The 2012 woodsball season in Eastern Canada came to an exciting conclusion with the crowning of the Tippmann X7 Phenom - Atlantic Tactical Woodsball League Champion.
The final battle for woodsball supremacy was played on October 13, 2012 at the official field of the ATWL, Mersey Road Paintball in East River Nova Scotia.
The four top woodsball teams in Atlantic Canada gathered to battle for the ATWL Cup, and bragging rights as the Atlantic Tactical Woodsball League Champion.
Teams advanced from the first playoff round to event four and a battle for the championship represented fields from across the region; Mersey Road Predators from Mersey Road Paintball, Nova Scotia Mercenaries from Splatter Island Paintball, Team Anthraxx from Hypersportz Paintball, and the Strict Union Militia from Mission Paintball.
The day started with Anthraxx going up against the SU Militia. All season both teams played an aggressive style of paintball so the first match up was expected to be a high scoring affair.
An ATWL match consists of the teams playing two 20 minute games. The teams play, switch start points for the second game to eliminate any advantage in the field layout. Teams fight for three capture points. Five points are awarded for every minute a capture point is held with a 25 point bonus for holding the center capture point at the end of the game.
The Anthraxx and SU Militia match lived up to expectations. The teams gave their all and each won a game. Anthraxx came out on top of a 310 to 245 capture point score and advanced to play for the championship with the SU Militia battling for third.
The next match of the day was the regular season winners Predators against the Mercenaries. The outcome of this match would to decide who would play Anthraxx for the Championship. The match was a closely fought affair with the Mercenaries winning both games by a slim margin.
The afternoon matches were set, Predators against the SU Militia for third place and Anthraxx would play the Mercenaries for the Championship.
The Predators returned to their regular season form in the afternoon match winning both games to capture third place.
Anthraxx continued their aggressive play, won both games against the Mercenaries to be crowned the Tippmann X7 Phenom - Atlantic Tactical Woodsball League Champions.
“We had a tough season this year but the boys pulled it together when it counted.” said Eric Vail, Captain of Anthraxx. “They fought hard and pulled out the second ATWL Championship in three years. I am really proud of my team.”
“As the season draws to an exciting close the league would like to thank Tippmann Sports and PBL Action Sports for making 2012 the best in the history of the league.” said League Commissioner Bruce Johnston. “We are looking forward to even bigger and better things for the woodsballers of Atlantic Canada in 2013.”
Event three of the CXBL Atlantic Division MXL was played August 11, 2012 at Spikes Paintball in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Unlike previous seasons that went down to the wire before a winner was crowned, the 2012 MXL Championship was decided after event two. The game results from event three would have no affect on the final standings, and were being played solely for the love of the game.
The Tippinators Paintball Team entered event three scheduled to play the top three teams in the league; Newfoundland Wreckhouse, Moncton Strict Union and Fredericton Aggression with the knowledge that a victory against any of these top teams would be unlikely.
The first game of the day was against Moncton Strict Union. Both teams knew that the game was going to be played for fun so they agreed to set all markers to semi and play with only one hopper of paint per point.
The Strict Union game turned out to be the most enjoyable game of the entire season for the Tippinators. Even though the scored ended 10-1 in favour of Strict, semi automatic hopperball was a game that both teams will remember as the source of more laughs than any other of the 2012 season.
The team's second game of the day was against the 2012 MXL Champion Fredericton Aggression. For Aggression the game was a formality. They had already celebrated their league win and were thinking ahead to NAX (North American Xtreme Paintball) and the chance to win the Canadian Championship.
Fredericton took the field and did to the Tippinators what they did to every other team throughout the season, they dominated. With nothing on the line the game had a fun and friendly atmosphere, and ended with another Aggression win by a score of 10-2.
For the last game of the MXL season the Tippinators went up against Newfoundland Wreckhouse. The powerful Wreckhouse team was favoured to win the 2012 MXL title but came up short. With the chance of winning league gone the Newfoundland team hit the field with the same attitude as the Tippinators, go out throw paint and have fun for the final 40 minutes of the 2012 xball season.
From the first point to the final horn both the Tipps and Newfs followed their games plans. The teams had fun, shot paint and enjoyed a great day of ball. Wreckhouse once again showed their strength and the depth of talent on the roster by winning the game 11-3.
"We scored one point our first game, two points in our second, and three points in our third.” said Tippinator Chris Coolen with a laugh, "If we had nine or ten more games today we might be able to win one.”
Restructuring of the league prior the 2012 season that brought CXBL Elite teams and players to the Atlantic Division MXL dramatically increased the skill level of teams in the league. The restructuring coupled with a number of Tippinators players not returning to competitive paintball in 2013 means the team will be rebuilding and playing the RXL next season.
The Tippinators had a great season playing MXL in 2012 and would like to thank; Mike Bourque - League Commisioner, Ian Grant - Ultimate Refereee, PBL Action Sports for effort in putting together and running the premier xball league in Canada, Jeff Chernier and his crew for their efforts as referees, and the exceptional support given to the team by Tippmann Sports. It is only with the hard work of many people behind the scenes that a league like the MXL is possible.
Every team owner / manager knows the frustration of running a paintball team. Paintballers are independent and tough minded; managing paintballers is like herding cats - difficult at the best of times. There are a lot of days when a manager feels like he is ice skating up hill. He wonders if all the time, effort, and money spent on the team is really worth it. To have feedback from an experienced player outside the local community is invaluable in letting the Manager know he is on the right track.
The Tippinators are fortunate to have Andrew Konoff, a “from away” (the colloquial name for a person born and raised outside the Maritimes) join the team in 2012. Andrew came to the Tippinators from western Canada and brought a fresh insight to the team.
Andrew was kind enough to spend a few minutes answering some questions to let the team know their strengths and the areas which need more attention. Plus Andrew shared his views of the state of paintball on Canada’s east coast.
Tippinators: You are new to Atlantic Canada where did you live before coming east?
Andrew Konoff: I was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. It was a big trip out here!
Tipp: What do you do away from the paintball field?
AK: I work in online marketing – I’m a jack-of-all-trades, but I’m especially happy when I get to think up marketing strategies.
Tipp: You are a blogger, about what do you blog?
AK: You can check out my site at dangerpoint.net and see for yourself, there is a little bit about the tech world, philosophy, literature, travel, and a lot of funny YouTube videos.
Tipp: Where did you play prior to this season?
AK: Anywhere that had an airball field. Things are a lot more spread out in Saskatchewan, so we’d usually have to drive three hours to get to practice.
Tipp: In what leagues did you play out west?
AK: Most recently, I played in the MXL. Before that I played division 1 7-man in the MR league. Our crowning achievement was to beat Impact and then not get the flag hang.
Tipp: How did you come to join the Tippinators?
AK: The Tippinators are really visible in the Nova Scotia paintball community, so I decided to fire off an e-mail. One tryout later and I had a spot on the team.
Tipp: What did you think when you found out you had to use a Tippmann?
AK: I thought I might have flashbacks to when I first started playing! That didn’t happen, though. The Crossover is a really modern gun, and I’m really happy with its performance.
Tipp: What did you think when you tried the Crossover?
AK: Personally, I loved it. It felt solid and dependable, which are the two main things I look for in a gun. It’s really hard for a gun to stand up to a day full of X-Ball in rainy weather, and our first event proved that – even my Ego broke down. The Crossovers kept killing it, trouble-free.
Tipp: You have Atlantic Conference MXL events under your belt. How do the players on the east coast compare to the players out west?
AK: In the west there’s not as strong a sense of community. Every province is its own silo, every city has its own scene and group of players, that usually don’t keep in touch with one another. On the East coast, friends of the team were coming out to help in the pits and on the sidelines, and when they need help, the Tippinators deliver. That never happened when I played out west – you’d have to drive three hours to help anyone!
Tipp: How does the paintball compare?
AK: Impact was just such a distorting influence on the whole scene in the West that it brought up the level of ball an impressive amount. Having that many world-class professional players around can be really beneficial. However, it didn’t help all the teams. It really only helped if you lived in Edmonton or Calgary, which we certainly didn’t. We got our butts handed to us after the first season of the MXL.
Tipp: What was your first impression of the Tippinators?
AK: I didn’t know what to think – you guys rocked at X-Ball but shot Tippmans?!? Then I slowly realized that I’ve seen this before. People used to mock Saskatchewan for not producing any good teams. We stepped it up and won a lot of tournaments, and eventually people started respecting us. It’s great to prove that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you shoot, or what type of ball you play – if you can bring it, you’ll bring it.
Tipp: What do you think of the team after two events?
AK: I think there isn’t a more disciplined and kinder group of players in the league. I was really nervous about playing again, and I worried that I’d get in a funk before I kicked my rust off, but everyone made sure I had the chance to prove myself, and eventually I got into the swing of things.
Tipp: You have said that the Tippinators are the most professional team on which you have ever played. What made you say that?
AK: Well, because it’s true! Everyone thought it was hilarious when I said it, but I truly believe it. Every player on the team is on the ball and interested in doing as best as they can, but nobody’s so worried about winning that they forget about how much fun paintball should be. It’s really a great dynamic, and a great group of guys.
Tipp: What does your paintball future hold?
AK: That’s a really good question. I’ve got a lot of growing to do - a lot of learning to work with my team-mates, a lot of learning to be patient, a lot of learning how to calm down and stay focused. I think the Tippinators are going to help me learn those lessons, and I think I’m going to enjoy it immensely.
Tipp: Thank you your kind words and for taking the time to give the team feedback. Best of luck to you for the rest of this season and in all of your future endeavours.
Tippmann Sports has produced high quality paintball markers like the 98, SL68, Pro Carbine, A5, Phenom, and FT-12 for over 25 years. These markers are some of the most rugged and reliable on the market. Now Tippmann ruggedness, reliability and quality have been put into the first paintball marker designed for any style of play with the all new Crossover.
The Crossover a sleek, lightweight, center feed marker that embodies woodsball durability with tournament speed and agility was most recently tested by the Tippinators. The marker is smaller than any other made by Tippmann and is of comparable size to other tournament markers.
After the testing was complete, the team received an order of Crossovers just in time for the start of the tournament season. The Tippinators planned to put these first production run markers to the ultimate test and to be the first team to take the Crossover into rigors of league xball.
The fast pace of each point, and the chaos in the pits between points, over the course of a 50 minute xball match puts stress on seasoned players, and proved equipment. The Tippinators planned to take the untried Crossovers into competitive xball play after only one practice to get familiar with the new markers.
Canadian Xtreme Paintball League’s Atlantic Division MXL Event 1 held on June 23rd, 2012 at Armymans Paintball in Truro Nova Scotia was the first opportunity for the Tippinators to give the Crossovers a real test.
Tippinator Ken Gardiner a six year xball veteran of the CXBL, AXBL and MXL was impressed with the performance of the Crossover. "I have had the opportunity to have used a wide variety of markers from all of the leading manufacturers over the past six years. This year I was handed a Tippmann Crossover right out of the box with only an adjustment to fire mode and rate of fire." Gardiner said "The marker chrono’d consistently within 7 fps and ran smoothly, point in and point out, for the entire day."
The markers preformed magnificently for the entire team. CXBL event paint for the 2012 season is GI Sportz 4 Star Tournament Grade, in the past the Tippinators would not be able to shoot such brittle paint in their high pressure 98s. Ten players used Crossovers for the day, shooting a total of 22 cases of paint without an issue. Every Tippinator who played with a Crossover was impressed with the markers performance.
Gardiner summed up the feelings of the entire team, "The performance of the marker allowing me to make eliminations early in points, shoot tight lines and hold lanes to lock down zones. The Crossover performed as well, if not better than, markers valued at over $1000."
The Tippmann Crossover’s first step into the world of tournament paintball was an unqualified success. Tippinator Captain Bruce Johnston offered a different insight into the Crossover, "If this marker can keep an average player like myself in the game a little longer, I shudder to think what a truly talented player would be able to do with a Crossover in their hands."
The Tippinators were pumped for the start of the 2012 CXBL Atlantic Division season on June 23rd, 2012 at Armyman’s Paintball in Truro Nova Scotia. Not only did the team have a few new faces in the line up, but the players were shooting the all new Tippmann Crossover.
The team arrived to the field early to put the final tweaks on equipment and spend extra time coming together as a cohesive unit. After a warm up and laughing enough to make cheeks sore, it was time for each player to put on his game face and start the xball season.
The Tippinators came out strong against Riverview Disturbed in the first game of the season. The teams were evenly matched, traded points back and forth through the first half. At the start of the second half the Tipps settled in with the new markers and scored a string of unanswered points.
Riverview made a valiant charge to come within striking distance but the clock worked against them and time ran out. The final score of a very entertaining game was the Tippinators 8, Disturbed 5.
There was a one game wait before the Tipps second game of the day. Pods were quickly refilled and equipment cleaned as the team readied for what they knew would be a tough match against the 2011 CXBL Eastern Conference Champion Moncton Strict Union.
Last season a number of different Strict Union players guested with the Tippinators throughout the season. Because of the familiarity and sense of camaraderie between the teams, this game would be fun regardless of the outcome.
Strict Union started the game strong and never looked back. The Tipps struggled to counter Strict’s aggressive field movements and accurate shooting. The Tipps were held in check from the outset and on there heels the entire game. Strict Union out hustled the Tipps for a final score of 12 -1 in run away contest that was never in doubt.
MXL Event 1 was the first opportunity for the Tippinators to give the Crossovers a real test. The markers preformed magnificently. CXBL event paint this season is GI Sportz 4 Star Tournament Grade, in the past the team would not be able to shoot such brittle paint in their high pressure 98s. Ten players used Crossovers for the day, shooting a total of 22 cases of paint through the Crossovers without an issue.
The 2012 Tippinators may have new faces and new guns but they still have the same play for fun attitude. The team may have come out of the day with a 1-1 record but it was a great day of paintball as seen by the smiles on the players faces.
Rain overnight and all game day morning left many players disheartened that once again they would be playing in boot sucking mud, with players afraid that an inadvertent marker drop would result in a gun never being seen again. Although the ATWL had visited this location in previous seasons, this woodsball field had not been seen by players in the past.
Hypersportz Paintball (formerly Overkill Sportz) has been taken over by a new owner who is making considerable field improvements. Teams that are visiting Hypersportz for the first time since last season were very impressed with the changes.
Thousands of dollars invested by the new owner in improved drainage, clearing firing lanes, leveling the ground and reposition bunkers will make the field play faster and put a premium on communication plus coordinated fire and movement.
As the day wore on, the weather improved but there was no improving on the already top notch paintball. The matches between current and former champions, plus epic battles between two new teams to the league all the games were back and forth fights went down to the wire.
The SU Militia from Moncton, New Brunswick went on a tear at event two. They kicked their game up a notch since event one, and were the team to beat at event two. The Militia won all four of their games with a total combined 790 flag capture points.
No one team is breaking away from the pack. The top of the leader board is tightening. The new teams are improving quickly. The 2012 Tippmann X7 Phenom Atlantic Tactical Woodsball League has reached the half way point and who will be crowned champion is anybody's guess. This may turn out to be the most exciting finish in ATWL history.
|Event 2 Results|
|Place||Team||Games Played||Capture Points||Win Loss Points|
|3||Mersey Road Predators||2||310||2|
|4||Nova Scotia Mercenaries||4||310||2|
|5||Green Acres Goblins||4||75||0|
|Place||Team||Games Played||Capture Points||Win Loss Points|
|1||Mersey Road Predators||6||1320||10|
|4||Nova Scotia Mercenaries||6||535||4|
|5||Green Acres Goblins||6||105||0|
Black Friday is a special kind of event where after a winter of being able to only play the occasional game of indoor reball, woodsballers, speedballers, milsim teams, xball teams and rec players gather for a day of fun before players gravitate back to their preferred style of play.
Black Friday is a non competitive event. ‘Event’ may be to strong a word. Black Friday is a one of a kind paintball gathering. It is a gathering where players of any skill level and experience can play together, and against each other, as long as the players only want to have fun.
Another aspect of Black Friday that makes the game special is there are no landmarks to be taken, no points awarded, no commanders yelling orders, and no winners announced at the end of the day. The players break into two teams and go play paintball just for the fun of it.
The game was immediate respawn broken into 90 minute halves. The teams switched ends of the field at the lunch break. The non stop game made for non stop action all over the field. On the field you could see ghillie suits next to colourful speedball jerseys, high end electros playing side by side with pump guns.
Players of all sort come out to Black Friday to bang the rust off skills that lay dormant over the winter. Many players don’t even look at their markers until game day. Fortunately Eastern Paintball and Supply made the 3 hour trip from Moncton to set up a pro shop offering players a low flat rate to repair malfunctioning markers.
At the end of the day players had run the field, shot paint, been hit and come back for more with no other objective in mind other than to have fun. The on field action a prize filled pod toss by Eastern Paintball and Supply plus a Tippmann and PBL prize raffle by the Tippinators made for a day that left smiles on all players faces.
In many areas paintball participation has been in decline. The exact opposite is true for paintball in Atlantic Canada. The official attendance of nearly 300 makes Mersey Road’s Black Friday the most successful annual event in Eastern Canada. The high attendance at Black Friday, the continued growth and expansion of the Atlantic Tactical Woodsball League (ATWL), and Minor Xtreme Paintball League (MXL), proves that paintball is as strong as ever.
Black Friday once again showed paintballers, be they prefer woodsball or speedball, can come together in the spirit of the game and play for fun. If Black Friday is any indication of what is in store for the remainder of the 2012 paintball season will be one to remember.
Check out the Black Friday image galleries at the Mersey Road Paintball Facebook page
The Tippmann Crossover is a sleek, lightweight, center fed marker that embodies woodsball durability with tournament speed and agility. The marker is smaller than any other made by Tippmann and is of comparable size to other tournament markers. As they have done so many times in the past Tippmann is set to redefine the gold standard in paintball markers again, with the Crossover.
At the core of the Crossover is the proven FlexValve. FlexValve Technology makes the Crossover the first electro-pneumatic speedball style marker to offer the winning combination of improved air efficiency, superior accuracy due to the spool valve design, manual or electronic mode firing, and the flexibility of CO2 or High Pressure Air (HPA). Although the Crossover will work on CO2 it needs to be setup properly, such as using a remote line and using a low rate of fire so marker internals do not freeze.
The ruggedness of the FlexValve and the ability to operate below 300 PSI will give all players the competitive edge on the woodsball or speedball field. The low operating pressure greatly improves air efficiency allowing you to get up to 1,400 shots from a 68 cubic inch 4500 psi tank.
The Crossover’s searless trigger design incorporates fewer parts to wear, making maintenance easier than ever. Because this new marker is built around the existing Phenom internals and can accept an A5 threaded barrel the look may be a little foreign to die hard Tippmann users but the feel, reliability and performance are undoubtedly Tippmann.
Like the Phenom the Crossover has a lightweight aluminum body with internal gas line and no cocking handle. Unlike the Phenom the Crossover has sleek lines with custom body milling and all excess metal shaved back.
Like other tournament markers the Crossover is a center feed and comes with a clamping feed neck that will adjust to fit any loader without tools. The center feed system also uses beam break style eyes to prevent ball chopping and dual ball detents to hold the most brittle paint without barrel breaks.One thing players will immediately notice about the Crossover that makes it different than any other tournament marker is a manual thumb safety on the left side of the receiver body with three settings; Safe, Semi, Electro. As the name implies Safe prevents the marker from firing. Semi means the marker will fire one shot with each pull of the trigger, because of the FlexValve Semi will work without a battery in the marker. Electro setting activates the markers electronics. The stock board will fire up to 15 balls per second, full auto, PSP, NXL, response and three round burst. A single button on the back of the grip is used to program the board or turn the eyes on and off.
In the past, Tippmann markers have angled the Air Source Adapter (ASA – the thing the tank screw into) at an angle so liquid CO2 would not be drawn into marker when fired. The Crossover is the first Tippmann marker to have a 90 degree ASA that brings the marker down to eye level and in closer to the body when shouldered.
The Crossover will run on CO2 or HPA. Most HPA tanks put out 800 pounds per square inch (PSI) pressure, because the Crossover operates at 300 psi Tippmann has designed an ASA that regulates the pressure from the tank down to a useable level for the marker. To lighten the marker the regulator for the Crossover is built into the ASA with a velocity adjustment on the front of the regulator.
The engineers at Tippmann have thought of players who want to degas the marker when not playing but not remove the tank. With the Crossover players have the option to remove the factory installed regulator ASA and front grip and install a vertical regulator and on / off ASA. In only minutes with a few off the shelf parts and a macro line the unique appearance of the Crossover can be changed to look like more traditional tournament markers.
Unlike other high end tournament markers the Crossover has kept woodsball players in mind. The gap between the front grip and trigger guard is wider to leave room for gloved hands. The same is true of the oversized trigger guard that allows players to easily roll the trigger while wearing bulky milsim gloves.
“Tippmann has created the perfect marker for which the Tippinators have been searching.” said Tippinators Super-tech Mark ‘Tinman’ Miller. “The Crossover is fast and light enough for tournament play yet tough enough for woodsball and reliable enough for league xball.”
True to the name this new marker can crossover from woodsball to speedball to xball and back again. “This is the marker I have wanted for years,” said Tippinator Captain Bruce ‘Charon’ Johnston, “Tippmann has really listened to players; the Crossover is an incredible marker for any style of play.”
For more than 25 years, Tippmann Sports has been dedicated to quality manufacturing and the pursuit of cutting-edge technology and design. The company serves the paintball industry from its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Fort Wayne Indiana. Tippmann Sports’ complete line of paintball markers and related accessories can be found at paintball stores and fields as well as mass retail and sporting goods outlets throughout the world.