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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Tippinator's Story Covered in Local Newspaper

Halifax, Nova Scotia - February 1, 2006: A local paintball team is receiving international media attention and attracting the interest of several of the sport's most influential companies. Action Pursuit Games magazine is featuring the three-man team (known as the Tippinators), in the April 2006 issue, and the Canadian paintballers have already received mention in Paintball Sports and RECON magazines. Eastern Passage resident Bruce Johnston, the team captain and leader both on and off the field is a founding member of the team. The Tippinators' unusual story and rare style of play has placed the team among the "who's who" of paintball and introduced Nova Scotia to fans and players throughout the United States and around the world.

Paintball is the number three extreme sport in North America and is a more challenging, version of tag, hide and seek or capture the flag. It is an extreme sport because you shoot at other people with balls filled with water soluble paint. When a person is hit with a paintball they are eliminated from the game. Paintball offers two general styles of play: tournament (a.k.a. speedball) played on a hockey rink sized field with many large inflatable obstacles, and woods or recreational play (a.k.a. woodsball) played in the woods as the name suggests. Most players get their first taste of the game in the woods, but speedball's fast style of play and media/spectator-friendly environment entices some players to come out from the woods where their skills can be more prominently appreciated. Speedball also provides a greater financial payoff for players with the advent of professional paintball leagues. Individuals rarely play both styles of paintball on a competitive level, so players typically specialize in only one form of play often denouncing the other style of play. The division between woodsball and speedball has become increasingly pronounced, resulting in somewhat of a "family feud" within the paintball community. The Tippinators have successfully bridged that rift in the paintball community and brought both side together as one.
Bruce Johnston, who play out of Mersey Road Paintball in East River, Nova Scotia, have raised other players eyebrows for several reasons. Members of the Tippinators speedball team are experienced woodsball players. Walking on to a speedball field in T-shirts and camouflage pants with military style paintball guns is tantamount to walking into Washington, D.C. and raising the Maple Leaf over the White House. People either laugh at the audacity of the joke or they believe that one has lost touch with reality, but there is little room for any middle ground.

But the Tippinators were no joke, and they were all too familiar with reality, so room for middle ground had to be made, and the results have been nothing short of amazing. Team captain Bruce Johnston who was born and raised in Eastern Passage cannot believe the local notoriety and international press coverage the team is receiving, "It is absolutely incredible how the virtues of honour and fair play I learned growing up in the Passage have been so enthusiastically accepted by the paintball media. Every member of the team not only believes in, but lives the team motto to shake hands, play hard, have fun, make new friends, remember that it is just a game."

Jordan Ricks of Special Ops Paintball in Salt Lake City Utah said, "To you it may seem as if you are simply playing the game you love the way it should be played. I commend you for that, but don't underestimate your achievement Bruce. You guys in Nova Scotia have already done more good for the sport of paintball than you realize."

The real story lies in how the Tippinators humbly raised their flag among the once hostile natives of tournament paintball. Since the woodsballers have arrived on the tournament scene, the Tippinators have been synonymous with respect and fair play, so much in fact that they have already won sportsmanship awards at tournaments throughout Nova Scotia.

Bruce Johnston summed it up best, "We all know that Eastern Passage is a great community with great people. It's gratifying to know the same attitude that makes Eastern Passage and Nova Scotia special is considered special and even celebrated by people all over the world." 

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