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2007 JT USA College and High School Paintball National Championships
April 20-22 , 2007, Xdrenalin Zone, Dallas, TX
Photos by Matt Holland

paintballThe weekend of April 20-22, more than five-hundred student paintball players from high schools and colleges around the United States converged on Xdrenalin Zone Paintball, outside of Dallas Texas for the 2007 JT USA College and High School Paintball National Championships. The tournament marked the eighth annual event for the league now known as the NCPA.

In 2000, the USPL Paintfest event included a national collegiate tournament, followed the next year by another event and the incorporation of the National Collegiate Paintball Association as a not-for-profit corporation. The tournament has been held annually since, with a growing number of participating college teams, and the addition of a high-school division. In 2005, televising of the tournament's Class A games on College Sports TV brought more national attention to collegiate paintball.

Adding to the growth for 2007, shortly before the tournament, NCPA officials announced a three year broadcast commitment from the Fox College Sports Channel, as well as a $5,000 college scholarship fund to be awarded to one to five qualifying college students, depending on the number and quality of applicants.

paintballTwelve teams competed in the tournament's High School division, playing in a traditional 5-man tournament paintball format. The high-school teams played a preliminary round of 8 games each, before being ranked by total score for advancement into the semifinals and finals. The top four teams were paired by rank in the semifinals. In a best two out of three format, the Grapevine Mustangs beat the Harlingen Hawks in a pair of back to back games. The Riverwood Raiders did the same to the Parkland Mongols. The losses paired the Mongols with the Hawks to play for third place in the finals. The Mongols pair of wins gave them third place. In the battle for first and second, the Riverwood Raiders beat the Grapevine Mustangs, and then tied them. The high school championship pivoted on the third game which went to the Raiders.

Twenty-five college teams competed in Class AA – a traditional format 5-man competition. Like the high-school teams, the AA college teams played an 8-game prelim round and were then advanced by total score rank to and though ochofinal and quarterfinal rounds narrowing them down to four semifinalists who competed to determine their order in the finals. In the AA finals, the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Warhawks beat University of California Irvine Anteaters twice in a row for a third place finish. In the battle for the class championship, Kansas State University Wildcates beat the Eastern Illinois University Panthers in their first game, but they lost the second and third matches, giving the Panthers first place.

paintballThe big show for NCPA teams was Class A – a repeating goal format played with a clock following the rules of PSP Open Class X-Ball. Class A games were the prime focus for the Fox College Sports television cameras. Thirteen teams entered the division – Illinois, Uconn, Purdue, Ohio, PSU, Drexel, IISU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, EIU, USAFA, Rutgers and SMU. Through the preliminary rounds, each team played three games, making for a full schedule. The following rounds narrowed down the teams until the semifinals where Penn State's win against Tennesee and Uconn's victory over Purdue in overtime put the two teams against each other in the finals. The final match between Penn State and Uconn saw a tied score when the clock ran out, but in overtime, the tie was not resolved, sending the two closely matched teams into double, triple, and finally quadruple overtime before UConn took the match 5 to 4.


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