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Paintball: What's the next level for me?

You play at your local field every weekend. They know you by name. You even got together with other regulars and formed a team. Where do you go from here? Are you interested in local or national speedball tournaments? Do you want to find a huge 3-day scenario event? What is the main difference between woodsball, scenario, and speedball? Here we're going to cover how to take your game to the next level:

How do I find a local paintball scenario or a big game? First, decide if traveling is an option. Paintball scenarios are held year-round all over the country. Woodsball scenarios can be a one-day outing, or a week long camping adventure. Scenarios like Oklahoma D-Day and Fulda Gap are huge, and get thousands of players. Look up your local Valken Corps on Facebook to find other players going to an event in your area, or check with your local Field and Store to get upcoming events and tournament information. Registering for scenarios should be simple to do from their website. You can pre-order your paint, and even reserve a campsite or hotel.

There will be paintball vendors on site in case you want to check out the New Releases, or need to purchase Paintball Apparel and other Accessories. Can I play woodsball or scenario games with a speedball marker? Absolutely! To comply with the rules of the scenario, you may need to reprogram some settings, like changing your rate of fire (ROF) setting the ramp, or putting it on semi-auto. If you wear a team speedball jersey, it may make you stand out a little bit. Try something from our Kilo, Sierra or Tango line of clothing, and our MI-7 Marpat and Woodland Masks.

What can I expect at a paintball scenario? After you check in and get your badge or ID, there's a morning briefing. The scenario commander will go over the rules of using things like First Strike Rounds, Paintball Grenades, and Thunder V’sThey'll go over the boundaries of the field, where to chrono and fill your Compressed Air Tank or C02 tank and where your starting base will be. What's the best part about paintball scenarios? You'll have secret missions, bases to capture, tanks to blow up, medics to heal you and.. the final battle! At the end of an event, before all the points are tallied, you have one more chance to go out and make one final game-changing push to secure your team's place in the history books. After the game, most scenarios have huge giveaways, door prizes, and drawings from sponsors.

Are there national speedball and woodsball competitions? Tournaments like the National Xball League (NXL) andUltimate Woodsball League (UWL) bring in hundreds of teams from all over the world. There's a number of "Super Bowl" like championships throughout the year, and your points carry over in every tournament leading up to a World Cup or Masters Tournament. Winning at the highest level of competition is the dream of almost every paintball team. To prepare for a competition like this, practice and play against as many teams as you can, or talk to your local field about having a pro player come out to do a clinic. Some firing modes or markers may be restricted for the event you'll be playing, so always keep your instruction manual handy and read the rulebook for the league. Being on a team takes a lot of hard work, dedication and it's expensive. Traveling to the tournaments, transporting your gear, renting a car, paying for registration fees, and paint, getting a hotel.. Playing national competitions could cost each player upwards of $700 dollars. Check to see what it takes to get a sponsorship for your team to help with these costs.

Is spending over a thousand dollars on a paintball marker worth it? A good Mid-Grade Paintball Marker for $300, $400or $500 dollars may seem to have some minor, simple differences when compared to a $1,000+ marker. But at the highest level of this sport, these small, subtle differences can make or break those split second games. A high-quality Speedball Marker like This or This or a High Grade Tactical marker like This or This can efficiently shoot paintballs smooth and quietly across the field with laser-like accuracy. But these markers require a lot of fine-tuning, and they have complex, delicate mechanics and settings. They take a lot of regular maintenance, and parts are expensive and sometimes hard to come by. You've got to know what you're doing. Experienced players and gun techs have the practical knowledge and insight necessary to calibrate these markers and pull out impossible performance. For example, I wouldn't know the difference between a $300 and a $1,399 set of golf clubs, and having the latter wouldn't mean I'd play golf any better. In paintball, the equipment doesn't necessarily make the player. So, is it worth it to spend over $1,000 on a paintball marker? In the right hands, yes. Play for a while with a mid-level marker, and when you upgrade you'll fully understand and appreciate the performance of a high-level marker. Give it time and learn all you can. Choosing the perfect paintball marker and making this jump is a very personal and rewarding experience.

Paintball has so much to offer in every format played, I don't recommend limiting yourself to just one style. Experience the adrenaline rush of winning gunfights and making calculated, critical moves to score the final point. At Oklahoma D-Day, you'll be a part of world war beach landings and see paintball-shooting tanks. You'll capture bases and gun emplacements, battling with thousands of players from all over the World. Talk to your Valken Corps Regional Commander and ask what upcoming events are in your area. See if you can travel with another team going to the same competition. Never stop learning, and being an ambassador for the sport of paintball. Where you go from here is up to you.