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|The Florida Sunshine Series started off the 1999 season
with a bang. There are some changes in the series this year, with
all of the events being held at Bullseye Paintball in Port St. Lucie Florida.
National Paintball Supply in South Carolina remains the tournament series'
main sponsor. Bad Karma has stepped out of the competition and is
serving as referees for the year. Bullseye's new location has been
well accepted by the players. It is barely over a mile from the previous
location, and due to larger land availability has more spacious fields
which are much better suited to 5 man team play. While some field
construction remains to be done, it is already built up into a professional
looking site, with a mobile home office, leveled parking, screened fields,
lights for night play, and even a handicapped accessible rest room.
The two main fields used for the tournament were the "sewer ball" field - a speedball court with props made of sewer pipe, and a semi wooded field with wooden bunkers styled after the "door" field at The Badlandz in Chicago. The similarity is no accident, Bad Karma is training for the NPPL Chicago Cup..
23 teams were in attendance, traveling from throughout Florida for the event, and as far away as Georgia. With the 5 player format, several teams had enough players to enter multiple squads. The conspicuously named SyNRG and X-NRG are not sister teams, but rather the result of a team split last fall. SyNRG is the rebuilt NRG, and X-NRG is the aptly named, Ex NRG players. TBA found the easiest way to split their roster was by dividing their Northern Florida and Southern Florida players. A team familiar in the Great Western series is Team Jester. One of the Jester players has re-located to Florida and started a new with the same name and positive sportsmanship. Almost a paintball institution enough to be called a team, Ken "Hollywood" Gilder was on scene reporting for both Paintball News and Paintball Sports International. Ken kindly loaned his venerated Predator Autococker to Dave Krushner, a reporter from New York. Krushner is a contributing editor to Spin magazine, and was at the event writing a freelance article about the sport of paintball for Penthouse magazine. With Gilder's paintgun, and a Scott jersey supplied by SyNRG, Dave got a taste of tournament paintball joining up with some of the junior members of Bad Karma, playing as Bad 5. While they played valiantly, they were no match for TBA North, which eliminated them one by one, taking Krushner last before hanging the flag.
The Sunshine Series is a series tournament. There are no semi-final or final rounds in the FSS. Teams compete for raw point scores totaled at the end of the season. Teams may either play 3 of the four events, or play all four and discard their lowest score. Full size trophies are awarded to each of the first place contestants for each tournament, the remainder of the prize packages won't be awarded until the series winners are determined.
With the weather starting at 65 degrees and warming up to the mid 80s, teams using CO2 felt the sting of chrono penalties as their tanks warmed in the sun.
The Palm Beach Maniacs I brought home solid scores and finished a full 40 points ahead of TBA-North and File 13-Paper. In most tournament first is first, but in the series, the stronger the lead a team holds, the better off they will be heading into the next event. 5 teams finished with more than 300 points, giving them a firm footing in the series rankings. The Sportsmanship award, which was new to the series went to File 13-Plastic.
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