"So how do you actually get into playing in tournament paintball?" This is one of the biggest questions that we get asked from our beginner paintballers! Everyone always sees the big speedball tournament videos on YouTube and wants to get involved! It's often what actually attracts new paintball players to get into the sport in the first place. Perhaps you've browsed our website for hours, looking at all the epic tournament paintball kit and equipment and you think that you can't do it because they're much more expensive than the typical beginner paintball gear? Surprisingly, this isn't always the case! To get into tournament paintball, especially in the UK, you don't actually need all of the top-end gear just to get started! 


"What is Tournament Paintball?
To start things off, we'll talk you through the basics of the different kinds of tournaments within paintball. Each paintball site, event, or competition will all have their own paintball game rules, they'll all have different formats etc, but they all surprisingly have a lot in common. We assume that you would have already played a regular paintball game at a rental paintball site, and yes, the games are very similar to most of these, just with the more competitive side of scoring points and being placed on a leaderboard for a season.

Tournament paintball is simply team skill based competitions of paintball, with 5 player teams, and usually divisions to separate the skill ability of the players. Most tournaments are formatted with a bracket tournament, where you will have preliminary games in the morning that you will be scored in total against other teams to place high enough to qualify for the quarter-final groupings. If you don't score enough points to qualify, you will get knocked out of the tournament around mid-day. 8 teams should go through to the quarter finals, and from then only the winners of each game will proceed, to fight for the podium placements of the top 3 teams on the day. 

This is just one event, most tournament paintball events in the UK run on a series, where they will hold several events throughout the year with the same teams showing up to compete, and they'll be scored on their overall placement from throughout the entire season. This is where the placement of your team in each round really matters, because one bad event could cost you the season title!

The objective differs in each tournament, but the main aim of the games is to 1. eliminate all of the opposition. But, don't be fooled, it's not always just about getting kills. Often, you get scored more for getting to the other side of the field without getting shot. Like scoring a goal in football, you must get to the other end of the field to score, whilst also defending your own side. Sometimes, paintball event organisers may add a flag objective, where you must grab it from the middle of the field and deliver it to the other side, or even grab the flag from the enemy's end of the field and take it back to your own, but make sure you listen to the morning briefing to find out what format the event you're playing at is playing!


Getting into Tournament Paintball for beginners!

If tournament paintball sounds like something you'd be interested in, here's how to get into it! First, you need to decide whether you want to play the fast-paced and tactical "supair" or "speedball" style of paintball which is played on a flat grass or astro-turf field with inflatable bunkers to hide behind, or if you want to play in the woods, where things are seen as more technical, as you have to think about where you're stepping in the heat of the moment, with wooden barricades and lots of trees to hide behind, bushes to crawl through etc... 

One of the best ways, in our own experience, is to just turn up to some of these tournaments and hang about, get talking to the event organisers and the players who attend the events! There'll always be teams looking for new players, and if it's your first time playing competitively, look for the newer teams (which you could even ask the referees who is who when you're in the pits!). At least this way, you get to go and see what the tournament is like first. Simply get chatting that way, or if there's no tournaments local to you as such, then it's worth considering joining some Facebook groups! We even have our very own Facebook group, where our customers join and have access to a variety of other people from teams from up and down the entire UK! Once you're in, drop a message in there to start a conversation, there'll always be people in there to help! The paintball community is incredible when it comes to helping new players! 

Finally, you could even look at our events schedule for the year, and come and see us set up at an event like CPPS or the ECPL, where we take our big yellow JP gazebo tents, along with almost our entire shop of paintball kit and equipment! You can have a chat with one of our event-staff (usually Liam, Brandon or Jamie), and they'll be able to point you in the right direction and give you some more information regarding the event you're at! 

Supair Paintball Tournaments
The biggest supair tournament series in the UK is the CPPS series, based in the Midlands. They have a total of 7 divisions compete with 10+ teams in each division! Elite division is the top division, full of the best in the UK, going down into Divisions 1-5, and finally they also have a Breakout Division which is built specifically for new teams to enter! You can join with no prior tournament paintball experience, you just 5 players in total to sign up with, and you don't need to commit to the full season to play either. Whereas to enter in divisions 4 and above you will need to commit to the full season. In the breakout division you are allowed 2 pots + 1 hopper of paintballs per person, per match. The games also have a lower firing rate than the other divisions, being just 8bps (balls per second) on semi-automatic mode, and chrono graphing at  280fps (feet per second). Each team will get to play a minimum of 10 games on the day. So why not take the step and get into supair paintball? Grab some friends, or even put a message in those Facebook groups asking if there's anyone looking for a team, or if there's any teams to join?! 

Woodsball Paintball Tournaments
There's a variety of paintball tournaments held in the woods up and down the country, one of our favourite series is the ECPL - European Classic Paintball League. It's made up of 2 divisions, the Pro Division and the Amateur Division. The event is held at different paintball sites throughout the year, up and down the UK. Ranging from Nottingham's Sherwood Skirmish Paintball Centre, to NPF Bassetts Pole and Warped Sports Paintball Cosford in the Midlands, all the way down south to Mayhem Paintball Games Romford! 

Mayhem Fight Club 
Mayhem Paintball Games, based in Romford, hold their very own friendly tournament series called Fightclub! It's another great place to start to get the feel for tournament style paintball. The games consist of 5 player teams, on a 7man sized supair field (usually with hyperball barricades), and the paintball guns to be set to 10.5bps ramping mode. Each event has a brand new layout that nobody has seen before, so it mixes things up every time! The games are fast rolling, which means you get plenty of game time and plenty of value for your money spent! They're super fun and competitive games, and you can even bring your mate who has no paintball kit, as they have full, free rental equipment to give to anyone who needs it!

The dates for Fight Club are as follows...
Sunday 5th May
Sunday 2nd June
Sunday 7th July
23rd-25th August
Sunday 6th October

Supair Paintball Training 
CPPS have started running training sessions specifically for new players! You can just turn up to these training sessions for just £45, and that will pay for your entry fee plus a box of 2000 paintballs! These sessions are fully structured with drills, coaching, games, and even some prizes! There will be UK elite players running the day so that everyone knows what they're doing, and can be advised on what to do to improve! Bring a friend, you can even rent full equipment set ups if you ask, you don't need to own any kit! 

If you haven't found a new team to join, or you just want to try it before you commit, you should definitely check out these beginner training sessions at CPPS! 

The dates for new player days are as follows...
Monday 13th April (Bank Holiday)
Saturday 25th May 
Saturday 20th July
Saturday 7th September 

Furthermore, we recommend that you go to any open training sessions which are usually held on Sundays at CPPS, you can go and try the field, jump on on your own and do some drills - working around the players that there, or you can even ask around to see if anyone needs an extra player for the day! The best way to get into it is to just start speaking to people!


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