Thursday, February 5, 2009

Paintball Refereeing

Yes, the million dollar question: "The egg comes first or the chicken comes first?". This simple and yet difficult to answer question is always hovering above our head when it comes to making a decision. With paintball being such a controversy shooting game, we often get remarks such as who is being hit first when 2 players traded while shooting at one another. In 1888, horse racing was first introduced to photo finish. Horses were galloping so fast across the finishing line that it was almost impossible for the stand to determine the wining horse... of course when you relate this to paintball... the tradeoff is often referred to as "a split second call" and in worst cases, we often attribute this to human error. The usual explanation would be "Do you think I have 2 pairs of eyes?". Yes, its true, this was the very thing that was said by a ref in one of the tournament that I had partcipated. But well... its true, he didnt have 2 pairs of eyes.

Refereeing has always been in questioned whenever there is a need to determine winners and losers. In 2007, the Joy Division quits the NPPL because of bad refereeing and single out bias refs as the main reason, they then went on a world tour in 2008. Now that the NPPL is history, you might see them back in the circuit again. Playing the MPOC for the 3rd year, I have also witnessed several incidents where refs were put on the firing line. Coincidentally... both incidents happened during the Penang Leg in 2 different year. The first was when Fortior Immortalz and Unita Immortalz were denied the semi final spot during a overwriting call and were threatening not to return to the MPOC again. For the records, our Immortalz friends have promoted from Div 3 to Div 2 now and completed the entire MPOC series for that year.

If you were in Penang last year, you would not have forgotten the Raskals vs Xmen game where there were 3 "1 for 1" call in a single game? I could be wrong with the number of counts but I remembered the ref pulling 3 players out in a single game. Let's not forget about the last 5 seconds mad rush by the Raskals... which until today, I thought that was a very good strategy, Kamikaze style... There was a bad wooohaaaa about the ref's call but hey...the same gang of Raskals are still competing in the MPOC.

I have been a follower of the blog, and coincidentally, there is a 2 part series on refereeing, talking about the good, the bad and the ugly. And of course being a controversy sport, there were some arguments and people shooting off one another's comment. The point that I am trying to say is that paintball has always (from the history books) to have controversies surrounding its development. At the end of the day, it is actually individuals' perspective or expectation of how things should be handled. I for one is a fan of this saying: "No call is the best call" and I am sure there are always good calls and bad calls surrounding this sport. It comes as a package to the game... Unless you dont like the game or you are already considering to retire from the sport, just know that bad refereeing comes as a total package to paintball.

Just want to share some of my personal experiences with 1 on 1:

1) Never argue with the refs when being call out, this might constitute to the ref thinking that you are committing to a time delay from exiting the field.

2) Always check yourself for paintball hits from the previous game before entering the field.

3) Never touch the spot where you are hit as this might constitute to the ref thinking that you are wiping. Claiming that you are checking for hit by touching is not valid in paintball rules.

4) If you are call out and not aware of where you are hit. While you are walking back to the dead box, check for your hopper, your foot, your elbows and lastly... it could be on your harness.

5) Never swear at your team mates after you are hit. You could get a "deadman talking".

6) Always check yourself for hits before hanging the flag and if you are caught to be already shot, its a immediate 1 for 1. Not only that you will throw the game away and points awarded to your opponent. There is also a way out in this... ask me and I will tell you.

7) Dont overshoot. This is a 1 for 1...and in some tournament, its a 2 for 1. Not only is overshooting dangerous, it is not a friendly gesture at all. So please dont overshoot.

Happy balling... in conclusion, good and bad refeering is part of paintball. That's just the way it is...