better. In the end it’s
a win-win situation for both new and old players. Caring about the sport your playing is the cornerstone to building your
skills. Playing paintball with respect for others will only show the public that this is a clean sport worthy of the same
public viewing that Baseball or basketball gets already. Who knows, maybe in the future you’ll be able to sit down on
that Sunday afternoon with the kids and enjoy a game on television watching your favorite paintball game and not have to worry
about what goes into your kid’s ears. Play it clean, play it safe and most of all, lets all play with a little more