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Pan Am Database goes Worldwide
By Technical Editor, Bill Mills

In 1997, the Great Western Series tournaments began using a player ID system with photo ID cards for all players as a way to identify individuals, track player experience and combat sandbagging – players competing in divisions below their actual skill level.

As the GWS matured into the Pan Am, so did the league’s ID system.  It evolved from a service provided by an outside vendor into the development of a custom database and ID card generator handled in house by the Pan Am.  While no system is foolproof, the Pan Am’s database has led to a number of sandbaggers being caught, their team’s scores being nullified for the tournament in which they were competing.

While other leagues have struggled with various player ID methods, the Pan Am’s system has become efficient, and has now evolved into a separate entity – the IPPI – Individual Paintball Player Identification.

The IPPI is opening itself to all paintball tournament promoters at not cost, with the goal of creating an effective national player tracking system.  There are two levels of involvement.  At the Roster Share level, a promoter simply shares their rosters with the IPPI.  The IPPI provides the promoter with a database format to allow information sharing between the two.  The promoter can then query the database to check a player’s history.  The other level available is the Complete IPPI Program.  In this program, the players from the promoter’s event purchase an IPPI photo ID card direct from the IPPI for $15 at the beginning of the season.  Alternatively, the player can purchase a temporary ID at the event for $25 (with a $10 profit for the event promoter) and then receive their IPPI photo ID card after the event by mail.

The IPPI web site ( is scheduled to go live by the end of the 2003 season with the player database available for public viewing for a limited time.  To protect player privacy, personal contact information will not be available to the public.  After the trial period, only promoters partnering in the program will have access to the data.  Presently, a number of leagues are discussing joining the system, and some, like the NWTS are already on board.


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