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Sunday, October 1, 2006

Local Team Finishes Third at International Tournament

A local paintball team, the Tippinators, made their first successful journey into international waters, capturing a third place finish at the Tippmann Three Man Challenge held at Skirmish USA, Jim Thorpe PA on August 20, 2006. That the Tippinators were able to finish on the podium in the event is no small feat in the talent filled 12 team tournament that featured two teams from Thor Omega who are semi pro players who feed the professional Tippmann Effect PSP (Paintball Sports Productions) and NPPL (National Paintball Players League) teams.
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. The team, based out of Mersey Road Paintball in East River Nova Scotia, burst onto the international paintball scene in 2005. The team has shown their fun loving play with honour style to paintball fans all over the world with feature articles in paintball industry leading magazines Action Pursuit Games and Paintball Sports.

Paintball offers two general styles of play: tournament (a.k.a. speedball), and woods or recreational play (a.k.a. woodsball™). 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. Individuals rarely play both styles of paintball on a competitive level, so players typically "specialize" in one form of play; oftentimes, denouncing the other style of play. The division between woodsball and "tourneyball" has become increasingly pronounced, resulting in somewhat of a "family feud" within the paintball community.
The Tippinators, who are captained by life long Eastern Passage resident Bruce Johnston, have raised eyebrows for several reasons. Members of the Tippinators speedball team are experienced woodsball players. Walking on to a speedball field in camouflage with "woodsball" 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 are all too familiar with reality, so room for middle ground had to be made, and the results have been nothing short of amazing for a team with an uncompromising commitment to the "honour and integrity" of the sport. The Tippinators set out on a simple quest to "conquer new challenges" and increase the "fun factor" of their paintball play. Team members had no idea that their journey would draw international media and sponsorship attention and accolades from fellow competitors.

Hey Tippinators! Thanks for helping make the Tippmann tournament at Skirmish (August 20) so enjoyable! You have great attitudes and sportsmanship. You are a real tribute to the sport. It's nice to know there are teams out there like you who don't get wrapped up in the cut-throat, snooty speedball scene, but keep paintball fun and real. We found ourselves rooting for you - even when we played you! Our two favorite games were when we played your two teams. Loosing was never so much fun! Thanks for making the trip down. I hope to meet up with you again!
Mike D
Gideon's Elite

This handful of fun-loving woodsball players have injected the sport of paintball with a new dose of hope, and given the sport a genuinely proud moment. Perhaps a few individuals can make a difference. Perhaps other teams (and attitudes) will follow. Perhaps this will be more than a fleeting moment in the game's history and signify another step in the evolution of a rapidly changing sport. Perhaps a new standard is rising from the scenic woods of Nova Scotia, where a few ordinary paintballers have made an extraordinary difference.

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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