After practicing early every weekend, the Paintball Club at Ohio State has proven that the sport is more serious than it seems.
Ohio State has more than a thousand student organizations on campus and the Paintball Club is just one them. The organization has been around for almost 10 years, and is dedicated to promoting the sport on campus and encouraging others to join.
Jason Copeland, the group’s president, described the team as a second family.
“When I first came to Ohio State it was the only club I was interested in,” said Copeland, a fourth-year in communication. “I’ve met so many people and not only through our club but through other clubs as well.”
This year, OSUPB will be going to the national competition for the fifth time since the club was created. In order to participate in nationals, the team has to play in two National Collegiate Paintball Association tournaments throughout the year.
The team will be playing in nationals as a class AA group, though teams can compete as either A or AA.
Copeland said class A is mainly more expensive. The team is paying for longer, more competitive games. The entry for class AA was $700 compared to the entry for class A, which was triple the amount at $2200.
“College paintball is actually much bigger thing than people realize,” said Doug Lamont, a fourth-year strategic in communication and secretary of the group.
At nationals alone, 50 to 70 teams from around the country come together to play. The game consists of two halves. Within each half, teams work to get as many points as they can by hitting a button on the other side of the field.
However, even a sport like paintball has its disadvantages off the field. Copeland said the hardest thing to overcome as a club has been the expenses. A case of paint costs $35 with an additional $5 entry at LVL UP Sports Paintball Park, which is where the team practices. At $40 a week and $160 a month for practice alone, expenses can add up quickly.
The Paintball Club tries to maintain a good relationship with LVL UP sports, and it practices every weekend at the Grove City park. Recently, a tornado ripped up the netting and field and the club has been working to help clean up the mess.
“The biggest thing has been being able to live out what I always wanted to do,” Lamont said. “I’ve always wanted to be part of a team.”
Next week, the Paintball Club will travel to Kissimmee, Florida, to participate in the 2018 nationals on April 20.