Author Topic: Tournament paintball - what position should I play?  (Read 962 times)

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Tournament paintball - what position should I play?
« on: 30 December 2010, 05:51:05 PM »

Here's a basic quick overview of paintball positions for tournament paintball:

Front Player
A front player's task is to perform the major movements and eliminations on the field during a speedball game. As the name suggests, this places the front man far forward on the speedball field, compared to the other positions. Front players stay down, firing comparatively little and making heavy use of snap shooting. Because of this, they rely very heavily on the rest of the team to provide them with developments across the field. Front players and back players are very closely related, and in some cases, a back player will be assigned to communicate with and cover a front player when the latter is in a critical position or attempting to maneuver.

Mid Player (Normally required in 7 Man teams only)
Mid players are adaptable, versatile, and patient. They perform whatever function is necessary for the team to advance through the game. If a front player is eliminated at the beginning of a game, center player will try to take that place. When a back player is eliminated and leaves a blind spot on the field, a mid can fall back, if necessary, and take up that command position, or command from the bunker they currently occupy. Mid players also perform the vital function of a relay system late in the game. A front player who has progressed far down the field cannot hear his back. Mids will relay information between the two, so that the front player is not effectively blind. A mid player may also shut down a lane from a position farther down the field, where a back player does not have the correct angle. Alternatively, mid players can also accompany a front player to a critical position, to up the odds of it being held successfully.

Back Player
Back players are the eyes and support fire of the team. At the rear of the field, they are afforded a fairly unobstructed view of the action, and constantly communicate with the rest of the team. It is the back player's job to coordinate and move the front players down the field while denying the opposing front player's movement. These different goals cause rear players to use their markers in a dramatically different way than a front player, utilizing a near constant stream of paint to shut down movement paths, called lanes, for opposing front players. This same tactic is used against specific bunkers to force a player to tuck in, allowing a front player to move. The focus of a rear player's constant fire is called key, or keying in.

Center Back
The back player who takes the centermost position on the field is akin to a chess player or football coach who is stuck in the middle of the game. The back player filters information between left and right, and has a direct line of sight to both sides of the field. This player will let everyone know who is supposed to be doing what, setting up objectives for the other back players, and by association, the front players those back players are tending.

Too often players new to competition paintball immediately start classifying themselves as a front or back player simply because of their size or physical abilities. Even more experienced players tend to do this. Most professional players will tell you during their paintball clinics that players must not fall into the trap of classifying themselves as just a back player or just a front player as it will limit your playing skills. Players have to learn to play multiple bunker types and roles as it will help your ability to play as part of a team and to play better.

Knowing how to play all roles on a team helps players better understand what they must do to support each other with better shooting angles and techniques, player movement and field positioning or simply by communication.