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WARPIG File Photos from GWS Portland 1998 Tournament at Enchanted Acres.
Unlike most NPPL tournaments, this one featured only a 10 player competition, with 26 teams in attendance.
Enchanted Acres, paintball field is insured by the National Paintball Association. Shortly before the event, the NPA sent a letter to their fields clarifying their existing policies. The NPA insurance program requires full face masks. The clarification letter specified that only masks in compliance with the ASTM standards would be acceptable. In a recent interview, Larry Cossio of the NPA stated that not all goggle manufacturers had yet hired independant labs to verify compliance of their products. At the tournament, goggles which appeared to not meet the standards, which included the Scott BadAss model (due to size and alignment of vent holes in the mask) were not permitted on the fields.
The NPA only insures semi-automatic paintguns on the field, and by their recently clarified definition, the Turbo Mode of the Smart Parts Shocker, and the Reactive Trigger of the Automag RT do not qualify as semi-automatics. Shocker owners were allowed to use their Shockers with the Turbo Mode turned off, and Airgun Designs supplied conversion parts to allow Automag RT owners to run their RTs without a reactive trigger.
The preliminary round consisted of 6 games for each team, in 2 divisions of 9 teams, and a third division with 8 teams. The tight placement a higher ration of pro teams to amateur teams than in most tournaments, and the amateurs had a chance to test their mettle, several of them besting pros.
The top 8 pro teams went on to 2 divisions of 4 teams each in the semi-finals,
as did the Amateur A teams. With only 4 Amateur B teams in attendance all
4 automatically advanced to the Amateur B finals without holding semi-final
games. Some may question why the Amateur Bs needed to play in the preliminaries
since none needed to be thinned for the finals. Their preliminary games
offered them the opportunity to play against stronger teams, which is part
of the road to improvement.
The top two teams in each of the semi-final divisions advanced to the finals. This became a point of contention when the Bushwackers noted that the NPPL rules stated that the top scoring teams in the semi-finals overall should advance, rather than the top in each division. If the top 4 Amateur As advanced, the Bushwhackers, finishing with 151 points in Amateur A division 1 would have moved into the finals, since they had more points than Personal Vendetta which finished the finals in Amateur A division 2 at 109. Ultimate Judge Bill Cookston ruled that since all of the tournaments this season had been handled with the top teams from each semi-final division advancing, that the top 2 Amateur As in each division would advance. While this decision conflicted with the written rules, Cookston stated that it would be more fair than changing applied methods mid-season.
The finals saw Ground Zero taking first place over Bob Long's Ironmen in second, followed by Lockout and Dave Youngblood's Ironmen. While official totals have not been made yet, word on the net is that this finish, combined with planned reffing points from the World Cup will clinch a 1998 series title for Bob Long's Ironmen.
In the Amateur A's Ground Zero Gold finished on top, ahead of the Naughty Dogs, OBR and Team X-Treme.
The Amateur B finals were taken decisively by Phantom Force which lead Washington Reign Red by 97 points. Washington Reign Black finished ahead of the 4th place Personal Vendetta II.
The next and Final event in the NPPL 1998 season will be the World Cup held in Orlando, FL in October.