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Pan Am Circuit
Seattle, WA
July 25 - 27, 2003

The Pan Am Circuit returned to Seattle, or more specifically Port Orchard, Washington for the fourth year in a row.  Paradise Paintball once again was the host location for one of the series’ 5 man major tournaments.  Historically the Pan Am’s 5 man competition has been its stronger half, with 5 man major events outweighing their 10 man counterparts.  Following the growth in the 10 man side seen over the 2002 season, circuit promoter Dan Bonebrake made some major changes for 2003.  The 10 man competitions were changed to 7 man unlimited paint, while the 5 man remained with the 200 round per player cap.  Both remain bring your own paint events. 

This year’s Seattle tournament was bumped to late July, rather than its previous mid-September schedule.  According to Bonebrake the growth in the number of major US tournaments has made scheduling event dates to not conflict with other tournaments increasingly difficult.  The 2002 Seattle tournament saw 20 Rookie teams, 18 Novice, and 7 Amateur.  This year’s 5 man attendance included 15 Rookie, 13 Novice and 7 Amateur.  The Pan Am majors also include 3 player stock class and young gun competitions.  13 teams competed in Seattle’s young guns event, but only one signed on for the stock class competition, so it was canceled.

A warm and dry Northwest summer put the tournament site’s two grass concept fields on a surface of pale dormant grass, but the wooded field used was lush as ever under the protective shade of pine trees.  Paradise Paintball is located in a county park designed for multi sport use.  The concept fields are fully netted for public safety, and barrier tape is used to guard the public from walking into the woods fields.  Additional activities at the park include open sports fields for soccer or football, BMX trails, batting cages, hiking and walking trails as well as a scale railroad for builders of live steam model railroad engines.

Friday’s schedule was light, using 3 fields starting at 8 am, the novice and rookie 5 man teams played until 2:30 in the afternoon.  On the field Savage, Factory Team and Lady TnA served as referees under the guidance of the circuit’s ultimate judge, Randy Wood.

SATURDAY

The Saturday edition of the Sun, a newspaper serving the Kitsap area featured a front page article about Kitsap Community Park with a picture from the tournament – though the article was not about the Pan Am circuit, but rather budget problems surrounding the park.  According to the article, the reason the parks grass is dormant is that the South Kitsap Parks and Recreation Department has lacked the funds to water and maintain the grass, and to perform other tasks, including regularly dumping the park’s trash cans.  The article highlighted Paradise Paintball as one of the sources of income for the park, and quotes Ken Foss, one of the field’s owners as being unhappy that the park board was unwilling to negotiate a long term use contract which would protect both the paintball field, and secure more revenue for the parks maintenance.  The community remains undecided as to how to best care for the park.  The Sun quoted board member Brock Jackley saying, “The issue is how do we adequately meet the community’s needs and at the same time fund those needs?”

Saturday’s morning games started under clear blue skies and featured the 5 man amateur, novice, and rookie teams as well as the 3 player young guns.  As on Friday, the vendor’s tent featured booths from Bonebrake Airsmithing, Nelson paintballs, Just Paintball, AKALMP, Paintball Junkies, and Planet Paintball.  Outside the tent the Pan Am Circuit trailer was used for player registration and scorekeeping.  Something done differently at the Pan Am than most other circuits are the scoreboards.  Rather than simply listing scores for each game, the divisions were shown in a two dimensional matrix, so one could tell instantly when looking at a score not only how many points a team earned in that game, but also who they played against.  Next to the Pan Am trailer was ACI’s trailer, filled with products distributed by ACI, including their exclusive lines like the Griffin paintgun and Bulldog compressed air systems.

The Young Guns played all of their preliminary games on Saturday, ending up the day with semi-finals and finals taking place on the two airball fields.  Due to the odd number of teams, some of the teams had their scores averaged to give a fair reckoning of their performance, then they were ranked by top scores from there to advance six of the 13 teams onto semi-finals.  Alien Kidz, Dysfunction, Stutter Kids, Blue Lightning, Blue Thunder and Red Thunder made the cut into the next bracket, competing in between the novice and rookie prelim games.  Dysfunction came out on top of the semi-final round with two solid wins, joined by Blue Thunder and Alien Kidz.  Dysfunction won the young guns bracket after a win and a near stalemate, Alien Kidz took second and Blue Thunder third place after two games.

The Amateurs, novice and rookies continued their preliminary games through the afternoon, wrapping up a little after 4 pm.  Novice teams were also averaged throughout their preliminaries since there were an odd number of teams.  Advancing 6 teams into the semi-finals, the Novice teams would hit the field again on Sunday afternoon when the Rookies started their own semi-finals.  Rookies and Amateurs would face off again on Sunday morning to wrap up their preliminary games.

SUNDAY
The skies were just as blue over the tournament site on Sunday as they'd been the previous days.  Preliminary games wrapped up about noon for the Amateurs and Rookie teams while Novice teams milled around waiting for their semi-finals to start.  Amateurs played two batches of round robins and totaled points from those 12 games to mark their placements.  Bonebrake Factory Team won with a solid lead of nearly 300 points over Outkast, then Dominion took third. 

Rookie teams Rancid Rage, NURV, Pacific Paintball, Barebonezpaintball.com, X-Code Crew and Black Magic Gold all made the cut into semi-finals at 580 points.  The teams being averaged like the other divisions for teams who were shorted a game due to a bye.

One o'clock rolled around at the field after a lengthy lunch and the wooded field was abandoned to run the semi-final and final matches on the two air ball fields, much to the relief of the teams. Rookie's faced off in two divisions, the top three scores moving on to finals.  Black Magic Gold, Barebonezpaintball.com and Rancid Rage made the cut of the six teams, advancing them onto the finals.  The Novice teams similarly took six teams from preliminaries, playing them in two divisions.  Bad Karma, X-Code and Total Chaos made the cut, Snaps lost the shot after a fifty point penalty was assessed for language.

Final rounds for novice and rookie's wrapped up shortly after 3 o'clock with rookie's Black Magic Gold in first, Barebonezpaintball.com in second, and Rancid Rage in third.  Novice team Total Chaos took first, X-Code second and Bad Karma third.

The raffle that always follows the Pan Am events was widely attended and as popular as ever with the teams with guns, gear and product being throw out after the awards were handed out.

Special thanks to the Pan Am staff for their hospitality and always fun atmosphere - missed you Todd.  Big hugemongous thanks to Terry Stolmeier for playing chauffeur, Piggin' up the Suburban and for just being an all around great guy.  Pete Hollenhorst for lunch, Cheese Its and always being a ray of sunshine even though you travels even more than we do!  Todd from Alaska for being awesome, happy birthday again, puppy. :)  Just Paintball for the snappy outfit -- mercy...Bill is so happy.  To the teams for the love on hoppers, hats and random locations - thanks for sporting the Pig stickers!
 


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