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Wednesday November 22, 2023

On September 16th this year, the first Paintball Rookie Open Event took place at the Paintball Battlefields Hildesheim facility. This is currently Germany's largest youth tournament. 60 teams compete against each other in just one tournament at the same time to choose Germany's best young team. We were there live and have lots of cool impressions and pictures from itbrought to the event.

The paintball tournament sport in Germany has been struggling for years, some are even openly talking about a crisis. It's all the nicer that sometimes signs and miracles still happen and some things simply develop for the better. A real feat of strength was achieved in collaboration between Paintball Sports, Playpaintball.de, the Battlefields Hildesheim playing field, the Marshall Crew from Team Ballistics Göttingen and a handful of sponsors from the scene. What started at the end of last year as an ambitious pilot project and was simply intended to be as large and professional an entry-level event as possible has ultimately grown into THE youth paintball tournament for all of Germany and Europe. A whopping 60 teams registered for the tournament in the first attempt. The Paintball Rookie Open was sold out in the first attempt. No other youth tournament in Germany or the rest of Europe has even come close to these dimensions in the past five to ten years.

A trade show awaited the teams on site, the likes of which you wouldn't even find in the bigger leagues. There was a Paintball Sports pop-up store where you could buy all kinds of equipment related to the tournament sport. There were also tech stands from the Dye and Planet Eclipse brands. There was also an official DPL stand, where interested teams could find out about the work of the German Paintball League, as well as other stands from PlayPaintball.de, which presented their Pro Players Card and the custom headband manufacturer An.Craft .

The physical well-being was also well taken care of. So in the morning when the field opened there were sandwiches, donuts and coffee for little money. Soft drinks and other beverages were available from the field operator and from midday a food truck was available to sell delicious burgers to the players. The tournament schedule was entirely geared towards the young players: a little more time in the morning before the tournament started. A detailed team captains meeting in which all open questions were clarified. Even a rule briefing led by head marshall and DPL Bundesliga player Dustin Hauk (Team Ballistics Göttingen). In which even the hand signals and announcements of the marshals (referees) were explained in detail for all participants.

The teams then went into the group phase of the preliminary round well prepared. The 60 teams were divided into six groups with ten teams each. Each team had to compete once against every other team from its own group. The game was played on four playing fields, each with a different layout. These fields were named after the field sponsors and were decorated with banners and flags in a visually appealing way to match the sponsors' look. There was a Virtue field, a Planet Eclipse field, a ProShar field and a Push field. All sponsors contributed lots of great prizes for the event. In the end, not only were the winning team able to enjoy non-cash prizes of over 1000 euros for first place, but second and third places also went home with prizes worth over 750 and over 500 euros respectively. After the preliminary round ended, there was also a big raffle in which prizes worth a total of 1000 euros were raffled off among all participating teams. The tickets were free with every box of paint purchased. One ticket for Premium Paint and even two tickets per box of tournament paint.

Following the group phase, the group ranking was determined based on the points earned. 32 teams made it to the main round, these were the five best teams from each group and two lucky sixth-placed teams who had achieved the most points or the better body count in a direct comparison. In the main round it was tough in the knockout system. Every win meant the winning team moved on to a round. For the losing team it also meant direct elimination from the tournament.

So team after team was decimated, until in the end there were still four teams left who played off places one and two, as well as places three and four, among themselves. These finals were played in a race-to-two format, in which the team that first earned two victory points wins. To ensure that the spectators had the best possible view, the grand finale took place directly in front of the main grandstand of the facility. This was followed by the big award ceremony where the teams were able to end a great and exciting tournament together with a few cold drinks and lots of paintball specialist discussions.

The team Them Teddies from Holland won. According to the preliminary round ranking, the boys and girls were initially in eleventh place and it didn't look at all as if they would be at the top in the end. With a tough but fair game, they mastered all five knockout rounds victoriously and in the end became the deserved winners of this year's Paintball Rookie Open. The teams ME Paintball and Them Teddies 2 took second and third place. At this point, congratulations to all the winners!

We didn't want to miss the opportunity to ask the players how they experienced the first Paintball Rookie Open event. You can find the interviews behind the QR code for the AFTERMOVIE .

Our final conclusion about the event: Simply awesome! At this point we would like to say many thanks to all the teams who were there, to all the supporters and helpers of the organization, to the Marshall crew who were always there and did a top job, and to the operators of Paintball Battlefields for the great playing field. After just one event, the Paintball Rookie Open is already the number one contact point for ambitious young tournament teams from all over Germany and at the same time also their springboard for later entry into the big leagues and series such as DPL, ICS and Co. We are happy about it There was great support from the scene, which ensured that the organizers have already given the green light for a follow-up event. It is planned that the next Paintball Rookie Open will take place next year. If this event is such a success again, the players and teams can look forward to another event afterwards. Paintball Germany finally has a real youth event again. This is really good for the tournament scene and the sport as a whole! We are already looking forward to the next Paintball Rookie Open.

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