The event that many players consider to be the unofficial opening of the Atlantic Canadian paintball season, Black Friday, was held on Friday April 6th, 2012 at Mersey Road Paintball in East River Nova Scotia.
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