This is the official Team Internet FAQ. Suggestions, comments, paintballs (given, never shot) are welcome.
Team Internet is a social organization of paintball players that have access to the rec.sport.paintball newsgroup on the internet and connected networks and bulleting boards. It is more of a club than a team, and most members have never even met each other. Rarely does anyone play together, and then usually only a few at a time. Membership in other real teams or clubs has nothing to do with and is unaffected by Team Internet membership. There are currently three "rules" for membership: You must have played at least once, you must be able to read rec.sport.paintball, and you must be a good sportsman (no cheating, helpful to newbies, ...).
(written by BLuR, record details by UCP, editing by the KotL)
On Saturday the 25th of July 1992 (and Sunday, but Saturday was the day for the record books) over 2100 players gathered from across the country (and several other countries) at Jack Frost Mountain, PA, for the world record largest paintball game. During the months before the game, there was a lot of talk on the net about who from the net was going and how they would recognize each other once they got there. Dave McCarty (DMc) come up with the idea of a patch that said "TEAM INTERNET" and some logo which we could proudly sport on our camo's for all to see. This was a great idea but it never really got off the ground at that time. Dave was unable to addend the game, and just didn't have the time to do this idea justice. There was some discussion about ethics and how Team Internet members should strive to be helpful to newbies, blah blah and more blah. I faded out at about this time.
HOW THE TEAM INTERNET NUMBERS CAME ABOUT
In the spirit of the rec.motorcycles DoD (I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you), a crazy programmer and paintball player thought we ought to maintain a list and assign "membership" numbers. This person has become the Keeper of the List (KotL). Each member has a unique number. In assigning the initial numbers, credit was given where credit where credit was due. DMc got the first number, as he suggested the name/idea. BLuR got the second, as he did the first lot of patches. The Keeper of the List took the third because he suggested the list (and was stupid enough to volunteer to keep it). For the remainder of the initial membership, KotL obtained the "interested in patches" list from BLuR, and assigned numbers from it. New members are typically given the lowest available number.
JOINING TEAM INTERNET
"Membership" in Team Internet is open to anyone who has played paintball and has internet access.
If you want to "join" Team Internet and get a Team Internet number, send mail to the Keeper of the List with "Team Internet" somewhere in the subject line. KotL should act on the mail within a reasonable period of time (see quote below). If "Team Internet" (case insensitive) is not somewhere in the subject line, it may take a few extra days. Check the signature at the end of this post for the KotL's address. Note that the last three weeks of a quarter may cause longer delays.
When KotL receives the email request with the the minimum necessary information, he'll add you to the list. You will be informed of the number via email, so make sure there is a valid address somewhere in your request. Note that only your real name and internet address are required for membership - everything else is optional. The following is a recommended form:
Once you have surmounted this intellectual pinnacle and electronically groveled to the KotL, please keep in mind that the KotL does indeed work for a living, and occasionally must pacify its boss by getting something done. Your request may languish in mailer queue for (gasp!) days, perhaps even (horrors!) a week or two. During such times of economic activity on the part of the KotL's employers, sending yet another copy of your request will not speed processing of the queue (it just makes it longer, verification of this phenomenon is left as an exercise for the reader). If you suspect mailer problems, at least annotate subsequent requests with an indication that a former request was submitted, lest you be assigned multiple numbers (what, you think the KotL *memorizes* the list?!?).
Team Internet should not be abbreviated, except when used to denote a Team Internet membership number. When doing so, Team Internet should be abbreviated TIP (the silent P is for paintball, as a large multi-national corporation very near KotL also has the initials TI). Correct abbreviation contains no spaces and at three decimal numbers, as in TIP#003 for KotL.
A long time ago, someone came up with the idea for patches (see the history section). The first order was enthusiastically received, and quickly sold out. The member who did the patches previously was too sane to volunteer to do it again. Fortunately, KotL is not so smart...
As of the posting date, there are still patches available. Actually, there are a lot still available. I only broke even with an order about a month ago (it is now early June).
Patches are $5 for the first patch, $9 for two, or $4 each for three or more. Send email for a quote on larger group orders. The above prices are valid for patches to any US or Canadian address. Add $1 per patch for other countries, all payable in US dollars.
Patch orders are processed within 3 days of receiving the order at all times (I don't want anyone to have to wait on patches). The patches are mailed and the checks deposited on the same day. When ordering patches, please enclose a note clearly indicating the shipping address and include an email address (if possible) in case there is a problem. I hate to mention it, but if a check bounces, I'll try to contact the individual privately to clear it up (my bank charges $20), but will post here if I can't contact them.
The patches themselves are identical to the first lot of patches from a couple of years ago, and are being made by the same manufacturer, using the same information they used to make the originals. All colors are subdued, such that the patch may be worn on your camo's without being an obvious target (I've worn mine for since I got it).
I'm going to attempt to describe the patches, but they look much better than the description makes them out. The patches are triangular, 3.75 inches on a side (3" tall). They have a black boarder. The bottom 1/2" has a deep red background with "TEAM INTERNET" written across it in gray thread. The top 1/3 of the patch is a medium/dark blue. From 1/2" up from the bottom, to the bottom of the blue field, is a grid of gray lines on a black background. The lines vanishing to the center of the bottom of the blue triangle (top center of the grid). At this vanishing point, is a deep red splat that covers parts of the grid and blue triangle.
Checks should me made out to and mailed to Dave Rotheroe, 7727 La Avenida, Dallas, Texas 75248. If you wish to check availability first, send electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Currently there are plenty of patches available.
Note: at these prices, after all patches are sold and manufacturing and postage costs paid, I expect there will be money left over. I'm not about to make money on this, so will be donating the extra money to one or more paintball organizations tp be used to promote the sport. Patches broke even in May, but only two orders have been received since, so nothing has been done yet.
WHAT'S ALL THIS ABOUT A TEAM "SPONSORSHIP"
Once upon a time, there was a guy who offered special prices to Team Internet members, ostensibly "sponsoring" Team Internet. In the beginning, the business/individual did give near wholesale prices and excellent advice to some people, but gradually began to raise prices and the quality of service declined. About a year ago, the prices weren't so special for the vast majority of people - in most cases they were suggested retail - and service was non-existent. At the same time certain business practices were called into question by multiple people on the net. At about this time, this business/individual was no longer mentioned in the FAQ as "sponsor". In the spring of 1994, the business closed overnight and the owner vanished without a trace. A lot of peoples equipment vanished with it/him, and others are owed money (including me). We can only hope this jerk ends up getting caught and prosecuted.
SO WHO CAN I PURCHASE FROM
There are a variety of ways paintball players can purchase equipment and supplies: local retail stores, fields, and mail order are amoung the more common. While stores with a good selection, fair prices and competent staff do actually exist in some areas, all too frequently there is only one local shop that has poor selection, is overpriced, and suffers from the "what I have in stock is the best" or "what I make the most money on is the best" syndrome. Fields are sometimes worse, often having only a tiny selection at exaggerated prices. Unfortunately, the alternative of mail order has its own disadvantages. It is usually impossible to see and compare products, exchanges are more difficult, and it is often impossible to talk to a knowledgeable person who also plays the game. In addition to all this, there is the fact that one may be dealing with a business that neither they nor anyone else they know has bought from.
First, if you've got a local shop that has good advice, a good selection, goo service, and reasonable prices, patronize it! If nobody did, they would go out of business and both you and the sport would suffer. However, if you do need to find someplace, well, keep reading.
What follows is a list of businesses (everything from full time stores to part time out of the kitchen enterprises) that people have recommended, or that have asked to be listed themselves. I can't give recommendations, but would like to hear of (and summarize) experiences. I'd suggest getting quotes from several of them. Of course there's no guarantee about any of them (Hamilton Hobbies for example), but you can always post requesting people's experiences from the net. For those on the net, email may be an excellent way to enquire about price and availability.
Again, let me know if you have a good or bad experience, if your favorite store isn't listed, or if a listed store shouldn't be. This will only work if people help - no one wants a repeat of Hamilton Hobbies.
Located in Georgia
While not on the net or connected with Team Internet, Draco has been patronized by a bunch of Team Internet members from the beginning and been around for a while. They carry many items in stock at typical mail-order prices. I have heard only good things about Draco. My first semi-auto came from Draco.
Rock's Hobbies, aka Dave Rotheroe
Yes, it's me, email@example.com, KotL and this FAQ. I almost didn't mention myself, but I do want to let Dallas people know there is a local alternative (there have been a couple of bad stores/individuals in Dallas). In addition, I can provide *local* people great prices on (constantly) fresh RP paint (I don't want to mail order paint - you get bad paint and I get a bad rep). Heck, maybe one day I'll even take the indoor field from private to public.
Survival Game of Texas / The Paintball Store
Larry Cedillo is the owner. The recommendation was from Nick Diaz [account is: bhuff@sugar.NeoSoft.COM (Brian Huff)]. Nick works for them, and says "As a side note you might include that our prices are very competitive and sometimes flexible. We have been in operation for 12 years (the longest running in Houston) so all of the ins and outs have been covered".
The Splatter Works
2411 Old Gettysburg Rd
Camp Hill, PA 17011
The recommendation was from the owner, firstname.lastname@example.org (Rick Hambright).