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Old 04-25-2016, 09:07 AM #1
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Tips for Teams new to Xball

Yesterday kicked off the 2016 NEXL season and, as at the start of every season, I watched teams struggling with a new format (whether that was split deck or xball). I figured Iíd take a few minutes to write down some tips for new teams to help them with the transition. All of these are reasonably low cost and low effort, so most teams, if not all, can handle them.

Bring two people to help, one to fill pods and one to collect them from the field. You donít need more than that and, since you can teach people how to fill pods in about 2 minutes, these donít need to be paintball people. Friends, wives, kids, anyone. Having these two jobs managed by non-players will take a big burden off of you as you prepare for points. The two-plus minutes goes by fast enough that you donít want to spend valuable time filling pods.

Have enough pods. Figure how many you need per point and have 4x that number. If you carry 40 pods out each point, have 160 pods. 40 on your back, 80 filled (two points worth) and 40 being cleaned / picked up / filled. The key point is 2 points worth in reserve at all times. The goal, as with bringing people to help, is to depressurize your pits and buy you time to focus on what you need to focus on.

Spend a little money to have the right supplies. A pod rocket, Exalt Pod Swab, 2 cheap Walmart towels (get the $2 ones - they are good enough for what you need them for) to wipe players off between points, 2 cases of water (or more, itís not like itíll go bad), a bag of chamois (thatís ďshammyĒ) - you can get a package of 30 for about $10 at Walmart in auto supplies, 10 barrel socks to have on hand as spares and two coolers, one for the water and one for your breakout paint. For the breakout paint, layer the cooler with ice and then put a double layer of cardboard over the ice (half a paintball box will do). Put bags of paint on top of the cardboard. This will keep your breakout paint crisp without getting it too cold.

Finally, and this is a big one: aim to be in the start box 20 seconds before the point. I watch teams sprinting across the field with 5 seconds left on the clock every event. You canít possibly think that puts you in the best position to win. With 20 seconds, if your gun chronoís hot or something else goes wrong, you still have time to use a timeout (although, that's not the best use of one). Just make 20 seconds part of your teamís culture every time you play.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:29 AM #2
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Good advice Jeff!

Who else has tips that will help new Xball players?
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:45 AM #3
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Awesome tips and advice that I will share.

Starting to play tournaments soon so I appreciate all the help from PBnation.

Yall do a great job !!
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:04 AM #4
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read the rules before the captains meeting. the better you know the game the more you can use the knowledge to your advantage.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:22 AM #5
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Checking for hits and calling yourself out is a skill that is very important to learn. When playing rec-ball you could get away with ignoring a hit or maybe wiping it. But in tournament style formats, you will only cost your team precious points by not showing the self-control and calling for a paint-check or checking yourself before resuming play. When you practice, make sure you're holding yourself and your team accountable. If you wipe and play on in practice, you will in tournaments and it will only cost you and your team.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:22 AM #6
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A caddy or 'hopper topper' is a must. Use that to fill hoppers between points so you don't have to use the pods already filled.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:38 AM #7
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Other tips:
  • buy a car squeegee for pods instead of a $20 paintball pod squeegee.
  • buy a multipack of microfiber cloths (non-paintball) for cheap for mask hits.
  • have extra guns ready and on a rack if at all possible (can me made cheaply from PVC)

Last edited by (dr) : 04-25-2016 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:44 AM #8
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That's some solid advice Jeff. I had to share that in the BKi group.

Only thing I would add is...

Buy new batteries for both your gun and loader. Don't be the teammate that shows up and has his loader or gun go down the first point because he didn't change his batteries.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:48 AM #9
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Simply relax. Realize your pack doesn't have to be perfect every point. If you happen to not be able to get all the pods in your pack in time it's fine. Just get to the box with plenty of time. The only time everything is going to perfect is the very first point of the match.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:58 AM #10
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I've seen this on a another tip list before, but it was a while ago:

label your packs with the number of pods you'll normally be carrying, and an arrow indicating how you like your lids (arrow up lids up, arrow down lids down).

that way, your pit will be able to pod you faster since they know how many pods you'll need and how to orientate them.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:26 PM #11
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Don't get too caught up in buying the newest year or playing national tournaments right away. If you exhaust your finances after two seasons and three 0-4 performances at the d3 nxl level you'll just be another player who played for a bit and called it quite. Work your way up year by year, use that money to buy practice paint instead of a $1000 gun. Whether you're shooting a sm7 or a dm15... The good players will always win and the bad players will always lose...
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:49 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yayspyderslol View Post
I've seen this on a another tip list before, but it was a while ago:

label your packs with the number of pods you'll normally be carrying, and an arrow indicating how you like your lids (arrow up lids up, arrow down lids down).

that way, your pit will be able to pod you faster since they know how many pods you'll need and how to orientate them.

This is a good idea. I don't know exactly how you would go about labeling your pack. I think I'm in the minority that prefer their loop pods to be lid up, if someone didn't know that it could make for an annoying point.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:37 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubv187 View Post
This is a good idea. I don't know exactly how you would go about labeling your pack. I think I'm in the minority that prefer their loop pods to be lid up, if someone didn't know that it could make for an annoying point.
I think when i originally read the tip, the OP said they made/used 'lapel pins' that they had custom made....i was thinking of just wrapping some athletic tape around a flap/strap and writing on it in sharpie
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:46 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by returnofthechoad View Post
Checking for hits and calling yourself out is a skill that is very important to learn. When playing rec-ball you could get away with ignoring a hit or maybe wiping it. But in tournament style formats, you will only cost your team precious points by not showing the self-control and calling for a paint-check or checking yourself before resuming play. When you practice, make sure you're holding yourself and your team accountable. If you wipe and play on in practice, you will in tournaments and it will only cost you and your team.
By the same token, if you're not sure if you got hit or felt paint in your area running out to your bunker, ask a ref for a paint check. Better to be clean and alive rather than getting a penalty.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:53 PM #15
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The biggest piece of advice I would give to newer players or teams just getting started: maintain composure in the pits. I say it constantly. Running off the field angry, freaking out, etc doesn't help anyone. Get ready for your next point and, if you have time after being 100% ready, discuss whatever. When a game isn't going your way, it's easy to get caught up in the emotions and I watch even established teams implode during games because of the attitude in the pits.
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:25 PM #16
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:27 PM #17
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My best advice would be to shoot the opposing team's empty pods whenever you get the chance. Cleaning them are fairly hard and it's just a general pain in the *** to have to deal/worry about clean pods. You'd be surprising how a little spray in a pod can affect the accuracy of paintballs.
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:51 PM #18
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be aggressive. especially in beginner tournaments the more aggressive team will win.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:35 PM #19
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Great tips across the board, with one or two exceptions but that's just on personal merit and ethics. One of the guys I play with already beat me to this post, but I'll be keeping track of it for more great info. Thank you very much for putting it together.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:41 PM #20
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- don't stand in front of the opening to the pit/field while your watching the game. Its stops the flow of players from getting cleaned up, racked up and back on the field. Its the same view if you shift over 5 ft.

- Unless you are the coach or (maybe) the captain, you don't need to watch the game. Get yourself setup, make sure the next line is ready, then if everything is taken care of, watch the rest of the point (but not in front of the opening).
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:43 PM #21
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So much good advice here already.

Nutrition and hydration. XBall isn't rt2, you can't treat your body like a trash can and expect to play 6 matches in a day without major fatigue and mental fog. We play in Texas, and if you're playing a summer tournament you need to be at peak hydration 2 days out, because that's the water you're going to be sweating while you're playing 2 days later. EAT FOOD between matches... Fruit, carbs, gummy bears (the secret weapon); If you don't eat you will lose mental sharpness by the finals.

Have a pod runner who's not a player.

Spend time helping an upper division line/team in their pits. You will learn a lot.

Win the pod war.

Do everything in your power to over prepare before the event so that all you have to do is show up an play the day-of. Less mental noise means more energy you can focus on playing. Be an adult, be squared away.

As Draven said, stay positive in the pit. The spiral of death is real, and all it takes is one player biting at another player for it to spread and infect the whole team in the pit.

Use fresh hopper paint.

Don't suck.
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