Taking the next step and getting involved with a paintball team is an important step in improving your game.
Whether you just want to take your skills to the next level, compete with other teams or win events and climb the divisional ranks, making the jump from rec ball to playing as a team is very beneficial. This article is going to discuss starting or joining your first paintball team for newer players at the rookie or beginner level.
Where to Begin?
At this point, you should have some solid open play experience.
If you don’t I would start there, playing against more experienced speedball players. You’ll build some fundamentals, meet players and friends around your experience level and overall become more familiar with the game.
You want some basic playing experience and time in the sport before committing to a team. If your looking to play tournaments and speedball, this paintball experience should be on an airball field. If you mostly play in the woods, go play some open play at an airball/speedball field!
Start or Join a Team?
A big question many newer players have is whether to start or join a team.
This really depends on the local paintball scene, the level of teams and who you know. If you’ve been playing open play at a speedball field regularly, you have probably met some players at about your skill level or beginner teams.
In general, I would get some friends around your experience level to start a team. If you play with friends, these are most likely the people you’re going to consistently be playing with, and you’ll grow your skills together. You can eventually play a beginner tournament to get a feel for tournament paintball and other teams.
The other option is to join a team. If there’s a newer team in the area that you see around, have met or played with, talk to them and see if they’re looking for any more players. At the very least they may note you’re looking for a team and keep their eye out. They may give you a tryout and see how you do.
I would only stick to low level rookie/beginner level teams for this, as you probably won’t have the skills and experience to play on a divisional novice team yet. You’ll need to build your gun skills, teamwork and game knowledge to get to a higher level.
If you have a couple of friends and want to start a team, which is what I would likely recommend for you, find a few more players around your experience level. You only need three players to start. Keep playing open play with an eye out for other paintball players around your skills level that may also be interested in joining their first paintball team too.
The Next Step
So you have at least a couple players for your new paintball team, now what? Practice together! Keep playing consistently and getting better, and get to know each others playing styles. If you only have a few players, you can use this time to build your team too. However, three is all you need for a 3-man tournament!
When practicing, work on those key skills such as:
So what is your team working towards? While you are putting in the time and work to improve both individually and as a team, your group should decide on a goal.
Look for a beginner tournament to enter. With the current rankings, this will most likely be labeled a Division 5, rookie or beginner tournament.
This also depends on the number of players in the area, as you may not have many options available. You might have to play in an open division tournament.
As a team comes up with a goal, a specific entry level tournament to play in, whether it’s two weeks or two months away. It will give you an idea of the playing level of other teams. The experience will make you better as a whole. It may be more expensive than open play, but tournaments are fun, competitive and build skills faster.
Now You Have a Team, What Next?
Keep playing together! Now you have an idea of what tournament paintball is like. You may have even had the opportunity to watch novice divisions such as D4 and D3 teams compete.
Practice, do drills and continue to improve. When another tournament comes around, enter it. Learn from the mistakes you make, and keep entering tournaments. As you build experience and skills, you may find the opportunity to move up a division, or even start or join another team.
And most importantly, keep having fun!