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Woodsball Manifesto by Rob "Tyger" Rubin

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    Woodsball Manifesto by Rob "Tyger" Rubin

    I came across this again today and am posting because its part of paintball history. I am not trying to restart any sectarian wars. I am not sure how well this has stood the test of time as woodsball has come back into favor.

    Found at: https://mhmchristianp8ntball.tripod.com/id17.html
    Woodsball Manifesto
    This is what Woodsball is all about...
    Woodsball™ Manifesto
    By: Tyger

    We are Woodsball™ players. We are the core of paintball. Over 90% of the players play paintball in the woods, and yet 90% of all in-paintball media coverage ignores us. We play not for prizes or money or fame, but for the passion of the game. We play because the challenge is there; every weekend, all around the world. We just need to show up and accept it.

    We are not the pretty-boys of speedball. We are the anti-heroes of the mainstream. You won't see us on posters or in videos sliding into bunkers with names like "cans" or "snakes", and that's fine by us. The real game isn't spit shined, groomed and polished or made for TV. It's down and dirty, in the literal trenches. Our fields are not well maintained lawns; it's terrain that both teams overcome. We don't complain about sand or dirt or uneven fields, its part of the world we play in. Scratches and dings in our equipment are displayed with pride, and we can tell you where they happened, and how deep in the crud we were when we got it.

    We are the roots of the game that have been abandoned by much of the mainstream industry. We don't throw aside where we've come from to make the game more palatable for an audience. If nobody sees what we do, it does not make the effort or result worth less. We drive through back roads to fields that nobody knows about but ourselves. We know we're there when we lose our favorite radio station and the cell phones won't work anymore. We play under the media radar with no reward other than bragging rights because we want to play. There are no prizes, no million dollar checks, but that makes neither our tenacity to win no less fierce nor our games less meaningful for us.

    Our chosen uniform is camouflage, not because we want to be militaristic but because it works. We use our clothing as a part of our game, something that escapes many of the "firefight specialists" that play only arena games. The paintgun is only one tool of a well rounded player, not the only tool. We know this; as we use all the skills and tools we have every weekend.

    Based only on our clothing, our gear, and our chosen locations of play, we are looked at as inferior players. We are told we would never stand a chance in a "real game" of paintball. We understand your arena game; yet you refuse to understand our woods game? We are not throwbacks to a long dead game. Yes, we are living history, but we have evolved. We honor our roots, but we do not abandon them to follow the next "promise" in paintball. Long after the "flavor of the month" arena game has worn out, we will be playing in the woods. To know the past is to control our future, and we embrace both.

    We are told that we should abandon the woods, for the better good of "the future of the game". Our presence threatens those who never have, and probably never will, understand what the origins of paintball are. They think we will scare away the media by looking like "militia members". Not that fist fights and blatant cheating will attract any better media attention in their games. Not that terms like "Bounce Engineered" or "Ramping Technology" mean anything to the true roots of what paintball started as; what paintball should be. Are the arena players scared of us or ashamed because we remind them what they should be?

    We are woodsball™ players. Any given weekend we'll be playing our game with a grasp on the past and an eye on our future. Players that don't understand will come and go, we know this. They can play under the bright lights in front of audiences and pretend to be rock stars all they want. We'll be in the woods years after you retire, playing the game of paintball the way it always had been played; with honor, with integrity, and with friends. All 90% of us.

    © 2005 Panther Free Press
    http://www.tyger.us

    Open permission to print / distribute / repost on other personal web pages as long as this disclaimer, my web site and my name remain attached to the text. "Share and Enjoy" Any use of this article in a paid media (Magazines, paid or sponsored e-zines / paintball field pieriodicals or newsletters, and so on) is permitted ONLY if permission is given first from the author.

    #2
    Woodsball™ Manifesto
    By: Tyger

    We are Woodsball™ players. We are the core of paintball. Over 90% of the players play paintball in the woods, and yet 90% of all in-paintball media coverage ignores us. We play not for prizes or money or fame, but for the passion of the game. We play because the challenge is there; every weekend, all around the world. We just need to show up and accept it.

    We are not the pretty-boys of speedball. We are the anti-heroes of the mainstream. You won't see us on posters or in videos sliding into bunkers with names like "cans" or "snakes", and that's fine by us. The real game isn't spit shined, groomed and polished or made for TV. It's down and dirty, in the literal trenches. Our fields are not well maintained lawns; it's terrain that both teams overcome. We don't complain about sand or dirt or uneven fields, its part of the world we play in. Scratches and dings in our equipment are displayed with pride, and we can tell you where they happened, and how deep in the crud we were when we got it.

    We are the roots of the game that have been abandoned by much of the mainstream industry. We don't throw aside where we've come from to make the game more palatable for an audience. If nobody sees what we do, it does not make the effort or result worth less. We drive through back roads to fields that nobody knows about but ourselves. We know we're there when we lose our favorite radio station and the cell phones won't work anymore. We play under the media radar with no reward other than bragging rights because we want to play. There are no prizes, no million dollar checks, but that makes neither our tenacity to win no less fierce nor our games less meaningful for us.

    Our chosen uniform is camouflage, not because we want to be militaristic but because it works. We use our clothing as a part of our game, something that escapes many of the "firefight specialists" that play only arena games. The paintgun is only one tool of a well rounded player, not the only tool. We know this; as we use all the skills and tools we have every weekend.

    Based only on our clothing, our gear, and our chosen locations of play, we are looked at as inferior players. We are told we would never stand a chance in a "real game" of paintball. We understand your arena game; yet you refuse to understand our woods game? We are not throwbacks to a long dead game. Yes, we are living history, but we have evolved. We honor our roots, but we do not abandon them to follow the next "promise" in paintball. Long after the "flavor of the month" arena game has worn out, we will be playing in the woods. To know the past is to control our future, and we embrace both.

    We are told that we should abandon the woods, for the better good of "the future of the game". Our presence threatens those who never have, and probably never will, understand what the origins of paintball are. They think we will scare away the media by looking like "militia members". Not that fist fights and blatant cheating will attract any better media attention in their games. Not that terms like "Bounce Engineered" or "Ramping Technology" mean anything to the true roots of what paintball started as; what paintball should be. Are the arena players scared of us or ashamed because we remind them what they should be?

    We are woodsball™ players. Any given weekend we'll be playing our game with a grasp on the past and an eye on our future. Players that don't understand will come and go, we know this. They can play under the bright lights in front of audiences and pretend to be rock stars all they want. We'll be in the woods years after you retire, playing the game of paintball the way it always had been played; with honor, with integrity, and with friends. All 90% of us.

    © 2005 Panther Free Press
    http://www.tyger.us

    Open permission to print / distribute / repost on other personal web pages as long as this disclaimer, my web site and my name remain attached to the text. "Share and Enjoy" Any use of this article in a paid media (Magazines, paid or sponsored e-zines / paintball field pieriodicals or newsletters, and so on) is permitted ONLY if permission is given first from the author.
    I can haz feedback?
    If I owe you feedback, just remind me, as I sometimes forget.

    Comment


    • un2xs
      un2xs commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for taking the time to format this. I posted yesterday when my head was pounding something fierce.

    • scrounger
      scrounger commented
      Editing a comment
      this is cold hard truth that needs to be stated often and loud.

      Scrounger
      first game in 1986 and never left.

    #3
    I remember 2005. It was like peak SpecOps/Tippmann and the industry was cranking out insane amounts of mostly useless accessories for woodsball players and they were selling like hot cakes. Sure, there had been rumblings from some industry types about the image of woodsball but Tippmann was an industry leader, certainly by volume and influence, had just released the A5, modeled after an MP5 and with an innovative feed system. Woodball was doing fine and this reads as pretty cringey even for back then. This is my favorite artifact from that era, especially the Member Rigs page: http://www.paintballzone.com/osok.htm

    Comment


      #4
      After the last recession stuck a knife through the heart of the ROF Wars- and a good chunk of the industry in general- this has held up about as well as the PDA fad.

      I mean, I recall the state of the industry at the time, but most of that is gone. The entire industry as a whole is a fraction of what it was back then, there's effectively NO "paintball media" anymore, and I get the overall impression that while there's still some friction between pumpers and space-gunners, it's not as "classist" as it once was.

      Doc.
      Doc's Machine & Airsmith Services: Creating the Strange and Wonderful since 1998!
      The Whiteboard: Daily, occasionally paintball-related webcomic mayhem!
      Paintball in the Movies!

      Comment


        #5
        This is…identity politics. Not into it. It’s also very corny and bad but mostly it’s the axe grinding I can’t stand.

        Don’t get me wrong, I hate speedball too. I just haven’t tattooed it on my ass.

        Comment


        • iamthelazerviking
          iamthelazerviking commented
          Editing a comment
          Another quote from you I'm going to have to steal for my signature!

        #6
        Tyger as in WebDog Radio Tyger?

        Pass. That guy spent more time cranking out whiny "good ol' days" content than actually playing. It sure reads like something he'd spew out.

        Comment


          #7
          Rob's rants did not age well at all...... Neither did his fursona.

          Comment


            #8
            I agree this hasn’t aged to well.

            I really hate elitism. “I play (insert format) there for I’m better then you”. I see it in all the formats. It’s toxic and pointless.

            Saying your the best and being the best are to entirely different things. Just play your game the way you want, as long as it’s within the rules have at it. All I want is people to call there hits (even if you don’t know ware it came from) Just let paintball be paintball.

            Comment


            • Chuck E Ducky

              Chuck E Ducky

              commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah I kind of got the keyboard warrior vibe from the post. I would still ball with the guy. 90% of people are different in person then what they post on the internet and the walk to the dead box can be a humbling experience. Regardless of who gets who.

            • Ecapnation

              Ecapnation

              commented
              Editing a comment
              Chuck oh yeah definitely..... I have a distinct memory of him getting thrown out of a local pick up rec tournament prior to the local big game in like 99 or 2000 because he threw a tantrum because he got overshot.

              In today's lingo we can call him soft and cringe.

            • zinger565

              zinger565

              commented
              Editing a comment
              I play mostly "arena games" because I'm better at it, even playing pump and mech. I don't play as much woodsball because the guys that play it regularly kick my ass and it's just not always my preferred way to play. That said, I had a ton of fun at the Mad Max big game this year, which is a healthy mix of "arena" areas and woods.

            #9
            Yeah anything titled as a "manifesto" makes me laugh.
            Feedback 3.0

            Originally posted by SignOfZeta;
            Us beardos with wallets need to occasionally make our voices heard.

            Comment


              #10
              I remember the ROF wars & the classism. How much the woodsballers were shit on all the time. And honestly... I agree with most of this piece. At least up until this line:

              "what paintball should be. Are the arena players scared of us or ashamed because we remind them what they should be?"

              Nope. There's room for all of us in this game. That's exactly what the speedballers were doing to the woodsballers back then, and it ain't right. I enjoy both speedball & woodsball, with hard bunker speedball being my favorite format overall. There's room for all of us.

              I agree this piece didn't age well & is somewhat elitist, but most of it was definitely applicable to that time, at least in my experience. Thank you for the read.
              New Feedback

              Comment


              • un2xs
                un2xs commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for the response. I was beginning to wonder if posting this was a mistake. It was just a slice in time... and I actually liked Rob's paintball war stories. I would love to hear more paintball "war stories." Are there any YouTube channels with this type of thing?

              #11
              un2xs I was kind of surprised with the responses as well, to be honest. And this is from a guy who never read any of Rob's work. Never heard of him until I saw your post.

              I can tell by reading it that he probably felt the same about speedballers as speedballers did about woodsballers. And that's not a good thing. Even with the advancement of technology & the creation of new formats, we all still have to be respectful of other forms of play. I've seen woodsballers poo-poo speedballers as well. It goes both ways. But man... It was rough for woodsballers in general back then. I remember it pretty well & his words in that piece were definitely applicable to that time, for the most part.

              To add to that, I'm happy to see paintball being more well-rounded these days. It just took a recession & a resurgence of pump & mech play to make it happen. We have new cockers, awesome mech spoolers, an excellent low-end market (comparatively speaking), a strong mech, magfed & pump scene, & more variation in fields than I've ever seen. And the NXL is still a big deal in the tourney world, along with some fantastic technological advancements. THIS is how it should be, with tons of variety. It's the spice of life. Paintball can't expand again unless you have variety & easier/cheaper barriers to entry.
              Many "hardcore" paintballers don't realize that the vast majority of the market doesn't even involve them. It's renters, weekend warriors & little Johnny playing for the first time. The tourney market is a significant factor mainly in the advancement of technology, that's pretty much it. And that's why I was irked back in the day. The tourney scene definitely has a significant place, but it is not the majority. It's not how it was back then, nor how it is today. Never was.
              New Feedback

              Comment


                #12
                At the time that he published this, he was largely punching up. The industry and the media had elmost entirely ignored "woodsball" by this point. This was especially obvious if you started in the very early days, when APG would publish articles like "The Art of Back Shooting", or even the first televised tournament. By this point, there were open and energetic debates on whether or not camo did anything to help and, the idea of putting anything other than a hopper or a tank on your gun was stupid. The typical mindset held by the overarching community is that you'd start with a rental at your local po-dunk field, get good, get a (insert high end double finger electro, a 'jersey', paintball pants), join a team and then compete. "Rec-ballers" was a derogatory reference to those folks who never moved into the tourney scene.

                Honestly, without sentiment like this, 'woodsball' wouldn't have become a thing. Specops PB proved that there was an unsupported market and ran with it. MagFed paintball probably wouldn't have taken off without this and, First Strikes might not have happened either given the small competitive field formats that we still see today, and the fact that the competitive circuit banned Flatline and Apex barrels already.

                Today, with the industry as it is overall, it's kind of wierd to read.

                More Threads To Come!

                Originally posted by Tom Kaye, IRT FS price critics
                Unfortunately all of you have played the one "speedball" game of paintball for so long you can't conceive of other ways to do this and hence any new ideas seem stupid.

                Originally posted by Crimson Death
                First strike rounds punish lazy people. Don't be lazy and you won't have problems with first strikes.

                Comment


                  #13
                  I guess I wasn't looking at it from that perspective. I don't remember the scenes being so divided, but I do remember a divide existing between woodsballers and speedballers. Locally at least, it wasn't that big of a deal.

                  Honestly SpecOps paintball is what initially got me interested, however very quickly I lost interest in "mil-sim", mostly because all of that milsim stuff is cumbersome and unnecessary. It seemed like more of an intimidation factor for newbies than anything else.

                  This article certainly didn't age well, and I was soured by Tyger's content 15 years ago already.

                  Comment


                    #14
                    The fact that this particular screed hasn't aged well is a GOOD THING. You really think old Tyger is somewhere upset that the thing he complained about 15 years ago actually got better?!? He's probably overjoyed.

                    Really it was that bad back then. I lost track of how many "woodsball is ruining the sport" postings I saw back in the day.

                    Heck, it was 05 or 06, I'm working at a field as a ref and some guys I know on a team are there for "practice" (I always felt that there was surprisingly little actual practicing of skills at these "practices" but that's another rant). Anywho they were between turns on the airball field and one of them looks at the woods course and mentions how he wished they were allowed to play woods, and the rest agreed. I was a ref, and I could run a game on any field that any player wanted to use, so I tell them no problem, we can run a 5 on 5 game, 2 flag, center flag, or just elimination, right now. Everyone is geared up, field is ready and available, just give the word and we'll go.

                    They looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language.

                    They were speedballers, and if they wanted to remain speedballers they COULD NOT play in the woods. Unless maybe if they did it "ironically" for a special event game or something. But an honest to goodness real game in the woods was just plain forbidden. It's just the way is was, and you dared not challenge it.

                    It really does terrify me that way too many people tend to think like this.

                    Though it's hilarious watch the mental gymnastics involved when people try to work around these self imposed limitations. For example, what is Open Play? Easy, everyone who shows up is divided into teams, hopefully evenly by skill, and you play. But that's rec-ball, and tournament players aren't allowed to play rec-ball. So instead we get...

                    Hey, we're having an Open Scrimmage today. What's that? Everyone who shows up is divided into teams, hopefully evenly by skill, and you play.

                    This weekend it's Street Ball. What's that? Everyone who shows up is divided into teams, hopefully evenly by skill, and you play.

                    It's an Advanced Play Practice next weekend. What's that? Everyone who shows up is divided into teams, hopefully evenly by skill, and you play.

                    Comment


                      #15
                      Bro you post cringe. Now you lose subscriber.

                      Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk

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