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The team that was involved is an Amateur A ranked team from Pennsylvania. The field was located in Delaware. The field was advertising a speedball series with some prizes. The team entered the event, paid their fees, which the field owner accepted, and was then asked to withdraw from the tournament. The field owner made this request after announced that they were withdrawing due to the anticipated participation by the previously mentioned team. They were so afraid of this team coming down to Delaware and doing well that they were literally dropping out of the tournament.
This was so unbelievable that I had a hard time comprehending it. I don’t know which is worse, the field owner or the players that claim to be tournament teams. This is ludicrous. Was the field owner trying to rig the tournament?
Think about it, your asking a team to drop out of an event that you advertised openly. You have accepted their payment and now you ask them to withdraw. Why? Are you trying to improve the chances for another team? Is that or is that not rigging a tournament? Where does it stop? If you ask one team to drop out in order to favor another team, and that team dominates the series, shouldn’t you be obligated to ask that team to withdraw as well? If one team wins the series they should be asked not to attend the event if it is ever offered in the future because there is a chance that they could win again. It’s a vicious cycle that can only perpetuate problems in the future. It was a poor judgement call.
I realize that the field owner was attempting to sustain his business and promote his tournament series, but at what expense? Unfortunately, I think he damaged his business more than he helped it. By giving in to these demands he has demonstrated that he would attempt to exclude teams from participating in his tournaments, in order to benefit players of a lower level of play. The word has spread and it is unlikely that he will ever be able to attract anything more than a local draw for tournaments in the future. Established teams will not chance entering one of his events then risk being asked to withdraw. It is highly unlikely that any serious tournament team will consider playing in his tournaments in the future. I hope that we don’t have to witness this type of conduct by a field owner in the future.
The players that provoked the field owner into making this decision are as equally at fault. I refuse to refer to these players as a “tournament team” because of their actions. These are actions that I would expect from “newbies” that suddenly look up and see an experienced player in front of them and say, “I’m not playing with them.” Those that pressured the field owner into requesting that the other team withdraw exhibited some of the most un-sportsmanship like conduct I have ever heard of in quite some time. If you are going to participate in tournament paintball, you must accept the fact that sooner or later, and most likely sooner than you may wish, you will encounter a team that is better than your team. You can’t run around hiding from the teams that are better and you shouldn’t attempt to hide from them either. By playing better teams, you will learn to improve your game. To pressure a field owner to remove a team that may or may not be better than you, in order to finish higher in the tournament standings, is intolerable, unacceptable and unethical. Don’t claim to want to play tournament paintball then attempt to coerce the field owners to lever the standings to your benefit. You are not accomplishing anything and you are not fooling anyone, except yourself.
As far as the players that put the pressure on the field owner, it is highly unlikely that they will ever advance in the tournament arena. They are obviously no more than recreational “Want to be tournament players”. Their actions are evidence that that they are not willing to attempt to face tournament teams, and that they defeated themselves before ever attempting to meet the challenge. This is no more than an illusionary, self-defeating attitude on their behalf. They believe that they are tournament ready, yet are unable to accept what tournament play involves. A team that attempts to function like that will most likely disband after their first defeat in a serious tournament arena.
A field owner that attempts to organize a tournament series should be very aware of what type of teams he is trying to attract. This should be his primary consideration when choosing what, where and how he is going to advertise the event. If he is looking to attract only local teams he should use a media that is appropriate in doing so, or clearly state that it is reserved only for teams in a specific local. He should also clarify the division or “experience level” of player he will accept at the event. If he is unwilling to accept a specific level of player, he needs to make this apparent as well.
I would like to think that the field owner’s actions were solely due to a lack of experience in dealing with tournaments. There was such a multitude of alternate actions that this field owner could have taken other than buckling under to the pressure of these paranoid players that would have protected his reputation as a tournament promoter. It is my opinion that he should have never accepted the money of the team that he asked to withdraw, otherwise he should have continued to promote the series with their participation. Angles such as “how do you know you can’t beat them?” and “ This is your opportunity to play a team of their caliber, its a worthy experience” should have been used to increase and maintain participation once he accepted their money. Unfortunately, he took a course that will weigh heavily upon his reputation as a tournament promoter.
My advice to a team that is planning to participate in a tournament is being aware of what levels of play that the competition will be competing on. If it’s too much for you to handle, don’t play that tournam