The National Professional Paintball League: The legendary tournament of paintball is back.
For some it’s the memories, the Woods, Hyperball and Airball. Air ball fields with tubes between the bunkers. Massive inflated fields with incredible centerpieces and signature bunkers like the pyramid, the car wash, the original snake or the fish, and great games played in the mud, the desert, the heat, the snow or the rain.
For some it’s the legends. The dominance of Bob Long and the Ironmen with players like Clayton Kyle, Bryon Benini, Darryl Trent, Shane Pestana and Marty Bush in the early nineties. The “rockstar” years of Avalanche with names like Ed Poorman, Chris Lasoya, Rocky Cagnoni, Steve Rabackoff, Mark Knop and Todd Martinez. The red, white and blue of Adam and Billy Gardner and the All Americans. Renick Miller, Mike Bruno, Danny Love, Gary Noblett and Spud of Aftershock. Robbo. Tom Cole and his Bad Company. Tommy, Greg, Lane, Rob, Opie and Image. Rage. Ground Zero. The Jacksonville Warriors. Ron Kilbourne and his Bushwackers. This list goes on and on. And saw the Dynasty Dragon rise.
For some it’s the history, the World Cup in New York. The World Cup in Florida. In the woods. The DC Cup. Atlantic City. Nashville. Reno. Las Vegas. The Badlandz of Chicago with its legendary Hyperball fields. And, of course, Huntington Beach. Automags, Autocockers, Shockers, Angels, Intimidators and the Matrix. The Mounds fields of Pittsburgh. Catching a sniper. Armbands. Reffing points. The switch from CO2 to compressed air.
For some it’s was just the way paintball was played. Crawling for 15 minutes. Hours spent walking the field, naming bunkers and planning the perfect shot. Seven-man on the sand in front of tens of thousands. An incredible game-breaking move. Pro teams squaring off against amateur teams in the prelims. 114 cubic inch bottles and packs holding 18 pods (100 round pods of course). Shark attacks. The occasional deadbox-clearing brawl.
This was the NPPL – the National Professional Paintball League. The defining moments of paintball’s greatest days were played under the NPPL banner, and now the NPPL is back, and bringing with it all that the players, the teams, the magazines and the manufacturers loved about world-class tournament paintball. Original field layouts. Paintball fields, not parking lots. Semiautomatic guns. The NPPL, the way paintball was meant to be played.