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Thursday, 11 October 2012

A Canadian Paintballer Abroad

Hello and welcome to all of my new readers, followers and fellow bloggers.  I'm starting up this blog to keep people informed on paintball news and events around the world. I'm a local paintball player from the Windsor & Essex County area so no matter where I travel to play around the year, my focus always goes back to my roots at the local fields.

A little about me: I'm Shane Carter, I live in Windsor, Ontario, and attend St. Clair college.  I've been playing paintball since the end of gradeschool, began playing local tournaments through high school in Flagswipe's old PETS series (now the ESPL). For local fields, DieHard Paintball's outdoor field in Cottam has always been my number one choice for speedball, and the players are always make it a fun time.  Indoor, Windsor Rush is in the city and has a great facility with a fun rec-ball field and friendly staff.

I decided to go all-in to paintball with the Xball format in 2008 when I joined up with Sarnia Ntensity in the RXL division of CXBL.  Afterwards in 2009, Ntensity made a huge move and shifted sponsors to Flagswipe our of London, and we had the chance to practice with London Express CXBL for the season to get a stronger and more convenient practice schedule.

After the 2009 season, life picked up and paintball fell to the wayside.  I got a car, started university, ran out of money to play ball and ended up quitting for a couple of years.  Work, school and a social life kept me busy, but something was always missing.

Flash-forward to this year: I worked full-time factory jobs for two summers, built up some cash, and wanted something to do with my weekends and summer.  I started playing locally again and began my team search.  I ended up contacting my old team camp at Flagswipe, attended the Canadian Express tryouts and joined the team for the 2012 NPPL 7-man season.  I saw this as an opportunity that would do everything I was looking for: to play paintball (almost) every week, to help the community by running local events, to travel across the continent with a team of friends, and to experience the world of paintball as few others from Ontario get the chance to do.

In the 2012 season, I've followed the Express tradition of running the Empire Series Paintball League (ESPL) to give back to the paintball community.  Our team doesn't just play paintball, we make paintball happen and go through all of the work that other players may take for granted when they show up at the field: gridding field lines and squaring the field; cleaning, storing, and setting up bunkers, and setting up netting, staging, chronographs and all of the little logistics that go into maing a paintball tournament run.  We have had 5 events at Flagswipe's outdoor field this year, giving hundreds of players the change to play tournament paintball in two divisions: the 3-man Young Guns division and the 5-man Rookie division.  It has definitely been a successful season for the ESPL, and coming next will be Blizzard Ball at Flagswipe's indoor field on November 18th.