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Velocity Magazine
Skyball 7 (2004)

We left for Skyball 7 with high hopes. Everyone said that although it's a money gouge through and through, it's something that you should experience at least once. It was astonishing how much it cost even with the entry we won.

At the captain's meeting it first seemed that they were going to be strict on the rules. They droned on about how you could be expelled from the tournament for this and that, clearly they were only protecting their own interests with this spiel. When asked if trigger bounce was allowed the reply was they somehow couldn't check for it, so it was legal. This had a mixed reaction from the crowd. When asked what, if anything, was going to be done about sandbagging the reply was more or less too bad. They talked about how there is no 'real' way of knowing which teams are at which level, how there is nothing up here like the NPPL has, etc. Most people were not pleased about this. This meant an honest-to-goodness novice team like us had no chance in hell of winning our own division.

The reffing. This for me was the most horrible part of the experience. It's hard to imagine that when attending an international level event that hiring adequate reffing would be put on the back burner. XO industries really screwed up. Playing on seemed like a part of game since no (or none that I saw or heard about) penalties were ever given for any infraction. Wiping meant a 3-for-1, I never saw so much as a 1-or-1. The refs were utterly spineless, the players who yelled the loudest always won the call. Trying to make a bunker unnoticed was impossible, if you made it anywhere near the fifty you had at least two refs staring directly at you nonstop. All run throughs were always a mutual regardless of who was shot first.

The paint was like nothing I have ever experienced before. It was round, shot straight, didn't break in the barrel however it didn't break on much. It could be thrown 15' in the air, bounce off the cement and back into your hand. Over and over (we have video incase it's too hard to believe). Rumor has it that they geared the paint (Vein) towards Tippmanns and Spiders. It doesn't take a genius to predict that there would be very few low caliber markers at this event.

The cost for paint was $120, full price. The hotel room, oh god the hotel room, even with calling early the $139 rooms that were promised 'were already taken'. What the hell does that mean anyways? So we were hit up for $169 for two days and $189 on the last. Of course this didn't include the $20 a day parking at the hotel (this was a sweet surprise at checkout). I made a five second phone call back to NB that consisted of 'phone me back. ok. click.' that came up as a $5.95 charge. The local calls were $1.18 each even. Then you get Toronto's new hidden tax the DMF (Destination Marketing Fee), which is a 3% tax across the board for Toronto's new 'advertising costs'. And we wouldn't be Canadians without the usual tax on tax...

What infuriated me most was the 'players party' which was supposed to be all you can eat. This was advertised as such, online and in the players package, in print even. I waited all day to eat, I was going to gorge myself silly, 'gourmet food' they bragged, ALL YOU CAN EAT! Waited in line, hand my ticket over, they asked if I wanted this or that, I said three hamburgers, they said no I only get these things. I said no, this was supposed to be an all you can eat buffet and I don't want filler, I want this. He argued again. Looking around everyone seemed okay with this, nobody else seemed irate, so I went with the flow and took what they gave me. Now you can argue with me about paintball all day, but don't even bother with food. Piping cold roast beef (I was served first out of a new tray, believe me it was cold for all), slimy hamburgers with gummy buns, KFC-old-style bland undercooked fries, garden salad consisting almost entirely of leaf lettuce, and no drink, not even water. Sure enough there was a bar, coke was $2, beer was $4.50, at these prices I looked about to make sure I wasn't in a strip club. As far as the 'players party' was concerned, everyone sitting around with 20 TVs all cranked on Muchmusic doesn't a party make.

This wasn't the love-in FON would have you believe. This was a money grab. Although it was under new management it came as no surprise there were only half as many teams as last year. Skyball is internationally renowned for its shortcomings. But for the enjoyment of experiencing other teams cheating and playing on like you've only read about, those memories are forever.

  SCHEDULING  2.5 / 5 
  CATERING  1 / 5 
  FIELDS  4 / 5 
  MARSHALING  2 / 5 
  ATMOSPHERE  3.5 / 5 

A final note; on our last game against Aggression, they were pissed at the refs and so were we. We agreed to spend the whole game lighting the hell out of them. This was truly a euphoric experience, all the anger just washed away with each round fired into the backs of their heads, fast as I could tap the trigger. A couple of pot shots at the other team until the ref looked away at the opponent for that split second then thup thup thup. They never caught on either, other teams must have felt the same way...

No matter what a stripper tells you...
No sex in the champaign room

Stop at Badlands. The number of hits on the ceiling was suprising.

Pregame at the hotel

Bling Bling

Team photo

Hot Toddy


Mark and Woody


Staging area

This guy got lit

I asked Rocky what he was doing in a dump like Toronto.
He said he loves it here. He is a very good liar.

Whomever could display their boxers in their hand
first would win a prize. So this guy stripped right there.

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