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wins Professional 10 Man!!
Farside wins Amateur A 10 Man!!
Hostile Takeover wins Amateur B 10 Man!!
Da Boyz wins 5 Man!!
Smart Parts 1999 NPPL tournament saw intense competition. With excellent
weather (at least until the finals) and exciting fields 46 10 player competed,
and 24 5 player teams hit the fields.
3 Amateur B teams started out poised on the edge of advancement to Amateur A classification, while 7 Amateur A teams had the potential to go pro at this event. This with a possible shake-up in the status quo, the air was heavy with excitement. More teams in the top classifications means competing for titles in 1999 will be tougher than ever. Advancing to the next division requires gaining 4 wins against any of the top 10 teams in that division, within a single season. This many teams ready to go this early in the season (second tournament) is a sure sign of change this year.
One word describes the fields here - diverse. With a field of ravines and brush, a field of traditional bunkers in level woods, a mound field, and a Sup'Air field. Most of the fields have easily accessible sidelines and the games are drawing quite a few spectators.
Under the Vendor's tent tech support from WDP, Airgun Designs, and Air America are caring for their teams and customers. Lou "Gramps" Grubb is on hand providing support for Max Attack air systems. Diggers are out in force with their team on the field, and shoes at their booth. Distributors are making their presence felt as well. Brass Eagle has a product display, and both Diablo Direct and PMI have semi trailers supplying paint. Unique Sporting's booth - packed as always with packs and gear is manned by Albert Griffith while KAPP's tables display their full line of accessories as well as necessary repair parts. Positioned at PMI's trailer is their hospitality area with shaded tables for their teams and guests. JT's bold red white and blue trailer has sprouted an awning and lawn chairs and has become a center for relaxed conversation. Warped Sportz tent features not just the Warped Line, including the Dark Angel, but also Redz Comfort Gear.
Out on the fields, the All Americans and OBR are reffing the 10 man games with G-Force reffing the 5 man event. The trend of stricter standards is taking hold, with outbursts and disputes with the refs being penalized.
Heavy weather moved in mid-morning Sunday bringing the 10 player semi-finals and division 2 5 player prelims to a halt. The strong winds and lightning were a threat to player safety. The game became a game of waiting under the vendor's tents and in vehicles for the weather to pass, while the NPPL rules committee hurriedly met and planned for contingencies in case the skies did not clear in time to complete the days games. All remaining 10 player games were moved to the mound field, cypress field and the SupAir field.
While the weather never completly blew over, the heavy winds and lighning passed leaving a light rain for the finals - and plenty of mud on the fields. It seems the players were better at coping with mud on the fields than off, as many vehicles had trouble getting out of the parking lot.
The 5 player top team was Da Boyz. In the Amateurs, Farside captured first place for A, and B was won by the Southern California team, Hostile Takeover. The Pro finals were hard fought, but Avalanche finished first. With first place wins in Vegas and Dallas, to be followed by reffing points from Chicago, they are looking a favorite to take the series title this year.