Special Ops Paintball: The SPPL from a veteran competitor. - Special Ops Paintball

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The SPPL from a veteran competitor. Warning...very long post. Rate Topic: *---- 1 Votes

#1 User is offline   Krazy8 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:04 PM

Ok. I have given much thought to this.

Weeks have past and it still weighs heavy on my mind. So it is time to vent.

I am going to start at the beginning. And run through it all. Take what you will from it but I am tired of being silent. And…I will only speak what I saw personally. No hear say.

My first experience in the SPPL was 2005 and the Oregon Qualifier. I played with team Triad out of Hood River, OR.
A good group of players who were driven to have fun while trying to win, well win we did and it was off to finals.
There were only four teams in attendance for this new format…but we all seemed to really like it. At the time I called it the best paintball format available.

The 2005 Finals were held in Salt Lake City, UT. On the Special Ops private field…now known as The Retribution Field.
Again there were four teams that showed up.
Joining the Triads this time was Ed ‘8-ball’ Mentz, a good friend of mine who was playing one of those dream years of a players career in this sport. He had traveled far and wide in search of the best game and pulled in a hefty list of awards to show for it.

Of course the morning speeches and safety briefing were normal…except there was a heavy layer of warning from the producer that cheating and unsportsmanlike like conduct would not be tolerated in any way and would in fact result in penalties and ejections.
Wow…this should be great.

We did not do so hot. We simply could not gather a good team feel and did not bring our best games. Key it up to nerves, or skill…no matter we were relegated to 3rd place.
For the last game we were allowed to observe the game for 1st and 2nd from the netting tower near the center of the field.
The game was going well…back and forth with a good deal of action. About 51 minutes in just after the last insert a ref made a call not 60 feet from our perch. 8-ball and I watched in disbelief as the player told the ref he was not out that it was splatter.
Now by the rules set forth by the producer…that was a 10 point penalty.
Ref restates that the player is hit…player argues back louder this time…where is the penalty?!
Now the team captain hears the shouting and runs over gets between the player and the ref. Finally a head of reason….wait…he starts to yell now too!
Penalty...penalty…penalty…penalty. Nope…not one was assessed!
Now the producer shows up since there are three people yelling at each other now.
Team captain turns and yells at the producer! EJECTION!! Nope. Sigh.
By now I am adding the penalty points out loud…the yelling stops. I have reached 120 to my count in penalty points.

The player walks away eliminated…the ref turns back to the game and the captain turns his own direction still muttering loudly.
Double Threat went on to win that game and take 1st place in the inaugural season of the SPPL…if the penalties were actually in place they would have been second and Hardball might still be playing in the league.
The situation was the topic of conversation for myself and 8-ball for a good while that night. Others on the Triads chime in with what they observed of the new Champs when we played them. It was distressing to say the least.

Just like now, I sat on my thoughts just to make sure I was not jumping to harsh conclusions. When I spoke with the producer I was assured this would not happen again!
Wphew! Good to hear it.

That first season was heavily regulated with no electro-pneumatics allowed at all. Electro sear trippers were good to go. I played with a Palmer Blazer and 12v Revy running co2 so I did not run out of air. I never shot more than 400 rnds in a game.

The forums were alight with folks clamoring for less restrictions so players would not need to buy a new gun just to play. The SPPL was resolute about it staying low tech.
Me having so much fun talk all my team mates back home into sporting our own team and enjoying the game. A few of our guys buy guns that meet the restrictions…and of course just a few weeks before our game…they change the rules and allow electro-pnues with hopper restrictions!
No biggie..I get to use my good toys now!

I am invited to play with Ed Mentz and his new SPPL team California Gridlock for the ’06 season. I accept and fly to Oklahoma DDay for the qualifier and a chance to experience the thrill of 3700 players on Saturday.
The Oklahoma Qualifier has a speedball team from Texas as refs. All I can say is Cartoon Express hands down is the best refs I have ever had the joy of experiencing! If anybody knows these guys…be sure to shake their hand for me and say “Thanks”

California Gridlock takes 1st place in Oklahoma and plans for the finals.

The ’06 Oregon Qualifier rolls around and The Irregulators are wound up like 8 day clocks!
We hit the ground running and blaze through our first day topping the points chart. After the last game the yellow base flag ref hunts me down and shakes my hand. “I have played and reffed tournaments for 20 years. An I just wanted to say that your team is the most honorable players I have ever met!”
Wow! Thanks man…we are just playing for the fun of it…we are just a bunch of rec players.

That little ego boost is shattered Sunday morning.
We had found tooth and nail, back and forth for control of swing. I had managed to hang the flag and dig into a deep cover of ferns and trees with a beautiful shooting lane on the only route to the swing for the red team! It was great, I could hear their LAW guy telling his other two players how to approach the city so he could fire on the main building take the swing base back….hehehe I am ready! Even so lucky as to have a very observant ref notice me but not give my position away by bird doggin’ me.
The two come running around the corner and each take a double tap to the chest! The LAW guy never has the chance to even move!
He is freakin’ out talking to his guys on the radio…I can see him now through the dense underbrush.

Like lambs to slaughter the next two runners get destroyed! I can hear them talking options. One is going to play bait while another flanks down and low to find me.
I stay still and let bait boy get the nerve to step out into the clear…he takes two and never sees me! The flanker steps on a twig not ten feet away and takes one before he can look up.
I am getting a little nervous and start to crawl to a new location. And sure enough as I start to move I take fire from behind me! The ferns and logs take all the damage and I start yelling “Im red im red im red! Stop shooting!!!” Oddly enough…he stops! The ref is nearly on me now, and the red player advances one more bunker and engages my team mates.
“ByeBye.” He takes three or four to the left side.
“What are you doing!?”
Show him my arm band “Sorry I lied!”

I think he had a kitten just then! He runs back to his dead box while I take a new location since I compromised the old one.
I can hear him not quite yelling about what I did to his base ref.
The call goes in asking if a player can lie about their color.
The Uber Ref asks “did the player hide his armband with his sleeve or equipment?
My ref radios in “No, I have been no more than 10 feet from him since he got to this location, his armband is on and visible.”
Uber Ref “Did he verbally misrepresent his color?”
My ref “Yes.”
Uber Ref “By the rules that is acceptable…this is a scenario based format and verbally lying about your team color is acceptable.”
The howl of rage could be heard by my and the ref standing next to me.
Glancing at my watch there is only three minutes left to respawn and I am running low on paint. I make a mad charge while the LAW guy is talking to someone and shoot him out…he likewise hits me and we shakes hands.
On my way back to my dead box the same old guy that complimented me on Saturday stops me and says “I think you guys are nothing but cheaters and I am not going to help you anymore.”

On the next respawn we hear the other teams base ref yell go…so we go. As we play I hear a team mate start calling for a paint check. Ref stands there with his arms crossed. Player keeps yelling. Three minutes go by and the ref that witnessed my situation runs from swing base to our base and calls the player clean just in time for him to get a solid hit.
When I am back in the box our base ref tells me we cheat and he is not going to marks our hits since it does not matter.
Our pod monkey steps up and marks the hits while others refit and clean…ref sits on his chair arms folded. I wonder if they are related?

On the next respawn we have lost all field position since there is only one ref left making paintchecks. Even our LAW shots are ignored and the other team just keeps coming.
That is how it goes for our last two games. Luckily our final game is against Team Nemesis and it is a straight up honorable brawl.
We take 3rd place by a paltry three points!

Being as how the Irregulators are honestly just a bunch of rec players they decide to skip the finals even though we qualified to go.
So I attend the ‘06 Finals in Oklahoma with California Gridlock…again at the DDay field.

We play hard and get beat out of the finals.
Decide to stick around and watch.
We see some of the best plays ever from our sideline perch. Bunker runs, slides...a guy dancing with grenades!
But it is all ruined by the Smart Corps team. Their first year in the league and they want to show just how good they are…at cheating.
Here is the situation…A player is holed up in a building that has great shooting lanes on key movement routes to the swing base. This guys is holding down three SC players with his Tippmann! Patient, calm he just keeps them dug in. Finally there is a power move and he ducks from the incoming fire. Billy Gardner makes a break for it. Sprinting a full speed it looks like a great move! The Tippmann guy snap shoots for what ever reason and drills Billy square in the mask. WOW!
Gardner takes three more steps…sticks his gun through the wind and shoots the Tippmann player twice. Raises his hand calls hit and walks off.
WHAT!? Yes, the others around me saw it too.
To give the ref credit…he was watching the Tippmann player and never saw Billy Gardner get hit.
Smart Corps of course goes on to win the ’07 finals…vows to return and glory be sponsors the league. Sigh.
At least the guys I hung out with were cool and the food at the casino was great!

’07. This is our big year for the Irregulators! We field two teams! Irreg Black and Irreg Green.
Just to change things up…one of our teams decides to run pump style! Irregulators Black… Nine players with various pumps and good ol’ Montydoom on the DT! HEHEHE!
Good stuff.

California Gridlock is also at this event and I get the chance to lay alot of paint ball gunning for two teams in separate brackets!
And the time comes…Cal Gridlock vs Irregulators Green! I grab my Gridlock jersey and head to the coin toss. ThirdI is standing there and I make some small talk as a good number of players from both teams gather. The time comes for the coin and I call heads…ThirdI gives me an odd look…I pull the jersey smooth and promptly get the joy of reality hitting him.
After some good hearted chase scenes and a little shouting at my turncoat we hit the field.
At game on I hang the swing base flag in 15 seconds and take defensive position. I get two of my friends before getting hit myself.
After two respawns I start to wonder why the Irregulators are continuously losing ground.

I manage to work my way upto that same wonderful cover Oregon offers and I get eyes on the Irregulators base so I can ambush their swing runners after the respawn.

I hear our base ref yell “Respawn GOGOGO!”
The Irregulators don’t move? I look at my stop watch…10 seconds later the Irregulators are released and go dashing in all directions.
10 seconds?! No wonder! I can nearly get to the swing base by the time they are allowed to go.
Welcome to top quality reffing.
Needless to say Cal Gridlock wins the game. My team gets a little post game angst out and ties me to a stretcher for target practice.
10 seconds is an eternity when you are on the line waiting to run, especially when you can see the opponents running towards you.

I almost forgot to mention the two ref kidlings I caught tokin’ it up between games while I searched for pods. High quality stuff there.

California Gridlock takes 2nd place even with this awesome staff and once again we are off to finals!

After this a few of the Irregulators decide to make a change.
We volunteer to ref the ’07 Utah Qualifier. 14 of us make the trip…12 hour drive for most of us. We camp at the field.

Each of us carried a laminated copy of the rules…and a towel…a radio…what a concept!
Questions regarding the rules were instantly answered…even if it meant we had a team mate look up the exact section while we monitored the game.

The main problem we had at this one…the starting line for one team was changed without telling the reffing staff. OOpps…sorry…you should have noticed it.
One of my players had to leave the field for a bit for fear of strangling the producer of the game.

You think playing the SPPL is hard. Try reffing!
10 hours straight working every game is exhausting!

If you ever get a good ref at the SPPL…THANK HIM! Shake their hand…bring them snacks and water. Whatever you can do to ease their suffering!

The Spec Ops Mountain field is a blast to play and if you ever get the chance…GO!

Once again the ’07 finals are held at the Oklahoma DDay field. But this time they use their own refs.
Honestly, these guys are worse at reffing than the Oregon crew!
I am sure they are great guys and really sacrifice themselves reffing the DDay game.
But the SPPL is a tournament! We paid large sums of money to play and enjoy the game. After witnessing one of our guys try to hide while Mr. Rec Ref stands les than ten feet away and bird dogs his every move in a constant moving arc I finally got the moxy to speak up.
I was told by our base ref that there is one of the best refs in the world! He has ten years of experience reffing DDay and that is much harder then this.
After pointing out that this is a tourney for prizes and we don’t need to be followed so closely our ref decided we were arguing with him and if we continued he would call in a penalty.
WHAT!? Are you serious?
At this point I had to go stare at a tree for fear of foot in mouth disease that would cost my team points.
After we figured out there was no way for us to make the semis…we went bowling…yep bowling. It was a 300 mile trip for four paintball games and a bunch o frames!

Well it can only get better right….after all I was promised after the ’07 season that we would see changes.

Oregon Regional.

That’s right. They are no longer qualifiers…anyone who wants to now can just goto the finals without winning a slot. Hmph.

The rules this year…much different. Not too many of us actually read them.

The refs sure didn’t.

Game one…the new format makes playing a team out of you division worthless. So we use this free pass to get warmed up and not burn up all our paint.

After the first insert we are all in the dead box…the red team hangs the flag and proceeds to take defensive positions.
“Uh…ref? They are suppose to pull back to the fifty on a hot insert.”
“Really?” At this I want to cry…our ref is clueless.
“Yes!” Get them back so we can respawn without getting slaughtered!”
He heads off to tell the red players.
“10 seconds!”
They are still dug in…ref pointing while talking to a red player.
We all break our predetermined directions. As I near the position of the ref the Red team opens fire.
With paint wising past me I stop and ask the ref what is going on!?
He proceeds to tell me…”They said they control your base flag and they do not have to fall back.”
“WHAT!?” starting to se a pattern here huh.

With that I turn around step around the bunker a red player is shooting from and proceed to vent my frustration. At that exact same moment Boots steps out from her bunker and proceeds to rain paint on my target as well.

Dude…I am sorry you took at least ten from me at close range and more from Boots! You looked like somebody threw a buck of pink house paint at you. Wrong place…wrong time. To give you credit though….you shot me!

I am not sure what I said to the ref after this due to the blood pressure in my head.
10 minutes and 30 seconds into the first game of the ‘08 Oregon SPPL and I ran into my first problem! Gonna be a great day.

I nearly walked off the field at this point. I was leaning down to grab my backpack when the 40 point penalty for leaving the game in an unsportsmanlike manner swam through my head. I sat down and drank some water.

16 minutes into the game…6 minutes after the fubar situation on a respawn the ref comes in and tells us that the ones who eliminated by the bridge can go back in right now. He got authorization from the head ref.
“Now that we lost all of our field position…thanks ref.” I did not speak to him the rest of the game.
Sooo…we jump in and try to unseat the reds from our side of the swing base since they wiped out our whole swing team.
After eliminating one and moving on another one I shoot him in the foot. Ref calls him out. Runs over and points out the hit to the player. Ref turns around to walk away and the guy shoot at me. It bounces of my Kilt loud enough for the observers on the sides to hear. I yell bounce and proceed to put six on the guy who starts to screams that he is hit!

I ask the ref…”Didn’t you call him out on the foot shot?”
“He just shot at me! That is playing on! Pull him!”

Ref runs over to the player…no penalty…!SURPRIZE! Sigh.

Great way to start the first game.

So we make the Semi Finals. Game on in 40 minutes get to you dead box!
We march all our gear to the bottom field and jump in the waiting dead box, see the new format means you have to been on the field ready to play 30 minutes early.

So…we start to chrono up. Ref asks us what we are doing hear.
We have the next game at 3…nope. He tells me the ref are going to lunch after this game!

Three rolls around and sure enough the refs all walk off. Wonder how long this will take? One of my team mates points out that our base ref is the same one we had in ’06 who sat down and refused to mark our hits. Wonder if he will remember?

During the next hour and 15 minutes we walk the field talking with the Nemesis guys. We discuss playing the game without the ref since both teams trust each other so much.
Eventually the kids (did I mention they were very young...no? They were. One of them had never even reffed a game before Sunday!)

Once again after the game I have a ref who look familiar come up to me and tell me we were stand up players...real nice guys to watch play. Yup…same guy who two faced us in ’06.
YeeHaw!!! Sigh.

During the game we are on line and waiting the last minute before a respawn. One of our players is running in…winded and no way will he be ready to go in time.
A call goes out to our dead box asking who is the next in rotation. They scramble to get ready.
Our ref give us a warning for illegal talking!
“You are live players on the field.”
“NO WE ARE NOT! We are dead player waiting to insert talking to dead player in our dead box!”
“Well…you are close enough to be alive…talk again and I penalize you.”
“Hey ref….what does this mean in the rules?” snapping the barrel cover on my barrel twice.
The radio crackled 10 seconds.
I took off my barrel cover and shot the ground.
One last glance at the ref.

We loose by 15 points…and due to the schedule of another team given 3rd place by default.

Yes I know…long winded. And honestly this is not all of it…there is more. Personal stuff that goes directly after the character of people involved and quite honestly there is no need for that.

If you read all this, well you are devoted.

If you skipped to the bottom to get the ending without the plot…well here it is.

After the years of empty promises, poor reffing, and lots of fluff I will no longer be participating in the SPPL.

I have in no way prohibited any of the Irregulators from participating if they wish too.

I spent near $1000 this year for myself and my family to participate in the SPPL. I can spend that money on far more enjoyable games that provide more time actually playing and less time standing in a dead box watching refs fail.

For those considering playing in the SPPL let me line some facts out for you.

Is the format fun? Yes. Otherwise I would not have continued playing this long.

$500 per team to play
$25-$35 player card
$65 a case paint.

10 man team…1 case each…pre registration price for card…$140 each
15…$125 each
Just to play.

Minimum play time…200 minutes. Maximum play time 300 minutes.

So Jonny new team steps up to play…gets their cards early and saves money by only buying one case of paint each.
$0.625 a minute for a team that looses.

Now figure in you gas…food…extras you bought just for this game. Might surprise you.

What the SPPL needs is a full time paid reffing staff. Dedicated former SPPL players that want to see this thing succeed.
I know there is not enough draw right now to merit this kind of cost…but without refs who care this will continue to spiral down. How do you find refs who care?

You ask.

#2 User is offline   dougdeb 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:27 PM

Whew. I did actually read the whole thing. I'm sorry that your experiences with SPPL have been that bad. I have not participated in the SPPL to this point and probably won't. Your issues are not surprising. I've noticed that in the last couple of years the art of reffering (sp?) is dying across the spectrum. From the local field (I once caught a ref text msg'ing during a game), up through the Pro Tourney's (incl the SPPL apparently), good ref's are vanishing. That's why I think that I'll stick to rec'ball and outlaw.
Aloha, Doug
If the person on the other end of your gun does not walk away eagerly anticipating the next game because of your actions,
you have failed as a paintballer.


#3 User is offline   Legato 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:29 PM

Wow, good read. Sorry for your problems Krazy. That sucks. :P Sadly there is no SPPL anywhere out here, so i couldn't play unless i wanted to travel far.
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#4 User is offline   The Stuntman 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:36 PM


If you read all this, well you are devoted.

You took the time to write it - I can take the time to read it.
Interesting stuff. I know the feeling though - this kind of thing is why I got out of the tourney scene back in the 90's. Why is it that bad refs always seem to travel in packs?

Ive been lucky lately. The scenario series Ive been playing for the last few years generally has excellent refs, so they are out there...just not in the SPPL apperantly.

#5 User is offline   Timbertiger 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:45 PM

I'm adding mine in here as well! Mine is only in response to this year as I take it one year at time on rating it...........but the past history of reffing at the events I've attended in Oregon have been horrid!

OK, well I have been watching this thread and well I was hoping more people would speak up but.............I’m just gonna say my peace! First off I didn’t get to play the first year of SPPL but at that time Krazy8 did and his stories got me hooked. So I went out and dropped $800 on a Palmer Blazer to play the following year. Last year I came back and fought tooth and nail to get the hopper rules revoked and well at one time they were........it seems that decision was reversed on the SpecOps forums and I don’t hang out at the SpecOps forums because of the limits in time per day and all of the other forums I visit........but my teammates try and mention anything they find important. Let me start off by saying the Oregon SPPL game will be my last SPPL game and I heard a number of other people/teams saying the same thing!

First off..............for the third straight year we had horrible reffing by untrained people. This year we were lowered down to kids under 12 years old and a lot of people who had never reffed. So let’s start with the reffing problems during the weekend. First game out...........a blind fire call by a very young ref during a bunkering maneuver. I watched the whole thing..........he poked around a bunker and began shooting as he rounded it. The ref straight up called our player for blind firing and put the opponent back in the game. Hey wait...........where exactly is this rule? I could swear in the briefing before the game we were told we could not ask for a surrender and not barrel tag and therefore were required to bunker and shoot the player if those conditions occured..........Dirty Acronym? After a akward discussion our player just left.............however the other player who was shot was not called clean. In fact he carried on a discussion with the ref. I couldn’t tell if he was in or not..........luckily he never saw me and I shot him out when he went for the flag......no harm no foul but the head ref let the call stand and we lost our player. So we switched sides and 10 minutes into the second half we are going to respawn........we had most of our team in a dead box and were coming out for a hot reinsert which is in fact not all that clear apparently. We told them when the hot reinsert was announced that they needed to push the opposing team back past the 50. The refs didn’t understand at all! We pointed some of the players out and the refs kind of told them to backup.....but then the other team explained that because they took our home flag that rule wasn’t in play...........so we respawned and had 4 people shot out immediately off of the break. About 6-8 minutes later the head ref came over and told us to put our 4 guys back in do to our complaining. Of course by the time it happened we were only a couple minutes away from the next respawn. That game was decided by less than 20 points.

Second game..............I went out and had splatter on my hand...........but I asked the ref to take a look because I didn’t want to have any questions about all of the paint on my hand. Two ref’s were within 20 feet of me. I called for a paint check for almost a minute. I was literally on one side of the trail and they were on the other chatting. Krazy8 heard me from the swing flag which I was no where near. Finally I got a paint check.............he called me clean and within 10 seconds I called him again because I was get sprayed by about 3 guys and I couldn’t really see the area of by body that was getting sprayed.............unfortunately he made it back to his conversation in this amount of time because I called him for another minute or so and I finally decided it just wasn’t worth it..........and called myself out! At that point I decided it wasn’t worth going back out. On to the next game.

Third game we played Forest Demons Elite..........man those guys are good! We got hosed.........not a big deal we had fun doing it. At one point I called for a paint check. The ref slowly meandered toward me and called me neutral...........finally a decent paint check. As he was checking me 3 of their guys ran over to change the flag which was nearby. They didn’t see the paint check going until they were on top of me. The ref said he’s clean and at that point I threw my gun in the air and said I’m not even gonna play if I start surrounded by three of those guys. So one of the refs stepped in and said move back 10 yards..........unfortunately that wasn’t anywhere near where they were before and they said go within 5 seconds and I wasn’t even given the chance to move back to my bunker location.........but at least they tried that time! Now on to what might possibly be my biggest issue. During this game........Boots as she is called, the daughter of Krazy8 was playing and mid-game had to use the restroom. Now I don’t know about all of the games but I do know that the staging ˝ hour early and being half an hour into the game......well sometimes you just gotta go. Well I told her just to go but she wanted to inform the ref........he wasn’t sure of the rule so.........well he asked for clarification. We were told she had to go on the field?!? Wait, it get’s better.........we happened to be right behind the field chrono’s, paint was wizzing over our head. The rec game was going next door and paint was flying over our head. The game was on paint was flying over our head! Dirty Acronym? So we asked for clarification. Jayson specifically said if a team is late to the game well then they wait till respawn........I pleaded my case once again. They said, “No she must go on the field.” Hey wait a minute how about some common sense? How hard can it possibly be? You want a 14 year old to expose herself on the field with paint flying everywhere? Not only can she not do that.........it is a sex crime to anyone who witnesses. I finally told her to go at the transfer during halfs to the porta-potty to which our base ref said I agree and I’m looking this way because if she get’s caught you will be penalized! Dirty Acronym?!? I’m not even going to say anymore on that because it TINKLEes me off to no end!

Next game I lost count of the order of the teams we play at this point and I don’t blame any of these issues on the other teams. So we are playing and things are going well. Krazy8 shoots a player and the ref goes over and calls the player out. Then he moves to peek around the corner and gets shot by the player he shot out..........luckily it bounced off the kilt. He asked the ref if the player had indeed been told he was out and the ref said yes I told him..........no penalty was ever assessed. Then we are going out for a respawn........we heard on the refs radio 1 minute to go. So we all waited anxiously. After about 90 seconds I said ref they said one minute to go.....what’s up. He told me they didn’t announce the respawn yet...........so we waited...........turns out someone wouldn’t get off of the radio.............we waited approx, 3 minutes before the base ref said I can’t get through just go.........too late the other team already took control of the field Another game decided by less than 20 points and just the penalty that should have been scored probably would’ve changed things............not that in reality I even care about winning or losing! But the reffing does matter............not only does it go to being a serious league...........but it goes just for having fun.

So now what..........you don’t pay the field owner part of the money? Hey wait that means you profit more! WOW that’s gonna make things a lot better. In all reality it is the tournament operator/circus-ring leader that should be ensuring things are up to par. In all honesty.......that was only one of the problems with the hosting field.........don’t get me wrong that’s one of my favorite fields ever.........but the air/CO2 filling was dangerous! I heard of several 3000K tanks filled to 4500 and I had two CO2 bottles filled for my launcher. The first one was a 3.5 oz tank......they put CO2 in and then held it up to their ears. I took the bottle back and compared it to another tanks that was properly filled of the same type.......they had put nearly double the proper amount. It had more in it than the 9 oz that was filled at the same time! Later in the weekend I had them fill the 9 oz. This time BOB filled it up for me. Put about 16-17 oz in the 9 oz tank. Used his hand as the official weights and measures instrument. I nearly choked! Anyone else notice how many burst disks went off in the parking lot. The whole situation was flat out dangerous!

OK, well here it is, the argument I started last year revisited. So we still have restricted hoppers..........but this year they were all checked and stickered...........well it was a good thought! I would like to say thanks for proving my entire argument correct earlier this year. Wait........wait........that fixed everything...........except for our team caught 3 blatently illegal hopper combinations on field. How about you look at the first page of those great pics you put up. Let me help you out! http://www.haslampho...2008spplor.html 4th picture in. Orange Mini with Velocity...........in fact I heard it was chipped. Over the weekend we caught 3 different people with them. We pulled all of them aside after the games and asked them to change. I think we have some pics of them as well! In no way am I picking on the person in the photo........he claimed not to have known there were hopper rules though! BTW *cough* none of the players on his “Elite” team noticed either. Over the weekend I heard two markers clearly over the 15 BPS...........but I never saw one PACT timer on the field............I did however check some of our markers with the PACT....pretty darn easy!

Wait there’s still more...........I heard a lot of complaining about awards not delivered at the end of the game.............I don’t really care for myself as I don’t care for prizes at all..........however some of those teams use them to help fund future events. Also the schedule became so crammed and the fields so far off of each other trying to save time that it was nearly impossible to help other teams get equipment loaned out or any help with getting things ready. That was a little disappointing. I offered another player my equipment because theirs had gone down and even though we were scheduled a game or two apart it was impossible to get the gear to them because their game had already started.

OK how about some positive things! Well as much as I hate dragging everything from one side of the field to the other...........I felt that this year we finally had even fields and got to play from both sides! Mad props for that. If you could get a couple of large plastic wheel barrows............it might even be better! No refs smoking on the field.......although most of them were way to youg for that! Oh the biggest plus................That DXS Paint kicked some major butt! I got shot close a couple of times and it didn’t even sting............nice brittle shell and I didn’t break one ball in 10-12 cases all weekend!

Also a huge thanks to the teams that were there..............in all honesty the comradery at this event is amazing and I don’t have one bad thing to say about any of the teams that were there. Even with all of the problems you made it fun! That is by far and away the best thing about the SPPL in the Pacific NorthWest............Thank You all for coming and I hope to see you all soon! TT

This post has been edited by Timbertiger: 21 July 2008 - 11:49 PM


#6 User is offline   thisissparta 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:52 PM

that sucks hard man... our refs at my local paintball place would never pull (stuff) like this, and would be aghast to hear about it. There needs to be some serious ref training going on...

Hopefully your other experiences are better.
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#7 User is offline   T_DEVIL 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 01:40 AM

KRAZY8, Call me when ever you get a chance! :happy:


#8 User is offline   ThirdI 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 08:04 AM

Well, time for me to slip in a few words. To begin with, I agree 100% with every point in Krazy8's post. I've been there to witness half of the instances he described as well as the many others he left out.

At this point, I am undecided as to whether or not I will play in the SPPL next year. If I do, I will most likely be a freelance player playing with any team that will have me. Were there any other options for competitive paintball in the woods here in the northwest, rest assured I would be here stating my intentions never to play in the SPPL again under its' current management and referee situation.

To the SPPL's credit, the rulebook for this year worked extremely well and I've had a difficult time trying to find anything that needs to be fine-tuned for 2009. Props to the SPPL and everyone who helped with getting the rulebook fleshed out and truly functional in only 4 years of the series. In my opinion, for a young sport like paintball, that is something to be proud of.

The only major problem to be solved now is implementation of the rulebook. It is completely understandable that the SPPL cannot afford to provide transportation, food and lodging for a full staff of skilled SPPL refs (not field refs). However, I would strongly encourage the SPPL to provide at least 30% of the ref staff starting in 2009. The refs are out there and have repeatedly stated that they would happily donate their time as long as their expenses can be covered.

Specific points that need to be correctly implemented:
- Hopper restrictions: The +15 and -15 stickers for hoppers and markers are ineffective since the stickers can easily be switched out and, if a similar solution is implemented, the refs on the field need to be aware of what "sticker combinations" are illegal.

- Standing by Head Ref decisions: Head Refs are there for a reason and should be the final authority on any call. Disputing a call after the game is acceptable but the Head Ref and the ref who made the initial call should be the only staff involved in the process.

- Willingness to apply penalties: With the addition of the Non-Obvious Hit rules this year, there is no reason for a ref to hesitate in applying a penalty. If a player breaks a rule, it's the player's fault, even if it's because the player didn't read the rules beforehand. If the penalty is due to something like having a hit on the player's body that is not on the hit board, a sportsmanlike player will not argue the call and they will learn for the next time.

- Hot Reinsertions: Assuming the refs know the rules and apply the hot reinsertion, to eliminate potential issues, a 50-yard line needs to be roughly established via marked points on the field.

After all this, would I recommend the SPPL to a team who has never played before? Absolutely. The SPPL is a great format with a ton of potential. Unfortunately, if you're attending the SPPL to compete in any way, even if it's just to see how badly your favorite team's going to beat you, it is disappointing and unsatisfying to lose (or win) and have doubts about the outcome due to poor reffing.

Before I finish, let me say that I am fully aware that the overall ref staff supplied by the host field at the Oregon Regional is reportedly the worst in the SPPL. However, it is the responsibility of the SPPL to ensure that safeguards are set in place to ensure that the failure of the host field does not irreparably damage the ability to run a fairly judged game.

Congratulations to the SPPL on it's rapid growth. I truly hope that I can look forward to playing again in the next few years in a tournament series that I can be proud of.

#9 User is offline   Saifoda2 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 01:10 PM

Wow, I always knew the reffing was sub-par for the SPPL, but I never knew it got so bad. During SPPL '07 OR Qualifier we had 3 deaf players present and the refs (as well as all the players) were made aware of this during the safety briefing. Obviously there can be some issues when it comes to playing with deaf players especially in a tournament when most of the rules expect players to be able to hear what is going on around them. I can't remember exactly what happened, I believe it was one of the deaf players that had a ref yelling at them that they were playing on from a pod pack hit or something. Either way, I was in the dead box (as was most of the team for most of the qualifier :-D) when I saw one of our players coming to the dead box with a ref behind them and the ref comes up to our players and starts yelling at us in a hostile manner about something that was happening with the deaf players (most likely the hit on a pack that was an issue). My memory is a little foggy on all that happened, but either way, this particular ref was hardly understanding about the situation of our non-hearing players and decided it was wise and mature to yell at the whole team. And, in my opinion, this was a little beyond yelling -- this was aggressive almost to the point of threatening, that was the feeling I got from it anyway.

I definitely agree with your point, krazy: If we're going to be paying such large entrance fees to compete in this tournament (with prizes for placing in your division and the such) then there needs to be a fully trained, permanent SPPL ref staff -- paid or not, that's up to the SPPL, but I don't really see any other way of achieving that standard. In my opinion this league has reached it's cap for what the producers are willing to put into it. Oregon has not grown in teams for the past 2 years, and regional tournament states are being shut down due to low team attendance. If the SPPL is going to grow again, then it needs to have higher standards. Losing a player like Krazy to this league is detrimental both because the league will no longer be getting his money, but also because he is such a popular image in the woodsball and scenario world, the league will no longer have his good PR or advertising.

Better fix this problem quickly, because it will only get worse, and fast. This League is still very young and it has grown very fast -- in my experience, things in paintball that grow fast after their formation (primarily teams) have a very high mortality rate and many of them don't make it if they do not approach every potential problem carefully and with an appropriate level of seriousness and professionalism -- and the ref issue is one of professionalism, which the SPPL has prided themselves highly on in the past.
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#10 User is offline   rookiebird187 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 03:19 PM

Well said KRAZY8. I personally witnessed the first game the irregulators played this year in OR. After only about 50 minutes after the initial briefing about playing on and how much it will be enforced, a player on the opposing forces who was obviously hit on his leg a couple times, played on and continued to shoot. Krazy8 (who doesnt have the quietest voice :dodgy: ) gladly let the ref know what was going on. The player in question just stood up and walked off the field back to the dead box essentially admitting he was hit. One would expect a penalty but there was definitely not a penalty involved. Now I think that should have been a 50 point penalty and kicked out for that game (I am probably wrong but I do remember the penalty was HUGE). But it wasn't. All that happend was he came back in the game at the respawn and you got a very rightfully angry Krazy8.

Good post man. You guys are welcome anytime you want down here in Boise for some paintball and BBQ. The SPPL lost a very good competitor and great paintball player...

This post has been edited by rookiebird187: 22 July 2008 - 03:20 PM

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 03:32 PM

I have sat here for an hour tiring to figure out how or what to say as a response to all this.
My first reaction was one of sadness, then frustration and anger, now just disappointment.

I know and respect most of the posters on this sight, but I have to say IMHO it is in very poor taste to
name a team or player in public forum and then accuse them of cheating. It has happened to me, I have been accused of taking bribes, fixing games and making bad calls. Only the latter is true. I have and will in all likelihood miss or make a bad call now and then. If there is a ref out there that can call a perfect game please contact me.

Moving on to the point at hand.

The SPPL does not own any fields, it contracts with field owners to provide the SPPL a place to have the event.
The contract requires the host field to have the SPPL field prepped and ready to play on, dead boxes
flag stations and boundary tape, in addition the field is under contract to provided 10 referees per field.
The SPPL imposes cash penalties for not fulfilling the contact. It is very frustrating from a promoter stand point to arrive at the field after being told everything is ready and in reality nothing is, by then it's too late to fix it.

It would be helpful if you would let the host fields know how you feel also.
Not to take away from in any way the responsibility of the league to provide a quality product.

This league is, has and I hope always will be a players league, which means it only makes it because the players support it. The league will personify the teams and players that participate in it. As a group you have the right to invite teams/player who are not playing to league standards to shape up or not to come back. I have done this with a couple of refs.

I agree that the league needs a more consistent referee staff. All I can say is
we are working on it. I think we agree that the rules needed some adjument and we did a good job on that.
I am hopefull we can address this with the same result. Thank you for your input.

#12 User is offline   JackRock 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:32 PM


Whilst I agree that it is a good idea to address these concerns with the host field(s), it is with frightening occurrence these stories are coming from across the nation, all regarding SPPL qualifiers/finals.

The referees, be they SPPL's or the host field's, need to very aggressively and consistently apply penalties. I think that is the heart of the issue for Krazy8 in his original post.

My team ran a game for the local community, many of us were also refs at it. We told the game attendees that penalty points would be handed out for a variety of infractions.

Guess what? We used the (then) brand-new SPPL penalty system. And it WORKED. Why? Because we enforced it. A player came up to us, and argued aggressively that he was not hit - 20point penalty for sportsmanship. The next time, that player came up to us and asked us to show where he was hit, which we did.

What happened that day was rather very funny. The team that was "playing better" wound up with a NEGATIVE score for all the sportsmanship infractions. The other team had a score of zero (not sure if it was lack of them scoring, or a balance of penalties to scoring). Needless to say, when we showed them the tally after the first half of the day, the level of sportsmanship went way up, playing on stopped, wiping was aggressively policed by the players themselves, people had more fun, and the refs' jobs were much easier.

Make sure the refs show the players that they can and WILL enforce the penalties. The only way I've ever seen this work is to actually impose the penalties early, and fairly. But to actually impose them.
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Posted 22 July 2008 - 05:07 PM

I'm not sure if we can hold just the SPPL under the referee microscope. I have been playing for an awfully long time and I have seen poor refereeing at every level, including scenario games, local tournaments, national tournaments and championships. Every forum, every gathering of players always bashes the refereeing, no matter how good the calls are.
I'm not suggesting for a second that Krazy's experiences didn't happen, in fact, I'm betting they did; I've had my share of poor calls in both SPPL and CSPPL play. Is there a way to correct it? Yes there is. Are the league(s) working on a solution? Yes they are. Should we support them and try to help as much as we can as players? YES WE SHOULD.
We are not the first league to run into refereeing issues, and we won't be the last. What we, as players, need to do is work with the league in finding solutions and not 'just hope' that someone else will do it for us.
Please remember that referees put in insanely long hours, a lot of grief, and easily 10 times the length of time we as players are on the field. That takes a lot out of you. Don't believe me? Try refereeing a day of SPPL/CSPPL play let alone a weekend.
Do things need to change? Yes. Are they? Yes. Palerider clearly stated that the issue is being worked on. I can personally vouch that he is correct. As players, let's continue to support a league that actually listens to ALL its players and makes strides to correct issues.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you on the field one day.

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#14 User is offline   Lomarandil 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 05:47 PM


The SPPL however is also an incredibly ref-intensive format. To be properly executed, it requires good refs. To really succeed in the grand scale, it'll need excellent refs.



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Posted 22 July 2008 - 06:54 PM

View PostJackRock, on Jul 22 2008, 05:32 PM, said:


Whilst I agree that it is a good idea to address these concerns with the host field(s), it is with frightening occurrence these stories are coming from across the nation, all regarding SPPL qualifiers/finals.

The referees, be they SPPL's or the host field's, need to very aggressively and consistently apply penalties. I think that is the heart of the issue for Krazy8 in his original post.

Make sure the refs show the players that they can and WILL enforce the penalties. The only way I've ever seen this work is to actually impose the penalties early, and fairly. But to actually impose them.

I completely agree, I guess I did not make my point clear. For example for weeks before the event on Utah in 2006
Rory was on the phone several times with the field owner of Velocity paintball park Rory was concerned about the refs
he IMHO did his due diilligance with the field owner reminding him of his responsiblitys, we were told all was well.
When we showed up to run the event they had 10 refs for 2 fields and 1/2 of them were under 16 years of age.

What were we supposed to do? Cancel the event? I started the first game with 3 refs and me. Rory was on the phone calling the SO guys to come and ref. We were lucky to be in UTAH where we had some support.

The very same thing happend in Oregon that same year Jayson, Rory and I roll in expecting the field to be set up ....zip Jay and I spent Friday setting up the fields when we should have been training refs. The 1/2 ref staff was a joke and again we were short staffed, but this time we were in a place were we had no one to call for help. Again do we cancel the event because some field owner can't pull his head out? The SPPL has to trust that our suppliers and field owners will do what they agreed to do or we get there and you the players have some fun but really don't get the bang for the buck you wanted....I get that.

To travel with a staff of 20-25 is just economically irresponsible for the business side of the league.
The best possible solution is to have SPPL teams that are willing to step up and ref.

The up side is they know the rules and after bit of traning they do a great job, they are used to a command structure and
take orders from their captain who can manage the refs, so the head ref can run the field.

There are some down sides to this too. Mostly I see player that have refed an event go to the next event
and forget to take their ref hat off and put the player hat on. Some times teams may have some unresolved issures and
if one of the teams is refereeing the game the other team often calls foul because the "refs had it in for us".

The other problem is finding head refs, I have had a dozen guys try it and they never ever want to do it again.
Last year I spent 29 days away from home and off work ( I don't have any paid vacation). I can't do it this year.
I /we are looking for about 3-6 men who can do muiltiple events and have what it takes to be a head ref. It's a real challnage for our body and mind, No one will like you, but do a good job and they will respect you. PM me if you think you have the taters to do it.

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