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Florida State Sunshine Series
by Bill Mills - Photos by Dawn Mills - March 19, 2006
The Florida State Sunshine Series headed to Fury Paintball Park in Palm Bay, FL for the second stop in its 2006 tour.
Hurricane Paintball Park, a city park in Palm Bay, FL was initially constructed in two halves, one focusing on scenario style play, and the other on tournament style play. With a larger player base opting for the woods, the concept field side soon fell into disuse, and was closed down. In early 2006, the city of Palm Bay contracted with local paintball store owner Chris Carson to operate Hurricane Paintball park as a vendor to the city. One of the reasons cited for accepting Carson’s bid for the project was that it included plans not only to improve the scenario side of the park, but re-open the concept field half as well.
Dubbed “Fury Paintball Park,” the concept fields opened to the public in March of 2006 for a weekend of open play followed by a one-on-one tournament and then the hosting of the second event in the Florida Sunshine Series on March 20th, still two weeks ahead of their official grand opening. The newly netted fields consist of a pair of Sup’Air fields, and a Hyperball style field with bunkers made from corrugated pipe, were complimented by the addition of running water to the park and a snack bar with pizzas from a local pizzaria baked on site.
The Florida State Sunshine Series stands on an extensive history as the state’s longest running paintball tournament series. The 5-man format league is restricted to novice and rookie level competition, fostering the development of younger teams. The series’ first tournament of 2006 was held at Osceola Extreme Sports paintball field near Orlando in January. The second kicked the operation of Fury Paintball Park into full gear.
Nineteen Rookie and thirteen Novice teams took to the two Sup’Air fields during the preliminary rounds where they played seven games each. These games ran through the day with Team Blaze, an NPPL Division II team based out of Homestead, FL serving as the referees, augmented with some additional local refs. From the prelims, the teams were ranked, four from each classification, by total points earned and placed into groups of three for the semifinals round. Here they played each of the two other teams in their group, eliminating the lowest scoring teams, and ranking the rest to play head-to-head for first and second place and third and fourth.
Under late afternoon sun, the trophies were awarded. In a new move, the trophies were issued as blanks, with the teams being shipped a plate with not only the name of the event and the place, but the name of the team engraved as well. Prizes were provided by the FSSS sponsors, DraXxus paintballs, Vforce, Goggles, Gen X-Global, and event sponsors Splat Action Sports and Paintcheck Magazine – a new regional paintball magazine.
First place Rookie, which included a set of Smart Parts Ions was grabbed by Impending Disaster. Second place went to Mayhem, third to Stalkers and Fourth to the Sentinels. For the novices, the first place team went home with a set of five DYE DM-6s as a part of their prize package. These went to RNT out of South Florida, who fielded Max Dev Cyborgs through the event. Second place went to First Down Blue, with Who Too in third and SAS Mayhem in fourth.
Despite not making their way into the final four, Crusaders earned enough points to maintain their rookie lead in the series rankings. Whoo Too did the same, with a stronger finish in Palm Bay giving them an even stronger lead in the series.
From Palm Bay, the Florida State Sunshine Series heads back to Osceola Extreme Sports May before a return to Palm Bay in late July.
Editor’s Note – It has
been quite gratifying to see our home field of Hurricane Paintball Park
grow from an idea at the Palm Bay Parks and Recreation department into
first a well laid out scenario field, and now an operating tournament site
drawing teams from other parts of the state.
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