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Ladies In Paintball
by Tammy Oakes of the Black Widows
I have only been playing now for three years and this was my first year playing tournaments. As a member of an ALL girl team, The Black Widows in the New England Paintball League(NEPL). I get a lot of questions from other girls and guys as to how we are treated by the other teams, namely the men. It seems as though every time I log on to my email I have an email from someone out in the paintball internet asking the same questions. So I thought I would take some time and give my opinions and impressions.
Well here it goes..
As far as for being a girl playing paintball in general: As I
said, I have only been playing paint for 3 years and I love it!! I did
watch for a year from the sidelines while my boyfriend played, until I
finally got up the nerve to play. Now I play when ever my schedule
and budget allow.
As for playing tournament ball: We are a novice team competing with other novice teams, trying to make it to the next level. There are other girls in the tournament scene on mixed teams I donít know if they get these questions as well. I would love to know. However, we are also not anything new as far as being an ALL girl team either. There are others out there like the Iron Maidens and I am sure there are more but they are the only ones I have really heard about.
But as for how we were received by the guys: I have never in my life met a nicer group of guys. The teams were all friendly and very helpful. They give us tips and advice, offer to practice with us and show us how they play. I am told that the other teams are actually nicer to us then they are to the other guy teams (but not during a game). I donít know if this is true but it is what I have been told.
The refs were also very helpful telling us after a game, what they saw that we could have done a little differently to get the other guy out or how to play that field a little better in a later game. I donít think I have ever dealt with people who were so honestly helpful.
At our first tournament we had the captain of another team give one of the girls his brand new Angel to use in the game we were being called for while he fixed a problem with her gun (thanx again, Mike of Beefcake). We missed finals by 10 points and that was our first tournament ever. Even the guys on the teams we have beaten were very friendly talking to us about our moves and what caught them. This is a good feeling; that there is still good sportsmanship out there in such an aggressive sport.
Our tournaments would not have been possible had it not been for our AWESOME sponsor X-Fire Paintball Store in Auburn, MA. Who has found tournaments for us to play in and has supported our expensive habit. Support has also come from Friendly Fire Paintball Field in Upton, Ma and Apache Paintball Field in Brockton, Ma for giving us places to practice.
I feel that it doesnít matter if your male or female, paintball is a game that anyone of any age can play; But be careful because there is no cure for the addiction.
Play fair, Play safe and most important have fun because that is why we are there. Maybe I will see you on the field sometime. I think the lady population is on a riseÖ Look out boys 'cause here we come.
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